March 26, 2015

The List: 10 Goals for the Rest of the Year

It’s already been a month since Bean was born. March is usually a slow moving time for me, the last long slog toward spring, but this year the month flew by and the cherry blossoms and daffodils seemed to come a little earlier than usual.

Life with a newborn and a preschooler is vastly different from life with just a tiny one to care for. It’s hard, but I find that Bun keeps me grounded in reality. When my first was a baby it was easy to hunker down and forget about the outside world. This, I think, is actually rather debilitating. Getting out and doing our usual things has made me mentally and physically healthier this time around. There’s no way a (very) active almost-four-year-old is going to let you sit around all day and bask (and sometimes wallow) in new motherhood. Bun has been my link to getting back to myself.

So in the spirit of returning to the wide world and all its possibilities I am putting together a list of things I’d like to do in the remaining three-quarters of the year. I was reluctant to make any New Year’s resolutions back in January because I wasn’t sure how things would play out with the new baby, but now, with a month under my belt as a mama of two, I am going to be audacious enough to set some goals, things that will make me happier, more focused, and better equipped to be there for my family. Feel free to ask me how the list-conquering is going. Accountability is a powerful motivator.

1. Exercise. Before Bean was born I was regularly working out three days a week. I think it might be a little optimistic to jump right back into that routine, but once I get the go ahead from the doc at my postpartum check-up, I’ll start out with a once-a-week visit to Bassline and a jog around the neighborhood. By the end of the year though I want to be back to thrice weekly visits to Bassline. I’m missing those killer workouts and how they make me feel.

2. Complete a 10K in June. After Bun was born I ran a 10K with the hubs 4 months postpartum. I’d like to do the same this time around, and maybe even beat my previous time of 58:10. That’s a 9:23/mile pace.

3. Lose the weight. On a related note to exercise and running, I’m anxious to get back to my pre-baby weight. As of this writing I’ve got 12 pounds to go. That seems pretty doable so I’ll throw in a second goal of making it back to my pre-freshman 15 and pre-lazy-mid-twenties 10 weight. That would be an extra 25 pounds to lose by the end of December.

4. Get an agent, find a publisher, or self-publish. I’d like my book to eventually see the light of day. I wrote about this in my last post, so suffice it to say here that by the time the end of the year rolls around I’ll have found a home for On the Verge.

5. Start writing a new novel. I’ve got an idea of what I’d like to focus on next, I just have to carve out the time. To do that I’m planning on participating in National Novel Writing Month (a community of authors who come together and pledge to write 50,000 words in the month of November). Bean will be 8 months old by then and hopefully settled into a more predictable routine. With a little fancy scheduling I just might be able to make the time to get started on my next book.

6. Keep freelancing. I took some time away from freelance writing while I finished On the Verge, but I already have my first new assignment. I’m going to focus on getting at least 12 articles published by the New Year.

7. Learn to draw. I’ve always loved to draw, but I’ve never been especially good at it. I have a set of brand new colored pencils that have been languishing on my desk for many months alongside the highly recommended book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition. I want to work through the exercises in that book, and maybe learn how to draw a bit better.

8. Learn French. Similarly I have had the complete Rosetta Stone series for French on my laptop for more than a year. I want to take a half hour once or twice a week and get back to learning the language. Hopefully I can finish the Rosetta Stone lessons over the next 9 months.

9. Sew a custom dress. I learned how to sew a couple of years ago, but recently my sewing machine has lain dormant downstairs. It keeps calling my name. I think it’s time I answered.

10. Keep reading. Finding time to read is difficult with two kiddos, but I’ve come to realize that it is a really important part of who I am. I just don’t feel like myself unless I find some time during the week to read. I won’t set myself a specific number of books, but I will commit to reading for at least two hours a week initially and hopefully more as things settle down (i.e. Bean sleeps through the night).

Bonus. Keep writing for my blog weekly. I’ve been making weekly blog posts to Scriven by Garen for 9 straight weeks now. My goal when I started was to make it a full year. 9 down, 43 more to go.

Wish me luck!

Image credit: Eat Pray Run DC

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