The Year in Review

It’s May now, and I haven’t given a progress update in three months. I’m so slack. I was thinking about it yesterday, and I’m ashamed at how far behind I am on my goals. So back on New Years Day I wrote this Happy New Years post about lifestyle changes and my SMART goals.

Now five months in, I have so much to report… of what I haven’t done.

My goals were broken into three categories, and within each, a listing of what my end goal is:

  1. Health & Fitness
    1. Drop weight to 58kg/128lb, I started at 71kg/156lb.
    2. 10% body fat loss
    3. Size 8(AU)/4(US) from 14/10
    4. Run 10km in under 1:05:00
  2. Writing
    1. 35 stories for 35 years (over 100 words)
    2. Book 2 of Young Mystics series written by June 2016
    3. Book 1 fully edited by December 2016, submitted to publishers
    4. 5 stories submitted for publication with magazines, journals, etc.
    5. Attend at least 8 Writing Group meet-ups
    6. 500 words written every day
    7. Be more blog active, with regular posts every week.
  3. Reading
    1. 20 books read this year
      1. 5 must be indie
      2. 2 must be new releases
    2. 5 reviews written towards these books

I’m not going to lie. I have been absolutely appalling this year with my goals. I have a bunch of excuses, but they are just that. Excuses. Not legitimate reasons.

I’ll start with the first one on the list. It’s the worst of the lot.

Health & Fitness

Since January 1, I have gained 5.6kg. I’m officially the largest I have ever been. My body fat gain has increased with it, and since then, I am now uncomfortably size 14/16, when I was really just 12/14 before.

In the last couple of weeks, I have started going to a Group Fitness class twice a week, and though I am unfit, I am finishing them without falling into a crumpled heap. My 10km goal will happen with these classes.

It’s my food that is the problem, and I realise that. I like sweets and creamy lattes and burgers.

Obviously, I’m beating myself pretty bad for this one, but I still have 7 months to get it right. I have to get it right if I want to live past 50.

Writing

Okay, I want to talk about the wins first.

35 stories for 35 years! I’m on target for this one, well and truly. There are 34 weeks left in 2016, at this posting. I made it a self-imposed 500 words at some point. I guess because even stories over 100 words don’t take long to write. So as of right now, I am at 15 500+ word stories for this year. Some haven’t been great. In fact a couple are downright horrible. But a few have stuck with me so much that I’m looking at expanding them even further. Take, for instance, The Dandelion Queen. Written just out of need, and turned out to be one of my favourite so far.

Five stories submitted for publication this year – I have submitted three thus far. I have heard back from one. It was a no, but I’m holding out for the next two. I have more stories to iron out and submit. So I am well on track with this one too.

Attend 8 Writing Group meet-ups – So far I’ve done 5 this year, and next week will be number 6. I’ve enjoyed the Creative Writing Group I’m part of. I can imagine it being a mainstay for me for a long time.

Be more blog active – I post, on average, 3 pieces a week. On my good weeks, it was five. I generally do at least one creative nonfiction, one or two microfictions, and one fiction or poetry. The last two weeks, I’ve been down to three, but before that, I churned out 5 or 6 between Yeah Write and Friday Fictioneers. That will continue to be my goal, though I may need to look at reducing the number for a bit for my next two points.

I’m not quite averaging 500 words a day. It’s more like 500 every two days. Some pieces, like many of my creative nonfictions, come in around 1000 words, so it covers two days, but then I don’t seem to do a lot of writing on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. I’m close, though. My weekly word total is about 2800.

My books have suffered the greatest, though. Book 1 is only 10% edited right now. That’s atrocious. And Book 2 is barely started. I have about 6k words in it, and I haven’t even finished the first chapter. I really want to finish Book 1 before going on to Book 2, though, so I ceased all work until I do. The problem is that I am completely stuck on a large section of book 1. It needs a complete rewrite in sections. So I have some major work to do.

Reading

Clearly, this wasn’t as great a focus as the other two. I gave myself a goal of 20 books this year. I’ve read five… I’m reading a sixth one now, but I have been for months. I have barely looked at it because I’ve been writing and watching shows and missing my lunch breaks where I did a big majority of my reading.

I had a list of books I planned on reading. They included:

  1. The Beast House Collection (Collection Volume 1) by Richard Laymon
  2. Rising (The Adept Cycle #1) by Shanan Winters 
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir
  4. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
  5. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
  6. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  7. Shizzle, Inc by Ana Spoke

I started with Beast House, with the first book of the collection, “The Cellar,” and I absolutely hated it. I decided against reading the other two in the collection. I read Rising and loved it. It is the one and only review I’ve done so far this year that was posted to the blog. I read The Martian and loved it. Then I read Shizzle, but I stopped about a quarter of the way through because I was not enjoying it. I’m currently reading Carrie, and then I will likely go to The Maze Runner after that.

I added a few more to the list now, though. Horns by Joe Hill, which I have read now, The Troop by Nick Cutter, Metro 7 by Matthew J Hellscream (he’s a member of the Creative Writing Group I’m in), and Children of Fire by Daniel Ferguson (another group member). I’m still open to many others, so feel free to throw some other titles. 🙂

I can possibly make my target if I start again in earnest now, but I’m still not liking my chances.

2016 has to improve, though. And I’m the only one who can see that it does!

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