February 2018 Goals

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I don't know if you've noticed, but I apparently like to torture my dog in that I like to dress him up in silly costumes. He's just the perfect model for a nice over-the-top styled shoot, am I right? I thought it might be fun to celebrate all my monthly goals this year with a Wegman-esque photo shoot based on seasonal themes, so let's hear it for this month's little cupid! But of course before we get started with February, let's recap January:

January 2018 Goals:

Writing

Post at least twice a week. Success! I put up 13 posts in January and committed to posting three times a week going forward, so we'll see how that goes! 😱😊

Type up 15 pages of fiction writing. Ugh, yikes. I typed up about 7 pages this month and I literally just did that in the past 30 minutes because I didn't want this to be a total dud. This brings my total to:

Metric Value
Words 18,071
Characters 96,796
Pages (paperback) 47

Forty-seven pages sounds impressive, but 30 minutes ago I had 40 pages (and I've had 40 pages since November or so), so 7 pages in 30 minutes? It means I can work quickly on progress when I take time to sit down and focus, but I spent less than an hour typing up my writing this month...and I did it all at the eleventh hour, oops. I should do better for next month.

Photography

Catch up on some photo editing. Ehhhh some photos got out the door this month, but not as many as should have. Exciting news though! I delivered the last round of photos for the Wake County Parks project with the Turnipseed Nature Preserve photos, so that's exciting! The brochure with an overview of the parks system is now starting to show up in the wild so you might find some of my photos if you're at a Wake Gov park! (No guarantees though. My photos aren't on the individual parks brochures yet, just the overview brochure.)

Running

Get past my Achilles tendon injury. I've tried hard to run easy and rest, and it looks like I've made good progress getting past my injury. I'm still not 100% healed, but it's much better! I still experience a lot of pain if I try to do any hard sprints or run hills, but at least I'm able to do long runs with minimal soreness and stiffness afterwards.

Hiking/Backpacking

Go on at least two "Sunday Stroll" hikes. Yes, success! My dad and I went to Bass Lake and Little River, so it was great to get out despite some cold weather. And snow. Ugh, dirty melting snow.

Do another Mountains-to-Sea Trail hike. This didn't happen. We had some injuries in the hiking group, so unfortunately this was put off.

BONUS GOAL! Go to a hiking meetup. I set as a resolution to get social with my hiking, and so this month I already started connecting with other hikers via a Girls Who Hike meet-up in South Mountains State Park.

Climbing

Climb at least once a week. I did this! I also got my friend Kristen (one of my good friends and running partner) to try climbing, so I'm excited to do even more climbing this year with more friends. The official total for this month is 6 climbs...though I suspect I forgot to track one climbing session and the real number is 7. Oh well, at least I met my goal.

Other Fitness

Try out a new yoga studio. This didn't happen, but I did do some yoga at home at least to try to stretch out the Achilles tendon and my calf.

Travel

Start setting aside potential dates for travel in 2018. I've started making plans, so exciting!

Personal

Read two books! I did something I hardly ever do: I quit on a book. There are a handful of books that I just can't stomach to finish, and Pretties*, the second book of the Uglies* series by Scott Westerfield, was one of those books. I'm always hypercritical when men try to write from the perspective of a woman (much less a teenage girl) and if the book at all falls flat or sounds inauthentic then I call foul. So much of the book was dedicated to the stupidity of the protagonist and her desperation to fit in - something that the author seemed to both scorn and prop up in the character. Good thing this was an audiobook and I could just yell at Alexa to stop reading it, otherwise I would have thrown this book against the wall angrily like I'm sometimes known to do. #badliz

On the positive side at least I finally read Nicole Sarrocco's Lit by Lightning* novel. Dr. Sarrocco was actually one of my professors at NCSSM and she's an amazing teacher and writer. I went to one of her book tour events when she released this debut novel in 2015 and then I went to her book release in 2016 for her sequel Ill-Mannered Ghosts. I'm excited to read her sequel in February and encourage you all to pick up Lit by Lightning* if you get a chance. If you like my writing but you've always wanted a bit more neuroticism, a healthy dose of the paranormal, and considerably better manners then you'll love Dr. Sarrocco's work.

And so! Without further ado (except for maybe one collective "Awwwwwww" at the pupper pic) I present to you my February 2018 goals!

February 2018 Goals:

My little angel!

Writing

Post at least three times a week. I've committed to a blogging schedule! Posts are now going up Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6am, plus a special monthly goals post on the first of every month (like this post!), so keep an eye out for these regular updates!

Type up 20 pages of fiction writing. Since I failed terribly at 15 pages in January then I have to make up for it. Go go go go go!

Finish my first draft of an e-book. As if it weren't enough that I was blogging and writing a novel, I stupidly started an e-book. In my defense some friends asked for advice on visiting Italy since I studied abroad in Rome, and so I started typing up a brain dump of useful information. Next thing I knew I had 17 pages of "So You Want to Visit Rome: An American’s Guide to Mostly Avoid Pissing Off the Italians* (*success not guaranteed)" sitting in my Google Drive. Want some practical advice, a few interesting anecdotes, and lots of snark? Keep an eye out for an announcement on how to get the e-book once it's done!

Photography

Catch up on some photo editing. It's time to get that photo editing work done. Seriously.

Running

Run 50 miles in February. I think I'm training for a full marathon this spring. I think. The jury's still out on this, but so far so good.

Do some trail runs. Trails. Running. These are two of my favorite things, so why not make them even more better (ha) by combining them?!

Hiking/Backpacking

Go on at least two "Sunday Stroll" hikes. And maybe convince some other friends to join my dad and me on these hikes!

Do another Mountains-to-Sea Trail hike. Or do a micro-adventure with Callie and Lisa, either way I'll be happy :)

Climbing

Climb at least twice a week. I think I can do this! It helps having more friends who want to climb with you.

Work some V0+/V1 problems. I'm finally feeling comfortable playing around with some harder problems, so I think it's time to spend some good attention on that.

Other Fitness

Try out a new yoga studio. But forreals. I need to stop whining about this and just do it.

Travel

Finalize April plans. Sooooo I'm going on a road trip in April! To Florida. I know, not the place you'd expect me to vacation in, but I'm going to a conference in Orlando so I figure I'll make the most of it, explore Congaree or Okefenokee or some other fun swamp along the way, do the conference, maybe see Harry Potter world (for as many references to Harry Potter that I make it's shocking I haven't been yet!) and see the grandparents. Because yeah, I should probably see them again before it's too late (again, #badliz).

Personal

Read two books! My goal was to read 20 books in 2018, so I better get going if I hope to make that goal!

What do you think? Do you have any February goals? Let me know in the comments!

Cupid dog! I had quite a few lessons learned with this first styled monthly goals shoot with Ryder (I should probably bathe and comb him before shoots #badliz, his front legs are stacked awkwardly wide, the backdrop needed to be washed and/or ironed and then clipped and taped smooth, etc.), but hey, it's still a cute start. Got any fun seasonal props lying around? I'm definitely looking for cute things for future months!

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