Accountability Tuesdays – Week 26

Two things to mention before I get to the heart of the matter today. First of all, it’s week number 26! That means I’m halfway through the year! And while I’m nowhere near where I would need to be to be on track with my million word goal, I’ve written more in the past six months than in the previous 2 years combined! But more on that later.

The other thing I want to mention is that as you are reading this I am packing up my last couple of bits and bobbles from the control room at work, chucking it all in a backpack, and awaiting the bus that will return me to camp where I’ll giddily await my plane home. My last plane home. That’s not to say that I won’t end up back out in Alberta for work in a few months or so, but for now I’m heading home with nothing on the horizon except spending quality time with my family and maybe enjoying a number of alcoholic beverages from the comfort of my back deck. Look upon me and be in awe, for I am officially ON VACATION!

Okay, that’s enough of that. πŸ™‚

Health and Body Image Goal

I’ve been a bit on the ins and outs with this goal, unfortunately, but I’m still not doing too badly. As I mentioned last week I did, in fact, drag myself to the gym and try running on the treadmill. It wasn’t ideal, but acceptable. I figured that’s what I’d do until my stomach felt better. But then my stomach felt worse. I don’t know if it’s the actual physical exertion that’s bothering me, or if it’s the camp food (which, thank god, I won’t be enjoying any more of any time soon), or if I’ve been suffering from some as-yet-diagnosed condition inherited from my sickly parents (love you guys, really :P), but I’ve hardly been able to stand leaving my room in the morning and suffering through the bus ride to work, never mind exercising on top of that. Luckily, about two days ago, my symptoms seemed to subside and I’ve felt halfway decent since then, so here’s hoping all will be well when I get home and try to run around my neighborhood again.

All that said, I’ve still been managing to eat pretty well. I’ve had a cookie here, some pop there, but for the most part I’ve been eating decent food (or as decent as it gets on camp) and not too much of it. I haven’t weighed or measured myself recently because I doubt I’ve lost anything during my refusal-to-exercise days, but I’ve recently had an unusual number of coworkers tell me that I look like I’ve lost weight, so I’m just going to go ahead and say, “Woohoo! I look like I’ve lost weight!”

Editing Goal

I have a stupid, STUPID confession to make. I did try to get some editing done this week, I swear, I really did. But when I finally took out my tablet and opened up the files I transferred there for editing purposes, I discovered something idiotic. Of the four different word-processor-ish apps I have on my tablet, none of them open rtf files. Guess what format all my files are in? After two days of searching for an Android program that DOES open rtf files (for free, because screw that, I’m not paying for an app that I only need for a week) I gave up and admitted defeat. Apparently the world of tablets and smartphones does not believe in the existence of rtf files. So the editing will have to wait for this coming week. Grr.

1,000,000 Word Goal

I have been writing like a maniac this week, mostly due to my rediscovery of 750Words.com. I don’t know what it is, but I love just typing and typing and typing and watching the word counter go up. It’s addictive. Over the course of the week I’ve written blog posts, typed out a few scenes for Returning Hope, did a couple of writing exercises, and did a little bit of free-writing (i.e. writing whatever came to my head as it came to my head). Through all of this combined I managed to once again beat my best week score with a total word count of 16556. In addition to that, I’m happy to announce that I’ve reached a yearly total so far of over 165,000. Again, it’s nowhere near where I need to be for my goal, but it’s a heck of a lot more than I normally would have written, so I’m proud. Revel in my pride! Only six months to go to try and boost that total up as high as I can!

And with that said, I plan to spend the next several hours in the lounge at camp, with my feet up, reading A Dance With Dragons, and waiting for my final flight home. See you soon, Cape Breton!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 25

It’s (more or less) official; my job is over and we’re all headed home after this shift. I’m not too depressed about that because it means I get to go home and enjoy the summer with my family, and there will definitely be more work in the future. That said, I have to inform you that the last week of a job that you know is over is absolutely painful. I’ve been spending my time scanning documents that have to be saved and transferring over changes that have been made between the master books and the working copy books, and it is unbelievably mind-numbing. At this time one week from now I may be a drooling puddle of goo on the floor.

Cheery today, aren’t I?

Okay, let’s get on with it then, shall we?

Health and Body Image Goal

I’ve been eating pretty well, I can tell you that. I don’t know if it’s sheer willpower or if my stomach (the organ, not my flab-belly) has been shrinking and I’m just not as hungry as I usually am. I have been scoffing on peanut butter cookies in the evening (OMGSOGOOD), but aside from that I’ve been eating good foods and decent portions of them.

On the exercise front I can’t claim as much success. Believe me, I do want to be going for my zombie runs, but I’ve been a little gun-shy since last Thursday. That morning I got up to go for a run and before I made it out of the building I almost doubled over with pains in the gut. I ended up nearly sprinting back to my room and staying there the entire day. I still have no idea whether it was a stomach bug or food poisoning, or what, but I’ve been a little nervous about venturing too far from a bathroom ever since because I still don’t feel quite right. I know I have to buck up eventually though, so tomorrow I’m going to try running on the treadmill in the ladies gym (which is only about thirty seconds from a bathroom) and see if I can’t build my confidence back up.

Editing Goal

I’ve regressed back to the days of getting nothing done…dammit. I do plan on doing some editing before the end of this shift, I swear, but I’ve gotten a little caught up in the writing aspect, as documented below.

1,000,000 Word Goal

This week I rediscovered a little thing called 750Words.com. It’s nothing fancy, just a daily challenge to write approximately 750 words on your personal section of the site, but there’s something strangely motivational about it. In three days on the site I managed to rack up over 8000 words alone. All together, through a variety of blog post planning, writing exercises, and a little bit of good old fashioned freewriting, I managed to write 13421 words this week, which if I’m not mistaken makes this my best week yet this year. Not too shabby, hmm?

I hope to focus more on writing (and editing) in the coming months while I’m temporarily out of work, and I plan to use 750Words.com for a little boost of motivation. You should check it out…it’s very simple, but it somehow makes you want to achieve the goal. I’ve joined the monthly challenge for July, and I hope to have more success with that than I had with Camp NaNo. πŸ™‚

Until next week! Ciao!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 21

Okay people, in all seriousness…how is it Tuesday already? I was just thinking that it feels as though this shift has been dragging on terribly long, but here it is half over. What happened? It must be all the (wait for it…) writing and exercising I’ve been doing. πŸ˜€

Health and Body Image Goal
I have been doing awesome this week, all modesty aside. First of all, I’ve been eating quite well. There have been some things that I probably could have done without – like raisin bread and M&Ms – but for the most part I’ve been excellent. I’ve been making salads with spinach and skinless chicken, using lemon juice instead of dressing; I’ve been melting controlled portions of cheese over broccoli for snacks; I’ve even forced myself to have salmon a few times (and it wasn’t half bad, which leads me to believe that the camp cooks are serving us “salmon”). I’ve been so good that when my usual “cheat night” came up I looked at the bag of chips and bottle of pop and said, “You know what? No. I honestly do not want this.”
In addition to the healthy eating habits, I’ve also been running diligently with the help of the Zombies! Run! app. I’ve only skipped one day so far and that was only because I woke up in the middle of the night with a leg cramp that nearly had me crippled for the rest of the day. But I was right back at it the following day! Look at me go!

Editing Goal
I can’t honestly say that there’s anything to report for this week because there definitely isn’t. But the good news is that I have recieved a pleasant kick in the ass from a friend and fellow writer who has suggested a novel swap beta-reading. In other news, I now have major motivation because I can’t possibly let anyone read my manuscript in its current state! Edits away!

1,000,000 Word Goal
It’s been a pretty good week, I have to say. Writing fan fiction definitely allows me to write a little faster, and as such I’ve managed to pluck out 9041 words this past week. That’s more than 1000 a day, so I’m pretty happy. But the real news is that I checked my yearly total and I’ve surpassed a hundred grand! I’m settled right now at 108,481! It’s only a little over 10% of my original total goal, which brings home the idea that I am totally not going to hit 1,000,000 words, but still…a hundred grand! That’s more words than I could have imagined writing in 5 months before I made this goal! And to me that is definitely success. πŸ™‚

“Aim for the top-right corner!”

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

36. Goal setting

That’s a little hockey joke up in the title of the post, in case you missed it. πŸ˜›

If there’s something I think we can all agree on, it’s that goals are important. Without goals we cannot advance, we cannot attain. It could be something as simple as wanting to pay off a loan sooner. Without actively making the decision to set that goal for yourself, your loan will stay exactly where it is. By setting the goal, by choosing to want something better, you’re taking the first step in setting yourself up for attainable advancement.

The problem with goals is that most people don’t understand how to make a proper one. Most people set themselves up for failure by creating goals that aren’t well thought out. Common issues are creating a goal that is too broad, or too ambitious, or that neglect to take important personal factors into account. For example, take the common goal of weight loss:

Too Broad
“I want to lose weight.”
This goal is about as broad as you can get. Think about it for a moment…how are you going to lose weight? Are you going to eat less? Different kinds of foods? More vegetables? Less fats? Are you going to exercise? What kind of exercise? Running? Spinning class? P90X? And what about the fine details? How much weight do you want to lose? How fast? Neglecting to narrow down your goal leaves you open to far too many possible points of sabotage. You might exercise your ass off, but neglect to monitor your eating habits and thus fail to accomplish anything. You might lose weight, but not as fast as you had hoped and find yourself discouraged enough to give up. If you figure out all the details ahead of time, and stick to them, you’re much more likely to progress.

Too Ambitious
“I want to lose 15 lbs in a month!”
It should come as no surprise that setting goals that are too ambitious (in other words: damn near impossible) will also set you up for failure and disappointment. In this example you would have to do something very extreme, and probably very unhealthy, to reach your goal, since a healthy and plausible rate of weight loss is about 1 lb a week. If you set yourself a goal that is so ambitious that there’s no way it’s actually going to happen, you’re just going to end up frustrated that you can’t achieve it.

Neglect to Attend Important Factors
“I’m going to lose x-lbs by cutting out all sweets and soda.”
This is actually a half-decent plan at first glance. Most people take far too much sugar into their bodies, so cutting that out would almost definitely result in some form of weight loss. But in this example the goal neglects to consider the repercussions of the intended actions. Presumably the person who set the goal consumes a large amount of sugar, if they believe cutting it out will help them lose weight. What’s going to happen when that sugar stops being consumed? Many people don’t realize that sugar is no different that many drugs. It’s addictive, it gives you an artificial “high” in the form of short-term energy, and cutting it completely from your diet can cause withdrawal symptoms. No, I’m not kidding. Aside from all that, do you actually have the willpower to cut out all sugar? Is this plan going to succeed only in making you miserable? Because misery is absolutely not conducive to a successful goal. When determining the details of your goal you have to take into account the consequences that may occur and your own personal ability (really, really take a good look at yourself here) to deal with the limitations you’ve set for yourself.

These three factors can be applied to a goal of any type. If we’re looking at a writing goal, they definitely apply. You can’t be too broad (“I want to be a writer even though I have absolutely no plan and don’t know what I want to write!”), you can’t be too ambitious (“I just got an idea for a novel and I’m totally going to have it written and published within two months!”), and you can’t forget to consider possible consequences and personal ability (“I’m going to get up an hour early every morning to write, even though I already only get about four hours of sleep a night!”). Ignoring these factors will set you on the path to failure, and failure will set you on the path to disappointment, depression, and a little thing I like to call “I Give UP!” syndrome.

Set goals for yourself…just remember that not all goals are equal and very few are easy to attain.

Priorities

Today is going to be a thoroughly unproductive day.

I’m not going to do any housework today. I’m definitely not going to do any yard work. I won’t be working on my novel, or any other writing project for that matter (it’s actually a miracle I’m bothering to write this blog post). I won’t do a single lick of exercise…not running on the treadmill, not my 10-Minute-Trainer videos…if I can help it I’ll scarcely burn a single damn calorie.

Why the sudden complete and utter disdain for ‘work’? Well it’s not that, really…it’s just that I’ve got more important things to worry about today.

What’s going to happen is this:
I’m going to get up and get a shower (already done), and wait for the baby to wake up (in progress). I’m going to dress the baby in something cute, and we’re going to have breakfast. Then we’re going to go outside for a little while because the sun has finally come back and the baby is going to want to see it. When she has thoroughly worn herself out running through the grass and poking at my flowers, we’ll go back in and grab something for lunch. And then it’s into the car for a three-hour drive to the airport because hubby/daddy is coming home!

I think that deserves a day of saying “screw that” to my other commitments, hmmm? πŸ™‚

Brain Dump

A few things, some bigger deals than others, have been happening lately, and since I find Sunday to be an excellent day to talk about the week that has just passed, you get to hear about them all. πŸ™‚

– As previously mentioned, a week and a half ago I got a call offering me my job back at the paper mill. The job offer is conditional on the sale of the mill being completed, which is conditional on Nova Scotia’s Utility Review Board okaying the deal that the buyer has created with Nova Scotia Power. If the Board okays the deal, the buyer is hoping to start up the mill some time in August.

Personally, I don’t see it happening that way. For one thing, even though the government is probably going to be pushing the Board to okay everything and get the sale over with, I don’t think they’re going to agree with it right off the get-go. The deal the buyer and NSP came up with is, in my opinion, overly complicated, and also gives NSP the rights to 18% of any profits made by the mill. I’m sure everything will get the okay eventually, but I don’t think it’s going to be a quick process. I believe the Board will have a few issues with bits and pieces of the agreement, and that will slow things down.

For the other thing, I think the buyer is drastically overestimating how easy it’s going to be to get staff back in that mill. A large number of maintenance workers have already found other jobs or gone out West for work, and my understanding is that many of them are reluctant to come back. Why give up an excellent camp job for the absolutely sickening contract we were strong-armed into? Also we seem to have lost quite a bit of management (of the necessary type) and it’s going to take time to fill those positions.

No, I definitely don’t think that mill is starting up in August.

– The reason I bring up the uncertainty of when the mill might start up is because last week I got a call for another job…a camp job working for MMR Canada. This company will fly me out to the site where I will work for 14 days straight, then fly me home for 14 days straight, rinse and repeat. In the 14 days that I work, I will make more money than my husband and I made combined at the mill. In other words, it is a really good opportunity that is impossible to pass up. Even if I only work there until the mill starts up (a decision that will have to be worked out later, once I know what it’s like out on this site), it will still be more than worth it. So this Saturday my hubby is flying home from the job he’s been at, and he will stay with the baby while I’m on my 14 day shifts.

I have a powerful belief that the baby will lose her tiny little mind when she sees daddy come through the airport gate. πŸ™‚

– Because of the impending start date of my camp job, I’ve been really trying to force myself to write. I’ll never find the time to write while I’m on camp (I’m working 12 hour days!), but I might be able to find a few minutes a day to edit, which is why I’m desperately trying to get to the end of my zombie novel before I leave (June 19th). And I’m so close I can taste it. My main character is currently at the ‘big reveal’ moment, which is essentially the end of the story. If I had to estimate I’d say that there might be about 5000-6000 words left to this story, so if I work really hard (and my brain starts cooperating with the ‘big reveal’ wording) then I might actually have it finished this week. ^_^

– Also because of the impending start date of my camp job, I’ve been thinking that I need to start trying to get into shape. If my duties are anything similar to what they were at the mill, I’m in rough form. And the fact is that the work I’ll be doing out there will probably be much more physically demanding than what I’m used to. With this in mind I decided yesterday that today I would start getting up early and running again, as well as trying to eat better.

I set my alarm for 6 am. The baby woke up at 5:30 am. 😐

Since I can’t use my treadmill while the baby is awake (it’s in the basement, which is also where a bunch of dangerous stuff and also the kitty litters are, so I can’t just take her down there with me), I’ve been waiting all day for the little booger to lay down and take her nap so I can get my exercise in. It is now coming up on lunch time and she appears to have no plans of the sort. I’m at least twice as tired as she is.

And as far as eating better…..I’d forgotten how hard that is. I had a bowl of grapes, a glass of juice, and a coffee for breakfast, and a little later I had a bowl of oatmeal that I hoped would tide me over until lunch. I’ve also since had 2 more glasses of juice (it’s a calorie-free concentrated thing that you mix with water) to try to keep my belly feeling full. It’s not helping. I’m freakin’ starving. And it doesn’t help that we have a whole closet just packed with the discount Halloween candy we buy every year after the holiday. 😐 I’m not cut out for diet and exercise.

– And finally, my word counts for the week. Aside from one crappy day and one day where I evidently forgot how to write, I did pretty well! An average of 1303 words per day!

Sunday – 1396
Monday – 2617
Tuesday – 1098
Wednesday – 211
Thursday – 0
Friday – 1960
Saturday – 1839