Goals and Aspirations in Review – April 2017

goalsandaspirations

Is it really May already? Maybe it has something to do with getting older, or maybe my brain is just refusing to acknowledge the passage of time these days, but I really can’t believe that April is over already and I’m going into another monthly review post! o.O Ah well, let’s just jump right into it, I guess!


Goal #1. WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE.
The month started out okay as far as writing was concerned, although I was mostly just writing blog posts for the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Then things got slower…and slower…and slower. And the result was 7266 words written in the month of April. Not my best month, not my worst, but mostly annoying because those words were all blogging, no fiction.

To make things even worse though, I didn’t even succeed in the A-to-Z Challenge. If you were following me throughout the month you may have noticed that I just stopped posting at some point. There were a few posts that had been pre-scheduled, but about half-way through the month I just…gave up. This was partially my lovely brand of memory loss (missed one day…then two, before noticing I’d done it), but mainly because I just couldn’t seem to find the time to sit down and write the posts. Excuses, excuses, I know, but it’s true. Lately I feel like I’m always doing 20 things at once, and yet there’s always a list of 50 more things to do. I really don’t know how I’m going to find the time to write once I actually, you know…go back to work. o_o

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
I’m starting to feel like maybe I should remove this mini-goal from the list, but then, if I leave it here at least I’ve got the monthly reminder that I’m failing to follow through on it. 😛

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
I tested this out this past month by doing the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, and as previously stated it didn’t actually go so well. In the past I’ve always dedicated to the challenge a month or two in advance, and planned out and scheduled the posts before April even began. This year I actually tried to do it IN April, and yeah…it just didn’t work out.

On the other hand of things, I managed to finally catch up on the backlog of sharing our YouTube videos on the blog, so I can move forward with sharing them as they’re posted and hopefully squeaking in a “real” post here and there when I’ve got something to talk about. At least, that’s the hope. Fingers crossed!

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book(s).
This one is still going about as well as it has been. I did manage to snag a sweet deal on a lifetime subscription with Self-Publisher’s Showcase, so hopefully that will help net me a sale here and there, but thus far there hasn’t been much action. I sold…very few books in April, and I have to admit that that depresses me, especially since I’m having such a hard time finding other ways to promote the books, other than just spamming social media and driving everyone nuts.

#2. Get healthier.
Short answer: I have not. lol I keep consistently failing to do this daily 10-minute exercise routine (trying it again from scratch this month!), and I’m absolutely the WORST at eating properly, although that might get a little better since Jason is starting to get on board as well. More crossed fingers. @_@

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k 8k steps per day.
April was the best month I’ve had so far this year for this goal, although I was still a bit off. I managed to hit 8000 steps or more on 13 days, got really REALLY close to 8000 steps on maybe 5-6 other days, and then failed miserably on the remaining days. lol Overall, my average steps per day worked out to 7834, which is close enough to 8000 for me to be happy, but also far enough away for me to be all, “Dammit! DO BETTER NEXT MONTH!”

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
As always, this is hard to quantify, but for April I’d say it’s a bit of a failure. I feel like I’ve spent the entire month doing chores, housework, filming, shopping, and basically barely ever relaxing. I suppose I could admit that I’ve watched several movies with Jason throughout the month, but that’s not ME time, it’s US time, you know what I mean? I think you do.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
 I feel like this is all I do lately, and yet at the same time, I’m not doing enough. I can spend 2-3 hours sending/answering emails, responding to comments, hanging out on the social media, in a single day, and yet it feels like I’ve accomplished positively jack. I’m not sure if that’s me being paranoid, or if I really am accomplishing jack. I’ll have to let you know how I feel about it next month. 😛

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
This mini-goal went out the window in April. I’ve been trying, I really have, but I spent a LOT of time out of the house this month, and I find it very difficult to respond to things (particularly emails) while I’m out because of the amount of thumb-typing-on-my-phone that’s required and the fact that I do the majority of the driving. So yeah, I got behind a LOT this month, but I think I’ve managed to catch up in time for a new try in May.

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
Still working on this one, and I basically have good stretches and bad stretches. Some days I’m all over the social media, and other days I got 3-4 days without saying anything and don’t even realize what happened. I’m continuing on with making it a daily “to-do” item in my planner though, so hopefully things will slowly get better.

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
Not even going to get into it. I’ve come up with no new ideas. Jason has had a few, but not me, because I suck. 😛


Have you ever noticed that my goal responses get shorter and saucier as I move down the list? It must have something do with feeling progressively worse about myself as I realize how little I’ve done. -_- ANYWAY…how was your April? Did you accomplish more than me? I’d be willing to wager that you did. 🙂

Goals and Aspirations in Review – February 2017

goalsandaspirations

February is the shortest month in the year, so one would be forgiven for feeling as though it just up and disappeared in a breath and a blink. Therefore I won’t spend too much time talking about how I swear to puppies it was February 1st just yesterday. Instead, let’s jump right into the details. How did February go for me?


#1. WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE.
I hate that I’m having to admit this again, but February was an even worse month than January for writing. Looking back at last month’s post I realize that I didn’t even give you guys any numbers, so I’ll rectify that now. In January, during my epic, EPIC writer’s block episode, I wrote a grand total of 4396 words, most of them for a handful of blog posts. During February, I wrote a grand total of 1468 words, ALL of them for a handful of blog posts. That could hardly be more pathetic if I was actively attempting to be pathetic.

THAT SAID…I’m giving myself a bit of a pass for this month, because it’s not like I wasn’t doing anything. I spent a large portion of the month going through final edits for “The Other World: Book One”. I took all the notes from my beta-readers, fixed a number of typos and small issues, and began a final read to make minor changes where I felt they were needed. Because of this work I am currently only a couple of chapters away from having a completed manuscript, and as soon as my cover artist has his bit ready, I’ll be prepared to upload everything to CreateSpace and order my personal copy to ensure that everything looks good.

So yeah, I’m gonna let myself off for this one. JUST for this month, I swear.

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
This mini-goal has been put on a temporary hold, in part because of that huge stint of writer’s block in January and in part because of everything I just previously wrote. I haven’t got back around to finishing the current story I’m working on because I’ve been focusing my energy instead on “The Other World”, which I consider to be much more important. Be assured, however, that I’m very close to finishing another of these tales, and I’m confident that I’ll have half a dozen or so up by the end of the year. *fingers crossed*

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
No excuses for this one; it simply hasn’t been happening. I do still want to start writing blog posts again, but for now, since I’ve got more important stuff I’ve been working on, I’m just worrying about catching up on sharing my YouTube videos. Once I’ve actually got to a point where I’m sharing the videos as they’re being posted, there will be lots of empty days available where I can possibly start writing actual posts again. *fingers crossed again*

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book.
This is not going well. Someone help. Please. Seriously. I have no idea what to do.

In all seriousness though, I am at a bit of a loss. I can’t afford to spend money on things like advertisements and the like, and other options I’ve found aren’t currently available to me (I’ve been patiently waiting to be able to do a Goodreads E-Book giveaway, but it’s still only an option for those in the US). Any suggestions would seriously be deeply appreciated.

#2. Get healthier.
Um…what? Why do I do these things to myself? lol Okay, okay, I’ve been trying, I have, but more in little stints than reasonable leaps. I’ve been trying to drink more water, although I can’t cut out the coffee and tea without passing out multiple times a day, and I’ve been attempting to eat more fruit and veggies, but god DAMN candy is so tempting. 😀 I’m not complaining or making excuses, I swear, I’m just…not very good at being healthy. lol I’m trying though, I promise. I really am. I’m even starting a 30-day program this month that basically trains you to be able to do long stints of push-ups, squats, crunches, and lunges. Wish me luck!

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k 8k 
steps per day.
If you read last-month’s post, you’ll know that I’ve lowered this particular goal from 10k steps to 8k, as suggested to me by my saucy, saucy FitBit. Unfortunately it seems as though lowering the goal has only served to create a situation in which I lower my output as well. Throughout February I only had four days on which I hit the 8k goal, and my overall average for the month was only 6635 steps per day. That’s sad, really.

Now, in my defense, there were a few days on which my steps were not recorded properly because my stupid FitBit has been dying a lot quicker lately for some reason, and occasionally I won’t notice that it’s conked-out until I’ve lost half a day’s steps. But even considering that, I doubt my true average was any higher than 7000 steps, which is still frustrating. So with that said, this month I’m going to do my best to take an actual walk each day, even if it’s only 15 minutes of going up and down my street. I have got to get those numbers up before I become a completely sedentary blob.

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
I’m actually wondering why I bothered to include this as a mini-goal, since I’m not actively attempting to record anything for it. I have nothing to report, really, other than that I think probably succeeded for the most part? I’ve had several nice baths, some solo shopping, and usually I spend at least a few minutes a day just laying down and watching a couple of YouTube videos, so I think we’re pretty good with this one.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
This is another one that’s hard to quantify, particularly through February, because there was a lot going on, some stuff to catch up on, people to talk with, packages to send, and so on and so forth. We didn’t film and upload as many videos as I’m sure Jason would have liked us to, but I don’t think it was as bad as all that, considering a number of different factors. That said, I’m still working on a few things, and if I could get my mood under control it would be a lot easier to focus on this goal in the future.

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
This is one for which I can honestly say that I’m getting a lot better. There are still the occasional times when I’m out shopping or driving and can’t get back to someone immediately, but I’ve been putting a lot of focus into making sure I get back to people asap before I forget about them. I’m regularly responding to emails, personal messages, YouTube comments, and so on as soon as I catch wind of the opportunity, and I’m happy with the progress. Now if only the people I’m talking to could manage the same courtesy. ^_~

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
I’m still working on this one, but I’m definitely getting better. I’ve been focusing mostly on Twitter, but also trying to throw a few extra things on Instagram here and there. Facebook is still slow because, honestly, having a Facebook Fan Page is a little extraneous when all your followers have you on the more active social media outlets as well, but I’ve been trying to throw some extra fun stuff in the Basement Geeks group as a way of socializing more. Still a bit behind on SnapChat though. I just can’t get really INTO that one. 😛 

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
And last but not least…you know what? I’m not even going to try to bullshit you guys on this one. I have absolutely not been coming up with new video ideas. I’ve been focused too much on the other fifty things going on. So let’s just not even bother. I’ll try harder in the future. 😛


So that was my February, and honestly, as I was writing this post I realized that it wasn’t all that great, but I’m okay with that. February had a lot of issues, but I still managed to get a fair bit done, and it has served to steel my nerves for March. I’ve got plans and determination, and I’m confident that next month’s post is going to be a much more positive one, so I’m going to focus on that. 🙂

How was your February? 😀

March 2016 Goals in Review

amonthinreview

It’s another month in review, just a few days late because I figured with the A-Z Challenge going on I might as well just wait for the only day of the week for which a post wasn’t already scheduled. 🙂

It was a good month in many ways, a bad one in a few ways, and overall it just seemed that the 31 days of March flew by in a flash, leaving me standing here, blinking, wondering what the hell had happened. That seems to happen to me a lot, doesn’t it? Maybe I should just start taking it as a given. 😛

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

I should move this goal to the bottom of the list so that I’m not always starting off these posts on a sour note. It’s genuinely depressing how poorly I did on this goal throughout March. Right off the get go, out of 31 days there were only 9 on which I hit the 10k step goal. That’s absolutely abysmal. I haven’t had a month yet during which I managed it every day, but at least the other months averaged out a bit; big days brought up the average on behalf of bad days. This month, not so much. My average for daily steps throughout the month was 7527. Definitely not as bad as it could be, but also definitely pretty awful considering that I spent 14 of those days at work, working in the field, wandering around all day.

As far as “me” time, that wasn’t too, too bad. I only missed three days during which I didn’t find two seconds to relax, never mind 15 minutes, but on many of those other days I spent longer periods of time just sitting around doing fun stuff, so I can’t berate myself too much. I also got an amazing massage, and that just pushes things up super-high. God, I love getting massages.

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

This goal is much more positive, although only on the YouTube side of things. Thanks in great part to my husband, we’ve got a system pretty much down at this point. I’m shooting more and better videos, sharing everything on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, interacting with people tons, and generally just doing well all around. My follower stats keep rising, I posted 10 videos throughout March (1 every 3 days ain’t bad for someone with a full-time job!), and I continue my trend of mostly managing to avoid arseholes on YouTube, which is a miracle in and of itself.

On the author side of things I don’t even want to talk. I’ve come to a point where I don’t even know what to do with “Nowhere to Hide”. Any of my friends, family, and coworkers who give a damn already have the book, and no amount of promotion online seems to help at all. The only sales I’ve gotten in the past several months (which was, like…two or three ebooks) have been at complete random from across the pond somewhere. I’m just at a stalemate I think…no one cares about zombies anymore, and it’s not the kind of genre for which you go hunting for indie books.

I am however promoting the first book of “The Other World” for my A-Z Challenge this year, so hopefully that will help build some interest and maybe gain me some new blog followers who will actually be excited for the book to become available. *fingers crossed*

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

Now this goal I can’t complain about at all because it was a pretty damn good month. My only concern is that a large chunk of my word count came from loosely scripting YouTube videos (because my MEMORY, people…my GOD my MEMORY), but I accept it because at least it’s some kind of writing, right? RIGHT? I know you guys understand this, so answer me, for the love of puppies. ;_;

So, anyway, for the month of March I wrote 19,131 words toward blog entries (including flash fiction posts, which I forgot to separate again), 7195 toward my journal, 1446 words toward fiction (finishing up the current draft of book one of “The Other World”), and 15,127 words toward the scripting I just mentioned. All together that’s a total of 42,899 words for the month, which works out to an average of 1383 words per day. That’s way better than I’ve done in a long while, so I’m pretty happy about that. I wish more of it had been fiction, but since the A-Z Challenge always gets me well ahead on blog posts, I expect I’ll be able to focus more on fiction for April.


There you have it, then. A few ups and downs, but a pretty decent month over all. I think I’ll give myself a pat on the back for this one.

How did your March go? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything for yourself? Have any kind of awesome fun? Please share!

January 2016 Goals in Review

amonthinreview

Wow…have we really gone through an entire month already? This is…this is craziness. I can’t handle this. There’s some kind of crazy witchcraft going on right now because I can not accept that four weeks of 2016 have already passed me by. I need a moment to regain myself.

Okay, I’m good.

So we’re into February already, which means that I have to look back at January and determine whether I succeeded or failed at adhering to my goals. I’ve got a rum and coke sitting next to me as I’m typing this, so I think I can handle the results, so we may as well get right into it.

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

When the month of January first began I was very determined with this goal. Then, around the third or so day of the month reality hit me like a 50 lb sack of potatoes. In case you weren’t around for the woe-begotten post that I wrote a few weeks ago, I got sick. Very, very sick. I wound up with numerous infections, two of which made my head feel like someone was driving a railroad spike through one of my ears and into my brain. Needless to say, the result of this was that I didn’t move a whole hell of a lot for several days. I was so frustrated at the time, because for the first couple of days I was dedicated to running in place or walking in circles around my kitchen just to make sure that I got my 10,000 steps per day, but then I hit the wall of infection and could hardly even move. As a result of this sickness – which clung to me for almost two full weeks – I only hit my 10,000 step-per-day goal on 17 of the 31 days of January.

But there’s good news! See, my job occasionally changes up a bit, and during this particular shift that just ended I was doing a hell of a lot of walking. During those 14 days at work I walked well over 10,000 steps per day. One day I even demolished my personal record; a coworker and I were competing to see who could get the most steps and we were both so determined to destroy each other that we both closed out the day with something like 23,000 steps. As a result of all those awesome days, my average steps per day for the month of January works out to 10,486, which is amazing considering that several of my sick days clocked in at less than 3000! So yeah, I’m calling that one a win.

As for taking my 15-minutes per day of fun/relaxation time, I didn’t have a perfect month but I had a pretty damn good one. I made a point of writing down what I’d relaxed with every day, so I can tell you that I had my 15 minutes (or more) for 29 of the 31 days of January. My most common relaxation technique was curling up in bed and watching Doctor Who, but I also had a few gaming nights, a few lounge-around-on-YouTube nights, and a few pampering nights with face masks and soft music. All around, it was an excellent month for taking a few moments out for myself. 🙂

So yeah, as far as taking care of myself goes – aside from the illness that just kinda tackled me in the beginning of the month – I think I did pretty well for the first four weeks of the year!

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

Ha ha ha ha…oh dear… Okay, so this is where I become a bit of a downer because I totally flopped on this goal for the first month.

Okay, I might be being a bit harsh on myself, so let’s look at this a bit at a time:

I will admit that I think I did pretty okay with the blog posts this month. I posted a few things that people seemed to enjoy, picked up a few new followers, got a few nice comments, and even got nominated for a “Versatile Blogger Award”, which I will address later on in the week. Not too shabby there.

Shooting fun and different YouTube videos definitely did not happen, although I can’t really get too down on myself on that front. Two of the weeks of the month were spent at work in the oil patch, where I can’t very well be shooting videos, and almost the entire other two weeks were spent feeling like my skull was being split open. I did put some effort into planning out the answers for the Q&A Answer video that I’ll be shooting very soon, and my husband came up with some cute new ideas for the channel (shut up, I’m counting his effort as my effort), so that’s not too bad. In the end, not much happened in January, but I feel fairly prepared for February.

Self-promotion was definitely the big flop concerning this goal. I really didn’t do a damn thing, other than mentioning “Nowhere to Hide” in a blog post. I feel completely ashamed of my total lack of effort in this area.

So yeah, maybe this goal wasn’t as pathetic as I originally thought, but there’s definitely a ton of room for improvement.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

I have major mixed feelings about this goal, which is really nothing new as I always intend to write a lot more than I end up doing, but it’s not all bad. First let’s look at the hard numbers. I wrote 13,710 words toward blog posts, and 1657 fiction words that were also posted on the blog under Flash Fiction Fridays. I also write 3143 non-fiction words via my personal journal, plus 1203 non-fiction words toward other sources. That’s a grand total of 19,713 words for the month, which works out to an average of approximately 636 words per day. Definitely nothing to scoff at.

What annoys me about this goal is that, if you’ll notice in the numbers above, none of those words were toward that novel that I’m supposed to be writing within the year. I tried to convince myself to sit down and write a dozen or more times, but between being sick and being at work (12-hour days plus an hour’s worth of travel per day don’t really put you in the mood for further work of any kind) it just never happened. And though I justified every night of procrastination with the fact that I deserved to lay down and relax, I’m still extremely disappointed in myself for never once even opening the Scrivener file that holds my incomplete manuscript. For shame, for shame.

 


So, basically, we’ve got some major ups and downs for January. It’s not all good, and it’s not all bad. On average I’d say it’s more good than bad though, so that’s definitely something to lean on!

My hopes for February? Well I’d definitely like to spread the step count out a bit better (hopefully I won’t get sick again!), and I’m planning on recording a number of videos. There are plans in the works for a YouTube channel reboot, and I’ve got a bunch of blog posts already planned out, so hopefully that will help in leaving some extra time for self-promotion. Ooh, and I’m definitely going to have some nice, hot baths as part of my “me-time” goal.

In general, I just hope to do better, always better. ^_^

How was your January? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything fun? Please share!

 

February 2015 – Goals in Review

amonthinreviewGeez, has it already been another month? It feels like I just wrote January’s Goals in Review post! I must be getting old, man. *shudder*

This post is obviously several days late, but I wanted to get the contest post and my buddy Eric’s guest post out of the way first, so I imagine you’ll all forgive me.

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

If I’m going to be totally honest, February was a horrible month for this goal, mainly because I returned to my work out on the Alberta oil sands and it is not easy to “take care of myself” from there. Between the 12-hour days, freezing cold weather, heavy and uncomfortable work gear, and the fact that almost all of the available food at camp makes me horribly ill, I spend most of my 14-day shift just trying to make it back to my crappy camp bed so I can collapse and binge-watch Castle until I pass out.

My days off at home were better, of course, but of those 14 days I spend almost a full two of them on cramped, overcrowded planes, another day recovering from the jet-lag, and two or three at the end of my days off getting more and more cranky by the second as I realize that I’m about to head back out for another shift. I did manage to have a couple of relaxing baths, snuggled up and watched a few movies with the little missy, and enjoyed some time spent fixing up the basement with my husband, so that’s all nice. I just feel like I really could have used some more relaxation time, you know?

Side note: one thing that I enjoy doing to relax is to paint my nails cute colors, but ever since I returned to work my nails have been splitting like crazy and constantly cracking off right to the skin. Grrrrrrr….

Goal #2: Continue to build my readership/viewership.

It wasn’t the best month for this goal either, unfortunately. I missed several blog days for a number of reasons (some of them good, some of them bad), and though I filmed a couple of YouTube videos I didn’t manage to edit and upload them yet. Despite my lapses I did manage to pick up a few new followers on the blog, Instagram, and Twitter. What I’m really looking for, however, is to get more people interested in checking out “Nowhere to Hide“. I’m expecting two semi-professional reviews in the future, but I don’t know if it’s going to be the near future or, like, months down the road. To be honest, the anticipation is killing me.

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

February was not as good as January, but that’s to be expected since it has fewer days, and I spent 14 of them working 12-hour shifts. Regardless of the obvious roadblocks, between blogging and working on “The Other World”, I did manage to write a respectable 15034 words last month. I had hoped to write quite a bit more since I was working on completing the current draft of my manuscript, but it just didn’t turn out that way. I am, however, satisfied with the result, though I hope to blow that number out of the water during March.

So that was my February; not great, but not horrible. How about you? Did you accomplish anything during the shortest month of the year? Please share!

Also, a reminder that I am running a contest throughout the month of March. For each comment you post on my blog throughout the month, you will receive one entry toward a draw for a hard-copy of my zombie apocalypse novel, “Nowhere to Hide”! Please note that in order to accept the prize, I will need you to give me a mailing address where I can have the book sent. If the winner drawn did not intend to enter the contest and/or does not want the book, I will draw another name. Please also note that obvious spam/duplicate comments/etc. will not be counted toward an entry…play fair! And good luck!