2018: New Year | New Goals

Well. 2017 was a YEAR. I’m not thrilled with the goals I accomplished last year. And it’s not that I didn’t focus or work hard enough for them, I realized I just set my goals too high and wasn’t able to reach them. So. This year, I’m doing things differently and I think I’m going to like it much better.

First thing, I’m setting my goals smaller. Because I have so many different categories of goals, I need to think smaller. Quality, not quantity—which is actually one of my new plans for this blog. Instead of once (ish) a week, I’m going to post once every two weeks. Focus on quality, not quantity.

Second, like last year—though I started this almost a third into 2017—I’ll be focusing on one goal more than the others each month. It’ll be my Monthly Focus that I prioritize over the rest.

Here are my goals for 2018:

Design & Illustration

Last year, I had lofty goals that I just wasn’t ready to accomplish. This year, I’m scaling back a bit but have more of a clear, solid plan in place for this year. I wanted to sketch daily, have a full illustration done a week. I just wasn’t going to achieve that. I also had wanted to start freelancing design work and open my online shop with things I designed, but just couldn’t start that up last year. This year, I’m going to do:

  • sketch 2-3 times a week
  • 2 full-color illustrations a month
  • start freelance work
  • open online shop


My writing goals last year changed so much last year because of a lot of issues (I wrote about them here) and really fell behind. But, fortunately, I redirected and reset my goals and achieved a lot. However, I’d love to go forward this year with more:

  • write 2 short stories
  • finish first draft of Book E
  • finish the draft from NaNoWriMo 2017 (very close to done)
  • complete NaNoWriMo 2018 (and outline in October)


I wrote my second (first completed) short film last year and was so incredibly proud of it. I want to work on more film projects, but just couldn’t do it last year like I’d wanted. And, I’d wanted to see a lot more (new to me) films in the theater and at home. I saw none in the theater and only 21 at home. So, this year, I’m working a little harder on less projects:

  • watch 25 total (in theaters or not) films
  • film 1 experimental short film/video project
  • write a first draft of a feature-length film


This one is what I’m most upset about. I’ve consistently only been able to read around 20-25 books in a year. I’m not happy about it. I always set my goal to 50 or even just 30 and I never reach it. So, this year, I’m going to do three things: embrace that number, read less fantasy (which takes me longer to read because it’s so long), choose more short books, and, most importantly, stop trying to read the books I’ve had on my list for years that I never get around to. I keep rolling over the books I don’t get to and I’m way less excited to read them because of it. There are other books that have piqued my interest since and I’m tired of not getting to those. So, I’m doing this:

  • read 25 books
  • read less fantasy
  • read shorter books
  • abandon old reading lists


Last year, I did fairly well with exercise and health, but I could’ve done better. This year, I’m going to really work at it and set my goals lower. With my monthly focuses, I’m starting off January by doing the Whole30 and walking every day. I’ll slow down for months I’m not focusing on it, but I really like my plan this year.

  • be more active, walk or bike
  • stick to work-out schedule better
  • do the Whole30 at least once
  • go to bed earlier/wake up earlier

Monthly Focus

I’m still working out which month I want to work on what, and I know there will be repeats, several months for writing or reading, but I just have the first six months set. Also, I don’t have anything with design involved with the monthly focuses because, well, it’s kind of my job so I need to focus on it all the time. These are just the side activities.

Jan: Health + Fitness (Whole30 + walking every day)
Feb: Writing (finish NaNo ’17 + short story + work on draft of Book E)
Mar: Reading (at least four or five books in the month)
Apr: Illustration (two or three full illustrations + daily sketching)
May: Writing (feature film)
Jun: Health + Fitness (Whole30??? + walking every day)

I’m very excited about the upcoming year. I have good feelings about it. Here’s to 2018!


2017: New Year, New Goals


It’s a new year and the following are my new goals—some the same as last year, some tweaked to better suit my life. 2016 was definitely a year of realizing things (you were right, Kylie Jenner) and I realized I needed to stop aiming so high.

So here are my goals for 2017:

Design & Illustration

In the new year, I want to work on more design projects for future plans of mine, continue working on my illustration skills, and practice my hand-lettering skills more. Since I just finished with school, I’ll be hopefully doing some freelance work here soon (after I’m able to quit my current job and make all the necessary preparations to start) and I’ll continue to do all the design work for the small business I co-run.


My goal for this year is to continue revising the two projects I’ve been working on. Both books (and related series) still get me excited after years of writing and rewriting and outlining and planning whenever I could fit it in while being a student and working. (And now that school is finished, I may have more time? Fingers crossed.) Whichever book is the strongest when finished, I’m planning on using it to start the process of querying for a literary agent (which may be this year or next year—the hope would be this year). Another writing goal is to finish the book I won NaNoWriMo with in 2016—I still love that story and want to get back into it, just to finish the first draft. And the final writing goal of mine is to again participate in NaNoWriMo. Though the election sort of made it more difficult to concentrate, making it harder and less fun, I had a blast doing it in 2016 and I want to do it again!


After the disaster of a reading year 2016 was, I’m setting my goal much lower: 35 books. That’s it. I always set it for 50 on Goodreads, always mark it down several in July and again in December after I realize 50 is too much. Not this year. I’m starting low and being less rigid with my list and schedule, because it only made reading more stressful than fun. I think I’ll be able to reach my goal this year of 35, which will be more than 2016’s 24 books and 3 books more than any other year of reading for me. And who knows? Maybe because of being more relaxed about reading, I’ll hit 50? Probably not, but you never know. (I know, actually. I probably won’t.)

Film | Part One: Import

Last year, I had a goal to see at least 12 films in the theater (as I realized I hadn’t seen a single one in 2015) and only saw two films in the theater; better than nothing, but disappointing. My goal for this year is similar, but on a smaller scale: I want to see 5 films in the theater, as well as watching 20 films via other sources (DVD, Netflix, TV, etc.) bringing the total of 25 new films in the year of 2017. A goal, I think, I can do—at least I will with the 20 outside of the theater, as I see most new (to me) films that way (and I’ve already watched 3).

Film | Part Two: Export

I want to do more film projects, but on a small scale. I first want to write a short film (should this have been up in the “writing” goals? oh, well)—I have ideas and ideas scribbled in notebooks and on files on my computer and on notes in my phone, but I’ve never sat down and finished a screenplay (though I’ve started a few). Second, I want to do more experimenting with the camera, making smaller videos like I used to do. It’s a muscle I haven’t stretched in a while.


Hahahahahaha—No, wait. I’m serious this time. I started 2016 off really well with walking/running almost every day for a while and I lost ten pounds. I’ve since gained it back and slowed down on walking to a full stop, only to slowly start up again at the end of the year. But when I was doing it, I loved it. Now that I have a Fitbit Alta, I’m really getting back into it. My goal is to just try to exercise more. I don’t want to have a rigid schedule, I don’t want to set too high of expectations—especially in the winter when it’s more difficult to get up to drive to use the treadmill. I do have a recumbent bike at home that I can use and the treadmill once in a while, and I have an app on my phone for a 7 minute workout (which should be called 7 Minutes in Hell because omg working out like that instead of just walking is so awful how do people enjoy it???) So I’m going to start slow and really get going for when spring arrives and I can walk/run outside again—I really, really enjoyed it when doing it outside in the fresh air. It truly makes a big difference.


I’ve been wanting to post more on Instagram and decided to post one a day for the entire year. Some will be from planned photo sessions, spread out over a few days, some will be just random and whatever I’m doing that day. I’ve already done it for 14 days in a row and I’m really enjoying it.

Those are my goals for 2017!

2016 Goals – 6-Month Checkup

At the beginning of the year, I posted about my goals for 2016. And now with more than half the year over, I thought I’d do another checkup on my journey to achieving those goals. (Most of the summer since my last checkup has been insanely busy and I’ve barely had time to make much progress.)


I’ve put a hold on practicing hand-lettering since I just don’t seem to have the time this summer. Instead, I’ve decided to start in the fall when my final semester of school starts up again (when I’ll— surprisingly—have more time.) For the most part, I’ve been able to do a few sketches here and there, but not much has come of anything. Though today, I had a full day off and spent a few hours on a new piece that I’m excited about. Hopefully, as I said, in the fall I’ll have more time to dedicate to my design work.


I think that every summer I should just expect not to be able to get any writing done because it’s happened the last three years in a row. I’m always far too busy in the summer to even think about sitting down and churning out a few thousand words—or even a few hundred. I’ve had moments and a few hours here and there that I’ve been able to get some writing in, but for the most part, every time I have extra time to write, it either seems to disappear in more work, a family thing, or sleep. My hope is that I’ll be able to get a more regular, easier schedule in the coming months to work, write, read, etc. more steadily at certain times, on certain days.


Surprisingly, I’ve had time to travel! I went on two weekend trips in July/August (with a bit of time during them to get some writing and reading done) and had a great time. The first trip was to Madison, WI to visit family with my mom and we had an amazing, relaxing time. It came at the perfect time as I was starting to feel like I’d have a breakdown at any moment (and I may have had a few micro ones) because I felt over-scheduled and frustrated with things that were happening at work.

A few weeks later, we were off to our annual trip to Copper Harbor, MI—and though it was a rocky trip, we had a good time (though a weekend never seems to be enough time; we must try for a whole week once.)


With the 50 Book Reading Challenge, I always always always believe in myself far more than I should. Like clockwork, around mid-summer I set the goal down to 35. It happens every year, though I think 35 is more attainable this time (I read 32 last year). Though I didn’t do so well earlier in the year, BookTube-A-Thon helped bump up my joy for reading and I was able to so far read 10 books. Not a lot—I’ve definitely read more by this time of the year in past years—but I have high hopes that I will reach 35 this year. And, I’ll be posting a reading update soon about which books I’ve read and what I thought of them.


I haven’t seen a single film in the theater since 10 Cloverfield Lane in April. But I knew that might happen since there were more films I wanted to coming at the end of the year. I may not make 12 exactly, but that’s okay. I watched not one film in 2015 at the theater, which is why I made a goal in the first place for seeing more films. I’d wanted to see the new X-Men but completely forgot about it, heard terrible things about Suicide Squad so didn’t bother, thought I’d like to see Nerve but didn’t have time. I’d like to see Kubo and the Two Strings, The Light Between Oceans, and Don’t Breathe. I don’t know. There’s more films coming out later in the year. I know I won’t get to 12, but I’m happy with even having seen the two I have so far.


Since January, I’ve been trying to be more active and trying to lose weight. I’ve been walking/running for a while, but recently I’ve been putting it off and just not getting out and doing it. I’m ordering a Fitbit soon and hopefully that will motivate me enough to get back to it. And I just downloaded a 7 Minute Workout app on my phone. I started using it once a few days ago but just need to get into a the rhythm of it again to keep going.

2016 Video

I’ve been filming clips nearly every day all year for a project I’m working on and it’s been going decent. Once in a while I’ll forget to film a clip and will have to do it the next day, but I’m not worried about that. I just need to get to editing it all together soon so that it’s not all at once later.

And that’s that! Some positives, mostly negatives, but that’s okay. I’m hoping that once summer is over and my life starts to calm down again this fall, I’ll be able to refocus on my goals and get all of them (kind of) accomplished!

2016 Goals – 3-Month Checkup

The end of March marked the first quarter of 2016 gone (um…what. how.) and since posting about my goals for the year (here), I decided that I would do updates every three months to keep myself on track and to look back at what I’ve done so far and what I have yet to do. So here we go!


So far this year, I haven’t been doing great on design work. Of course I do it everyday with school and my job, but I haven’t been able to work on the stuff I’ve wanted to just yet. I still want to practice my hand-lettering skills and illustration skills, especially working digitally. I will, of course, be posting more about that here as the year progresses.


I’ve been posting periodically about writing and what I’m working on now. That’s changed a little—as I said in the post I shelved a project that I’d been working on for the last few years and started to focus more on a different project since January. While that’s still true, I had a breakthrough with the first project and started to go back and forth. I’ll be making another post on that later.


One of the 2016 goals was to travel more! I haven’t traveled anywhere so far. I’ve barely left my house in the last three months. So…Though I do have a quick trip coming soon (nothing exciting; it’s for work and I’ve been there hundred times, but it’s something.)


I will be posting more frequent reading updates on my goal of 50 books/novellas/stories throughout the year, the first one this month (probably my next post).


My goal of seeing 12 films this year in the theater—about once a month—is going fairly well. I’ve seen two films, Star Wars: The Force Awakens in January and 10 Cloverfield Lane a few days ago, in April. I have a Letterboxd if you want to know what I thought of them—or you could follow me on Twitter, as I usually post immediate thoughts there. (Spoiler alert: I loved them both.) I’m okay with only seeing two in four months to start with because a) I don’t have a lot of money right now to see that many films, but will later in the year and b) there are far more films coming out in a row this summer/fall that I know I’ll be seeing close together.


All of January, I rode the recumbent bike twice a week and walked one to two miles on my grandparent’s treadmill twice a week. Since, I’ve been doing much less—maybe the treadmill once a week only—and it’s really been driving me crazy. I’d lost a few pounds, felt more energy, and was more motivated overall. That stopped and I’ve been wanting to get back to it hard for a few weeks. There’d been about two weeks in March when the snow had melted completely and it had warmed up enough to walk outside every morning. I would get up at 6:30 and go for two miles. I loved it—I didn’t have to drive to the treadmill and I didn’t feel as stationary and bored on the bike. And then it snowed again, became too cold, and I just haven’t even made an effort to go on the treadmill again. I’m hoping for warm weather soon to get back to it.

2016 VIDEO

I’ve been taking a one to five second clip every day for the last three months. My hope is to document my year visually and make a video to look back on. I don’t plan on doing it every year, I’m just doing it as an experiment for this one, to do something new and stretch my filming muscles, as I haven’t made anything creative with film in a long time.

And that’s my goals update! I’ll still be working toward my goals for this year every month, week, day, and be posting it here. I can’t believe we’ve reached the quarter mark of 2016 being over. Absolutely insane!

New Year, New Goals – 2016

Happy New Year!

It’s 2016!

Now, I’m a huge fan of resolutions. I think they’re great. Don’t let anyone tell you resolutions are stupid, because the new year is a perfect time to realign your goals and self—which is why people do it.

I’m not really doing resolutions this year, but I am doing some planning/new goals. Some of them have to do with this blog. So here they are:


Because school a takes up a lot of my time, I’m unable to do the projects that I’d like to do. Especially because I’m planning to start up a site or online store with prints, calendars, cards, etc. Carving the time out to do these things is sometimes difficult when I have so much other work to do, so I’m going to make more of an effort to set aside time specifically for working on new designs.

Another goal is to take the time to learn more to further my skills. One thing that I’ll be starting really soon is practicing on my hand-lettering and illustrating. Hopefully, I’ll be able to document all the processes here on this blog.


Writing is one of the most important aspects of what I do. And in the last few months, it’s been on the back burner. My goal is to write more—especially this month, when I have time off—and to work on getting an agent and getting my work published.

And, if all goes well, document that process here on the blog as well. It was always my plan to talk about writing here on the


I have traveled very little in my life. And I want to change that. I want 2016 to be the year I travel as much as possible. Even if it’s a short trip, a road trip, maybe take my first flight in a plane. I don’t know if it will happen at all, but I want to do more of it.


I always set a goal on GoodReads of 50 books. Each year I get closer and closer (in 2013 I read 15 books, in 2014 I read 25, and this past year I read 32 books). I want to achieve it in 2016. I want to read 50 books (novels, graphic novels, short stories, novellas, whatever).


As someone who professes a love for film, I rarely go see a movie in the theater. And I want to do it more often. In 2015, I didn’t see a single film in the theater. Not one. (A lot of the reason was not having a lot of money to spare.)

My goal for 2016 is to see a movie in the theater, at the very least, once a month. That’s at least 12 films. I’ll have to plan out what’s coming out for each month, and maybe I’ll have to skip a month and double up on another if there’s nothing I want to see out that month, but as long as I see 12, I’ll be happy.


I don’t know if anyone has told you, but spending the majority of your time as a designer and as a writer, you do a lot of sitting. Crazy, I know, but it’s true. And to top if off, all of my hobbies include watching YouTube videos, television, and film. I do a lot of sitting.

So I want to be more active. This summer I want to play more tennis, I want to go for more walks, exercise regularly, and eat better. I want to fit into the clothes hanging on that “maybe someday” side of my closet.

2016 Video.

One of the projects I want to do (well, have started already) is making videos on YouTube again. I used to a few years ago, but stopped because of time and drive to do it. I don’t know if I’ll start vlogging again or making short films again, but I’d like to do something. Even if it’s one project.

To start with, I’m starting a new project of a mega-video compilation of my coming days in 2016. I’m going to (and have already started) filming a short clip, 1 to 2 seconds long, a day. Something that I’m doing that day that is interesting or completely ordinary. I want my year documented visually.

Some of the clips will be a bit longer, the more important and interesting ones might be 5 to 10 seconds long. It’ll be quite a long little film, but I’m excited about it.


My goals for 2016 are fairly simple, seeing how they’re things that I do on the regular anyway, but now with more focus and with more of a plan to accomplish them.

And hopefully, I’ll be able to document a lot of the progress of these goals here on this blog. I’m very excited about it all. I have a good feeling about 2016.

Hope you have a good new year, too!