Monday, July 2, 2012

Six Month Blog/Challenge/Book Check-up:

I figured that since it was the beginning of July, it would be a good time to check in on all things related to the blog. Not only will this help me see what I have accomplished this year, but it'll give me some goals for the remaining six months of 2012. :)

I went into this year will a lot of optimism. I already know, before looking at anything, that I have not made as much progress with my reading for the 250 project. I really stepped away from it for a couple of months in the spring to concentrate on reading for my classes, so now I am going to be focusing a bit more on those classics I am supposed to.

Below are the goals I made at the end of December...let's see how I'm doing! My comments are in italics.

Reading:

  • Continue project list-main goal is to hit book 200 by the beginning of 2013: Well, I am close to hitting 150, which means I would have 50 titles left to read by the end of the year. I'm not sure how realistic this goal is, so I think I may amend it to hitting 185 :)
  • 10 "fun" reads throughout the year: Well, this has totally crashed and burned. I went into 2012 hoping to be a bit more committed to the list books, but a number of things have come up-readalongs for other classics not on my list, The Classics Club, reading books for teaching requirements, and other events just too good to pass up. I'm not mad about not hitting this goal, but I am going to minimize the amount of "fun" reads from this point forward (as in, not reading one right after the other to the point that I get distracted).
  • 30 minutes of reading/day minimum: This is the one goal I have been rocking this year. I can only think of a handful of days where I didn't read-due to conferences, heavy grading days, etc, so this is good. I would really like to get this time up-especially now that it is summer and I have been reading A LOT more per day in the last two weeks.
Blogging:
  • Continue to post a minimum of 3x a week: Yep, rocking this one too. I've been making sure to put all my posts in my planner, which is helping me be a bit more organized in regards to obligations for reading and knowing when posts are going up. It might seem super anal to do that, but it is helping me SO MUCH.
  • Sponsor 2 themed months: The second themed month is under way as I type! I think both events (Shakespeare Reading Month in January and A Victorian Celebration) have been really successful. I am thinking of hosting an American Realism Event later this year, and I am planning an Modernism Event for 2013. I really love the community aspects of the events, and while they are a bit draining to plan, I really love hosting them!
  • Include more personal posts: I have been working on injecting more of myself into the blog, and I think I have been fairly successful in doing so.
Interaction:
  • Comment on blogs! I am still working on commenting on a regular basis! It is something I really struggle with!
  • Discover new-to-me book blogs! I have been marking quite a few new blogs from the event that I am planning on spending more time looking at when I can. But I have added quite a few blogs to my reader.
  • Participate in the two Dewey's readathons in 2012-April and October: I sorta participated in April's, but I am really looking forward to October's!
  • Participate in other "classic-minded" events during 2012: I have been trying to seek out classics-themed events when possible. I definitely think The Classics Club counts! I also think another blogger is planning an Austen and Shakespeare event...those will definitely happen for me!
  • Continue my presence on twitter...(@alliedanielson): When I made my twitter account, I really wanted to associate it with my name as well as my blog. I kind of regret that decision, as students seem to stumble on it fairly often. With protected tweets, that makes things easier for me. I keep going back and forth on whether to change my handle...
  • Continue maintaining my goodreads page and update with past books read and future books: I love Goodreads. What did I do before I started using the site? :)
Challenges (I went a little challenge happy this year...which I am regretting a bit):
  • I can quit any challenge by November 30, 2012 if I am not close to completing it without any guilt: Well, my challenges are going...meh. I will totally complete the Victorian Challenge I signed up for, but I am not sure about any of the others. The other two I really want to complete are the TBR challenge and Chunkster challenges. Come August, I am really going to focus on those two to see if I can knock them out. :)
Personal:
  • Go to the gym 3x per week: Ummm....nope. I started out really well, but failed back in March. Part of it is that I hate our gym. It is small and crowded. We've been looking at some other gyms to join, so I am hoping to pick up my exercising.
  • Weight Loss goal: 50 lbs in 2012: Well, considering I have gained weight in the last couple of months, I really need to focus on this. When I say I need to make changes in my life regarding finding a balance, it really has to do with weight and my own self-esteem. This is one of the things I am really going to focus on this summer.
  • Apply to grad school by May 1 and decide on a program to start in the fall: I applied, but I think I am going to defer until the winter semester. More on that another time.
  • By the end of 2012, I should have a clearer goal in mind-either working in a permanent teaching position, or doing something else. I can't keep subbing: Working towards this...
  • 1 date night per month :): We've been doing a good job of spending time together on a regular basis, so this one is definitely a success.
  • Spend time on my other hobbies: crafting, scrapbooking, etc.: I haven't done too much with my other hobbies (mostly for lack of time with teaching obligations), but now that I am only working one job, I have pulled out some crocheting projects to finish in the evenings.
  • Cook 3x per week: I started out really strong with this in the beginning of the year, but when I started working some weeknights and weekends, I started to crash and burn. It's been picking up again the last couple of weeks, but I really want some new recipes to make!
  • Develop a daily cleaning routine: Again, I started out really good, but I fizzled out. Time to get back in the groove! I've found that setting a timer and going crazy for a set amount of time (15-20 minutes) REALLY helps!

I think I am doing pretty good, but you can see that I need to put more focus on my personal goals for the year. If that means I am a "slacker" in regards to my reading, so be it. :) 

What are your goals for the rest of 2012? Do you have any awesome recipes I can steal? ;) 

24 comments:

  1. Good luck with your goals. I get tired just reading them. Maybe a goal is to not have so many goals! Simple recipe I fall back on is to put a whole chicken into a pot with some water and seasonings and then whack in 40 cloves or so of unpeeled garlic. Slow cook it on stove top for a few hours until meat falls off the bone. Put chicken on crusty bread, squeeze soft garlic on it and have a salad. Easy as anything and really good. Can get sandwiches out of it the next day. For work!! Happy page turning. Pam

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    1. I know that I go goal crazy! :) I'm a task-oriented person. If I have a mission in mind, I go nuts reaching for it.

      And that chicken sounds delicious! I will definitely give it a try!

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  2. Great work on everything, Allie! Even keeping track of all this is quite a feat! I always envy your organizational skills.

    And sign-ups & announcement for Austen in August are going up later today, actually!

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    1. Ha! Matt just makes fun of my organization! But that would be because he just doesn't care. ;)

      And YAY! So excited for some Austen!

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  3. Wow, I am very impressed! I wish I was this organized with my blog.

    I'm also very intrigued by the American Realism Month idea -- tell me more!

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    1. I'm just a nutcase. :)

      I'm probably going to have the event in November or December, and it'll focus on a lot of writers around the turn of the 20th century-Henry James, Edith Wharton, etc. It's another of my favorite time periods in literature, so I'm hoping people will be up for it!

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  4. I think it is very important that you and your partner find time to spend together. As long as you manage to do it and both are happy, happiness is almost granted, so congrats! Loving someone and being loved too is definitely a huge success ;)

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    1. I couldn't have said it better! We work hard to be in tune with each other and communicate-that's the most important part of our relationship!

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  5. I've been trying to get better about regular house cleaning, but so far I'm not doing great.

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    1. House cleaning always seems to fall to the bottom of my priority list. And now that I am taking over more of the chores because of Matt's new job, it is really not my cup of tea...but doing it in spurts makes it seem less awful.

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  6. I am organized to a crippling level. I want to ditch all my challenges out the window, but I'm resisting. I keep wasting time coming up with reading "systems." I get overwhelmed by the number of good books I want to read/reread and it overwhelms me. Next year -- I tell myself -- I am going to do one challenge at a time and not overlap and double-dip and make 900 million lists. Rap me over the head if you see me going crazy next year!

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    1. Lol. Vice versa! I over-commit myself all the time! Everything just sounds so amazing and fun and I want to be involved in EVERYTHING. :) Next year, I am only allowing myself 4 challenges. Any more than that and I'll go crazy.

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  7. Our gym has a $8.95 a month trial offer. Even if you only do it for a month-it'll get you started. Why don't you come over and see if you like it. I actually started going earlier in the morning again(7 a.m.), it helps me to get on track and get it done, so no excuses.

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    1. Yeah, that might be an option. We're also looking at Lifetime, since Matt qualifies for a student discount and it's so close (and ginormous). I'd also really like the idea of swimming laps since my hips and knees having been bothering me really bad recently.

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  8. Boo to small, crowded gyms! I hope you find a better one to use. I hope now that you're down to one job for the summer you have more time to do some of those things that fizzled out when you started working more often. That two-job thing must be rough!!

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    1. It sucked. :) It's nice to have two days off a week! I think I went like...2 months without a day off. Don't want to do that again!

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  9. Hey girl - I've got some great recipes to send your way. They're mostly healthy and fairly quick (two of my "musts" for home cooking!) I'll try to e-mail you sometime this week.

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    1. That would be awesome! Thank you!

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  10. Good for you! Regarding your quest to comment on blogs and discover new ones, I'd love it if you checked out mine at bringoutthecanon.wordpress.com. I just barely started it. I read your blog regularly and would love any feedback you had!

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    1. I will check it out! Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Well, it sounds like you're doing well on quite a few of your goals. I think "personal" types of goals are harder to meet, at least that's true for me. Good luck with your goals for the second half of the year!

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    1. Agreed. I always struggle with them!

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  12. I've cheated and hired a cleaning service to come in every other week. They do a much better job than I ever could and for me the money I spend is worth the time savings.
    You have a lot on your plate -- I think even completing a portion of your goals should be considered a success. Best of luck to you for the rest of the year.

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    1. I don't know if my husband would let me. :) But it sounds amazing. I just hate cleaning...especially bathrooms! UGH.

      And thank you!

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