Happy July!! I’ll refrain from stating the predictable and overly familiar shock at the speed the year is going and instead say that I hope the first half of 2019 has been a good one for you. I feel like this is a great time to have a bit of a check-in, a sort of refresh point, so as to kick off the second half of the year with new energy, hope and plans.
In January, I made a list of 19 things that I want to do in 2019. I did a wrap up at the end of the month and planned to do one each subsequent month. However, I could see that this might become a bit monotonous to read so regularly if the months were similar. I decided I wanted to check in at the 3 month mark, but life got a bit busy, as usual! So, here is my mid year wrap up regarding my 19 goals for 2019!
1. Travel to and explore at least two cities/locations that are unfamiliar or new to me
I am going to Sydney in two days!! Both of my brothers and their families moved there last year, and I’ve only been down once so far with my parents. This time I am going solo. Sydney isn’t new to me as such – I’ve been three times now over the past 16 years – but it is definitely unfamiliar to me. I can’t wait to see my brothers, hang out, and see a bit more of Sydney.
*Edit* I did not get around to posting this before I went to Sydney, so now I can say it was a great trip! I am converting more and more to liking Sydney. It is not as hectic and concrete jungle-like as I first thought. It’s beautiful and trendy with lots to explore (though the road rage leaves something to be desired!). I am looking forward to going more often and getting to know it better (and to visit every single independent bookstore and food intolerance friendly café in the entire city…)
I have no plans for the second place to visit as yet. Do you have any recommendations, please?!
2. Spend time out of my house by myself once a fortnight
This one has been surprisingly hard! I have trouble getting from A to B by myself, so this is a bit tricky because I need to get a lift, so that person inevitably joins me (which is absolutely great, but just doesn’t fit this goal!). I definitely want to focus on this one for the next six months as I believe it is important, especially because I am still quite dependent due to my health and spend a lot of time in the company of other people (which, again, is great and I’m not complaining or unappreciative of this!).
3. Take a holiday by myself
This one has not happened for a similar reason to goal number 2. It’s also tricky financially. I will work on finding a way!…
4. Spend more time outdoors
I am slowly getting there with this one. Over the summer it is usually too hot to be enticed outside for long (particularly with POTS!), but now that it has cooled down and I am getting a bit more fit, I aim to do more walking, sitting in the garden, and other outdoorsy things.
5. Learn or do something new
I need to find something to learn… Any suggestions?!
6. Watch and listen to more educational documentaries, podcasts and the like
Another one that needs work, though for the novel I am currently working on (spoiler for goal number 7!), I have done a lot of research about WWII, which has been very interesting and enlightening.
7. Work on an extended piece of writing (outside of uni work)
This one has taken a slightly different path to what I planned in that I had anticipated the piece I would be working on at uni to feel a bit ‘chore-like’, and I also wanted to make sure I kept adding to my portfolio and not just rely on the one or two pieces I write each semester. However, the beginning of the novel I started for uni has actually turned into something I feel has potential, and I have enjoyed working on it – so I have seen it as a project to work on as a long term goal, not just for assessment. I hope to write more of it on my uni break, and then keep going with it and finish it as a novel one day!
8. Don’t let the fact that I want to write a novel length piece distract me from the fact that I want to write short stories
I have definitely not achieved this so far. I hear people working on extended pieces say that they have goals such as ‘write a short story each month’ and I think this is a great and reasonably achievable plan, which I am hoping to adopt.
9. Regularly post on my blog and do not let uni work distract me from that which I enjoy doing
Hhmmm yea…. Let’s get back on track with this post, shall we?!…
10. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!!! Floss, floss, floss! (chore-like, but I need to be kept accountable!!)
I’ve been better than I have been in the past, but definitely not as routinely as I should be.
11. Interact more frequently with people in the bookish and spoonie community
My blog definitely needs to be put further up on my list of priorities. I love to write the posts, and the people I’ve met in the blogging world are great, so I do really want to stop putting off working on it when things get busy.
I found a great volunteer position at a local school through the Ready Reading program, which is run with the Queensland Government Department of Education. Once a week I take six eight year old children outside of their classrooms individually – fifteen minutes each – and listen to them read a couple of books. We work through the tricky words and discuss the stories. It’s really fun and I am enjoying it. One funny thing that happened one week was when a 7 or 8 year old boy I had never seen before crossed my path, looked at me, glanced away, then looked up at me again, and said ‘You’re looking beautiful today’!!! Haha what a charmer. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond!
13. Attend as many writer talks, workshops, meet ups and networking opportunities as possible
I have been going pretty well with this one! I am pleased with my progress. I started off with an evening event called ‘Writers Dream Big’ at the local writers centre, where I met lots of writers and heard some inspiring ideas and experiences (and made a friend who I have met up with a few times since for writing sessions (and cake!), which has been good for motivation. I also attended a writing workshop called ‘Writing Your Way Through: Narrative Structure and Momentum’, and have also been going to a weekly writing group (though have not made it to them weekly as yet) where we sit in a room together and work independently and quietly on our own pieces, while using the pomodoro method (25 minutes writing, 5 minutes break, and repeat throughout the day.) I have found it really useful and it helps to have people around who are working towards similar goals, have similar interests, and are at various stages of the process, which is motivating and encouraging (albeit slightly daunting at times – particularly when you overhear someone say they just wrote **** words in the last 25 minutes, when you only wrote 2!). Every little bit counts.
14. Work up to doing pilates classes twice a week as well as at-home exercises and stretches, tai chi at least once a week, and small walks or swims as regularly as possible.
I am getting closer to being able to do pilates twice a week. At this point, being busy is stopping me from routinely doing two classes a week just as much as physical reasons, so hopefully I can sort it out soon. I need to bump up my at-home work too. Tai chi is going well, but I really need to start going to the more advanced classes to make the most of my time (though I love the health recovery class because the group of people – and instructor – are amazing!).
15. Submit my short stories to literary prizes, competitions or for publication as frequently as possible
I have done this once. This must be increased in the second half of 2019.
16. Do something fun or challenging that I have not done for a long time
I haven’t worked on poetry, which I thought might be one thing to consider here. I have, however, very slowly started to try to drive again. I have been approved medically/legally to return to it, but the confidence is definitely lacking. I don’t want to push it too fast and unnerve myself, so I am just taking it slowly and sensibly. It’s exciting to have the potential of some independence (though it would just be short distances for the time being), but it’s also very scary!
17. Say goodbye to my bellybutton piercing!!!
I did this one on April 8th. I had a scan done where I had to remove the stud and I just figured, leave it out! I felt uncomfortable for a bit because I am already not that happy with how my stomach is at the moment and it looked so different without something distracting the eye away from it, as well as having a visible hole there, but I have got used to it, and I know I am very lucky and am appreciative that a piercing hole is all that scars my abdomen – something I chose to do and is not a result of, for example, health issues or complications. I’m glad it’s out – I’m too old for it and I had it in for 17 years!!
18. Shorter showers!
Trying…not very successfully…
19. Begin the day by not reaching for my phone immediately upon waking, and end the day with less/no sugar and technology time to promote sleep
I am definitely not going well with this one. Both parts are weaknesses of mine, and I am open to any suggestions on how to fix this!
Okay, there we go! That is how my goals are going for 2019. I am not quite where I want to be with a lot of them at this point of the year, but they are there to drive me and encourage me to better myself, so I am excited to be working towards achieving them, and am not berating myself. Checking in has reignited my desire to keep going, and reminded me of what I want to focus on.
Where are you at with your 2019 goals? Have you had a mid year check in? I’d love to hear how you are going and what you want to focus more on as we head into the second half of 2019.