Start of a new year – start of some new goals. As with last year, I’ll be tracking my twelve mostly on this page throughout the year. Check back and see how my progress is going!
1. Find another hobby outside of writing – INCOMPLETE: so here’s the thing, I love to write. I’ve been loving to write since I first sat down next to my dad in front of the keyboard as he was writing a song. And since then, it’s kind of been my longest running hobby for some time. I mean, there’s things that I do like listen to music and shop as well, but I don’t think you can count those. But there’s a problem. I write for a living. I write on this blog. I write even in the things I do to volunteer (magazine workshop with the teens, secretary/newsletter editor/social media manager for the Fund, and secretary for Toastmasters). I write for the books. OMG – all I do is WRITE! I even quoted Julia Roberts (from Eat, Pray, Love) on my Skype profile when she answers the question, “What’s the one word that describes you?” She answers, “writer.” They proceeded to tell her that write was what she did, not who she is… so I need to find something that I love to do other than write and I want this year to be the year I do so.
February update – ummm, still working on this, but I loved taking pics on my recent trip to Europe and I kind of have a feeling I’m going to really enjoy my painting class I want to take in the next couple months.
May update: Still no traction on this. Will I ever get to my painting class? Only God knows the answer to that question.
June update – I’m back to watching HGTV this month (kind of randomly) and I ended up being forced to go to G Streets Fabric this month (will talk about further down the list) and bought tons of fabric, which actually got me pretty giddy. Maybe home decorating can be my new hobby??? We’ll see.
July update – would sleeping count as a hobby? I’d like to be able to add that to my list of things I like to do lol. Although, I didn’t get much of it in July so this one still isn’t working out well.
September – November updates: The past few months have seen me kind of get into this photography thing a bit and also get back to enjoying doing HGTV type stuff in my apartment. I’m going to count that as some type of progress.
December update – I kind of like the photography thing and still want to take the painting class, but still more progress needs to be done on this goal.
2. Do something for fun on my own at least once a month – COMPLETED: I came up with this one as I was telling a good friend that she should do it. It would help her get out of the house, be more active, enjoy life more, and not be so dependent on others to do these things. Well, heck – I want to do all those things as well. So I took it for myself as well. PLUS, it’s kind of the next step to my goal from last year of going to see a movie on my own. I enjoyed that… let’s hope I enjoy this one too.
January’s update – I went to the Newseum on my own this month. Spent four hours there and had a blast. I need to go back though, because I only had a chance to see about 40% of the museum.
February update – I went through and found my style icon and worked on redefining my wardrobe. In order to do that, I had to go shopping. On my own. And so I did… it was a blast, but I should never be allowed to shop on my own again lol
March update – Does church count? I went on my own this month, but I’m not really using that for my March update bc I’m sure I’ll be going on my own for most of the rest of the months of the year. Really, for this month – I went to this chocolate tasting event and it was pretty cool. I was the youngest person there, but still pretty cool.
April update – I went to the National Portrait Gallery this month. It was initially supposed to be just so that I could see the Black List exhibit before it closed, but I ended up staying for hours and visited 3 more exhibits while I was there.
May update: This month was my BIRTHDAY, so I did several things on my own that were fun. They included: getting a pedicure, shopping, going to see Think Like a Man, and more.
June update – Tried to go on a food tour on Saturday, June 23rd, but the tour guide never showed up. Instead, I took myself on a nice lunch date!
July update – This month, I went to go see a one-man act about the life and thoughts of my fav rapper, Tupac Shakur. It was certainly an interesting experience. Gotta give credit to TdotB for putting me on to it.
August update – So this month was a little sketchy y’all. I will readily admit that. The only thing I could maybe say I did was go to a happy hour without my girls. It was interesting, to say the least. Not because of my company – but just because I realized how much we as women tend to rely on having our girls with us when at functions like that.
September – November updates: In September, I started my new membership at WSC in DC and began going to classes on my own. Usually, I’m one of those people that likes to have friends come with her to the gym, but this has been a good experience as well. In October, I went to a conference for work in Louisville, KY on my own and took some time to walk around the city for a bit and enjoy it’s beauty by myself. I haven’t done November’s thing yet, but I’d like to go and get a pedicure at the end of the month. I still haven’t done two things I wanted to do when I first thought of this one: go to a painting class and take a trapeze class. I’m going to try to do at least one of those before the end of the year.
December update – I didn’t have time to take that painting class or the trapeze class yet (2013!), but I did join a bangrha dance class and it’s been fun! Tiring, but fun!
3. Finish the decorative ideas I haven’t completed in my apt, such as covering the floor pillows, putting up more photos, etc… PARTIALLY COMPLETED: Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my fair share of stuff in the apt. You definitely don’t walk into my place and think that there are things that are incomplete. But there are. Sometime after December of last year, I just stopped doing a lot of the ideas I had. I had my new sofas. I had most of the artwork up. I covered the purple pillows on the sofas myself. My bookshelves were completed, etc… But I never did cover those floor pillows (in fact the fabric is still sitting in my living room next to the sofa). I never got those black and white photos of some of the celebrity women I love canvassed or framed to place over my balcony window. I never got my curtains for my bedroom… and now the sofa needs to be washed. Time to stop procrastinating on these things.
January’s update – Haven’t purchased anything yet, but I found a place that can do canvass 8X8 photos for me. Looking to get six or seven of those done to go over the empty space above my balcony doors.
March update – I bought a Living Social coupon for G Street Fabrics and picked out the kind of blinds and curtains I want for my bedroom in a magazine.
June update – So a few months ago, I bought that Living Social coupon for G Streets Fabric and one day this month, I get an alert from LS saying “hey your coupon expires today… you might want to use it.” Or something like that. So I did. AND they were having a sale! So I walked out of there with 5 yards of fabric (red, black&white, black/white/green) and only spent like $3 (which was my tax)!!!
July update – no work being done just yet, but I did see some items in my Ikea and Crate and Barrell catalogs that I’d like to purchase soon, like an organizing shelf for my kitchen to put some of my bigger appliances (like my crockpot, waffle iron, and George Forman Grill) to get them off my counter. I have nooo counter room right now.
August update – I started covering the pillows for my bed with the fabric I bought from G Streets Fabric. I only plan on covering 2 of the 6 decorative pillows I have in there now, and I’ve almost finished one of them. I also saw some pillows that I liked from Bed Bath and Beyond that part of me wants to get. Only problems? They’re $40 each AND I already have 6 decorative pillows on my bed. How many pillows does one need, right? But they’re soooo cute! And would go amazingly with my decor. Paris! London!! C’mon!!
September – November updates: Not done with all the changes yet, but I did cover the two pillows in my bedroom that I wanted to cover and I also recently purchased shelves for my dining room. Both were great additions to the place. I still need to cover the floor pillows in my living room and get curtains for my bedroom. Help!
4. Lose another 20-25 lbs – INCOMPLETE: I lost about 24 last year, but there’s more to be done. Especially since I definitely could have done more at the end of the year, but kinda lazy lol.
January’s update – lost 4 lbs so far! (which is good, considering how badly I’ve been eating since Christmas, and really this 4 lb loss just gets me back to my lowest point of last year… but that’s alright, I should be able to get back on track in February and this is definitely a start).
March update – kind of plateaued on this one. Haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t gained any either. Hopefully, I’ll have a better update by the end of April.
April update – lost 4 lbs!
May update: Lost another 5 lbs, but then I had plenty of birthday goodness, went to New Orleans, and went to Philly. Probably gained it all back, but I refuse to stand on a scale right now lol.
June update – static.
July update – to be continued.
August update – So let me tell y’all, I bought some new workout gear, an athletic swimsuit, swim cap, new running shoes, zumba shoes, etc and plan to start my new gym membership in September. I think this will be good because your girl needs some class structure lol
September – November updates: Well, I started at the gym, but I also did some pretty bad damage to my right pinky toe so that inhibited all that I could do for awhile. But I’m back in the swing of things now. Look out!
5. Complete the next step of the book process – find an agent – INCOMPLETE: pretty self explanatory.
January’s update – I found an agent that seems like she’d be a great fit for me (with the help of a good friend J ). She has a list of questions she suggests that prospective pitchers answer before querying her and I’ve gone through and answered them for myself. This will definitely help in revamping my query letter. Also, she asks for 3 sample chapters for nonfiction books and while I have chapters from last year, I’ve revamped the concept a bit so I need to redo my interviews some. I’ve begun to schedule my 3 people and plan to have the interviews with all three completed by the end of February. I’d also like to have finished writing at least one of the chapters by the end of February.
February update – I finished two of the three chapters this month and responded to an agent’s request to read two chapters of my book. In March, I need to finish the 3rd interview and chapter, so I can send that to the agent I spoke of in January’s update.
March update – I finished the 3rd sample chapter, tweaked my pitch, and completed my nonfiction detailed book proposal. At the end of the month, I sent off all three to an agent I’m really hoping to get.
April update – I’m in that lovely waiting period right now, but I’m working on some things to make me and the book more marketable while I wait.
May update: Waiting period. Still doing work while I wait, including attending the BWB Conference & meeting some awesome people/learning plenty of info (esp at the from Blog to Book panel). But definitely in a waiting period.
June update – Waiting, waiting, waiting. Oh and I’m working on completing 2 more chapters while I wait.
July update – more of the same from June. Except that I haven’t done much writing for the book in awhile. I need to get on it. Someone help!
September – November updates: I took a break on the book for a bit to clear my mind and adjust to getting a new job, but I have plans to get back writing on it at the beginning of December.
December update – I did get back writing on it this month, and I also revamped my book proposal and sent it out to some folks for feedback.
6. Make a point to attend church at least once a month PARTIALLY COMPLETED (as opposed to just watching it online all the time) – My church in DC, that I’m actually a member of, has live webcasts of all of its services. Because of that and because of the fact that it’s not metro accessible, I’ve gotten into the habit of simply watching the service online and not trying to go to the House. But as any church goer will tell you, it’s never really the same. This goal will involve not only the desire, but will also involve me getting a zipcar membership and using it for church at least once a month.
January’s update – Went to church in Philly at CCB’s church. It was really nice and was about the importance of faith – a message that seems to be getting repeated this month so far.
February update – unfortunately, this didn’t work out that well. BUT I found out that my church now has metro shuttles for the morning services at the North Location, so as soon as I spend a Sunday in DC, I’ll be catching that shuttle and making up for Feb. Can we say two times in March???
March update – YAY I made it this month! I thought it would have been twice this month, but the second time I went was technically April 1st so it will count towards April’s month. Either way, it was really nice to be in the place.
April update – Three times this month! Woooot!
May update: May was a little difficult, but I still made it once!
June update – twice this month! Wooot! (and my sis joined me as well)
July update – went once this month.
August – you know what? August was a struggle for many of these. I watched church almost every weekend, but I never made it there this month. I’m going to have to double up next month.
September – November updates: I missed going in September, but I made it once for both October and November. Maybe I can make up for September by going twice in December?
December update – didn’t make it in December, but I also spent a lot of time traveling on Sundays during this month.
7. Increase savings by $3000 – INCOMPLETE Masterful failure from last year. This won’t be easy again, because I have a lot of plans and expenses coming up this year, but I’m hoping to do better. This needs to happen.
February update – masterful failure thus far, but now that my international travel is out of the way, I may be able to start doing something with this one.
March update – slowly but surely getting this started. Once I find out how much I’m getting back from the government, that should also help in this process. I may also have an outside editing opportunity that could help build up the savings account.
April update – still slowly working towards this. Even though I’ve had a couple expenses come up this month, I’ve still been able to save a little bit from each pay check.
June update – I can’t even begin to explain how much of a failure this has been. No really.
July update – LMAO! That’s how I feel about this one lol
September – November updates: You would think getting a new job would have helped this process, huh? You’d be wrong.
December update – I recommitted to this goal in December and have started saving again. So maybe 2013 will be the year this goal actually gets completed?
8. Learn French to the point that I can hold at least a beginning conversation PARTIALLY COMPLETED – So it’s not something I talk about a lot, but a large part of my family is of French descent. But I don’t know a lick of French. Well that’s not true – I know my numbers to ten. Laissez le bon temps rouler. And a few other notables, but that’s really not much. Considering my nieces and nephew are actively learning English, French, and Spanish – I just figure it might behoove me to learn a little of it. Bonus reason – I’m trying to travel to Paris this Spring and I’d like to not be that ignorant American that doesn’t know anything, especially when she’s from New Orleans lol.
January update – Purchased a Living Social coupon for a 6 month subscription to Live Mocha, an online language learning site. French is one of the 39 languages offered on this site. I plan to begin my subscription in February.
February update – I started my French lessons in Feb and after about 2 weeks of taking them, I was able to help out while we were in France. I can’t wait until I get fluent for real.
April update – oh no no no. I haven’t been able to do anything with this this month :(. But I’m hoping that by the end of May, I’ll be done with some of my recent assignments I’ve given myself and I can get back to my French lessons.
June update – so TdotB suggested that I postpone going back to this until late fall/winter because I’ll probably be spending more time inside. I agreed.
September – November updates: Did nothing on this throughout these months, but I plan to get back into this in early December as well.
9. Take at least 2 trips that are not for someone else (ie going to New Orleans for Marley’s graduation doesn’t count) COMPLETED!!! – I tend to take a lot of trips outside of DC, but usually they are for a specific purpose. For example, it’s a good friend or family member’s birthday. But I want to travel just to travel more. I think this goes back to wanting to do more for me. And wanting to travel more as well.
January update – I went to Atlantic City during MLK Weekend. It was short, but it was such a needed trip. I had a blast with two of my faves. Also, I booked my tickets to London and Paris this month. This trip will take place from the end of February through the beginning of March.
February update – Went to London and Paris at the end of February/beginning of March. It ’twas AWESOME!!!
November updates: Even though this is already COMPLETED, I just wanted to point out that I have plans for two more trips next year that are not for other people. I’m starting to like this. Oh, could this be a hobby??
10. Do a bi-monthly podcast for the blog – COMPLETED! So CCB and I were randomly joking about creating a podcast called Sizzles for the blog one night and the more we talked about it, the more it began to sound like it would actually be a good idea. But since I’ve never podcasted before, I don’t want to commit to doing this too often. Once every 2 months seems sufficient.
January update – Looked into what will be needed to do this. Found a site that pretty much spelled it out. On to downloading the materials I need and then trying it out! I won’t be calling it Sizzles, but I’m fairly certain there will be a podcast episode about embarrassing dating moments.
March update – I finally downloaded the software needed to do the podcast. I also joined a free website that will help me post it on the blog. The series will be called Girl Talk and I’ve already figured out what the first episode will entail. Be on the lookout!!! I should have the first one posted by the end of April.
April update – well, I recorded the first one, but the editing process has had to take a back seat lately. Hoping to upload the first podcast in June now.
May update: Girl Talk finally launched this month! Have you listened yet?
June update – Did you notice I did a podcast for June as well? In fact, I’m thinking instead of bi=monthly that it might become a monthly. We’ll see if this works out like I’d like to lol
July update – I hope you listened to this month’s podcast. It was awesomeness! Long, but pure awesomeness!!!
August update – We had another one come out this month! Make sure to check it out 🙂
September – November updates: I missed one month with the podcast, but October had one and November will have one at the end of this week (Friday, November 30th).
December update – posted the last podcast of the year on December 31st!
11. With dating especially, work towards just enjoying the moment and not over-analyzing everything (except for blog purposes). COMPLETED! This would mean when I call my friends, I’m only allowed to speak about what happened not spend time dissecting what it means. – Alright, confession time… I can be really introspective. Did you know this already? You probably did. Well that introspection tends to lead to me over-analyzing too much sometimes. And I’ve been getting comments from my friends that they want me to just enjoy the moment more, so here’s me trying to do that. This might be the hardest of the goals.
January update – I’ve been doing REALLY REALLY well with this – and trust me, there have definitely been times when I could have and WOULD have over analyzed the situation if this had been a month ago. Now, I just need to keep it up.
February update – so I’ve had a few moments, but much less than what would normally occur. It’s a work in progress, folks.
March update – This has been a work in progress. I’m trying to figure out the balance between not over-analyzing and just saying “screw it” and not thinking about it at all. It does help that I haven’t dealt with anyone in a dating capacity this month – but I dropped out of one dating situation and didn’t kill myself with worry about it. I had a few moments at the end of the month, but I checked myself and kept it moving.
April update – despite taking a 49 day course designed to analyze myself, I’ve actually been really good with this this month. Mostly because outside of the course, I’ve been pretty straight on the over-analyzing. Sounds like progress to me!
May update: You’d be surprised to know just how well I’ve been doing on this lately. It’s probably because I haven’t had much time to over-analyze, but still – progress is progress.
June update – smooth sailing! Kinda lol… but we won’t over analyze that “kinda.” Get it? Oh boy lol
July update – I won’t lie. I had a brief freakout over-analyzing moment… and then I remembered, you know what? Life’s so much more fun when I don’t do that. So I stopped. And got rid of the guy who brought on the freakout as well. Sounds like a win win to me! lol
August update – welp, I’m pretty single now (broke up and ended whatever I was working with between July and August), so there hasn’t been much for me to over-analyze on the guy front. And as for everything else, I think I’m getting pretty good at catching myself when I feel like I’m veering that way. And I snap out of it pretty quickly.
September – November updates: Going pretty ok. I’ve had a few setbacks, but like I said previously, I tend to catch myself quickly and snap out of it. I’m working on getting to know someone right now, so this is the real test for not over-thinking things. Outside of dating though, I’ve been good on other fronts – especially with the new job and just with my life in general.
December update – I had a few things happen this month that could have completely thrown this goal out of wack, but thanks to some great friends and a great reminder on this blog, I managed to remain calm and not over-think myself too much into a tizzy. It was touch and go for a second, but I think I came out of it a lot stronger and more assured.
12. Each month, watch one movie about the black experience or with a black cast made before 2000s COMPLETED! i.e. Ms. Jane Pittman, Sounder. -Mandy Pants’ choice for me. – So a bit of background here. MP has been trying to get me to see some of these movies for the past three years now. ugh. BUT we’re going to have fun with this and do something like a movie club. Each month, I’ll try and do a movie-watching party. Maybe one month it’ll be a Blaxploitation party. The next month it’ll be Spike Lee movies. I’m not sure when I’ll sit down to actually watch depressing ass Sounder and Ms. Jane Pittman, but I have a feeling liquor will need to be involved.
January update – So I watched several black experience movies on MLK Day… such as The Express and this movie with Cuba Gooding Jr about the first Black Navy Diver. Do those count? Well, even if they don’t, I also watched Higher Learning this month and Mandy Pants agreed to count that one. One month down!
February update – I watched the Mack at a blaxploitation party for Black History Month. Very umm… interesting lol.
March update – I watched the original Sparkle this month. Looking forward to seeing how they update the new one with Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks later this year.
April update – I watched Crooklyn this month. For some reason, I thought I’d seen this movie before, but apparently I hadn’t. It was a pretty good movie, and apparently one of my besties’ favorite movie (who knew? lol).
May update: I watched Imitation of Life this month. I’m conflicted on how to feel about this movie. So many thoughts though and it was quite intense, esp the scene at the very end.
June update – I watched He Got Game this month and get this, didn’t wait until the last day to do it! That’s literally the first time this year I haven’t done that lol. Progress!
July update – I didn’t do as well as last month, because I found myself watching at the very last minute again, but I am happy to say I watched Claudine this month. It was ummmm…. not what I expected. I think I was hoping for more of an old-school romantic comedy and it had a LOT to do with the main character being on welfare and her beau owing child support. I get why it was really big when it came out, but I was left feeling a bit…. less than enthused.
August update – this month, I watched Too Wong Foo. Y’all listen. This movie? I might need to watch something serious next month lol.
September – November Updates: I watched the Women of Brewster Place in September. Okay, that was way serious and depressing. I think I forgot to watch something in October (oops!), but I watched Delirious by Eddie Murphy in November. I have Shaka Zulu recorded on my DVR to watch in December, but I’ve had it on there for awhile now and keep putting it off. So we’ll see if that happens lol
December update – I finally watched Shaka Zulu this month and oh boy. That movie should definitely make up for me forgetting to watch one in October, that’s for sure.