Still At It

I am proud to say I have successfully surpassed half the year in keeping my annual goals–or what others might have called their New Year’s Resolutions. I sometimes wonder how many other people have kept at their yearly goals this long, but then I remember my success isn’t measured against theirs–it’s measured against mine.

This past month has been wildly successful in some areas–transcribing my math notes, blogging, driving, and exercising–wildly non-observant in others–namely journalling–and rather lax in a few–such as drinking water. I’ve done it, I know I have, but I haven’t kept track of how much, so it’s hard to say if I met my goal or not.

This month, I’m adding to my goals–and disbanding some others.

First comes fitness. Health has always been a priority for me, and I’m not just saying that. I enjoy feeling good, and looking good boosts my confidence. Yes, I’ve grown confident in other ways, especially over the past few years, but for some reason, looking good just makes me even more confident. And I appreciate that. This month, I’m not just working out three times a week, I’m splitting that into two times at thirty minutes and only once at fifteen. I feel in better shape this month than last, and I only want to keep improving. I know next month I’ll be on campus walking further every day than I have in a long while, and I don’t want to be winded just getting to class on time. That’s not great for my body and that’s not great for my mind.

As far as drinking water is concerned, although I’ll try to keep tabs on how much I actually drink, with this heat, my only tangible goal should just be to keep hydrated–and that much I’ll do.

I alluded a bit to my journalling goal in my last post. Essentially, I’ve reevaluated what it means to me, and therefore, I have to consider how many times I’ll mandate myself to writing each week or if I’ll simply make it a point to do whenever I feel the need to do. No matter, there are a few months I need to reflect on, so accomplishing that will be my success story for this month–and they’re some pretty awesome events to reflect o–meeting my boyfriend, graduating, going to the beach, NC State orientation–so, really, why am I waiting?

Driving. I’ve actually made significant progress this month! I’ve driven further than I have before and although I’m still driving on campus roads, they’re roads nonetheless. I’m getting more comfortable behind the wheel, too. I’m eager, if somewhat uncertain still, to head out further. I’m picking up three-point turns slowly but surely, and holding conversations while I drive, too–and if I’m that comfortable, you know I’ve improved. This month I’m hoping to get out driving twice a week, as opposed to once, but I’m not sure if I’ll be ready to take the driving test at the end of the month. I’m crossing my fingers, but we’ll see.

Supplemental goals tend to be a staple of my summers. The only one I’m dropping from last month is the one in which I’d intended to draw characters for my NaNo novel this fall. I started. Honestly, I did. And I put my best effort into it. I’m just not skilled enough at drawing to really follow through with it. If my characters can’t appear as I want them to, then I don’t feel especially enthusiastic about it. However, I will try to make some rough outlines of all the stories I’ll be writing, since my plan is to tackle a chunk of the epic mythology I’ve been holding inside for a long time. However, I need to go in with a plan–the locations, the characters, the general synopsis to lead me. I have a feeling there’s going to be a few different stories I’ll be writing, so I need to have some semblance of order at the outset.

Learning is my biggest summer goal. I’ve been transcribing my calculus notes for review and this month I’m hoping to get through my calculus II notes; after that, I plan to relax from that arena. However, I’m also preparing for classes in two other ways: I’m reading a book on set theory that one of my favorite professors recommended I read and I’m also reading the online text for an Introduction to Computing Environments class that’s required for transfer students. If I can learn the material on my own enough to pass a placement test at the beginning of the fall term, I’ll be able to get credit for the class without actually taking it–and that means my course load will be lighter.

I decided to not make a formal goal of watching the linear algebra videos on KhanAcademy.org, a new resource I was introduced to by a fellow new transfer student at my orientation a couple weeks ago. Although I’ll be in linear algebra this fall and being familiar with the concepts will help me excel this first semester, I believe it’s more important to review my calculus, dabble in set theory, and be able to place out of my computing course than it is to have an upper hand in linear algebra. I’ve been told I have a good teacher for that course, so I need to make sure I’m prepared to take it in others ways first.

I also have a few unwritten goals I plan to complete–such as an art project to decorate my dorm without putting any holes in the wall and reading NC State’s literary magazine to give me an idea of what kind of story I should submit this fall–but I’m not concerned about those. They’re fun, one-time endeavors. I don’t think they need the kind of attention these other goals need to keep at them. I also have a plethora of things to shuffle around for school, and I should really attempt to declutter my room before I move on campus, too…

The hardest part to keeping these goals is a general sense of laxity some days. Maybe it is the heat, maybe it’s being held up in this house for so long, maybe it’s just exhaustion that I’m overlooking. But if can get past that, all of these goals? Well, they won’t be a challenge at all.

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One thought on “Still At It

  1. This is fantastic to hear! Excellent work, and even if at times you don’t feel like you’re doing excellently, be sure to persuade yourself otherwise. Internal motivation is the best positive reinforcement, and positive reinforcement the best method of persuasion.

    Though I hadn’t set any goals, except for finishing both my novel and my work on Social Engineering and Depression (I will inform you when significant progress has been made, but it’s coming along swimmingly so far!), though the latter was a commitment made last summer.

    However, I have finally disbanded the straining and destructive emotional ties that came with helping ones incapable of receiving help, I have quit several addictions (Does that sound bad or good — or both?), I have been exercising religiously (though honestly, I spend a great deal more time and effort on exercise and dieting than all but the most zealous spend on religion), I have been doing volunteer-work for over three years, I have learned the basics of the arts of mentalism, card magic and psychological mediumship, and I’ve managed to survive this hell that we call major depressive disorder, co-morbid with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and chronic fatigue.

    Well, that AND I have an absolutely magnificent wardrobe building up, with two brand-new suits on the way.

    If you add all of that up, you might be inclined to say I’m not such a gigantic failure as I perceive myself to be. Unfortunately, the time where I might be disinclined to say that has not yet arrived.

    Take care, Darren, and I’d wish you luck with NaNoWriMo, but I still have an XX number of posts of yours to read, so I’m sure I’ll find plenty of time for that.

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