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At the beginning of 2011, I set out with some pretty specific goals for the year. I ran across a recent suggestion that people forgo the January New Year’s goals and resolutions in favor of a more broadened “year-in-review and goals adjustment” timed to match your birthday. I don’t really know that it makes that much difference whether you look at what’s going on in January, or at your birthday, or just on some random day. It just so happens that it was my 45th birthday on Friday, and it was also Rosh Hashanah. What better way than to lump the two holidays together for an excuse to make a report on my progress? Sure, I’m not Jewish, but that’s no reason to quibble.

Important goals should be looked at much more often than once a year. I know I’ve had an entire year go by only to have me look at the things I didn’t get to and think, “What the heck? How did that year fly right by me?” I don’t know if it’s just me, but the speed at which years seem to move has gotten faster, not slower. So, in this post I laid out my goals for 2011. And, in this post, I did a mid-year review. Given that I only have three months left, I decided I had to figure out how to finish the things that I haven’t done and revise my projections. I think revision is a good idea so that I don’t sit back and stop making progress in the areas where I have succeeded and change things so I have some chance of meeting the goals that are likely doomed for failure without some adjustment.

So here we go with the update:
1: Reach My Goal Weight:
Ulster Fries, High Tea, and Cadbury Flakes were just the challenges for June. I’ve been to Fogo de Chao in Atlanta and a wedding with the killer buffet of the century, weathered a few other challenges and am at the lowest weight I’ve been since before I got married. I actually don’t know exactly what my goal weight “should” be, but I’m close…so very close. I think another five or ten pounds and I might be there. Can I do it with the next three months–the heaviest foodie and party months of the year–coming up? I’m going to say probably. I’ve been flatlining that scale since late August, but I do weigh less than my man by a few pounds. I’ve also told my personal trainer that I want him to kick my ass at every session between now and the end of the year. He seems willing to comply. I can hardly lift my arms above my head today.

The Duotrope submissions tracker helps me keep things sorted neatly.

2: Submit At Least Three Short Stories for Publication
Done. And, I’ve submitted one story a couple of times, so, technically speaking, I’m up to four submissions. One story is e-published, one was politely rejected, and the third that I submitted just last week has been accepted into an anthology that will go to press in February 2012. I have one more story that I’m polishing up and will be submitting by the end of this week–so I’ve met and exceeded the original goal. I will amend the original goal by adding at least two more short-stories by the end of this year and the first draft of a novella destined for the adult market. (It’s short, only 60K and my NaNoWriMo time will be fully devoted toward that goal.) This year, I am NOT going to do TWO NaNoWriMo projects as the 100K I did last fall practically killed me mentally.

3: Actively Help and Support My Writing Group
This is probably the biggest fail of the year for me. That story I wrote about being read back in June is the SAME story I’m sending out next week. So, while I got some great feedback in June, I’m still making the revisions. The group was very hit and miss as our main organizer was out of the country last year and the rest of us are just not so great at organizing us. B. is back in town, and we’re back into the swing of things this fall. Yay. I need to just accept that I won’t be doing much more than reading, reviewing, writing and attending the group and rely heavily on others to actually set the date and order the pizza. However, the support and help by being a good reader is important, so I don’t feel like I have been a complete loser here. So, the amended goal is: read everything the other members submit and give valuable, thoughtful feedback on their writing and be grateful for what they give me in return.

4: Read All My Book Group Books
Not doing much better. Does reading a complete trilogy when we only picked the first book count toward other failed endeavors? Sigh. I love reading, but I no longer will read just anything. It used to be that I could pick up any book and read it start to finish. Now? If I don’t like it, find it uninteresting, or the style annoys me, I’ll put it down. Pearl S. Buck’s Peony was one of them…On the other hand, I couldn’t put down The Hunger Games, and had to start the second book as soon as I finished the first. I think this goal is officially amended to, “Try hard to read all my book group books, and finish those that I can.”

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