Personal Reflection

20 Goals For 2018

A new year means new goals I’ll try to achieve but probably won’t.

  1. Read more.
  2. Review more.
  3. Write more.
  4. Publish more.
  5. Blog more.
  6. Comment more.
  7. Create more.
  8. Dance more.
  9. Stretch more.
  10. Exercise more.
  11. Sleep more.
  12. Eat more.
  13. Journal more.
  14. Study more.
  15. Work more.
  16. Give more.
  17. Smile more.
  18. Laugh more.
  19. Love more.
  20. Live more.

Less is more, Herminia.

What are your goals for the new year? Let me know in the comments below.

Personal Reflection

My Goals For The Rest Of 2017

Since it’s somehow October, I figured I should lay out some goals for myself for the end of the year.

Schooling

I’ve been meaning to be a better student this year. I’m not sure if I’ll do anything differently, though. Work hard, work smart, and work well.

Reading

When I have busy, hectic days, reading tends to suffer more than anything else. I have sort of a binge mindset with books. But it’s tough to block out an entire hour or two to read. My lowball goal is to post at least two reviews a month, meaning I’ll need to read two books. I wish I was a faster reader and reviewer, but when it comes to reading for fun, I want to enjoy the experience. I rather not rush myself for no real reason.

Writing

Honestly, writing sometimes falls by the wayside as well. I’m not too sure what my goal is. I’ve been writing short stories and poems. All summer long, I’ve spent my mornings transcribing old work and editing current projects. I keep sending my babies out into the world. People keep rejecting them. It’s the life of a writer. In a way, I feel a bit lost. I have a lot of doubts, and so I’m not sure what I want right now.

Dancing

I don’t talk much about dance on here, although I really ought to. I’ve been having some great dance sessions as of late. When I told someone about it, she asked me if I’ll ever take dancing to the next level. I won’t. I’ve always danced for myself, and I’m mostly a self-taught dancer. But I’d like to continue stretching, dancing, and conditioning. I feel great. It’s fun. Besides, exercising my body doesn’t hurt my brain.

Blogging

Of course, I save blogging for last. It’s not something I talk about with people in real life. I have my reasons. I also have hit a bit of a weird phase creatively. I seem to fall into routines, ride the same wave over and over again. I hope I’m making sense. I’ve always wanted to write longer posts, but it doesn’t sit right with me. It’s just not who I am to be verbose and wordy. When I edit, I cut out a lot. I’d love to keep posting every day.

These are my goals. What are yours?

Personal Reflection

Feeling Like A Failure

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

I feel like a failure. And I’m doing my best to look on the bright side. I won’t get into all the details. I don’t want to bore you. I failed. I believe I shouldn’t have. But I did.

Knowing me that fire in my belly is burning even brighter now. I’m going to use this failure as a motivator to do better.

I think it’s easy to say I’m dumb or stupid. Right now those aren’t the words I want, much less need to hear. I’m not dumb or stupid. Failing doesn’t mean I’m useless, worthless.

We’re off to a great start to the school year already.

Don’t worry, I didn’t fail a test or anything. I just started school after all. You may be thinking how I failed on my first day back. It was a little bonus challenge. Nothing life changing, world ending.

I think if you know me well enough, you understand my definition of failure is different from everyone else’s.

I’m not sorry for holding myself to a higher standard. I have lofty goals because I know I can reach them. I intend to.

So enjoy following my journey as I fail and fail some more.

I’ll take this experience as an opportunity to learn. Besides humans are always learning. We should be anyway.

Sooner or later, I’ll have other failures on my mind. This one won’t be as important. When all is said and done, none of this will matter.

I’ve always taken failure hard. It’s probably a byproduct of how I’m wired, who I am.

I used to wonder whether it was worse to disappoint someone else or disappoint myself. I know the answer to that now.

I hate disappointing myself. Hate it more than a lot of things and people in this world.

I’ll take disappointing others over myself any day of the week. I can live with letting people down. My heart breaks when I let myself down.

Still, I rather fail and disappoint everyone in the entire universe than not try. I refuse to live with regrets. Wonder what if for the rest of my life.

I know trying and taking risks means opening myself up to failing. There will always be the possibility I fail in the worst way possible. But at least I tried, at least I know.

I may not be as fearless as I once was, but I’m not so afraid of failure that I won’t go after opportunities. Or make them myself for that matter.

 

Writing

How To Make Writing A Habit And Maintain It

I have many bad habits, but I also have a few good ones.

This is my advice for building a habit like writing and not breaking it three days in.

Be realistic.

Especially when you’re first starting out. You don’t want to set your sights so high that you have trouble reaching them. That can get discouraging real fast. Look at your life and lifestyle right now. How much time can you realistically commit to writing without letting other things slip or worse, suffer? It’s important you’re honest with yourself when making beginning a new habit.

Block out time.

Whether it’s ten minutes or two hours. Your creative time is sacred. Unless your house is burning down, don’t get up from your seat until you’re done.

Set goals.

Short and long term. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Maybe you want to work for half an hour or perhaps write a thousand words. Besides, it isn’t as daunting to write 500 words every day as it is writing a 50,000 word novel. Having a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish ultimately gives you smaller benchmarks to hit with each writing session. At the very least, you’ll feel like you’re getting things done slowly but surely. It all adds up over the course of a year.

Track your habit.

There are a number of ways to do this. A notebook. An app on your phone. After a few days, you might feel less inclined to break your streak. Hopefully, you’ll push through and keep going even on days you don’t want to.

Hold yourself accountable.

Better yet find a friend to make sure you follow through with your habits and goals. Have someone check in often by asking you about your progress. You can always return the favour.

Use incentives.

Rewards are a great motivator when it comes to getting work done. Take advantage of the things that make you more willing to put pen to paper.

Have non-incentives.

On the other hand, you can have consequences when you procrastinate or make excuses. Monetary ones work well. Give your mom, sister, whoever five dollars every time you skip out on writing. Suddenly you aren’t as inclined to miss a session, huh?

Although I use writing as an example, the advice above can apply for almost any habit you’re trying to establish.

Good luck maintaining your habits!

Personal Reflection

20 Goals As A 20 Year Old

I’ve come up with 20 goals for my 20 year old self.

  1. Worry less.
  2. Have fun.
  3. Put my happiness first.
  4. Ask for help.
  5. Think for myself.
  6. Say yes when I should.
  7. Say no when I shouldn’t.
  8. Move on.
  9. Write more.
  10. Be a better blogger.
  11. Learn from mistakes.
  12. Celebrate the small victories.
  13. Dance like someone is watching.
  14. Look after my health.
  15. Smile at strangers.
  16. Love a lot.
  17. Laugh out loud.
  18. Be mindful.
  19. Enjoy the present.
  20. Live life.

I know a lot of these are commonly used phrases, but I’m a walking cliché.

Personal Reflection · Writing

Doing Better Than Others Versus Doing Better Than Yourself

Although I was obsessed with doing better than others for one year too many, I'm more focused on myself now. I'd like to stay this way moving forward.

I remember a time when I looked at a blogger's stats (followers, views, etc.) and felt discouraged. Defeated even. I wanted to do better than others instead of trying to improve myself.

Even before I made this blog, I strived to beat out the students in my class. For a while, I stopped being concerned with my personal goals because I concentrated so much on the success of other people. Strangers, friends, acquaintances alike.

At some point, I realized doing better than others didn't make me happy. I shouldn't have cared how everyone else did in relation to myself.

So nearly twenty years after I came into this world, I've come to a few conclusions.

I have to define success on my own terms. I won't steal someone's definition and settle with it.

I want to do better than me, myself, and I. Which is why I need to strive to beat my personal best, not the best of another blogger or student.

After all, I'm on my own unique journey. And everyone else around me is on a different one of their own. It's unfair to compare.  

We're all human beings, but we aren't exactly the same. Like comparing apples to oranges. Both are fruits but apples aren't oranges. I'm not you. You are not me.

Besides, I'm happier when I focus on what I'm doing and how well I'm doing. Also, the time I spend asking a peer what they got on a test or peeking at a creator's numbers is better spent practicing my skills. I could be studying harder or blogging more to improve my abilities.

Interestingly enough, I constantly write in my journal that I can do better. One because it's true. And two because I want to. More than anything. I would love nothing more than to become a better writer and blogger. To grow as an artist.

Every day I should do something to ensure I'm moving forward rather than fall behind or stay stagnant.

Going forward, I hope I'll make a conscious effort to be better than I was yesterday.

My goal is to beat my own goals, best my personal records, not those of others.

Writing

22 Lessons I Learned About Writing

These are twenty-two things I have learned as a writer. Or I’m still learning. Or I hope to learn.

  1. Start writing.
  2. Believe in your story.
  3. Take it one word at a time.
  4. Hold onto your dreams.
  5. Pursue your passion.
  6. Set small goals.
  7. Never settle for less than your best.
  8. Make the right sacrifices.
  9. Stay true to your vision.
  10. Write for yourself.
  11. Be your own critic.
  12. Be your own cheerleader.
  13. Don’t let the bad days win.
  14. Talk to other writers.
  15. Accept rejection.
  16. Embrace failure.
  17. Find a support system.
  18. Ask for help when needed.
  19. Exercise your brain and body.
  20. Remember why you started.
  21. Forgive yourself.
  22. Finish your stories.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned?

Writing

My NaNoWriMo 2016 Goal

I want to write every day this month. More specifically, I want to write prose. I might occasionally dabble in some poetry if I feel the need to spice up my writing life. Ideally, in November, I’ll write an entire story about the same characters in the same world. Because the writing gods know just how long it’s been since I’ve started writing a novel and went on to finish one.

Also, I wish someone could transcribe everything I thought in my head. It would make things so much easier. On second thought, maybe not.

Although I love handwriting, I haven’t been the biggest fan of typing. I blame my computer for being slow to start up. Same goes for Microsoft Word. Go figure.

So this NaNo I’m just focusing on one story. Or trying to, at least.

Ideas in my head are great. Having them written down on paper is even better.

That’s the goal. My goal. I’ll worry about everything else later, possibly in December.