Making Time for the Most Important People in My Life: My March Goals

As I said in my last post, the focus for this month’s personal challenge is “relationships.”

I share a lot on this blog about my relationship with my husband, some of my previous romantic relationships, and, in a couple of cases, how some of my friendships have changed (or faded away) over the years.  I’m not sure if they’re the kind of posts that people like to read, but I really enjoy writing them.  I like sharing these kinds of stories and thoughts, and I always feel so great after I spend some time writing and reflecting on my feelings.  These are also my favorite kinds of posts to read on other blogs, regardless of whether I can relate to what they’re saying.  Sometimes I just like to see how different or similar someone else’s life experiences are to my own.  (Or maybe I’m just nosy and want to read all about other people’s personal lives.)

The point is, I think and care a lot about my relationships with other people.  The problem is that as I get older, it seems to get more difficult to maintain a lot of these relationships.  We all have our own obligations: work, family, pets, hobbies … The list goes on and on.  And since a lot of my friends and family live far away, properly keeping in touch with everyone on a regular basis becomes even more difficult.

With that in mind, I’ve come up with a few simple goals for March to help strengthen my relationships with the most important people in my life.

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Image provided by Unsplash (unsplash.com) and edited by me.

My March 2015 Goals:

1.  Call/text friends more often.  I don’t love talking on the phone, but I’ll definitely at least call my friend Jennifer on her birthday this month.  I’ll also try to reach out to some of my other friends (probably via text) during the month to check in and catch up.

2.  Have at least one friend “date.”  I already have another Skype date lined up for later this month with the same friends I spent 6 hours Skyping with on Valentine’s Day (which, in my eyes, definitely counts), but I’ll probably also try to either set up a one-on-one dinner with a friend or plan a group thing with some of my friends after work one day.

3.  Have a date night with Eric.  We haven’t had a date night since the end of January, and I already have a restaurant in mind to try!

4.  Call my mom at least once during the month.  She and I text quite a bit, but we don’t always talk on the phone (mostly because it inevitably turns into a several hour long conversation, and we don’t always have time for that).  I haven’t called her in a while, though, so it’s probably time for one of those really long phone conversations.

5.  Continue going to yoga classes 2-3 times each week.  This is something I’ve been doing anyway, but it’s definitely important to work on my relationship with myself (and my health!) as well as my relationships with the other people in my life.

I haven’t been doing a great job sticking with my monthly goals lately, but I think I’ll be able to accomplish all of these.  I’m looking forward to spending more time with the people I care most about (even if it’s only via phone, text, or Skype!).

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Monthly Personal Challenge Link-up: February Results

Not Entirely Perfect

 

February is obviously always the shortest month of the year, but this year it seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye.  I thought I could cram a bunch of things into those 28 days, and I guess I sort of did … But some of my create goals suffered as a result.

I was actually really excited about all of my goals this month.  I was going to better myself by spending more time on some of my favorite hobbies.  I was optimistic that I’d do more in February than I did in January.

And then life happened.

I won’t say that I completely failed last month because I didn’t.  But I didn’t do as much as I wanted to.

To recap, my goals for February were:

1.  Create a blogging schedule for at least the next 2 months.

2.  Make an effort to write creatively at least once a week.

3.  Come up with a new way to list out the week’s meal plan (preferably making some sort of graphic using PicMonkey).

4.  Create an original recipe.

5.  Finish Eric’s very long overdue wedding anniversary present.

Here’s how I did:

1.  I didn’t even make an attempt to work on a blogging schedule.  I’m kind of pissed at myself for blowing off one of the more important things on the list, but I just wasn’t motivated to do it.  So I didn’t.

2.  I’ll give myself a pass on writing creatively at least once a week, even though I didn’t technically write much at all.  I spent a lot of February thinking about some of my ideas for novels, narrowing my focus, working through some character development, and laying out a couple of specific “scenes.”  I actually only wrote a couple of times (the rest was mostly making notes or working through things in my mind), but I feel like I deserve a pass since I was at least working on some creative writing projects.  All of the things I was doing were important (at least in my opinion) and are getting me in the right frame of mind to begin the process of piecing together a manuscript.

3.  I haven’t even bothered to make a meal plan in weeks, so my meal plan graphic didn’t happen.  I really need to get back in the habit of making meal plans.  When I don’t, we usually end up eating out a lot (or just eating random shit we find in our kitchen).  Not good.

4.  I’m going to give myself a pass on creating an original recipe even though I’m reluctant to do so.  The idea itself wasn’t completely novel (though I guess a lot of recipes are just variations of something else), and I used a recipe for a sauce I’ve made before (which was originally slightly adapted from another recipe).  However, I didn’t use a specific recipe for the overall meal, I used my own judgment when it came to measurements and types of ingredients, and the sauce was one I’ve never seen with these ingredients … So I’d say that’s something.  It’s a stretch, but it will do.  I’ll be posting it on the blog soon (probably next week for Tasty Tuesday).

5.  I’m about 95% done with my gift for Eric, so I’m going to give myself a pass on this as well.  I still can’t say what it is since he reads my blog, but I can say that all I have left to do is look it over to determine if any changes need to be made, make any necessary changes, and submit the order.  It took a lot of time, but the hard part is over.  I hope he likes it as much as I think he will!

As I said earlier, February was just okay for me.  I wish I’d completed all of my goals (especially the blogging schedule since that’s so important!) and that I’d done a little more creative writing (as opposed to spending so much time planning), but I wouldn’t say I completely failed.  I just didn’t do as well as I would have liked.

But now it’s time to move on.  This month’s theme is “relationships.”  I have a couple of goals in mind, but this post has already gotten long enough and, as I mentioned last month, I like separating my results from my new monthly goals.  I’m weird, I guess.

I’ll be back either tomorrow or Saturday with my goals for March.  I think this will be a good area for me to focus on because I’ve been pretty awful at keeping in touch with some of my friends lately.  It sucks, but unfortunately that’s what happens when your friends are scattered all over the country (one of my friends isn’t even living in the country right now … She’s in school in Europe, so it’s even more difficult to find a good time to talk to her).  Anyway, I’m excited to come up with some ways to strengthen the relationships I have with the people in my life (and maybe throw in something for my relationship with myself as well!).

From the Bookshelf: Recently Read – February 2015 Edition

It’s once again time for the Show Us Your Books! link-up (yes, I know the link-up started on Tuesday, but I really wanted to finish another book before posting), and I’m happy to say that I’ve been keeping a pretty consistent pace with my reading this year.  It took me a little longer than I thought it would to finish a couple of these books (especially The Pilo Family Circus), but I still think I’m on track to finish 50 books in 2015.

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The Contortionist’s Handbook by Craig Clevenger – 199 pages

Completed on 01/20/2015 – Read more reviews on Goodreads

I first read this book about 8 years ago.  I thought I remembered a lot of the story, but as I began reading, I realized that I actually remembered very little.  So while this was a reread, it was almost as though I was reading it for the first time … And that was kind of nice.

The main character in this novel is John Dolan Vincent, though he goes by a variety of names throughout the book.  He’s a master of forgery, constantly reinventing himself in order to escape mental institutions, legal authorities, and, most recently, some pretty hardcore criminals who hired him for his talents.

The novel rapidly flips between the past and the present, giving readers insight into John’s past and his need to remain on the run as well as his intelligence as he tries to convince the psychiatrist currently interviewing him that he is not suicidal and does not require further evaluation in a mental institution.  Unfortunately for John, this psychiatrist is a little better at his job than some of the others he’s fooled in the past.

One of the best things about The Contortionist’s Handbook is that it allows the reader a true escape.  What if you could just completely start over without leaving a trace of your old self behind?  Would you do it?  And how many times could you do it before you started to crack?  Before your new reality and the truth began to run together?  Before someone figured you out?  These are just a few of the questions that might arise as you’re reading, and they’re all (at least in my opinion) interesting things to consider.

I loved this book the first time I read it, and I was happy to find that I still loved it the second time around.  It’s one of those books that starts strong and doesn’t let up until the very end (and even then you want just a little more).

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Deranged by Harold Schechter – 303 pages

Completed on 02/01/2015 – Read more reviews on Goodreads

Like The Contortionist’s Handbook, this was a reread.  I read Deranged for the first time during my senior year of college (sometime between the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006) while I was researching serial killers for my Honors thesis.

Deranged is the only nonfiction book I read during January.  It tells the story of Albert Fish, a harmless looking elderly man who was guilty of some of the most shocking and brutal crimes against children in the 1920s and 1930s.  While he’s not the most famous American serial killer, he’s certainly one of the most terrifying.

There are things that I really appreciated about this book, such as the obvious effort the author put into researching Albert Fish and his crimes and his ability to paint a vivid picture of the era in which these crimes took place.  On the other hand, I had a love/hate relationship with the way he presented the story.

The author attempted to make the book read like a work of fiction.  This isn’t a terrible thing, since I wouldn’t want to just read a book full of dry facts.  Schechter was obviously trying to keep the story fresh and interesting, and I could definitely appreciate that.  Unfortunately, there were times when it felt like he was trying too hard to make it seem like a novel.  I don’t know if it was an effort to gloss over the horror (I mean, you almost want it to be fiction) or if he just thought it would spice things up to write it this way, but it kind of annoyed me at times.

This is one of those books that you’ll probably appreciate if you’re a fan of true crime and/or you’re interested in learning more about serial killers.  If you’re not into either of those things, Deranged is definitely not the book for you.

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The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott – 300 pages

Completed on 02/14/2015 – Read more reviews on Goodreads

This book has been sitting on my shelves for at least 2 or 3 years.  I was actually really excited about it when I bought it, but, for whatever reason, I never got around to reading it.  Since I’m really trying to get through 50 books in 2015, I knew I’d pick it up at some point this year.

The Pilo Family Circus is, in a word, bizarre.  I’d venture to say this book would fall under the “bizarro fiction” category (the only thing I could even remotely compare it to is Satan Burger by Carlton Mellick III, which, despite the strange title and odd premise, is actually very good), though it’s also been described as “horror.”  I’m terrified of clowns, so when I originally picked this book up, I thought I might be in for some nightmares.  (If you’re curious, the only novel that has ever given me nightmares was A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans.  It’s scary as fuck, but I loved it and would definitely read it again in the future.)

The Pilo Family Circus wasn’t nightmare fuel for me, though.  While there were definitely some creepy scenes (and a lot of death!), it was also full of dark humor and interesting characters.  On the surface the book seems like it’s just a weird work of fiction, but the underlying themes are much deeper than they appear.

The novel follows Jamie, a young Australian man in his 20s just trying to get by.  He lives in squalor with a few roommates (mostly drug dealers and/or addicts), and goes to a boring job he hates every evening.  One night as he’s heading home from work, he sees something very strange: 3 clowns in his neighborhood.  He hides in order to watch them, unseen, and subsequently picks up a small velvet pouch filled with some kind of powder after one of the clowns tosses it into the night.  This later proves to be a very stupid move, as the powder is much more valuable than he ever could have imagined.

After toying with him for a while, the clowns eventually capture Jamie, taking him to The Pilo Family Circus to work with them.  This isn’t a typical circus, though … It’s in a strange area of space that’s essentially a borderline between Hell and Earth.  It’s a dark place filled with violence and insanity, and, as Jamie is initiated into the group of clowns, he realizes it is also a place filled with magic.  When he applies his white face paint, he not only looks like a clown … He becomes someone else entirely, a wild, dangerous clown named JJ.

I don’t want to share much more about the plot than that, mostly because I hope that at least a few people who read this will want to pick up the book themselves.  I hate when books (or movies!) are spoiled for me in a review, so I really try to avoid doing that.  I will say, though, that The Pilo Family Circus takes many common themes (good vs. evil, power and corruption, etc.) and twists them into something fresh and interesting.  Although it took me a while to finish it, it wasn’t because it was boring.  (It wasn’t at all.)  I just got kind of busy this month (and, if I’m being totally honest, a little obsessed with watching a bunch of shit on Netflix), and reading got pushed down on my list of priorities.

Anyway, I really enjoyed The Pilo Family Circus overall.  I kind of wished it had more horror elements (but I’m weird and actually like to be scared shitless by books, movies, and TV shows) and a better editor (I found multiple typos, which really annoyed me), but I’d read it again in the future.

The Worst Enemy To Creativity Is Self-Doubt: My February Goals

I keep saying that I really don’t like posting on the weekend, but I’ve been doing it a lot lately.  I guess sometimes it just works better with my schedule (especially if I haven’t been able to plan ahead and schedule posts throughout the week, which is definitely my preferred method of blogging).  I don’t have the kind of job that allows me time to blog, so I have to use whatever free time I have to write.  While I admittedly have quite a bit of free time right now, I’ve been using large chunks of it to go to the gym, cook slightly more time consuming meals, read, and spend time with Eric or friends.  And, if I’m being honest, I’ve also been using large chunks of my free time for less productive things, like watching Netflix and playing Trivia Crack.  This obviously doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging (or writing creatively, for that matter).  When I started considering how I was using (or, in some cases, wasting) my time, I was able to decide what I wanted to focus on for this month’s “create” personal challenge.

Back Camera

I’m proud to say that I took this photo back in 2012 when I went to Seattle with a couple of my friends.  (And, believe it or not, this is an iPhone photo!)  I didn’t even have to edit it in any way (other than to add the incredibly appropriate quote and my blog’s name).  I don’t often take such great pictures, so I had to brag a little!

My February 2015 Goals:

1.  Create a blogging schedule for at least the next 2 months.  I’m listing this goal first because I think it’s a really important one to stick with.  (It helps that this was also one of my New Year’s resolutions, so it’s definitely something I want to work on!)  As is probably obvious from my frequent weekend posting (and my introduction paragraph in this post!), I haven’t been planning ahead very well.  I’ve basically just been posting whenever I have some quiet time to myself to put something together and, unfortunately, that hasn’t been happening that often lately.  I know everyone doesn’t work this way, but I can’t write if I’m around other people.  (The only exception is taking my laptop with me to a coffeeshop or Panera, but even then I sometimes find it difficult to concentrate.)  Since this is the case, I really need to start figuring out the best times to work on my blog, which days I want to post, and keep more detailed lists of post ideas to help me when I’m feeling uninspired.

2.  Make an effort to write creatively at least once a week.  This was also one of my New Year’s resolutions, and I’m sad to say that I haven’t been sticking with this at all.  It shouldn’t be that difficult to find at least an hour of time each week to sit down and work on a creative writing project (even if I only manage to get a few plot points organized or work on character development), but for some reason it has been.  I’m still not sure if I want to continue working on a novel I started a couple of years ago, or if I want to start something completely new … But I really need to start writing something.

3.  Come up with a new way to list out the week’s meal plan.  While we don’t always stick with a meal plan 100% each week, I always try to have some dinner ideas listed in a note on my computer in an effort to stay organized and avoid eating out multiple times because we can’t come up with something to make at home.  While it’s not a bad way to make a list, it’s kind of boring.  I’m not great with graphics, but I’d like to make something a little more fun using PicMonkey (my go-to site for photo editing and graphics for my blog).  If it looks nice enough, I may even start sharing our weekly meal plans.

4.  Create an original recipe.  This is yet another one of my New Year’s resolutions (well, I want to create at least 3 original recipes over the course of the year), and since this month’s personal challenge theme is “create,” it seemed like the perfect time to start chipping away at this goal.  I actually already have something in mind, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it actually turns out the way I want it to!

5.  My last goal for this month is something I can’t share right now because it’s a surprise for Eric and he reads my blog.  I’ll just say that it definitely fits with the “create” theme, and it’s a (very!) long overdue wedding anniversary gift.  (Yes, I know that’s sad … Our anniversary was November 9th and I still haven’t finished his gift.  I suck.)

I consider myself to be a pretty creative person, but it was kind of hard to come up with some goals for this month.  As I mentioned in Thursday’s post, I’m not a crafty, DIY kind of girl.  I think if I were, it might have been a little easier to come up with some projects for February.  I could have decided to paint a room or knit a scarf or work on a scrapbook (though scrapbooking is actually something I would like to eventually get into, especially after Eric and I start a family) … But, since most of my creativity is related to writing and cooking, I decided my best bet was to just incorporate those passions/talents into my goals.

Hopefully I’ll be able to make better use of my free time and accomplish all of these goals this month!

Monthly Personal Challenge Link-up: January Results

Not Entirely Perfect

 

I know that everyone says things like this, but I seriously can’t believe that January is already over.  The month just sort of flew by for me, and I think that will become very obvious as I share my monthly personal challenge results.

It’s ironic, really … The theme for January’s personal challenge was complete, yet I managed to only complete about 50% of my goals.  I’m kind of embarrassed that I did such a shitty job sticking with my goals last month.  And, honestly, I’m not sure why I couldn’t bring myself to complete everything (other than the fact that I sometimes have difficulty following through on personal projects, of course).  It wasn’t a particularly hectic month, and I feel like I had plenty of free time to finish these projects.  I just … Didn’t.

To recap, my original goals were as follows:

1.  Finish the 4 books on my January “to read” list in an effort to get a good start on completing my 50 book challenge this year.

2.  Write a review for each book I read and feature it on this blog.  Additionally, I wanted to start participating in at least one book-related link-up.

3.  Organize my blog’s Pinterest account.

4.  Update my “About Me” page on Divulge and Indulge.

I already mentioned that I only managed to cross about 50% of these things off my “to do” list, but I’ll discuss my results in a little more detail here:

1.  I’m happy to report that I actually finished 4 books in January and am currently working through book 5 of the year!  I’ve attempted the 50 book challenge numerous times in the past, but I’ve always failed.  I usually fall behind early on and really struggle to catch up, so this was actually very encouraging.

2.  I’ll call this goal complete even though it’s more like 50% complete.  I shared my thoughts on The End of Everything and The Dinner in this post, and also managed to finish part 2 of this goal by sharing my post in the Show Us Your Books! link-up.  I’ll be posting reviews for the other 2 books I read in January (as well as the book I’m reading now if I manage to finish it in the next few days) next week when the next Show Us Your Books! link-up rolls around.  Although I didn’t share a review for each book yet, I feel confident that I can mark this goal as “completed” since I have a deadline for finishing the rest of my January book reviews.

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These were the books I read last month.

3.  The Pinterest account organization was a big fat failure.  I logged into the account I created specifically for this blog exactly 1 time, stared blankly at the screen as I tried to determine exactly how I wanted it to look/what I wanted to share, and then promptly logged out, logged back into my personal Pinterest account, and started searching for recipes and cute outfits.  Clearly not my best effort.  This is something I’d really like to accomplish at some point this year, but I just wasn’t in the mood to work on it at all last month.

4.  When I posted my January goals, I kind of knew I wouldn’t be able to rewrite my “About Me” page.  It was by far the least time consuming goal on this list, but when I couldn’t immediately come up with at least a few things I wanted to share about myself and my blog, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  It’s funny because I post random shit about myself and my life on this blog all the time, yet I find an actual introduction strangely difficult to write.  What do I want people to know about me if they’re checking out my blog for the first time?  What was my inspiration for creating this blog?  Why did I choose the name?  Why do I blog at all?  These are all great questions that I should probably be answering on my “About Me” page … But for some reason every time I try to rewrite it, everything comes out in a jumbled mess and I’m like, “Fuck it, I’m done.”  (And yes, I know that’s a winning attitude.)  This is also something that really needs to be done at some point this year (preferably within the next month or so), so hopefully I can figure out what I want to say soon.

As I said earlier, I’m kind of embarrassed that I wasn’t able to complete more of my goals last month.  I guess that just means I’ll have to work harder this month on my new goals!

Speaking of my February goals, I’ll be sharing those in a post either tomorrow or Saturday.  Since I started participating in this link-up, I’ve been writing separate posts for my results and my new goals.  I started doing this simply because it was more convenient (I didn’t have new goals in mind when I sat down to review the previous month, I didn’t have time to write a really long post, etc.), but I think I prefer to keep them separate.  (And, if I’m being honest, I don’t have my new goals completely figured out yet anyway.)

This month’s theme is “create.”  While I consider myself a pretty creative person in some aspects, I’m definitely not a DIY kind of girl.  (Sorry … There won’t be any amazing craft tutorials or anything like that.)  I really need to figure out what I should focus on, though, because I don’t want to set so many goals that I’ll never realistically be able to stick with them all.  I don’t want a repeat of this month, after all!

From the Bookshelf: Recently Read – January 2015 Edition

I can’t believe I’m posting on the weekend again.  This isn’t something I often do, but in today’s case, I wanted to make sure I was able to get something posted in time to participate in this link-up.

I’m not going to discuss what I read in December because, well, I didn’t read anything.  (Side note: When Eric saw what I was writing about, he said, “You should write ‘Today I’m going to discuss what I read in December,’ and then just leave the rest of the post blank.  Wouldn’t that be funny?  That would be funny.”)  While that probably would be funny, I’m going to share my thoughts on the two books I’ve read so far this month instead.

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The End of Everything by Megan Abbott – 246 pages

Completed on 01/05/2015 – Read more reviews on Goodreads

I’ll start by saying that, as with many things I read, this book is definitely not for everyone.  The subject matter is dark (a 13-year-old girl is abducted in broad daylight by a much older man, leaving her best friend to try to piece together what happened and why), and, though beautifully written, it’s a disturbing work of fiction.  This is precisely why I loved this book so much (though it’s also why it has so many mixed reviews on sites like Goodreads).

When I started reading The End of Everything, I was immediately hooked.  Much of the imagery is dreamy and disjointed (if you’ve ever seen The Virgin Suicides you’ll know exactly what I mean) because the narrator, Lizzie, recounts the events from her point of view.  And, like many 13-year-old girls, she’s a dreamer who completely romanticizes the situation and relishes in the newfound attention she receives as the best friend of the missing girl.

Although much was revealed, the ending was still a bit ambiguous and at least one assumption I made proved incorrect (well, according to one of the characters who may or may not have been telling the truth).  I know these kinds of things can sometimes make or break a book for people, but I’m one of those weirdos who actually appreciates a bit of ambiguity in a novel … I like to draw my own conclusions.

I really wanted to start the year with a great book that would reignite my passion for reading, and The End of Everything definitely did that for me.  It was everything I’d hoped it would be, and, as an added bonus, it also gave me some much needed inspiration for a creative writing project I started a couple of years ago.  I set it aside because I wasn’t really sure what (if anything) I wanted to do with it, but now I’m starting to get some ideas.

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The Dinner by Herman Koch – 292 pages

Completed on 01/14/2015 – Read more reviews on Goodreads

I usually try to go into books like this with as little knowledge about the plot as possible.  While The Dinner isn’t a mystery, it’s the kind of novel that starts slow and builds to some shocking revelations … The kind of novel where, once you’re deep into the story, everything you thought you knew about the characters is completely flipped.

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this book, and I’m really glad I approached it this way.  The inside flap states that the two couples meeting for dinner each have a 15-year-old son and that “the two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act.”  As someone who reads a lot of “shocking” and “disturbing” books, I didn’t expect to have the reaction I did when the author describes that act.  It was much, much darker than I expected, and it definitely made the book much more interesting.

That being said, parts of the novel were kind of slow.  I appreciated the descriptions and the fact that the author took his time revealing information about the narrator and his family, but there were a few times in the beginning of the book when I thought, “Oh my God, is this book ever going to get more interesting?”  I think the payoff was worth the wait, though.

This is another novel with a somewhat ambiguous ending.  As with The End of Everything, some things were disclosed while readers were left to draw their own conclusions about others.  A friend of mine from work read this book last year and told me that she really didn’t like the ending, but I did.  It won’t leave you warm and fuzzy, but it will make you think and question the way you would handle things if you were involved in this type of situation.

I really enjoyed both of these novels, and I’m really proud of myself for staying on track with my reading goals this year.  (I know it’s only mid-January, but I can still be excited since I was in such a reading rut last year.)  I’ve almost finished my third book of 2015 as well, so if I continue reading at this pace, I should have several to write about when this link-up rolls around again next month!

Life According to Steph

A Time to Focus and Complete: My January Goals

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Image provided by Unsplash (unsplash.com) and edited by me.

I can’t believe it … I’m posting something on a Saturday.

I planned to share my January personal challenge goals yesterday, but near the end of my yoga class I got a migraine from hell … So that didn’t happen.  (I honestly don’t even know how I managed to finish the class since I was completely dizzy and nauseous.  It was horrible.)  If you’ve never had a migraine, you’re lucky.  I get them fairly often, but last night’s was particularly nasty.  As soon as we got home from the gym, I took a couple of pills and laid in the dark on the living room floor with a pillow and blanket and slept for about 5 hours.  Thankfully my headache was gone when I woke up, but I wasn’t really in the mood to update my blog at 1:00 a.m. so I just ate a bowl of cereal (I didn’t eat dinner), got ready for bed, and then read until 3:30 a.m.

Today, though, I’m ready to talk about my goals for January.  As I mentioned on Thursday, the theme this month is “complete.”  As I also mentioned, I sometimes find it difficult to follow through on personal projects.  I’m hoping this month’s challenge is the kick in the ass I need to actually complete a few things!

My January 2015 Goals:

1.  In my New Year’s resolutions post, I talked about my desire to read 50 books this year.  So far I’ve finished one book and am more than halfway through a second, so I’m definitely on track.  (Though it’s only day 10 of the new year, so there’s still time for me to get behind.)  I decided that it might be beneficial to make a list of books to focus on each month, and I think this has actually helped me so far.  I don’t have to think about which book to read next for an entire month, and somehow that keeps me motivated to keep going.  My first goal, then, is to finish all 4 books on my January “to read” list.

JanuaryBooks

Here is a lovely picture of my January books. I really wanted to stack them in the order I’d be reading them, but size order just made more sense. I’ve already finished The End of Everything, and I’m currently working on The Dinner. The other books are actually rereads, so those should go pretty quickly.

2.  To go along with my first goal, I’d like to write a review for each book I read and feature it on this blog.  I’m already behind on this, but that’s okay … I’m sure I can catch up.  I know some of the bloggers I follow will occasionally have book related link-ups, so I’ll probably try to participate in at least one of those as well.  (Maybe this is actually a separate goal, but I’d probably be linking my review posts so it seemed to belong here.)  I’ll also probably be posting these reviews on Goodreads (I joined right before the new year).  If anyone reading this uses Goodreads, please feel free to send me a friend request (if that’s what it’s called on that site) … I signed up using my blog email: divulge.and.indulge@gmail.com.

3.  I’d like to work on organizing my blog Pinterest account.  I still haven’t done anything with it, and I’d really like to get it going.  My plan is to pin some images from my blog, but I’ll also be using it to save other recipes, inspiration, etc.

4.  Finally, I want to rewrite my “About Me” page.  I’m actually a little worried that I won’t be able to finish this by the end of the month despite the fact that it’s the least time consuming goal on this list.  It’s something that really needs to be done, though, so hopefully I can finally figure out what I want to say.

I realize that a lot of my January goals are basically repetitions of some of my New Year’s resolutions, but if I actually want to be able to proudly say, “I achieved all of my goals for 2015!” at the end of this year, I need to start early.  And, luckily for me, several of those resolutions fit perfectly with this month’s theme!