Posts Tagged ‘ Goals ’

Just Do It

startingblock

The Nike slogan is all too appropriate when it comes to setting and meeting goals. I’ve recently started writing a new book after several stutter starts with a separate book that I finally decided to set aside for the time being. While it’s sometimes difficult to start over or make changes in your life, sometimes the only way to begin is by just doing it. Instead of waiting until tomorrow or a special occasion or when the mood strikes. So instead of waiting until tomorrow to eat better, exercise more, write that book, mend those fences, begin today! 🙂

 

Fun New Gadget: Garmin Forerunner 10

watch-pink-glow My new favorite running gadget is a gift I received for Christmas, a Garmin Forerunner 10. Any race I enter I see people of all shapes, sizes and speeds checking their shiny sports watches as they toe the line. Able to calibrate a whole multitude of stats, many runners have turned to wrist ornamentation to track their speeds, paces, mileage, and calories. These stats can then be uploaded to your computer so runners are able to compare their various runs and track goals they have set. Many of the sites linked to gadgets such as the Garmin watch also double as social media sites so runners are able to share their successes and challenges.

There are a whole range of tools designed with a similar purpose in mind. These also range in price from the Nike+ iPod Sports Kit which is set at $28.95 to ones equipped with things like GPS, barometer, and thermometer that run around $500. My new Garmin lands nicely in the middle in both price and features providing me with exactly enough information that I’m not inundated, but am given enough that I can track key stats to monitor my goals and progress. Also, it’s lightweight, easy to use, and a fun pink color (it also comes in bright green and black). It’s a great way to get excited about runs even when the winter weather is floating around freezing. 🙂

Happy running!

 

Running Toward the New Year

Male Runner in Snow   2013 is fast approaching and with it a fresh page on the calendar. While I’m a big proponent of making year-long resolutions as it easier for me to stick to goals if I make and follow through with them throughout the year, there is one special running goal I have for 2013. Run at least one race each month for the entire year.

I’ve thought about accomplishing this goal for a while, but haven’t been able to follow through due to various circumstances. 2013 is going to be the year.

Lately, my free time has been spent searching online for races in my area for each month of 2013. I’d like to run shorter races each month culminating in a half marathon or marathon next fall. Not only will the shorter races be fun, but they will help prepare me while I’m training for my longer race in the fall.

I’m sure I’ll set additional running goals, but this is my primary one. Do you have any running or fitness goals for the new year?

Happy running! 😀

When the Going Gets Tough

You ever have one of those weeks that seems to conspire against your best laid plans?

Last week my dad went into the hospital after a sudden blackout and fall while playing tennis. Turns out, after many tests, he needed a quadruple bypass. This news came as a huge shock to not only my family, but everyone who knows my dad. He’s not overweight and instead is very active, always playing tennis or lifting weights. So since last week I’ve been traveling between PA and NJ to see him and be with my family.

Life throws curve balls. I just wrote about scheduling writing goals and as I was getting geared up to get on my writing frenzy and wrangle my novel into submission, life had different plans. While it’s difficult to understand why things happen the way that they, these events also serve as reminders of what’s truly important to each of us.

Thankfully, Dad is doing fine and on the road to recovery, but it did give me plenty of time to reflect not only on the value of my family and taking the time to enjoy every shared moment, but it also made me appreciate the every day joys of being healthy and being able to do all those things I love. Here’s to not wasting any of those moments.

Making the Most of Your Time

  There are only so many hours in a day to do the things we want to do, to do the things we have to do, and to squeeze in everything in between. Whether we make a mental list or a physical one, most people have a good understanding of what’s important and prioritize as needed. Although these priorities can get skewed or switched depending on the day or need.

While some things are easy for me to attend to, running, family time, reading, others are a bit harder to make time for. Like writing. I love to write, but at the end of a long day at work, it’s difficult to motivate myself to sit in front of another computer and stare at it for another few hours when I could just as easily shut my brain off and watch TV or exercise or read.

I recently read an article on some writing website (of course I forget where I read it now…) where the writer interviews Ashley Ream author of Losing Clementine. Ream has a hectic life as many of us do, but still found the hours to get writing done. I’ve read other articles in the past where writers will carve out time in the wee hours of the morning or the night or lock themselves in their offices at certain times of the day or they have a set time every single day where they will write. The point being that everyone needs a different method that works best for his or her lifestyle and personality. What Ream mentioned in her interview really caught my attention. She creates Excel spreadsheets for her writing schedule. Days of the week across the top and dates down the side with each day having either number of words she wants to write or OFF if she knew she couldn’t write that day. Then she stuck to her schedule and toward the end of her schedule she wrote in days for editing and rewrites.

I’ve since created my own spreadsheet and it’s going very well so far. I was realistic with it without adding too much and setting myself up for failure. And it’s very rewarding to see the calendar and what I’ve accomplished as the days pass. And while, yes, it’s still hard to write after work, I realized that if I load up the weekends with a larger goal, then I have the work days to come home and rest. It’s created a nice balance and taken a lot of the pressure off as well.

Happy writing!

When the Going Gets Tough

  It’s not always easy focusing on all the tasks that need to get done on any given day. Work, kids, writing, blogging, exercising, errands among a litany of other items that will quickly fill up any agenda. And when all those things pile up it can easily get overwhelming. Often I find myself wanting to spend my free time plopped in front of my TV instead of accomplishing what I should be doing instead. And while I don’t think TV is bad, sometimes it’s nice for my brain to turn off for an hour or two, it’s when I know my brain doesn’t need a break and yet I gravitate toward that pastime first.

Everyone is different and will most likely need and use different motivations to get his or her butt in gear and do something productive. Over the years I’ve found a few things work well in respect to getting me motivated. Maybe some of these will work for you too!

1. Get out of the house (and away from the distractions of home)

2. Make a list – it’s always very satisfying to cross things off that list as I finish them.

3. Exercise first – for me if I don’t get my adrenaline pumping before I start my tasks at hand I end up feeling lazy, unmotivated, and unfocused. Working out (especially running) clears my mind for the day ahead and gets me excited to tackle those tasks!

4. Create deadlines or goals – If I’m unmotivated, especially with my writing, I’ll tell myself something like – “Write until lunch, then take a break to read while eating, then go back to work.” This works very well for me as it breaks my tasks into easy to manage chunks rather than seeing the task as broad and overwhelming.

5. Remind myself how awesome I always feel after completing or working toward a goal

Next time you feel stuck in completing a task, I hope you find that extra push to get you toward your goals! 🙂

Word Count Widget

  As part of my writing goals for 2012, I wanted to find a word count widget that I could display, for all to see, on my sidebar. Partly because it’s motivating to see that little blue line move ever closer to my goal of (approximately) 75,000 words as I progress on my novel writing. Also, because I’ll be more apt to stick with my writing goals when my lack of progress will be evident on my blog.

After much web surfing, I found a word count widget that’s not only sleek, but also is easy to use in wordpress! Yay! 🙂  The only downside, as I don’t know any html code and don’t have the time to figure it out, is that I have to continue returning to the original website to plug in my new word count numbers every time I want to update the widget on my blog. Minor details…

Maybe you have a different widget you prefer, but if not check out this site to copy the html into your own blog.

Happy writing!

(Note: Since I first wrote this post, the word count widget I originally used no longer exists. I have replaced that widget with another that I found to be equally as effective.)

The Secret of Success

  I’m reading a book by Bear Grylls called Mud, Sweat and Tears. It’s very good as Grylls is an interesting man and has led an adventure filled life. But when he was twenty, he chose to attempt to gain entry into an elite group of the British Special Forces through a very extensive and grueling program. (Spoiler alert!) After four months of being physically, mentally and emotionally beaten by the rigors of daily instensive training, Grylls failed to finish one of the daily tasks under the time limit given. He was disqualified, disheartened, and entirely spent. But he was given the rare invitation to try out for the Special Forces a second time – but from the start. It was Grylls’ passion and life goal to be a member of this elite team, but that meant going back through the hell he endured the first round plus whatever it took to get him through to the end. Yikes!

  When faced with this crossroads in his life, Grylls writes, “Our achievements are generally limited only by the beliefs we impose on ourselves.” And one of his closest friends advised, “So often, God’s callings have a birth, a death and then a resurrection.” Grylls knew that he’d faced his birth, his death and was now chosing his resurrection. He reentered the training and (another spoiler alert!) made it into the elite British Special Forces.

But what struck me was what Grylls said about the beliefs we impose on ourselves. I’m a firm believer that faith and looking to the successes of life will make us successful. Our successes may not always manifest in ways we had invisioned, but I believe that if you want something enough that you’ll put the work into making that goal happen.

When I was younger my dad asked a neighbor if she had read anything interesting lately, as he was an avid reader himself. She responded that she loved to read, but she just didn’t have the time. Later, he said something that’s stuck with me all these years – “If she truly loved to read, she would make the time.” It’s so true. I realize that it’s not healthy to forsake all else for the sake of another, but I do think there’s a healthy balance where we can still work toward making our goals into success stories.

2012 Writing Resolutions

  A new year means new goals for many people. This morning I ran a 5k called the Resolution Run because for me it’s sets a perfect tone for the new year. Well, that and you get a kick butt hooded sweatshirt each year. 🙂

Part of the race packet given out to all entrants is a list of people’s resolutions for the new year. As I read through them I noticed that many revolve around the common goal of weight loss. Run more, eat better, stay healthy, feel great. Some were more personal – find someone to love, spend more time with my family, get out of debt. And some were funny. My favorite was “My 2012 Resolution: 2450 x 1080 pixels.” 😀

Personally, I like to make resolutions throughout the year just because I’m more likely to keep a resolution if I say I’m going to make a change and then implement it immediately rather than waiting for a new year. But I do make goals for things I’d like to accomplish for the upcoming year. My big goals for this year? Finish writing my next YA novel. Find a agent. Keep working toward getting published.

I’m working toward this goal already by: 1. Making time to write (and making more time!!)  2. Building my social networking platform 3. Reading great articles about writing 4. Reading, reading, reading 5. Finding a great writing group to help critique my work.

What are your writing goals or goals in general for the new year?

Happy 2012!!! 😀

1,000 books

  I have this spiral bound notebook. It has fluffy white kittens and bright happy colors. Best part? The notebook paper is eggshell blue. Awesome. Try not to be jealous, I know, it’s tough…The reason I mention this classy notebook is that ever since seventh grade I’ve been recorded every book I’ve read in it. If it was longer than fifty pages, it went into the book.

This is the information that went into my book ledger: Title, # of pages, and how I liked it. In the past few years I started to record the date I finished the book as well. This is especially helpful when I wanted to know when I read a particular book.

I love setting new goals for myself and since I’m turning 32 this July I wanted to read 1,000 books before my birthday. That would be 1,000 books in twenty years as I’ve been recording my books since I was 12. I read a lot of books before then too, but I don’t count those.

And today, drum roll please, I finished my 1,000th book! Hooray! 😀

I feel really proud of this and am thrilled with reaching my goal – and it’s only April! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I wish I kept a list of the books I read…” And every time I hear that I give my 12-year-old self a pat on the back. 🙂

Happy reading my friends!

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