Monday, August 7, 2017

Reflecting On My 2017 Goals So Far

This year, I am approaching my goals a little bit differently.  In January, I took up bullet journaling and my goals (which I published HERE on this blog, but will repeat here for clarity) have been so much more in focus for me this year.  I'll be touching on some things that I will go more into depth in other posts, such as bullet journaling, but for now, I want to pause for a moment and reflect on how I'm doing in terms of completing my goals so far this year.

Goals For Reading/Blogging

1. Read Up On White Privilege And Race.  I'm doing okay in terms of this goal.  I have been pleasantly surprised that I have been able to find fictional stories on this topic (reviews forthcoming... I'm a bit backed up right now).  I think one way I would like to continue to meet this goal is to read more nonfiction on this topic.  How is white privilege affecting actual people?  What are the many faces of racism?  What effects does it have on its victims?  Are there experts in the field who have ideas on how the average person can take action?

2. Read 40 Books.  This goal is going great!  So far, I have finished 27 books, including a couple of books that are re-reads for me.  I kind of love revisiting books that I loved reading the first time.  I don't mind making those reads a part of my final count for the year.

3. Half Of The Books I Read Will Already Be On My Shelves.  Yeah... this has been an issue.  I tend to read my books in a few different ways-- I use my Kindle to read library books, listen to audio books (although so far none this year), or I read a physical book.  I have read a lot of library books on my Kindle this year which means those books did not come off of my shelf.  But there have also been a couple circumstances that have required me to buy new books to read instead of reading the books that are already on my shelf.  I don't know if half of the books I read this year will be from my book shelf, but in an effort to make it so that I read more books that I already own, I have made a pile next to my desk of all of the books I want to read by the end of the year.  My thinking is that when I finish a book, I'll be more likely to pull from that pile as opposed to hunting around my digital library for a new title or going to the book store or something like that.  I'll let you know how this goes.

4. Blog Regularly.  This is going horribly.  I like that I am posting a mix of book reviews and travel posts, but I am far from consistent.  I have marked a day of the week in my bullet journal to help prompt me to write a blog post once a week, but sometimes I just don't feel moved to post something.  This might take gaining a little more control over the rest of my life or going on a blog post writing binge and then scheduling all of those.  I'll figure something out.

5. Reread Harry Potter.  I have not started this goal yet.  Honestly, I'm not sure I'll get accomplished this year.  There's a lot going on.  Who knows though.  I have a number of dense reads on my aforementioned pile next to my desk, so maybe in order to have a slightly lighter read, I'll pull out Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and get started.  Only time will tell.  If I don't finish this year, I'll put it on the top of my list for next year, because this is something I would like to do.

Goals For Healthy Living

1. Slowly Cut Out Meat And Some Animal Products.  This is going quite well, I think.  I'm not 100% vegetarian yet, but I have managed to eat meatless dishes around 5-6 days of the week.  We have also been drinking more almond milk in my house.  I find that I don't really miss eating meat-- in fact, I tend to feel physically better if I don't eat meat.  Maybe by the end of the year I'll be completely vegetarian, but for now, I'm really happy with the progress I've made.

2. Get An Exercise Routine With Varied Exercises.  Still working on getting the routine down (prospects are looking good for a consistent schedule) and I'm still working on getting the varied part down.  What I'm really happy about is that I have a gym membership and I've been going about twice a week with some exceptions.  I approached exercise a bit differently this time around.  I think joining a gym has been a great motivator since I'm paying to use the equipment and facility.  I've also been going with my mom and recently, my husband also joined the gym and has been exercising more.  I'm giving myself fewer outs when it comes time to exercise.  So I'm really happy with how I'm doing in this department.

3. Drink More Water.  I have been making good steps towards this.  I have amended my goal to drinking 64 oz. a day by the end of the year.  32 oz. has proven to be reasonable for me, but after talking to a very fitness-oriented friend, I learned that drinking a lot of water like I want to do takes building up a tolerance.  So every couple of months, I have been up-ing my intake by 16 oz.  So I'm currently struggling with 48 oz., but I am definitely succeeded that I am drinking more water on a consistent basis.  This feels good.

4. Remove Useless Crap And Mess.  This has been a work in progress.  I took several bags of old books and clothes I no longer wear to Goodwill.  In the next couple weeks, I am taking another large load of books to my classroom so my students can read them.  I'm trying to be more consistent in ensuring that I am living in a clean space, so I'll be working on doing that and building that habit before I get really busy at work.

Goals For Life In General

1. Attempt NaNoWriMo A Couple Times This Year.  Technically I can check this goal off my list because I have indeed attempted NaNoWriMo a couple times this year.  I never won though, but it has really gotten me thinking about what I need in a writing practice and how I can prioritize writing.  I think this is even more important than the actual attempt.

2. Volunteer Regularly.  For the first half of the year, I was really good about this.  I had a day between substitute teaching jobs where I could consistently volunteer with my fifth graders and I would go help out there every week.  That was really great for me.  During the summer, things have been a bit different.  Obviously I couldn't be with my fifth graders when they weren't in school (and besides that, moving on to middle school).  But I've found something new that has me volunteering regularly again-- I am a volunteer bunny socializer!  Perhaps I will write more about what this is like.  So far, I am really enjoying it though.  It's nice to work with adorable, soft critters on a daily basis.

3. Obtain My First Teaching Job.  After a lot of tears, several interviews, and a lot of anxiety and alternative plans, I have accepted my first teaching job!  My school year starts towards the end of this month and I couldn't be more exciting.  I plan to talk more about teaching and interviewing in a separate blog post, so look out for that very soon.

If you have any ideas for how I can move forward in the places where it seems I am stuck or if you have any advice for me, I'd love to hear it!  But otherwise, it's nice to put into perspective where I want to be with where I am so I can adjust course as necessary.

Thanks for Reading!


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