It’s the end of January, and that means it’s probably time for another progress report on my personal goals for this year.
Exercise: By the end of the month I’d gotten a good exercise rhythm going. I’m settling in to doing weight lifting three times a week, running (or other cardio, but aiming to make it mostly running) three times a week, and having Sunday or Saturday as a rest day each week. I’m doing Couch to 5k, because I’m a predictable workout plan consumer and because while I’m probably capable of forcing myself to run 5k without stopping, this is a much more pleasant way of ramping back up to it and ensuring I don’t burn out. Plus it’s nice to have a program managing my workout structure for a bit.
I’m still wrestling with body goals. Probably something to talk to the therapist about. But for now my weight’s relatively stable, and I’m looking forward to seeing some changes as I start lifting heavier. Now I just have to figure out how to healthily eat enough protein to ensure I can keep improving.
Reading: I finished up Life Debt by Chuck Wendig. It reminded me that a) I fucking love Star Wars, b) EUs are cool, c) someone please hire me to write for their EU, and d) Wendig spins a damn good yarn. I’m looking forward to the final book in the trilogy, Empire’s End, which is coming out at the end of the month.
I also finished From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, my first audiobook of the year. (Though I found I couldn’t listen to it straight through after being stressed out by politics, so I had to listen to it sparingly and went for a more lightweight audiobook at other times.) It’s a really good deep dive connecting modern movements a la Black Lives Matter to the original Civil Rights movement, without being afraid to critique the modern political system, people who were leaders in the original Civil Rights movement, etc. It also reminded me of the specifics of many of the different, tragic stories of police brutality against Black individuals we’ve heard over the years, which was heartbreaking and powerful. The author pulls zero punches, and the book is mighty for it.
I’m now working my way through The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler in audiobook. I’m also still reading Fafherd and the Grey Mouser as well as Falling in Love With Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson. And on my phone I’m slowly chipping away at The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy by Violet Blue.
Writing Consistently: I managed to write every single day in the month of January, which I’m real proud of, even if a lot of it has been silly unpublishable stuff. (Sometimes you need an escape in your writing, you know?) Total words, including blog posts and words added to Nautilus (my RPG): 43071. So, uh, that’s pretty good! Hoping to write some more stuff I can actually send out soon, though.
Languages: It’s been harder to keep up with this, because it turns out the cell phone program I was using for Japanese doesn’t support all the features its desktop version does, which makes studying sentences very hard due to a quirk of the card layouts. (Due to the way the person made the card deck, for sentences I’ll get the key words, but the extra tab that would show the whole sentence isn’t available.) Because of this, alongside a sudden realization that moving to Argentina forever might not be the worst plan I’ve ever had, I’ve been picking up some Spanish on Duolingo again.
Sleeping More: I have failed SO BADLY at this. Hopefully I’ll get more sleep consistently soon. It’d at least be nice to not be falling asleep at work constantly.
Getting Work Out There: I don’t think I’ve done any new submissions lately, which is a shame. Gotta not fall off the submissions treadmill! (>”)>
Self Care: I’ve figured out that I feel a lot better if I get in a workout and a shower before I start my day, which is a good first step. The next thing is probably going to be figuring out a hair care routine, because an Ian with tangled/frizzy hair is a grumpy/uncomfortable Ian. I also need to figure out some self-care stuff I can do at work, because the day job has been harder emotionally lately.
Shaking Up Self-Expression: Made some hair decisions, but I think the hair care routine will have to be strongly in place before I can do it consistently. I’m also going to need to learn how to braid better and more quickly. I’m basically thinking braids along the side of the head, with the long hair brushed over to one side or maybe even straight back in a mane style. Some inspiration/reference photos:
Cutting Down on Noise: I’ve been pretty absent from social media lately. Lots of time off from Twitter, or with minimal access. More time on Facebook, weirdly enough, though I have mixed feelings about that. The absence has been helping with not getting overloaded by the news, though. I’ve also been listening to audiobooks instead of the usual news and politics -centric podcasts I listen to. Anything to try and cut down some of the stress, especially in these crazy-stressful times. More music listening lately, too.
Finishing My Shit: Haven’t been great about this! Hoping to get more time in on Nautilus and The Shivering Deeps this next month.
And that’s a wrap for January! Onwards to February. Oh god how is it already February?!?