I can’t believe the year is more than half-over already. So far, 2015 has been excellent, but I’m not entirely on track with my goals. That said, with how much has changed in my life since January, I’m surprised I’m on track at all.
As I set out to write my 2015 resolutions in late December and early January, I had a six-month-old daughter I was still getting to know, a full-time job, and a steady influx of academic freelance work. I was loving posting on my blog and would often take time away from my full-time job to write out a post or two.
Now I have a one-year-old daughter (who loves walking and making mischief and is all-around adorable). I quit my full-time job more than three months ago and have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of freelancing work I’ve gotten done.
Oh, and I’m also pregnant with our second child, due in December. While intentional, having another kid before the year was out definitely wasn’t on my mind when I was writing my resolutions, and my yearly and second quarter resolutions don’t reflect how tired pregnancy makes me, that’s for sure.
This year, I set to work on three different areas of my life: spiritual, professional, and quality of life.
At the beginning of the year, I had two spiritual goals: complete the 2015 devotional I got for Christmas, and read through the Bible chronologically.
Reading through the Bible. In March, my chronological Bible was stolen while we were in Disneyland (an ironic thing to steal, I’m aware), and since I’ve read it through before, I decided not to replace it.
2015 Devotional. This one has been easy to stay on track with, since it’s only a page a day. It’s also extremely simplistic theology, that breaks down the complex nuances in the Bible into nuggets that are supposed to apply well to “modern women” (which, naturally, stereotypes women a lot). I don’t love the reading, but every now and then a good one comes along that makes it worth continuing. Plus, it was a gift, and I feel that reading it honors my mother.
Bonus. Since minimalism and intentionality have been goals this year, we went through the garage and I asked my husband to go through boxes that have moved with us since we got married. He found a bunch of college textbooks, including a NRSV Bible with a ton of commentary written for scholars rather than spiritual reasons. I love this and plan to take a deeper look at it soon.
Since this was the main area I wanted to grow, I had a lot of things I wanted to do. Quitting my full-time job was definitely on my mind, but I wasn’t brave enough to write it down as a goal, and it took reaching my breaking point in January to get me to commit. However, you can still see my desire to become a full-time freelancer in my goals, as well as my work on getting a novel published.
Join two freelance editors’ guilds/associations. I had this complete by mid-January, since I’d been scoping them out for half of 2014 anyway. So far they’ve proved useful enough, even though I haven’t made a ton of money from them. At this point in my career, since I can only claim five years’ experience, I get giddy when I make it into the top few someone is choosing between, and that feels like a win enough.
Create a blog calendar and PLAN. Yeah, so I downloaded the plugin that would give me a blog calendar, but planning just… isn’t my forte. At all. I still have to finish my Taylor Swift series, I intended to update the blog with my goal progress monthly rather than semi-annually, and I’ve been too tired (see: pregnancy) to write blog posts in advance.
Publish 50+ blog entries. I just went back and counted, and I’ve posted 19 on this blog and five on the Query Tracker blog, meaning this is my 25th blog post! I thought I was doing way worse than that, so yay! Hooray for how much I wrote in January making up for how little I’ve written recently. Also, I meant to make my goal 104 posts (two a week), I just mis-mathed. Now I’m really glad I did.
Query at least 50 agents for Expiration Date, or until signed. Obviously, there are a lot of steps that needed to happen before I could get to this point. And the number is arbitrary: I know all the true-isms in the writing field, like, “It only takes one ‘yes’,” reminiscent as they are of Christian true-isms like “God never gives you anything you can’t handle” and “God’s timing is best.” I’m well on track, though. I’m fairly satisfied with the current draft of Expiration Date. All the writing true-isms leave me hesitant to post where I am on querying (or even if I’ve started), so I won’t. 😉
Plan and outline next book. I’m not one of those authors whose ideas are constantly flowing and whose decision on what to write next is choosing which of many ideas is worth pursuing. Instead, I have to take the mustard seed of an idea (always only one at a time, usually planted about halfway through the first or second draft of what I’m writing) and massage it into something for a book. Right now, I have three separate strings and I can’t tell if they’re one, two, or three books. I’m working on it, but slowly, since Expiration Date is still my focus.
Quality of Life Goals
Complete 2015 Book Challenge. I’m almost on track with this, although the fact that I did next to nothing in May, including read, wasn’t useful. See updated book challenge page here.
Stick to minimalist wardrobe plan. This has been surprisingly easy, even with my growing bump (which is growing very high, so I can still wear normal pants, even at almost 18 weeks pregnant!!). I guess once you get out of the habit of shopping as a form of entertainment, it’s relatively easy to avoid. The only shopping I’ve done was for a dress to wear to a wedding (my form-fitting ones didn’t work with my growing bump… boo) and a black t-shirt to replace one that insisted on turning my armpits purple every time I wore it. (TMI? Sorry…)
Replace husband’s car with a small loan. Not particularly interested in giving direct numbers, since this is neither a finance nor a minimalist blog, but we did it! Our loan is under the amount I wanted to pay, and we ended up with a used 2014 Volkswagen Jetta TDI in a beautiful dark gray with only 3,000 miles on it–pretty much exactly what we were hoping for (and more than, regarding the mileage).
Now that I see my goals written out like this, I’m so happy with how well it’s going. Apparently, even in the middle of a ton of life changes, if you set goals that are true to who you are and who you want to become, they are achievable.