This week is the second week of winter break and I’m only planning to go into work the last two days just to schedule the next week and complete some small tasks. With all those extra hours at home—outside of a few small errands, time I plan to spend with my wife, and the New Year’s celebration and subsequent day of recovery—I’ve decided to set some bigger goals than I’ve been used to these last few weeks.
This week I will:
Schedule every hour of my days. It’s simple. I’m using my Google calendar to create events and reminders for blocks of time and how I would like to spend them from the moment I wake up until I go to bed. The goal is not to perfect adherence but to only cultivate a habit of thinking about what I would like to be doing with my time. Every night I will look over the next day and edit, move, or adjust where needed.
Update: I completed scheduled about half of my time last week. This is far more of my time than I have ever set out in black and white before so even though I marked it incomplete I count the effort alone as a success. GOing forward I will need to start scheduling a time to make the schedule and forming that as a daily habit.
Finish my cover letter. I’ve gotten my resume finished but I think it would be a nice touch to add a cover letter. I’ve done none of this before so I figure the more practice I can get the better and the additional effort couldn’t hurt my chances. Bonus: Ask 3 people for letters of recommendation.
Update: I was premature in setting this down as a goal. I will have to wait until the new position I am hoping for is available and then based on the description and the requirements I will craft a letter based specifically on my interest and qualification for the job.
Change my last name. I got married nearly 5 months ago but the bureaucratic hurdles I have to jump through, the number of institutions I have notify, and my fear of speaking with officials has kept me from adding my wife’s maiden name to my own, but as a Christmas gift to us both and a chance to start the new year as a new us, I’m getting it done.
Update: I have officially added my wife’s maiden name to my own last name, and she has added mine to her’s. It was quite an ordeal and we are from done but the most important first steps are complete. All I have left is to notify all my financial institutions and to perfect my signature.
Find my first rejection opportunity to kick off of #Rejection100 on Submittable. I’ve decided to get back into submitting work to publications again. I miss the motivation and direction that comes from a call for submission. I miss working with editors. I miss being part of a community writing toward the same goals. I also need the challenge in order to grow. So, here’s hoping for 100 rejections in 2020!
Update: To be honest I am rethinking this yearly goal entirely. The more I search for writing opportunities to pitch and then write for the more I realize that writing first and pitching later is the way that I write best. Of course the point is to push myself and to step outside of my comfort zone so I am still looking but the priority going forward will be the kind of writing I do because I have something to say, for me.
Finish a personal writing project for each of my own blogs. I have been slacking and spinning my wheels for months and it’s time I gather up some notes, ideas, and inspiration and try for 500 or 1000 words of real writing here and on Zen and Pi. I don’t want to lose sight of my own passions. I don’t want to grow stagnant writing what is easy.
Update: I made progress but I will be honest here and say that I did not do my best. I’m getting more comfortable carving out and devoting large blocks of time to this craft and I ideas are flowing easier every day but finishing is still the greatest obstacle. I’m getting there I promise.
Read 100 pages of Ethics by Benedict de Spinoza. This book isn’t an easy read but I really want to mark it off of my list. The time will be scheduled but at the very least if I could just do 30 minutes of reading before bed every night I think that would be enough. Bonus: Set a new reading goal on Goodreads.
Update: Despite its small size this book is deceptively hard to finish. It is dense and hard to understand though I do find it full of interesting and thought-provoking ideas. It’s not a book I can read before bed (it puts me to sleep) and it isn’t a book I can easily read at work. I must have the energy and be clear of any chance for distraction. Perhaps this is the kind of book that must be read in tandem with something easier and more exciting?
Keep eating right, taking my medication, and resting when I need to. I’m getting better but it has been slow and I have a strong tendency to push my body too hard and to grow lax about my meals and medication the moment I start to feel even remotely like myself. This week I have to remember that I am still quite sick and that I will get sicker again if I don’t take care of myself now.
Update: My meal and medication schedule are become second nature now and I even though I felt better I still stuck to the regime and allowed myself no excuses. I did miss one dose, and I did have a couple of instances where I overate or ate what something I knew would cause discomfort but taking the difficulty and the willpower involved I’m choosing to view my efforts in the most positive light possible.
This week I will not be too hard on myself if the temptation to skirt the schedule and these goals and instead get out and enjoy my time away from work becomes too strong. It’s still a vacation even if I’m not leaving town. I won’t close myself off entirely to spontaneity or serendipity. Time spend in joy or sunshine is never time wasted or time that should be regretted.
P.S. For a look at how I fared last week check out my updated post for Week 52.