Goals for 2017: February Check-In

Alternatively title: In Which Bethany is Humbled.

Goal #1: Publish at least one freelance piece
I started writing an essay I thought about pitching, and then realized I didn’t really know where I was going with it, so I stopped a quarter of the way through. BUT! When writing that essay, I came up with another essay idea in a somewhat similar vein that I think would stand a better chance of getting published. I haven’t written or pitched it yet, but at least I have an idea. I’m still not progressing on this like I’d like to, but at least I’m making some progress.

I did do some concrete things related to this goal, including attempting to network with a writer I’ve met before and writing into a site I thought I could write for. To my enormous surprise, I didn’t receive any response from either email. I, admittedly, have not followed up on either email, and perhaps I shouldn’t be quite so surprised, because once upon a time when I I received a bunch of unsolicited emails to my work, I’d often leave them unread, telling myself I’d come back to it later, and then “later” would turn out to be six months later, by which point I’d figure it was too late to respond, anyway. Nevertheless, I did find the silence surprising. I expected an abundance of silence once I started pitching, but I definitely didn’t expect silence from reaching out to individuals/sites I considered to be a sure thing.

Goal #2: Get rid of 50 things
I lost of bit of momentum on this goal. I got rid of seven more things this month, bringing my total to 30. I’m still certainly more than ahead of pace if I want to get rid of 50 things in 2017, but since I got rid of 23 things in January, only getting rid of seven things in February feels unimpressive. I think two things worked together to create a perfect storm of non-minimizing: 1) I had less free time in February than January, and therefore most of that free time got spent doing things that fell higher on my priority list than reducing the number of things I own (grocery shopping, working out, cleaning my apartment, doing my taxes, etc.) and 2) I felt so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of crap I have that I didn’t know where to start, and therefore didn’t start at all.

Goal #3: Finish Dutch on Duolingo
Finally, something good to report! I made it through five lessons in February: only 19 more to go! I didn’t struggle with verbs as much this time, either, which made me happy. My determination to get through the entire course has kept me from reviewing previous lessons, which makes me wonder how much other knowledge I might be losing. I’d love to see Duolingo introduce review lessons that encompass everything you’ve covered up to that point, rather than focusing on one concept at a time for the duration of the course. Obviously as sentences get more complex, each lesson includes words you learned in previous lessons, and occasionally verb forms you learned in earlier lessons, but I’d like to have an entire lesson (or several) that don’t follow one theme. That’s how language works in the real world, after all.

Goal #4: Stay healthy and out of PT
I am currently healthy and not in physical therapy, so yay. Beyond that:

– Strength train once per week, minimally, during running season: 😦 I didn’t intentionally drop strength training from my schedule. Things just got weird in the last week of February between my therapy schedule and getting sick. Normally I strength train on Thursdays and do yoga on Sundays. On the last Thursday of February, my therapy appointment started too close to when I got out of work to give me time to get in as much strength training as my schedule called for. Because I wouldn’t have time to do yoga on the last Sunday of February (since I went to Total Body Run instead), I decided to do a hard yoga practice on Friday morning and call it strength training. Then I got tired and decided to sleep instead >.< The following day was when I came down with strep/whatever bacterial infection I had, which threw my entire training schedule into disarray for the remainder of the month. In summary: I went two weeks without strength training in any capacity. Hopefully, the rest of my half marathon training will have fewer monkey wrenches thrown in and I’ll be able to get back on track soon.
– Stretch after every run: check!
– Foam roll after every run, even if that means with a Moji roller rather than a full-blown foam roller: Well, I did foam roll twice this month, which is twice more than I’ve foam rolled in…who even knows how long…but neither time as after a run. Sigh.
– Do at least three PT exercises twice per week: Why do I always forget that my goal was three exercises, not two? I did a lot of clamshells and leg raises, but that was about it. I need to start incorporating more variety into my PT exercises so I don’t get bored and/or plateau.

I won’t lie: I’m not particularly happy with how I did on any of these goals this month. I imagine it’s normal to hit a slump with annual goals/resolutions/whatever you want to call them in February, but I didn’t set these goals as pies in the sky I never dreamed I’d actually attain in some constant quest to be perfect or whatever: they’re things I genuinely want to accomplish. In reflecting on my progress (or lack thereof) in February, I think my biggest roadblock last month was not making any of these goals an actual priority. Whenever I’d have free time, I’d always tell myself that I need to get through A, B, C, and D, and then if I have time left over after all of that, I’d sit down and write, or work on pitches, or clean out a drawer, or my closet, or a shelf, or whatever. Unsurprisingly, I’d rarely get through A and B, never mind C and D, so I certainly never got around to any goal work. This month, I’d like to work on both more effectively managing my time and on making my goals a priority rather than an “extra” that I only do when I can convince myself to get around to it–which, clearly, means that it will never happen. On to March!

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2 thoughts on “Goals for 2017: February Check-In

  1. I’m really impressed with your ability to clear clutter out of your life! I need to take note because I’ve accumulated so much junk, old clothes including, over the past few years. The hardest thing for me is to get rid of clothing because I always start second-guessing whether I’ll actually never wear it again or not (spoiler: I usually don’t ever wear it again).

    What PT exercises do you do apart from clamshells and leg raises? My “strength training” consists of those as well as heel drops….nothing too elaborate. But I would love some suggestions on how to keep my knees healthy!

    • Thank you! I have a problem with second guessing whether or not I’ll need something in the future, too. I have a lot of clothes I don’t even really like that I’ve continued to hang onto “just in case,” so those are the ones I’ve got rid of first, because it was a little easier to convince myself with those than other ones (see: all the work clothes I never, ever wear. Haha.). I just have so much STUFF accumulated, from clothes to everything else, that every time I’m in my room it overwhelms me and stresses me out. I got tired of feeling like that, so I had to do something about it!

      I’ve done a variety of PT exercises over the years all related to hip strengthening. My original routine was clamshells, single leg bridges, single leg squats, side lunges, and walking side to side with a band around my ankles. After last year’s foot injury, I got a “hip blaster” routine, that included clamshells, leg circles (laying down on your side, sticking your top leg out in front of you, and drawing circles with your foot, forwards and backwards), and something else I can’t remember the name of, but it was kind of like clamshells. You’d lie on your side, and instead of just picking up your knee while leaving your ankles together, you’d pick up your whole leg.

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