Well, let’s see what I’ve done so far…
I did my kettlebell swings and TGUs. Only 12kg swings and 8kg TGUs. It doesn’t take long for me to go from 8kg to 12kg, just getting the practice again since I haven’t done them since breaking the old leg. I felt pretty tired after the swings I have to admit! Scary, as the week before I broke my leg I was planning on getting a 20kg kettlebell as the 16kg was getting too light for swings. 12kg was just a warm up! I was also doing 16kg TGUs pretty easily back then. It’d be nice if I managed to get back to where I was by the time my one year breakiversary rolls around in March!
I’ve also had my Telo-Essence and tidied my room (not that it needed much). So all I need to do are the Rites of Rejuvenation (which I usually do before bed), and something positive (which I will do after this – it will probably involve listening to a confidence or self-esteem subliminal). I may also go out for a walk later when it cools down a little and listen to some music.
Oh, something else I want to achieve this year is better teeth. My teeth aren’t terrible, but I’ve noticed a bit of sensitivity in the molars and receding gums. I periodically start oil pulling and then forget it. I need to get into it a bit more!
Finally, I need to avoid Facebook more. I spend way too much time on it (I have no idea why), and certain things will come up and feed into my issues creating depression/angst/unworthiness blah blah blah. I just don’t need it! And yet… it’s like a stupid addiction.
This means, I’m setting a goal – I guess – to only use Facebook once a day. Wow that seems extraordinarily difficult! A quick scroll first thing in the morning should suffice. Now… to see if I can accomplish it.
I suppose it’s been awhile since I last posted (well, I know it has, just haven’t checked in forever). However, I thought here was as good a place as any to put down my resolutions.
This year I want it to be more about things I DO than things I become. It’s too hard to set firm goals on becoming! I also want to make the goals fairly achievable, so there’s no reason NOT to do them. So, without further ado, here they are… (In no particular order but numbered because it suits me to do so).
- 100 kettlebell swings a day. I want to get back to doing Simple and Sinister, which also includes TGUs, but at a bare minimum I’m going to do the swings. Weight is irrelevant for the goal, but the minimum will be 12kg.
- Rites of Rejuvenation. Because I keep meaning to stick with these things, and I have been meaning to do so for umm… over 20 years now since I first found out about them! I started doing them last year, but that didn’t last… and I broke my leg.
- Telo-Essence every day. Yeah, this is stuff I take for longevity ;). Because why not? You only live once and I’m getting chronologically older every day. They stay it all speeds up after 40 so I’m doing my damndest to slow it down.
- Tidy my room daily. Just because. I guess my room is my one little space that’s all my own, especially in this tiny house I’m currently in. It’s so much nicer when it’s neat and tidy!
- Do something positive for my mental health every day. This could involve just having a walk and incorporating positive thoughts, or listening to meditation/subliminal stuff if I really need it. My self-esteem has taken a beating, and I’m finding myself falling into old habits of self-flagellation and self-criticism which pushes me into feelings of unworthiness etc. etc. I don’t want to be that person any more! I want to feel happy being by myself and single, and not care about being in a relationship or being loved. To do this I need to feel good about ME as I am!
- Write a page every day. Just a page! Enough said :).
So, I reckon that’s about it. I won’t set weight loss goals or anything like that. I find I end up disappointing myself! Yes, I definitely want to cut some fat. I’m currently not overweight, but I’m not in the shape I could be in. I have some self-esteem issues surrounding my post-baby middle aged body, exacerbated by being single! I am also not setting career goals as I don’t have 100% control over that. I want to do the best I can in the job I’m in.
At the moment, that means being on a 6 month secondment that could lead to something more or could be cut short (I’m in a bit of a Schroedinger’s Cat situation with that, as I know if I’m offered an ongoing role at my official job, they will try and get me back early… and as it is my official workplace called yesterday and left two messages which may indeed be pertaining to this, and in fact, probably are, as I’m fairly certain that if they didn’t want to offer me ongoing they’d send me an email to let me know). Well, that all sounds a bit convoluted, I know! I like the position I’m currently in, and if I had the opportunity to go ongoing at it I’d jump at it. If I don’t get the opportunity I AT LEAST want to finish my secondment. However, if that meant giving up ongoing at my official job it could mean I end up going back as a casual and not ending up with the security I need, either. Mostly, it’s the system screwing me over right now ;). Going back to the original job doesn’t automatically exclude me from EVER getting back to the job I’ve got now, but the pathway would be more of a challenge. Worse yet, I’ve just started 6 days off so don’t have the chance to speak to the manager where I currently am to discuss my options. Ahh well… time will tell what happens! A year ago I couldn’t even have imagined working where I am now at all.
So what else? Apart from increasing my fitness and strength again (which took a big old beating when I broke my leg in March), I want to get back into writing, for the fun of it if nothing else. I used to have dreams of being a published author, and I’m reaching a point now where I don’t care so much if I publish or not. I have another career which has the potential to go places, and I enjoy it. It’s bloody different to anything I thought I’d be doing, EVER, but that just makes it more interesting! BUT to keep writing and completing books is something I’d also like to achieve. Whether it goes anywhere or not becomes irrelevant if I’m doing it for fun. Even if a book was picked up by a small publisher, it’s unlikely it would make my name or my fortune, but it would be a nice experience.
I haven’t said much about diet, either, because I tend to get a bit “all or nothing”. My aim is to start the new year with the Slow Carb Diet (as outlined in The 4 Hour Body), but I’m not going to start TODAY despite it being January 1. Why not? Well, I think because every time I try to be perfect from Jan 1st, I fail. When I fail, I feel like I’ve stuffed up and there’s no going back. I don’t want to have that all or nothing attitude this year. Besides, the Slow Carb Diet doesn’t call for perfect eating every day, as there’s a cheat day once a week where everything’s fair game, so it’s not like a diet or program where I can’t eat any crap ever or I’ve done my dash. Today I have a LOAD of yesterday’s delicious scalloped potatoes to eat, so yeah… not starting yet. Not to mention that after the huge rib eye steaks last night, plus the meager amount of potato I could fit in (and a few drinkies) there was no room for dessert. Needless to say, the dessert will be coming out tonight.
Ultimately, I just want to get the basics down pat this year. I want to strive to be my best (but I usually want that anyway), and I don’t want to beat myself up when things don’t go to plan!
So I’m about to do some kettlebell swings. I used to easily do 100 16kg swings in under 5 minutes, and now I’m back to 12kg!!! I’ll time it and keep track of how I’m going. I KNOW that last time I started I improved pretty quickly, just UGH hate starting over. It sucks!
Phew! Lungs are burning after that. Can’t believe how much my fitness has deteriorated!!! I mean, I can walk forever (except my feet get sore lol), but intense stuff I’m struggling with. I managed it JUST within the 5 minutes. I know it will get easier over time so I just have to do it every day.
Anyway, what else? I had a valuer come through my house today, so fingers crossed the valuation comes in okay. It’s a bit of a mess… and should be better when I sell it as I’m getting new curtains and carpets, verandah, and probably bench in the kitchen (as well as replacing a scratched up door).
I’ve got another night shift so I should get a bit of napping done today, too. Any excuse LOL. Well, it’s pretty legitimate! I’ve got three nights in a row so need to rest up all I can. ARGH can’t believe how much my lungs and chest ache. Wow. Anyway, I put it here as a record. It’s important to be able to see progress and sometimes writing it down is the best way.
At some stage I also have to go to the shops to get some much needed stuff (toilet paper and dishwashing tablets for example…) I can’t really be stuffed but it’s necessary! Debating whether to have a short nap now or wait until later (I’ll probably nap this evening too… I have to leave at about 9:45 or so to get there for 11:00).
It’s funny that the last post was my birthday last year where I was complaining about being 41 and having no job, career etc. because things have changed!
Late July last year I went to an information session about becoming a prison officer and decided to go for it and try to get a job. So, guess what happened? I’m now a prison officer and pretty happy to be one at that! My only disappointment is when I applied for the job I applied to be casual only (rather than try for ongoing), and after I started I changed my mind and realised I wanted to be ongoing. Oh well! (I did find out that if I’d applied for ongoing, I’d have got it, so there is that, I guess).
What else? Well, in the middle of last year or so I finally qualified to bout in Roller Derby and by the end of the year had my green star!! Exciting times. Well… Until March 7th this year when I BROKE MY LEG in three places (so no roller derby since, AND I had to take 10 weeks off work).
The upside of this is I miraculously lost weight. The downside is I lost muscle, and I’ve been a little unmotivated about starting from scratch again (even though I really have no choice in the matter). I need a bit of a kick in the pants when it comes to working out these days! It’s ages since I set foot in the gym or swung my kettlebells (and I was getting pretty heavily into them earlier this year, and was certainly reaping the rewards).
The thing is, I NEED to achieve my strength and fitness again to be able to pursue the career pathway of choice (still in the prison system). Hmm. I guess I’m coming back here for a bit of accountability! I need to go over what I’ve done in the day and what I need to do. Eating I’ve been pretty good with the past few weeks with a 30 day paleo challenge (put on by the Paleo Cafe in town). BUT after this week I’m going to have to start making my own food again and getting more organised!
Oh, and I’m also buying land and building a house. That’s kinda exciting! I’m getting my current house valued tomorrow by the bank so they’ll hopefully fix my land loan ASAP. Fingers crossed the valuation comes out pretty high! The house is a bit of a disaster (I worked 9 days straight then had 2 days off, and one of those I was busy all day, and then back to work.) I didn’t work today (oh, well I got home from work about 9 am so technically I DID work today, but it doesn’t feel like it as I went to bed after getting home so it feels like a new day) and I’m not working tomorrow (well I’ve got another night shift starting tomorrow night which is technically a shift for the next day). I was offered a shift for tonight but I turned it down (although extra shifts pay double time so I’m a bit sad having to say no!) I should add I’m currently on an 8 week fixed term contract which treats me like an ongoing staff member for the 8 weeks. As a casual there are no overtime shifts!
Annd… yesterday my youngest son went away to King Island! Right when I started this blog my oldest was about to go away… well that was 2.5 years ago now, believe it or not. I survived then, and I’ll survive now… but it’s a looong time without one of the kids! My daughter will be going next year, so I won’t even have that gap between them, which is a bit scary. It was also that time that I started decluttering the house (and made a pretty good go of it too, I might add). It’s too bad the house didn’t STAY CLEAN! As now it’s the opposite. Ahh well… It would be good if I had a bit more time to work on it, but alas I actually have a day job now. (Well not a “day” job… an “anytime at all” job really).
So, that’s enough waffling. I just need to keep pressing forward with my goals! I haven’t weighed myself in awhile (didn’t plan to weigh until the 30 days of paleo was up). Unfortunately while my eating has been good, my exercise hasn’t so the results could be a little ho hum. Some days at work I walk a LOT but that’s not the same as pumping iron!
I need to get back into some sort of habit. For example, Simple & Sinister with the kettlebells (starting from light again) and basic weights in the gym (StrongLifts).
So, today is my birthday. I’m 41! I’m also feeling pretty pissed off. Yeah, great for a birthday, huh? I guess I’m angry at myself that I’m 41 and have nothing much to show for my years on this planet. I’m currently unemployed. I’m not writing regularly. And I’m not where I had planned to be or hoped to be at this stage of my life.
My biggest issue is procrastination. I’ve been putting off writing because I’m doing a course (in order to get a J.O.B.) which I need to do to, you know, earn money. I’m shitty that I have a gazillion bills due in the next week, and it’s going to be hard to pay them. I always figured that by the time I got to my 40s I’d have it all figured out!
So yeah, this post is really to kick myself in the rear end! I need to start writing every day, even if it’s just for an hour (or less!). I need to start focusing on the goals I REALLY want to achieve, and spend less time stuffing around. Yes, I need to finish my course and get a job… but that’s not the be all and end all of my life!
That all being said, there are some things I’m happy about. For starters, I’m stronger now than I’ve ever been before. I’m fitter now than I have been in a long time. I’m also the leanest I’ve been in a good 10 years. So it’s not all doom and gloom ;). I have somewhat progressed since this time last year!
However, there are those other aspects of my life that need dedication and work, and I need to get stuck into them too ;).
So from now on I’m going to keep better track of what I’m doing and where I’m up to! No more bumming around or putting off the important stuff until a later date.
Okay, so today I wanted to post a little rant. I think by now most people have seen Maria Kang’s “What’s Your Excuse?” picture. I’ve read a LOT of comments about it, many of which were pretty negative and rather hateful. A lot of people were incensed by the title, as if it was a personal attack against them. Many said such things as: “I’m completely happy with my body so I don’t NEED an excuse!” and they’d then act all butthurt because Maria seemed to be suggesting that they were making up excuses. Hmm.
So here’s the thing… if you’re completely 100% happy with the way you are then the message is NOT FOR YOU. It NEVER WAS.
So who is the message for? Well, that’s easy. It’s for everyone who uses excuses to justify why they can’t be the way they WANT TO BE. And yes, I’m emphasising those three words for good reason.
You see, there are a lot of people in this world who aren’t happy with the way they are. They may be unhappy with their weight or health, their relationships, their careers, or pretty much anything else in their lives. Quite often they’d like to change (or at least they THINK they’d like to change) but they don’t because they believe they can’t. Quite often their “can’t” is nothing more than an excuse.
Does “I’d love to get a better paying job but I can’t go back to school because I can’t afford it…” or “I’d love to eat more healthily but my husband and kids love junk food…” or “I’d love to get in shape but I don’t have time to exercise because I’ve got a full time job and three kids…” sound familiar to you? Hmm? All these things are EXCUSES. Not reasons, but excuses. (And yes, I’ve been guilty of calling reasons excuses too.)
The truth is that where there’s a will, there’s a way (cliche, I know). If you want a new job instead of bemoaning your lack of funds to further your education, start investigating your options. What would you like to be doing? Are there any free courses you could take that would improve your career chances? Are there any scholarships you could apply for? If you want to start eating healthy but the rest of your family don’t, why not just make yourself something different? Yeah, I know… not brain surgery, is it? You’ve got a full time job and little kids so don’t have time to exercise? Why not put on an exercise DVD on and get your kids to join in with you? Maybe your partner could look after the kids for half an hour while you work out. Perhaps you’re single? It’s tougher, but can you do it first thing in the morning? Or in the evening when you’re kids are in bed?
The point is, it’s easy to make up excuses as to why you can’t do or achieve something. It’s a little harder to realise that they ARE excuses and decide to work around them. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is Maria’s message. She could quite easily have used her three young kids, busy job etc. etc. as a reason for not exercising and eating well, but she didn’t. And all she’s saying is that YOU shouldn’t either!
And again… for those who are 100% completely happy with they way they are? The message is NOT FOR YOU. So drop the offended feelings! You’re lashing out at someone who was trying to help those who are NOT HAPPY with the status quo.
So understand this: Maria is NOT trying to shame you. It was NEVER about shaming. It was all about getting excuse makers to recognise their excuses and to try to change them around. That’s all. She NEVER EVER said that you had to look like her, or that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t. She’s not judging you for the shape and size you are. She just wants you to be happy! And if you’re not, she wants to help you get there by forcing yourself to recognise the excuses you’re making to yourself every day.
Annnd what a start to the day! For starters, I couldn’t sleep. I was awake at 5 after having a restless night, and then I tossed and turned for another hour, before my husband decided it was cuddle time… and that made me too hot, so I got up.
Then, I head to my office, stuff around a bit, before going back into the living room and notice one of the cats trying to poo in my daughter’s bag! Well, BAD CAT I think, and lift him up and he hisses at me. Oh dear… I start to suspect something is wrong (duh) as he looks to be walking uncomfortably. I see him go to the litter tray (which needs changing) and try to go. Nothing. I begin to suspect he is constipated! I change the litter tray, and he tries to go again… and then again… then he tries to go in a box… then on a towel (by this time I’m just letting him try wherever).
I give him a bowl of wet food with a bit of coconut oil mixed in (loosens up people!!) and he eats a tiny bit, but I can’t get him to eat more. He wants to come in my office, so I bring in a new litter tray, his food and a glass of water. He did jump on the desk (which is kinda good… I guess… and he gave me a little purr) and now he’s sprawled napping on the floor. But still, no poo so I’ll have to take him to the vet. Big Sigh. It’s a public holiday… typical! No idea what it will cost me as I’ll have to call the emergency vet, no doubt. But he’s my special boy and I don’t want to wait around in case it could be serious (I don’t know how long it’s been since he’s gone, after all… the downside to having multiple cats is that there are always multiple poos and if one doesn’t go for awhile, it’s not easy to tell).
Part of the problem may be that he eats dry food (as he prefers it), and while he drinks water (obviously) this may not be enough to prevent him from getting constipated. He’s also getting older (will be 11 this month) so he’s not a young kitty any more!
So now I bide my time until 9 when I’ll call the vet. AND annoyingly my regular cat cage has been loaned out, so I’ve got to test out the new soft cat cage a friend gave me. I haven’t tried transporting a cat in it before! (The other one is a little broken anyway).
So that’s the start to the new year! Ahh well, these are the things that happen.
Good news is kitty managed to go toilet. Took awhile though ;). Annnd my other cat will be regular since he ate some of the “special” food I prepared. Oh well!
As for the rest of today. Well, I got up early… that’s good. I also ate Pods. That’s bad. I felt a bit ick, achy, sore throat, and sore back (stupid back). I didn’t get nearly enough sleep which is part of the reason for this (and why I should always take my sleep supplements first *sigh*). Oh, and I’ve had two bad drinks! (One was a chai from the last tin of chai I will build… errm it’s not the “real” chai tea, more one of those yummy latte mixes. The other was my daughter’s English Breakfast tea latte… she went out with a friend and had forgotten to drink it). So, not a good start nutrition wise lol.
Still, I’m not counting that as a BAD thing. I get too much of a perfectionist attitude most New Year’s Days and when I fail, I fall off the wagon. The point is… there is no wagon and I’m not falling. Not really. I do have the intention to eat better and cleaner this year, as I know it’s better for my body and my mind, but if I set myself up to fail totally by being a perfectionist, I’ll only fall harder. Better to just ease into it when things starting get back towards normality. (You know, when I DON’T have any junk left in the house).
Also, my husband may have sort of fixed my Internet. The thing is, the Internet was working fine for my son (despite me being the one actually plugged into the modem) but there was something to do with the setup and the channels and a bunch of stuff I don’t understand, that seemed to be affecting mine. At the moment I’m using the wireless and it seems to be working better than it did before. Hooray! The lack of Internet was really affecting my ability to work (I need to do some research and get some images for the book I’m working on, and I can’t do that without a fully functional Internet).
Anyway, after my ho hum day I’m making some pumpkin soup for dinner (lots of leftover Christmas pumpkin) and we’ll probably eat steak sandwiches (yes, I know… BREAD will be involved). Not perfect, by any stretch, that’s me!
Oh, and I’m getting back stuck into my brain training today! I’ve neglected it for far, far too long. Poor brain! Ugh… as soon as I tried Internet went on the fritz again. *Sigh*. Hmm so I’m going to have to try something else (or get my husband onto it, because I don’t really “get” the whole setup thing… and unfortunately he’s forgotten some important thing too).
Anyway, tomorrow I’ll try and get back into things more. As in… I’ll be going to the gym! It’ll be my second workout for the week, and the only one my husband will be going to ALAS because it’s NOT my bench press workout and that’s the one I need him for. Bench will be “interesting” while he’s away… I’ll try and keep going up in weight, but I won’t be able to push it super hard because I don’t want to fail with no spotter (it’s not dangerous at my level, just moderately uncomfortable and embarrassing, as I’ll have to roll the bar off me haha). Oh well, I’ll get a good idea whether I can keep pushing for a final rep or not (like I did last time).
Along with that, I’m going to start fixing the old eating. It won’t be 100% (as I still have my lovely chai) but I’ll be ditching the bread. Hmm. Or maybe not quite (just remembered we ate pizza for dinner and there’s leftover lol). But at least I’ll get to the gym! I’ll also try and get stuck back into the book I’m currently working on so I can get it finished off and published. I’m looking forward to getting back into my FICTION! I also want to start planning some sort of horror novel, as I’m going to a writing workshop/paranormal investigation thingy in February that’s put on by a small press publisher (of mostly horror type fiction) and it’s apparently only quite a smallish group of us going, and we have the opportunity to give him a pitch! Will be a good experience, anyway.
That, and finish the romantic suspense for publication, and work on my mystery which I’ll send to a regular publisher first before self publishing (just because I want to give it a good shot first!)
So yeah, more waffles to start the new year. Today was a rainy old day. My little miss visited a friend for half the day, and I did some reading and napping (after last night’s lousy sleep and all). My body was a bit achy but I’ll get over it (still pumping iron tomorrow!). I’m going to have my sleep recovery drink (as it seems to work better than the other natural sleep supplement I’ve got… bummer cause it costs a lot more too!) even though I generally prefer to take it on lifting nights (so it lasts longer and because those are the nights where I really need solid recovery).
So what are my other thoughts as the first day of the new year creeps to an end? Just to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and to be further ahead to where I want to be each and every day! This means doing something productive (today doesn’t feel THAT productive, but I did read some of The Confidence Gap which is self development and all that). Oh, I also wrote a few notes on my phone for an idea I’d had for a scene in a book. Well a mini scene. More a vignette ;). But it was something! I didn’t want to lose the thoughts that I’d had… and while they were a little bit lost by the time I recorded them, hopefully I got enough that I can use it!
And another year is nearly done. Scary, really! It’s amazing how fast the past year just flew by, and it doesn’t seem long ago at all that it was this time last year. There I was, looking forward to sending all the kids off to the same school, nervous about my oldest spending first term away on King Island, and the fact that it’s all a year in the past is somewhat scary!
Now, all three kids are in high school (or will be in a month’s time when school starts back), the oldest heading into year 10 and the baby into year 7 (baby who is almost 12 and as tall as her mum now!)
So it’s time to plan what I want to achieve in the new year. I don’t really like New Year’s Resolutions. Hmm, well, actually I DO like to set them, but I don’t like to be so rigid that they fail within days. So instead I want to set some reasonable, achievable (hopefully!) goals for the year.
One thing I managed to do in 2013 was lose some of my excess weight. In fact, I managed to get to the lightest I’d been since 2003, so that’s no small achievement (still fatter than 1993 though!). I want to finish 2014 at my goal weight though. Or should I say, goal body fat percentage, as “weight” per se doesn’t mean much. I still have about 6-7kg of pure fat to remove, and I want to work pretty seriously on that. No, I don’t want to be “skinny” but I DO want to be cut!! Yes, I’ve never had six pack abs before, even when I was at my thinnest, and that’s what I want for 2014!
I also want to achieve advanced strength levels for my weight (according to at least one set of strength standards, anyway). It shouldn’t be THAT hard to do, to be honest, if I work at it. I also want to be able to do full chin ups and pull ups! That’s something I’ve wanted for awhile, but now I’m closer than ever before. Quite honestly, if I lose 3kg of fat, I should actually be able to do a proper chin up, I’m like THAT close!
I want to stick with StrongLifts until I’ve got through the entire program (including stalls, deloads, moving down to 3×3 etc) before I get into my next power lifting program (which will be an intermediate/advanced program). So really, I just want to keep powerlifting and keep myself motivated to keep going even when it gets scary and difficult! I need to get over the fear of squat failure as well ;). I’m sooo afraid to make an ass of myself and have to ditch the bar it’s just not funny! It would be awesome if I had a home gym setup, but where I live now it’s impossible (I’d be less afraid of ditching the bar if there was no one there to see it happen).
And this reminds me that more than ever I have to force myself to do the scary stuff, especially when it’s scary! Whether that means making a call I don’t want to make, or squatting a weight that I’m not sure I can squat (and getting stuck and dumping the bar on the safeties) it doesn’t matter! I just have to stop letting fear hold me back.
Then there are the career goals. This is one area of my life that’s been a constant struggle. I know a lot of my problem has been quitting due to fear of failure (or believing that I’ve already failed), and I need to suck it up and get past that. I need to not let failure get in my way! The most successful people are those who HAVE failed, but instead of quitting, they kept pressing on. So, that’s what I need to do! I’m not going to set a particular income goal or anything like that, but what I DO want is to have at least a low to average income by the end of the year (doesn’t sound like much, but we’re talking about doing it off my own bat rather than getting a job… so I mean, working hard but working when *I* choose to work, and being able to work around other commitments rather than for a boss who wants me in an office between particular hours).
Is it doable? Well thousands and thousands of others have done it, so YES it is. However, it’s also something that’s not easy, and requires persistence and the ability to keep pushing past failure. It’s being willing to put myself out there and face constant rejection and negativity (which isn’t much fun). But that’s the way life is! If I want to make it I can’t always play it “safe” and protect myself. I have to face my fears and keep going even when it kinda sucks.
I also want to be a more involved parent throughout the next year. This means not leaving the kids so much to their own devices when they’re supposed to be doing homework or studying! I actually need to get on their backs a little bit about it, to really help them achieve what they’re capable of.
I want to get back to eating better as well. I was doing quite well when I went grain free, and I need to get back to that. Unfortunately, I don’t respond well to a diet with wheat, and it affects me physically and emotionally. I need to pretty much eliminate it for a few months and see what I’m actually capable of being without it. I suffer from quite terrible anxiety, and this seems to be exacerbated by eating poorly. I know of several people who have turned their lives around by ditching grain products and processed foods, and I need to give that a really, really good shot.
I also want to formulate some more positive organisation habits through the year. In 2013 I decluttered and cleaned the entire house and it was GREAT but it didn’t last! While the house isn’t as bad as it was (well, there’s less stuff, and some of it hasn’t had a chance to majorly mess yet) it’s not being kept the way I envisaged and many areas are quite messy again. I want to go back and do another really good tidy, and actually put some habits in place to KEEP it that way. It’s tough, because I’ve got messy kids but it IS possible to keep on top of mess if you’ve got a routine in place, so I want to work towards that.
I also need to continue working towards general self development. I’ve neglected my brain training lately (doesn’t help that the Internet’s not behaving well) but I want to do that at least 5 times a week! Exercising my brain is at least as important as exercising my body. I also need to get back into my motivation/self development training.
So there are a few goals, and they encompass quite a bit really! Let’s see how we go ;).
Quick Sunday night wrap up here (it’s past 11 and I’m tired).
Next week I want to get the editing finished on the manuscript I’m working on, and I want to get a little written each day for my NaNo book (which stalled after the end of November, and now it’s half way through December and I haven’t looked at it in ages).
I want to get to the gym three times (I only went ONCE last week, which is incredibly slack for me).
I want to focus on eating better (yeah, I’ve really REALLY let that one slide recently, and it’s starting to show).
I want to do my brain training every day (been totally slack… no more excuses).
I want to spend at least some quality time with the family. I have had some time on and off but not enough on!! Went to the derby Xmas party today with the littlest, but the boys didn’t want to come, so that’s less time with them.
Anyway, now I’m truly stuffed (skated for hours today, and that on top of eating poorly and neglecting my other exercise means I’m not at my best) so it’s off to bed!
Yes, book has been edited, converted etc. etc. and I’ve done the final upload to Amazon. Just as a funny aside, I’ve been through this manuscript a zillion times… honestly. I thought I’d fixed EVERYTHING. But today when I uploaded it Amazon found a couple of potential spelling mistakes. I expect these to be words like “Hmmm” or whatever, that aren’t actually words, but no… they were “aquatinted” and “hessian”. Hessian was fine, but aquatinted??!! Yes, somehow the word acquainted (which I’d evidently spelled incorrectly initially) had accidentally been corrected to aquatinted!! And of course, I’d never noticed. Fortunately, after a few more minutes of stuffing around, it was fixed.
So now I just wait for Amazon to (hopefully) approve it! (Not sure why they wouldn’t… but it’s a worry anyway). I’m also doing an inexpensive Fiverr promotion of my other book, which I’ve reduced to 99c for awhile. It had dropped quite a lot in the paid rankings and wasn’t making many sales anymore. It does, however, have a couple of new reviews, which is nice to see (I would like to get a 4 or 3 star review though, as all 5 star reviews looks a bit suss!).
I’m hoping that the new book, being in a more popular genre overall, will do a little better. It’s tough though, because of course there’s a lot more competition as well! I just don’t want to spend more money on promotion than I actually make back on sales, so I want to be pretty careful how I go about promotion etc. as I aim to get the book some reviews and some traction. Once it’s up and published, I’m going to do a Fiverr order for a free promotion where he’ll also submit it to a list of over 100 reviewers. Hopefully THAT will help generate at least a few new reviews. I need to wait until the new book is up and running first, though.
And now that’s done, I have to get stuck into editing the next one. I need to get some publishing momentum and get a lot of books up there on Kindle. I also have to trust in the process and not give up because it’s not working initially (this is the problem I had after getting my first book up. Because nothing much happened, I sort of gave up and just ignored it). There’s always the fear that you’re wasting your time to no end when starting something like this. It’s a lot of effort to write a book, and then there’s the money etc. you spend on getting a cover, getting promotion etc. etc. I’m really not sure whether the 10,000 book download promotion I used for the last one has been worth it, because ultimately it didn’t get enough sales or traction to make it worthwhile. Yes, it rose in the lists, and yes I sold a bunch of copies BUT that wasn’t enough overall. There’s no point in paying a lot of money for something that doesn’t even break even, so I have to be extremely careful what I choose to do (which is why I’m currently looking at Fiverr gigs).
With the new book I’m also going to start by building a website, creating a Facebook fan page, and maybe a Twitter account as well. This way, I may be able to generate a list of subscribers or get enough fans for the books so that when new books are released they’ll automatically get some downloads/reviews etc. The best promotion, after all, is the least expensive!
So, back to the old editing game for awhile! I have FIVE more manuscripts to get polished up and onto Kindle! Three more are romances (including one that’s romantic suspense) and then there’s a fantasy and a YA fantasy. I’ll probably do those two last, simply because I want to get these romance ones off in order to build momentum.
Honestly, I don’t want to spend the rest of my days as a romance author (although it’s not a dreadful genre, it’s not my favourite), but if it’s what I have to do to generate income, then I’ll do it! My goal is decent, sustainable income by the end of 2014. Yes, there are people making millions, and some making several thousand a month, but I’d be happy with $3000 a month by the end of the year. That’s close to a full time income. Would I like more? Hell yes! Would I be reasonably happy with less? Well yeah, depending on how much less it is! (If it’s under $1000 a month, probably not that happy, but at the same time if it’s building some sort of momentum then I won’t be heartbroken either).
I really want to be making enough money to cover our basic expenses and the kids’ education. That probably won’t happen for awhile unless things really take off, though! So as long as I get the basic expenses covered, at least in the short term, I’ll be satisfied.
I’m actually a little nervous about attacking the next book, because it’s one I wrote quite quickly a little over 13 years ago, and I haven’t read it in that many years! I have a feeling it will need a LOT of substantial editing to make it publishable, and I’ll probably experience a lot of cringe moments. But I need to keep my eye on the prize and stick with it!!
Final update of the day…
Well I’ve purchased a couple of Fiverr promotions – one for each book. (One will promote a paid book, and the other free only so I’ve set a couple of free days for the new one, and reduced the price of the old for the other promo). I’ve also set up a Facebook fan page for the new pen name as well, and decided to promote the page. I’ll see what happens with that! It hasn’t got much information, and of course no one will have heard of the author so it may not go anywhere. Not too fussed though, at least not yet. I’ll end up editing the manuscript by adding in stuff like Twitter and FB information as well as the website info and more authorish stuff.
I’ve also set up a Twitter account and an author central account on Amazon for my new pen name. It’s a bit of a challenge on Amazon, because you can only have one author central account, even if you have a bunch of pen names. Hmm.
I printed out a draft of the next novel I’m going to work on, but I haven’t started editing yet! I think I put it off a bit… naughty me! Well come Monday I’ll HAVE to get stuck into it, as it needs a lot of work. I honestly can’t even remember what the book’s about (well I have some vague notion, but that’s about it) so it will be very interesting. I’d love to get it out there fairly quickly so I can really work at building up momentum.
As for other stuff… my eating and exercise haven’t gone all that brilliantly this past week. I’m feeling over full at the moment, which is never a good sign! I also missed gym Friday and didn’t end up going today, which means I only went twice last week (which is very low for me). That will DEFINITELY have to change, especially as we’re entering holiday season, and I’ll be getting less exercise when derby training ends for the year (as it is there’s no training tomorrow due to a bout). I’ve basically only got two skating sessions left for the year, so I really need to focus on gym for fitness, strength AND keeping the fat monster at bay!
Eating, I need to focus more on. I’m still IFing, which is going pretty well, but I think I’m overeating the rest of the day. I also haven’t been calculating calories lately, which hasn’t been helping. It really helps me stay focused to know EXACTLY how much I’m eating daily!
And alongside all this, we need to work on some holiday stuff with the kids during the week! We have a gingerbread village to assemble, and we still need to put up the tree. We also need to make some effort (when the weather’s good) to all get out of the house and go places (FREE places, like the lake for a BBQ and a walk, or a bike ride or something).
So, lots to think about anyway. As it is, it’s about time for me to go to bed. I have to do scoreboard for the two bouts tomorrow and I’ve never done it before, so I’m not really looking forward to it (after all the scoreboard is a kind of important thing as all the spectators can see it and will be keeping an eye on it!). I just reassure myself that if anything gets stuffed up, it CAN be fixed. *Gulp*.