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Rated: E · Essay · Contest Entry · #2288865
Getting my goals all in a row...
Dear Me;
This letter is probably as spacey as I am right now. It is already January 19 (when I started this) and I am spinning with paperwork, namely report cards, to be done for my LTO position. The paperwork is killer. But I am taking it one small step at a time... ten minute intervals, if necessary.

As an update... my report cards are basically done. I am just waiting for the Principal's edits. Then it's on to IEPs.

But before listing any goals for this year, I need to look back at last year.

These were my 5 big goals for 2022:
*AsteriskG*Get myself healthy and strong. That also means carving off about 40 pounds.
*AsteriskV* Declutter my living spaces and keep them tidy and manageable.
*AsteriskB* Work towards getting a contract teaching position. Find a balance between teaching and writing.
*AsteriskP* Write a novel. Blog on Medium. Write poetry and short stories. Finish them and get them published.
*AsteriskO* Connect with friends and family - strengthen those bonds.

All wonderful goals. All reasonable... in theory. In more detail... this is what happened:

That 40 pounds.. is still pretty much here, but not feeling well in December and working another LTO helped me lose the stubborn pounds I had gained over the year. As for being strong and healthy.... not so much.

Decluttering also did not happen. If it did begin, it quickly became a forgotten memory buried under a pile of papers and other such things.

Still no contract teaching position. As for finding a balance between teaching and writing.... I may have had some success there. Daily supply work last year made it easier to balance the two, but taking on a LTO in November made things a bit dicey in December... but then I was burnt from doing 60K of words for NaNoWriMo so writing was not a huge priority for that month.

Write a novel. Well, I am still working on the draft for Zayda's Quest and have put the edits on the back burner for Arlynn's Way. Blogging had more success. I started to blog on Medium in August by doing the Ninja Writers Blog Your Own Book Challenge. I have 31 blogs towards a book idea. I just need to get the edits done and figure out how to get it self-published. I wrote poetry and short stories. I completed three sessions of I Write - Decade Edition and another year - now 6 in total - of the Contest Challenge on Writing.com. Everything I was working on is still on my list of things to do this year.

Connect with family and friends... did I manage to strengthen these bonds? This is hard to say.... I saw more of my family last year. Got to meet my cousin's son just before his first birthday - at Thanksgiving. Covid is still playing havoc with get togethers. Christmas was just mom and I at home. We visited with my aunt and uncle on her birthday - December 28. I saw friends, but not as often as I would have liked.

My goals for 2023 have not changed that much. I have tweaked them a bit.

My words of the year are FOCUS and GROWTH. Essentially I am focusing on my growth in terms of my writing, but this can pertain to all my goals.

The motto I chose is: “It’s only after you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow and transform.” -- Roy T. Bennett.

My Big Six Goals for 2023 are:
*AsteriskP*Complete my writing projects this year - aiming for publication
*AsteriskG*Lose 20 pounds by eating healthfully and walking every day. Meditate.
*AsteriskV*Declutter my living spaces - bedroom and basement work area.
*AsteriskO*Stay in contact with friends - text, phone calls, in-person
*Asterisk*Be financially stable
*AsteriskB*Supply and work in special education classes.

My writing goal of completing my writing projects this year - aiming for publication can further be broken down to these aspects:
- Fiction - Continue to write my first draft of Zayda’s Quest
- Fiction - Revisit Arlynn’s Way and begin edits
- Non-Fiction - work on BYOB blogs to get into a book for self publishing
- Contests - on WDC and beyond
- Blogging - start with a couple a month - work up to weekly.

With Ninja Writer's Fresh Start Program, I have further broken down the first Fiction goal - Zayda's Quest into smaller bit size bits with the focus of doing 10 minutes at a time. Moving my story forward in incremental steps.

I have started out the year pretty good.

I've met with friends on a weekly walking adventure a couple of Sundays so far this month.

I've gotten myself re-aligned with my Zayda's Quest story. I am trying to focus on 10 minutes a day. The focus this month has been to re-read my NaNoWriMo notes and story bits so that I know where to go from here. The re-read has been completed. Now I just need to ease into the writing again to move it forward in the messy middle. This has been happening and I am happy with my progress so far.

I have an LTO until at least February 3, now extended to March 10. I am hoping it will continue through the whole school year, but we will see. There are many factors out of my control. All I can do is do my very best and shine my way into keeping the position. Right now I am doing report cards. Then I will have to do Term #2 IEPs. A lot of paperwork needs to be done over the next 2 to 3 weeks. This makes the writing / teaching balance a bit tricky. Hence the concept of breaking things down into ten minute intervals.

Decluttering and writing are working if I stick to the ten minute time chunks each day. This keeps those projects relevant and ongoing... even if the progress is slow at present.

Working at the school keeps me active. So my step counts have been up over 10K most workdays. Having a regular schedule makes it easier to eat better and make better choices. I am trying to stick to 1500 to 2000 ml a day of water, not eating after 8 pm and eating more fiber and protein.

The only goal that is not SMART is being financially stable. I need to get more clear on what this entails exactly. At present, I am trying not to worry about it, but maybe that is part of my problem. I don't have clarity in this area.

One thing I have learned is that I have to get to my things done earlier each night so I am not staying up past midnight to get everything accomplished. I have also learned that I need to be gentle with myself and start again whenever I start to go off the rails. This way I won't let these goals drop into a forgotten heap.

I want wish everyone a marvelous 2023. Best of luck with the goals you have set for yourself. This is going to be a kick ass year!

Word count = 1201.

2023 Quill Nominee
Category: Best Short Non- Fiction
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