Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Plan of Attack: A Not So Brief Recap

photo credi

I just realized that the new year is less than a week away, which leaves little time to complete all the goals I set back in January. I know I said I would check in every few months, but I only provided a progress report once. C'est la vie. This past year was one of huge changes and I'm happy with where I am, even if I had to cut some corners to get there. And because I can't plot my goals for 2012 without holding myself accountable to 2011, here's a little recap of how I did.

As you probably don't recall (because I sure didn't) I split my goals into three categories - creative, health and financial - with a broad goal (listed in bold) followed by small steps to achieve that goal (italicized below). Damn, I'm organized. But did it help?

Creative Goals

Establish a writing routine in order to be productive and get published.
1. Write and/or revise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. I did this in spurts, but not consistently. However, since I got into the groove of my MFA program I have been writing for at least an hour a day, most days. I've produced more these last three months than I have the last three years, and that's pretty awesome. Goal: accomplished!
2. Submit at least one story per month to literary journals. I did submit a bunch of stuff in the early part of the year, but then I stopped. Now I'm writing new things that won't be ready for submission by the end of the year. I will probably move this goal to my 2012 list. Goal: not quite.
3. Enter at least five short story contests. I did, I did! I haven't won any of them (yet!) but entering is the first step. Goal: accomplished!

Read more than 15 books for the year. I'm reading my 14th book right now, and I will certainly try to read one more before the calendar flips to 2012. Anyone know a really good, really short book? :) Goal: maybe!

Improve photography skills. The only thing I did to improve my photos was to download iPhone apps that make your photos look fancier. Goal: not quite.

Health Goals 
1. Diversify workout routine with cross training. I have gotten better about cross-training and the YMCA certainly helps with that. Hello, kettlebells! I also spent most of the year really dedicated to my yoga practice, which has done wonders for my health, fitness level, and life in general. Goal: accomplished!
2. Run three times a week. Work on speed and set new PR’s. Three is my magic number, it seems. I set a marathon PR but that was it - my half and 5K records still stand, but I do know that I'm faster than I used to be. If I could afford those race fees, I could prove it. Goal: close enough.
3. Take better care of my skin. I am moisturizing with a SPF 15 brand. I also got a hang of a super simple make up routine (eye shadow and mascara, but only at night) with which I'm pleased. Goal: accomplished.

Financial Goals  
1. Pay off credit card. Then, begin making double payments on student loan debt. I successfully paid off my credit card and then... I moved to NC and slashed my income. Oops. Back in the red but not as bad as before. And my student loan debt has been deferred for the next three years, so that's nice! Goal: accomplished, despite my new debt.
2. Aggressively contribute every spare penny to savings account. Again, I was doing really well with this goal until we moved to North Carolina and I went back to school full time, thus slashing my income and racking up the debt. Now that Nathan is working full time and we've settled in, I think 2012 will be a lot better for our wallets. I'm sure I'll blog more about this later. Goal: in flux.
3. Figure out how my retirement plan works and whether it’s optimal. When I quit my job, I closed my retirement plan (it was Texas only) and opened an IRA instead. This feels extremely grown up. Goal: accomplished!