2014 Goalkeeping #2

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on my goals this year–but mostly that’s because I’ve been keeping to them well and I haven’t had much to write about. Now that I’ve achieved a few of them and the summer is about to start, it seems fitting to look at them once more.

Self Care: I started the year aiming first and foremost to take better care of myself–especially physically and emotionally. I was sick earlier in the semester and had to stop exercising as a result, but my health has since improved and I was exercising regularly until finals started and I lost my motivation to do just about anything. However, I also took time to meet with a nutritionist on campus, and now I feel I’m eating–and drinking–with more focus on my health than beforehand, and that’s helping me reach my goals.

In regards to my emotional wellbeing, it’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, since deciding to take ten minutes a day to do something I enjoy–like reading, listening to music, or something like that–I’ve found I’ve put a lot more time into relaxation than I had before. However, except for a couple recent trips I’ve taken, I haven’t been keeping up with journalling like I’d like to. I know it helps me keep my thoughts in order and feel better generally, but it takes time–and I’m not always sure where to find that time.

Life’s a work in progress, and I’ll keep trying. With failure comes a new perspective on how not to do something–and that awareness brings a greater ability to hone in on success.

Writer Life: I want to indulge my love of writing–actively blogging and writing new stories and poetry as a regular part of my life. I’ve been fairly consistent with at least one post on the Writingwolf per week, and I’d like to add at least a new poem and short story to Silent Soliloquy each month–however, that’s a goal I haven’t kept up so well.

I used to write poems and publish them quickly, but since I’ve now taken two courses in poetry, I’ve learned a lot more about how to edit and revise poems–and that takes time. So does writing a good story, and then editing it until it’s worth publishing. As a full-time student, that’s time I typically don’t have.

However, I do have one story I plan to post this summer, and as part of my summer goals–which I’ll get to shortly–I plan to write a lot more material than I can post so I’ve got something to draw from later on.

College Goals: This is where I’ve had the most tangible success, so far completing my first two goals for the year: developing a plan for each of my remaining semesters in school and then graduating from the Equal Opportunity Institute, a program at N.C. State that teaches participants about a myriad set of topics relating to diversity and equality.

There’s another academic goal I’ve had all year but haven’t spoken of here: learning Spanish. I completed over a hundred lessons on Duolingo prior to visiting my boyfriend in Mexico a couple weeks back, and although I knew just enough to catch a few words here and there, I really knew just enough to know I still can’t speak Spanish. That said, I enjoyed the few times I could say or understand something, and with plans to go back in August, learning Spanish has become an important goal. I plan to keep using Duolingo, but I’m also taking a Spanish class this summer, and that’ll help a lot.

My last academic goal is more abstract and harder to come by: maintaining an ideal GPA. The first challenge is that I don’t know my GPA until it’s too late to change it. The second challenge is determining–in real time–which study practices help and which don’t. Especially in regards to higher mathematics, it’s as if I’ve had to learn to study all over again–the techniques I used to use don’t work, and I haven’t figured out what does. Now I have a better idea than before, and I think I’ll be prepared for my classes this fall.

This semester I’ve gotten all A’s this semester–except in my math class. Which, being a math major, is disappointing, but I did my best, and that’s worth something, right?

Summer Goals: I love making extra goals for the summer–it gives me a challenge and keeps me busy, and as a man who grows bored too quickly, that helps me to thrive. This summer I’ll be taking classes online, so they’re going to preoccupy most of my time, but I’ve still got a couple important goals to work on.

First, I want to take time to create a travel book from my trip to Alaska; for people who donated to help me cover the costs of the trip, I’m putting together journal entries, poetry, and pictures as a thank-you token. I want to make it the best it can be, and I’ll enjoy having the chance to re-experience the trip as I do it, too.

Second, I want to participate in Camp NaNo–a summer version of NaNoWriMo, which doesn’t technically happen until November. I want to finish writing my sequel to “The Rheve” which I started last summer, but also write loads of poetry and more short stories that I can use to post more frequently on Silent Soliloquy in the fall.

I really want to grow my fiction and poetry audience, so I also plan to use the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing challenges to inspire my throughout the summer, creating smaller, more bite-sized moments that’ll carry me through until I have more substantial stories to post. And then I’ve also got what I worked on during last NaNo to share–and I’m very excited for that opportunity. I won’t say much of it now, but it’s a sequel to one of the earliest stories I wrote on my blog–in fact, a story I wrote four years ago this summer.

That’s it for my goals, but I’d love to hear how yours. How do you to stick to your goals? Are you planning any special ones for the summer? Tell me all about them.

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