Sunday, 5 August 2012

Focus, goals, the Olympics and a IWSG review

This month's IWSG (click the logo in the right-hand column if you don't know what that is) featured a lot of blogs talking about the Olympics and how the athletes strive for years to reach their goals. And I realised I am once again goalless. This happens every so often - it's happened to me now after the release of Cat and The Dreamer, after waiting for what seems like forever for a reply to my follow-up submission and after working hard on a novel that I know is not the right story to follow on from Cat or any of my other projects. It's a story that might work in a couple of years time, but right now I have to focus on novellas/stories that are of a similar theme to Cat - building the brand don't you know!

I've also noticed that I'm addicted to certain things (some of them are not writing-related, but please indulge me):

  • Sugar
  • Social media (yes, my August IWSG post was all about not using social media effectively, but that doesn't mean I can't completely waste my time by just watching all those tweets pour in!)
  • Web sudoku
  • Watching the Olympics
and I've lost focus of other things:
  • Writing
So, I need goals, and I need them NOW! Some people list weekly goals on their blogs, holding themselves accountable, and fulfilling those goals because they've stated them for the world to see. I'm not going to write weekly goals, these are goals addressing the above problems that I hope to have sorted by the end of the year.
  • I am going to get a grip of my sugar - say no to cake/stop buying chocolate with the excuse that I've got writers block/make better post-gym snack choices
  • Further to the above goal, I'm going to get myself back into a proper programme at the gym - after an injury I've been slacking, but my shoulder is better and I really need to do it. I'm certain that by the end of the year I can have a semi-Olympic body
    • Reducing body fat by 5%
    • Lifting 100kg on the leg press (previous PB was 115kg, so definitely achievable, with practise)
    • Complete 30 minutes on the stepper
    • Achieve 1 pull-up (although that's been a goal for the past two years, so don't hold your breath!)
    • Run 5k at a 5% incline in less than 30 minutes
  • I'm going to try to have two complete days away from the internet every week - and write longhand on those days so I'm not tempted to to stray onto the web
  • I'm going to make sure I have at least half an hour after I come in from work before I turn on my laptop
  • I'm going to write at least two drafts of a brand new novella, the idea for which is lurking in my mind, but annoyingly not quite fully formed
Over to you - are you feeling goalless like me, or are you zipping through your to-do list?
Do you have any hints and tips to share?
Is anyone else as Olympic-addicted as me?



48 comments:

  1. Go you! Your longhand days especially resonated with me. Peeking at my FB page, blog, or e-mail just one more time is way too easy of a time wasting sin for me to commit. I'll be cheering you on!

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    1. Thanks Julie - it's so easy to turn 'checking email' into an hour (or more) long session, isn't it?

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  2. 'I'm going to try to have two complete days away from the internet every week - and write longhand on those days so I'm not tempted to to stray onto the web'

    This is intriguing to me. I'm very curious to see how you fare with this one, Annalisa.

    Best luck on all of your efforts, though!

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    1. Lol - I'm curious too! It'll definitely be challenging, but I've bought notebooks in preparation.

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  3. That sounds like a proper health routine!
    I spent the second half of 2011 without a writing goal, but I still had focus elsewhere, which sustained me. I think that is the key.

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    1. I realised I had no goals at all, so all the Olympic talk it really spurred me on - all those athletes who knew 4 or 6 years ago where they'd be in 2012 really inspired me.

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  4. I need your kind of gym routine:) Way to go! Keep us posted.
    I'm addicted to the Olympics, but I always have been. It just blows my mind watching them perform.
    As far as goals, yeah, mine are quite big but I try to keep them to myself as I'm the only one that needs to be accountable. The only one I have on my blog is the word count (which has fallen behind) that will be completed in the fall (I hope). Honestly it's one of the best things that has kept me on track with writing.

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    1. I found keeping my goals to myself made it perfectly acceptable to completely ignore them and cheat! No more cheating!

      My gym routine is quite likely to kill me off - I beast my clients, and now I'm beasting myself... it's only fair :-)

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  5. Wow! Those are awesome goals. I need to deal with my sugar addiction and get exercising too. Even 30 minutes a day would make a difference.

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    1. When I read them back to myself, I realised how hard it would be - especially as I've just had the worst week of eating... oops!

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  6. Holy Krakatoa! those goals are awesome. I'm definitely in a sugar cycle right at the moment, so I'm working on cutting that out as well. As for goals... right now, I'm very task oriented. I have to have my dissertation proofed in just a few weeks, and five costumes to finish by the first of September. I think I may even have some writing time in there, but I'm not holding my breath.

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    1. But at least once the dissertation is done, and the costumes are made, you'll have more time. Good luck with the sugar reduction though. We can do it!

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  7. I absolutely can relate to being goal-confused. I start out w/ great ideas, then get side-tracked, so I have half finished projects. I love your new health goals. I've recently had to jump start my exercise program too, as I gained weight this past year. I have to work harder just to MAINTAIN my current state of unfitness. It seems endless. Good luck w/ the changes you want to make. I've been obsessed w/ the swimming and gymnastics of the Olympics. Up til midnight every night for the first week. SO tired. But, man, those athletes are so impressive. Makes me so proud!

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    1. Weight gain can be so gradual you don't notice. Good luck with your jump start!

      I'm so impressed with the Olympics too. GB have done so much better than I thought they would. I've loved this year - Jubilee, Olympics... We bought a Union Flag tea towel today :-)

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  8. There is something incredibly soothing about writing long hand. I can do that for a bit when I start a WIP, but once it's on the computer, it's usually typing from there on out.

    Also, the sugar thing. We all need vices (I had strawberry milk and two poptars the other day for breakfast. I, too, love sugar :) )

    Best of luck with the goals!

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    1. Thanks Lynn. Although as a fitness instructor, I really should point out that no one needs sugar, it's a vice we can all do without. (I know it's harder to do than say, that's why it's on my goal list!)

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  9. Lord, I'm exhausted just *reading* all of your goals! ;-) Good luck with them all!

    Right now, my main goal is getting my kid up to college (he's just flying the nest!) and staying on schedule with my blog (two blogs a week). This weekend saw me writing after a long break, and I'm very pleased with the results, but know enough about myself to expect too much. Major life changes first and, if I survive these without a breakdown, then the rest will come. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Oh yes, the major family-related changes should certainly come first! Good luck with the writing. Those long breaks are tough to live through, but it's lovely to start up again.

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  10. Wow, Annalisa, those are some serious goals! I am so with you on cutting down on the sugary snacks - I swear I've put on about five pounds in the last couple of weeks LOL!

    And the Olympics. I really had no interest in it, and then I recall watching some swimming, and that was it. I couldn't turn the TV off!

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    1. I totally agree with you about the Olympics - I was never not interested, just thought I'd watch it if I had nothing else to do, but the TV hasn't been on anything else!

      The sugar goal is the most important for me, it's gotten to stupid levels, and I swore it wouldn't!

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  11. My Motivational Monday quote today is all about exercise and moving - too funny. :)

    I read that if you check email first thing in the morning, you're giving yourself over to someone else's agenda and demands right away instead of setting your own. I've been trying it off and on, and the days I don't check email first, I definitely feel more productive.

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    1. I love that suggestion about email. I'm definitely trying that, thanks Madeline.

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  12. I came up with my current goals at the start of the year, after reading a series of posts by Dean W. Smith, where he spoke about differentiating your goals from your dreams. Since then, I'd found the focus that I needed to see some of those goals through. So hopefully, the dreams would eventually come through as well.

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    1. That makes sense. My goals and dreams are pretty separate. When I picture my dream it has a sea view, golden sand, a breeze blowing, and me writing at an antique desk. My goals are above, and not quite so romantic :-)

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  13. Way to get motivated! Good luck! I have been feeling a bit goalless this summer, too. I blame it on having all four kids at home and tell myself that this fall, when I'm down to just two, I will get so much done! (Let's hope it's true!) :)

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    1. And there I am struggling with 2... and 2 for you is easy! I have a friend who has four kids as well, she finds just having two of them for any reason an utter joy.

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  14. Those are some serious goals! Good luck...especially being unplugged from the internet for two days! :)

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    1. I think that might be the toughest challenge - even ahead of cutting sugar and running!

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  15. The Olympics are DEFINITELY cutting into my writing time :(

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    1. And yet I'll miss them when they're over.

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  16. I consider it our patriotic duty to watch the Olympics - so I'm achieving that goal. It's summer time - that allows a certain amount of slacking (in my opinion) However, I admire your goal list and indeed you've inspired me to focus more and I do need to get back to working on my next book, compiling my stories for a small publication, and eating healthier. Cake - mmmmm - not sure if I'll give that up. Good luck!

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    1. I know, cake... mmmm :-) GB are having such a great games, it would be awful to look back on it and say I hadn't seen it... So I agree, it's our duty to support our countries! Mmmmm, cake...

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  17. Wonderful set of goals. I said no to chocolate ten years ago and never looked back.

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    1. I wish I had your willpower. I know it gets easier, the longer you do it, but it's those first five years that would worry me :-)

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  18. I understand this post and your need for goals. Even when I know I have goals, I also need goals for my goals. So, if I have a long term goal, I need to break it down into what I'm doing weekly. I'm so easily distracted. I like that you have recognised this and set about rectifying it. I wish you lots of luck with it. Especially staying offline two days a week! I know that's a difficult one :)

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    1. I've been blundering around without goals for a long time, and it's not been my most productive period. I'm glad I realised now and not later, or I might have wasted another year. Yes, the offline thing... what was I thinking including that!!?

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  19. I'm also feeling goalless at this stage, even though I still have the goal of querying my main WiP and seeing it published. It's just that anything unrelated just fell by the way-side because I have a lot less time than before.

    Still trying to fit everything in.

    But until then, I'm okay writing-wise, to write sporadically, as long as I get edits and querying done. ^_^

    Life wise, I also have some weight to shift, but a lot more than you.

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    1. Once you get to the query/publishing stage writing really does take a back seat - it's important to keep writing, so you've got a follow-up ready to go when the first book is published!

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  20. I've been too buried with a deadline to watch much Olympics. My goal is to keep going, to keep pushing my boulder up the hill. I made a dent, I want to keep going. One project about to wrap up ... starting on the next, the next few after that are stewing on the back burner.

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    1. It sounds like you've got everything on course! Well done, you're where I want to be :-)

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  21. Great goals! Much luck with all of them!

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    1. Thanks Charlie - I'll need luck with some of them at least!

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  23. Doable goals, good luck with them.
    Writing in longhand has made me realise that my handwriting had turned bad..I cringe every time I see those pages...staying away from the net helps a lot in staying focused ..if social media wasn't enough then there is always the excuse of research or brain storming to bind you.
    A very useful Do Not Track application(to keep away pop ups and ad sites from my pages) that I use was the reason I couldn't comment on certain blogs. I have disabled it wherever needed.

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    1. I worry that one day handwriting will be obsolete because we'll have absolutely no need for it... which will be such a shame.

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  24. Oh you're putting me to shame here...I can barely manage some lousy 15 minutes on a tread mill every day. Congrats, you're my hero :).

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    1. Reserve the 'hero' tag until the day I can say I've achieved them! :-)

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  25. Hi Annalisa - I've been away and sort of took sometime off while I did some blog catching up ... and now am working towards next week and settling down to a 'new life'. Like you I'm now into losing some weight - slow but sure .. but am exercising twice a day - stretching and getting those bed-side muscles moving once again ... it'll take time, but once started then it'll be slow but sure - I hope .... cheers Hilary

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Please comment - I love a good chat!