Monday, 1 April 2013

2013 Goal Review (Q1)

My goals for 2013 were supposed to be a set of fairly relaxing, less-challenging targets, compared to my three years of "Before 30" madness. Ha. Since when do I know how to set sensible goals?

Still, most of these are at least moderately realistic within the time frame. I realise that I forgot to note down my intent to finish my PhD, but I've been working hard on that, too (March ends with my presenting at a conference in Greece).

Artistic goals - half-finished projects to complete

Two novels half-finished:
I'm trying to get the plot nailed down before I commit any serious words to paper, on both of these, but I'm hoping to do a couple of "Camp Nanowrimo" sessions this summer (one starting today!) to make some more serious progress.

A book of cookie recipes to finish:
I've completed the first draft of this, now. It's with beta readers and getting some great feedback, so I will hopefully be ready to publish within the next few weeks.

crochet owlAn incomplete crochet jacket:
I haven't yet picked this project up again, but I have been reminding myself how to crochet, in preparation. My fingers were stiff from lack of practice, and I didn't want to start making squares for the jacket until I've got my tension predictable again. This little owl is just something I made to get myself back into the habit.

Avoid starting anything new until the above are finished:
Let's be honest, this was always going to be the hard part, but with the exception of a couple of short story prompts from a local writer's group, I've managed to be satisfied with just making a note of ideas that come to me, without devoting hours to pursuing them. It's hard, though. It's very hard.

Health goals

Keep my asthma under control:
I've been taking my drugs regularly, which helps. This shouldn't even require a goal, but I'm rubbish at habit-formation, so it's useful to have it written down.

Keep doing the physio exercises for my back & knees:
Habits, again. It's very easy to fall out of the habit of doing this properly, but I am trying never to miss more than one day in a row. If it gets to be more than a few days, I really start to feel the pain, so I've got an incentive to stay on track.

Learn to run at least 5k:
Um. Erm. Can we put this on the list of "things to do in the summer when it's warmer", please?

Try out the 5:2 diet for six months:
The 5:2 diet, which consists of having two restricted-calorie days each week, is easier than it sounds. If you love vegetables as much as I do, then you can easily fill a plate without getting anywhere near 500 calories - more like 300. That leaves 100 calories each for breakfast and lunch. I haven't had anything close to a perfect success rate, but I tend to figure that even one day a week is better than nothing, and/or that a 1000 calorie day is still an improvement over 2000, so I'm not beating myself up too badly. We fell off the wagon a little in Canada, partly because it's hard to turn down nice food on holiday, and partly because we lost track of what day was what. I'm doing this more for the general health benefits than to lose weight, which is harder to measure (I have noticed my jeans are less tight), but once I've done another few months I'll get my cholesterol checked to see if it's helped.

Cookery goals

There was just one food-related goal on my list: to make something new every week. Averaged across the year, that would be thirteen dishes by the end of March to be on target. I'm up to 12 (some of which I'm still planning to blog about in due course), so I'm slightly behind, but it should be easy to catch up.
  1. Spicy chickpea pasties
  2. Chocolate hazelnut biscotti
  3. Pineapple upside down cake
  4. Roasted vegetables with zhoug
  5. Ciabatta pizza
  6. "Everything" bagels
  7. Swedish cinnamon buns
  8. Swedish cheesecake
  9. Vegetarian spaghetti bolognese
  10. Apple & mincemeat pasties
  11. Chocolate & cherry scones
  12. Broccoli & stilton cookies
Reading goals

Reduce my TBR pile:
I've read six of the fourteen books I specifically designated as part of this challenge: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Meltwater, Rivers of London, Paddle: A Long Way Around IrelandDeath at Wentwater Court, and Bright Young Things. I've also read another three from the pile, which didn't make my original goal list, but it's all grist to the TBR-reduction mill.

Reread some old favourites:
I've read four (of thirteen), which is more or less entirely on target: Wild Swans, Pride and PrejudiceThe City & The City, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Be more disciplined about NetGalley:
I've been pretty good at this, actually. This year I've only requested books I definitely want to read (or use) in the near future, so I can keep on top of reviews. And I've been careful not to request cookery books, when I know that all I do with them is look at the pretty pictures and then make up possibly-vaguely-related recipes of my own. I'm trying to keep a running total of fewer than 10 books outstanding (awaiting my feedback) by reading and reviewing promptly when I'm approved for a title, which is proving quite a successful method at the moment.


rosaria williams said...

Oh,yes, I remember what a 30 year old set of goals can look like! Keep it up! Remember though, that the only one you are challenging is yourself. The rest of the world loves to do as little as possible, and get as much credit as it can.

Andrew Cater said...

Think hard about running until your back and knees are perfect ... :)

carma said...

your 2013 goals are more than some people accomplish in a lifetime. I bow down to your ambition!!!

Elizabeth Braun said...

Well done, seems like you're doing well with everything. I've heard that most people only achieve about 20% of what they set out to do, so that means the likes of thee and me are incredible goal achievers!!LOL

So, Greece is turning from blue to pink on your travel map?? Rats! That means there are now only 5 countries on my map that aren't yet on yours. I pride myself on those few, esp when you see how many are on yours but not on mine!!!=)

Sir has a paper accepted for both presentation and publication at a conference in Romania this June. Not bad for a first year, huh? I'm both pleased for him and a teeny bit miffed as I can't go with him (can't afford it and he can only go as he can get the 'scholarship' to pay for it - they each get £2K per year in expenses!).

christine said...

hope Greece is going well! sounds like a good set of goals - love the owl:) x

Mike Harvey said...

I'm with Andrew. Running and bad knees/back do not really mix. I sat in on a mini lecture on this very subject when I worked in the local physio clinic and was amazed at the load exerted on the body during running. All Google seems to want to give me is highly scholarly articles but I think the loading was something like nine times body weight.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I like your goals...hope you enjoy them

Rebecca Jerdee said...

So ambitious, Rachel! If I had that list of goals, I'd be sure to fail. Hope you can make a great success of it!

Grown and Flown said...

Such a good idea to look at resolutions again. We tend to make them, put them in the drawer and not think about them again. This was a terrific idea.

Tracie Nall said...

I love that you are doing a quarterly review of your goals. It is so easy to start them out in January, and then let them slip away as the year goes by. I need to check out NetGallery.

Stephanie said...

This is such a good idea! Next year I'm going to track my goals quarterly... love it. Oh, and running a 5K is on my list, too (and it's NOT going so well...Oops.). Stopping by from the SITS Sharefest :) I'd love for you to drop by and visit my blog if you get the chance. Have a great weekend!

Diary of a Debutante

a happier girl said...

Stopping by from SITS! Keep up the good work on your goals! I especially love that it includes finishing half completed goals! I'm so bad about starting and not finishing things. I totally need to make that my resolution, too.

Jennice said...

Wow, these goals are really detailed! I hope you get all of them done. I'm Jennice from #SITSsharefest.

WhisperingWriter said...

Stopping by from SITS. Good luck on your goals! I also write so I know how that is trying to get ideas on paper.

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