Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goals for March 2012.

I decided at the end of January to create monthly goals in an effort to help myself be a little more organized in all aspects of my life. I wasn't sure if I was going to keep this up, but after a month of working towards my little mini-goals, I found that they worked for me. :)

The first thing I am going to do is recap what I had planned for February. My little insights will be next to the original goals in italics (and you can find the February post by clicking here). I think I did reasonably well all things considered. I neglected some things in favor of other opportunities! A little further down I have stuff outlined for March.

Grad School:
  • Revisit requirements for the three programs I am interested in. Create a timeline for due dates, etc. This is pretty much done. I am still applying to all 3!
  • Write to old professors for letters of recommendation, etc. I am working with 2 professors, but I need a third. Would it be appropriate to ask someone I am currently working with?
  • Draft personal statement Not done. I outlined some ideas, but I am struggling with this a bit.
  • Continue working on my current piece The writing I did do this month was on the same piece I started in November, so hurrah!
  • Write 20,000 new words this month  Ha! I only wrote about 2,000 words this month (I blame all the reading), so not even
  • Continue writing in my journal 3x per week  I'll give myself credit for this. I wrote about once a week, and that is a fine pace for now. I know it'll pick up once I start teaching.
Blog Related:
  • Finish the two Dickens titles I have selected for the month (David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby) in celebration of his birthday I managed to finish David Copperfield. I think I could have plowed through Nicholas Nickleby in the last few days if I hadn't stopped to read a couple of books for the new teaching job.
  • Make progress in War and Peace (Hoping to get to 120 chapters) Haven't even opened it. If I intend on rereading it by the end of June, I need to at least start it this month
  • Start Les Miserables Haven't touched this one either. I have plans to start it in a couple more days so that I can hit the first checkpoint on the 18th.
  • Read Roots for the readalong Success!
  • Read other books off my project list if time. :) After realizing I needed to read some books before starting the new job, I neglected the list for awhile. I'm okay with it and I still had a great reading month.
Crafts: I'm considering this entire section a FAIL. I ended up organizing my recipe binder instead of some of these because it was more urgent. I have pictures picked out, just need to order them. We'll just scratch this section.
  • Finish my senior scrapbook (from my senior year of high school. Seriously, I need to finish it)
  • Finish crocheting my mom's scarf (been half done for a year now)
  • Print some wedding pictures to put in our frames...we've been married for over two years. This needs to be done.
  • Continue to try one new recipe a week (I might be combining this into my weekly update posts in my continued effort to make the blog more "me" than just books). I think I averaged it out to 2.5 new recipes a week! We had a lot of yummy dinners this month and I'm getting a bit more confident in the ktichen
  • Use my crock pot more (inspired a bit by Trish and this post) Also a big success. I used the crock pot to cook a few new things, including a yummy pot roast on Sunday (it was SOOOO good).
  • Clean out our second bedroom and organize (seriously, it is our dumping room) I actually went organizing crazy and went through almost everything in the apartment. The only thing that needs a good going through is our big coat closet. Matt also has a few boxes of junk he needs to organize.
  • Continue my "ten-minute" clean-ups every night (basically I set the timer and clean up for ten minutes every night and stop when the timer goes off-very helpful in getting rid of daily clutter, etc.) This is probably the most helpful thing I have done for myself!
  • Go to the gym 3x per week I'm going to be honest and say it was probably only 1x per week. With the mild weather, I've been doing a lot of walking.
  • Work-out videos and Wii Fit 3x per week
  • Carry water with me everywhere! Matt makes fun of my water bottles, so success!
  • Continue my diet! I did better this month than last, but I still need to improve.

Grad School:
  • Finish Personal Statement 
  • Order transcripts from MSU
  • Hopefully get letters of rec back?
  • Continue progress on WIP-Add 5,000 to it?
  • Continue weekly journal writing
Blog Related:
  • Finish Nicholas Nickleby
  • Start Les Miserables-hit first checkpoint
  • Participate in Adam's Magical March event (finish the books I selected)
Crafty/Domestic Goodness:
  • One new recipe/week
  • Pack my lunches the night before (I sometimes have the habit of skipping lunch while teaching)
  • Continue to cook 1 new recipe a week 
  • Work on scrapbook since it was a fail in February
  • Put our pictures in frames!
  • In bed by 10:30 on school nights :)
  • Water, water everywhere! (I'm hoping for 3 bottles during the day at school)
  • No getting overworked with school stuff!

There you have it! I'm hoping that getting back into a normal schedule will help me as I start teaching again. Keeping regular hours and staying busy always makes me more productive!


  1. Wow, you got a lot accomplished in February. Well done! Good luck with your plans for March.

    1. Thanks Amanda! I think that setting these kinds of goals is really helpful!

  2. Excellent! I am going back to school for a degree in Art History. Been wanting to study it for a while so just decided to take the plunge. After that...we shall see.

    What 3 programs are you looking into?

    1. I'm looking at two schools. I'm applying to the English program at both and the Counseling program at one. :)

  3. Well done for February! I like your idea of one new recipe a week: I like cooking, but not very adventurous of late... All I seem to eat is stir fry!

    1. That's part of the reason I decided to do this. It has really helped liven up our eating. Sometimes all I try is a side dish, and sometimes something bigger. :)

  4. Great job!

    It could be fine to ask someone from work (a supervisor/manager) to write a recommendation for you - but this really depends on what they could say about you (it still has to demonstrate solid knowledge of how you would perform academically) and what program you are applying to... if you're applying for a Master's of Arts in Teaching or a Master's in English - then asking for a recommendation from a supervising teacher could be just fine, particularly if he/she is in the English/Humanities department (where you ultimately want to be?). I'm not entirely sure what degree you're seeking, though, so this could be off-base.

    1. Thanks for the advice. I'm looking at programs in English and Counseling. I just wanted to make sure that one recommendation from someone other than an old professor would be acceptable. :)

  5. Awesome job! You accomplished so many things this month, I'm impressed. Good luck with your goals for March!

  6. I love your 10 minute clean up with the timer thing - I may have to start trying that. Not that my house isn't usually picked up to begin with but I have lots that could be picked up daily!

    1. It helps me SO MUCH. Matt cracks up almost every night because I run around for 10 minutes trying to clean as much as possible. It amazes me how much clutter accumulates in one day!

  7. I love the way you have this set up to comment on your goals from the month before. That way there's less pressure to finish it all. And I LOVE that you set goals for yourself beyond reading. :D

    Best of luck with all of this, Allie! It's going to be an awesome Spring.

    1. Thanks Jillian!

      I'm trying to work on some other areas to avoid some bouts of angry feelings. With not working the last few months, it was too easy to slip into that, so keeping myself busy with all kinds of things helps me stay on track. :)

      And i can't wait for April!

  8. I'm currently applying to grad school programs in England, and they've all specified that it would be appropriate to have a professional reference if they can comment on your ability on the subject (I think this would particularly apply to you with all your English teaching experience). Obviously, I'm not sure if this translates to American pg programs, but it seems like it would be a fairly universal practice. Good luck with the process, it's turning out to be more work than I thought it would be! Sometimes that's a good thing...

  9. I'm so so so glad that the roast turned out well! I'm hoping to make your pork tenderloin recipe this weekend (the 4 hour cooking time is tough).

    Also--on Sunday I made this spaghetti sauce (used 1 lb hamburger and 1 lb hot italian sausage) and it is SO good. Plus so much to put in the freezer! ;)