February 29, 2012

Busting My Rut: ROW80 & #writemotivation

I'm training for a half marathon in September to celebrate turning 40. It's something I've always wanted to do. Training, along with writing, has been sidelined by all the sickness and craziness in my life (see Monday's Cat and Mouse post).

But I'm sick, no pun intended, of excuses--no matter how valid they may be. Lately, I've been scouring fitness magazines for tips on running, healthier eating, etc. Earlier today, I ran across an article in my March 2012 Fitness Magazine: Ready for a Change? by Kimberly Goad.

Her advice was to:
Seize the Situation: "How would I feel in five years if I didn't have this in my life?"
Make a Plan
Prepare for Speed Bumps

In the sidebar, she included:

Three Ways to Bust Your Rut
1. Stop Dwelling on the Negative.
2. Don't Make Too Many Changes at Once.
3. Give it Enough Time.

I needed this, and I realized this is why I join writing challenges. So, today I'm seizing the situation, making a plan, and preparing for speed bumps.

First, I joined #writemotivation, spearheaded by the lovely K.T. Hanna at Scribble Muse. It's similar to A Round of Words in 80 Days in that you set realistic goals and report on them. These challenges will work together to keep me on track.

I'm also going to simplify my goals (as part of my plan to prepare for speed bumps). Through rounds of goal-setting exercises, I've realized something about myself--I like to succeed and hit targets. I'd rather set realistic goals and accomplish them than aim for the moon and only get two-thirds of the way there.

My #writemotivation goals (and "test mile" ROW80 goals going forward):
1. Work on my WIP for an hour every day, except Sunday.
2. Do client editing work an hour a day, except Sunday.
3. Read and review a book every 10 days, minimum.

Going forward, I'm going to focus on what I do accomplish (versus what I'm not getting done) and try not to make too many changes without giving it some time.

The only problem with #writemotivation: it suggests Monday check in posts, but I already do Sunday and Wednesday check ins for ROW80. I don't want to do three check in posts per week. Any suggestions?

My ROW80 update

Writing: I joined a #ROW80 wordsprint and wrote 1,085 words in an hour. It just shows what an hour of focus will do (and why I put that as my goal and new "test mile"). Now if I can only make sprints daily!

Blogging: I missed posting last weekend and survived. My goal is to post 4-5 times per week. I also posted a new review on Mom in Love with Fiction.

Editing: Almost done with one project (ready to send to the publisher) and really making headway on the others. Big yeah!

Social Media: And therein lies the rub... I truly appreciate reading writers' blogs, participating in forums, hanging out in Twitterland, but it sucks away my writing time. It can be such a benefit, but quickly lead me astray. I haven't found the answer to this.

Diet & Exercise: Slowly reining it back in. I ran 3 miles today and walked 2 yesterday.


Happy Leap Year Day everyone!

I am "leaping" for joy to have a new outlook today. PLUS, I realized I got an extra day of being 39. Not a bad year to get an extra day. Take that 40!


Anonymous said...

Happy leap day!

I love doing sprints. Sometimes, a sprint is all I do in a day.

K.T. Hanna said...

I'm really glad you're joining us :D

Feel free to add the #writemotivation update on a Wednesday (or even a Sunday if you'd like). That's why it's not a hard and fast rule. I didn't want to make people feel obligated to post extra.

It doesn't have to be a standalone post - even a note on another is fine :D Just let us know in the hashtag so we can cheer you on.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, good luck with the marathon! What a great way to celebrate the big four-oh. I like how the goals mentioned for training can be applied to so many other things, as well. You've had a lot of stuff goin' on, so kudos, too, on keeping as positive an outlook as you can on it, and even picking up some new motivating challenges in the meantime, too.

As far as the check-ins, I would just suggest doing a "late" Sunday RoW80 check-in and combining it with the Monday one. Sometimes I don't even get to checking some check-ins until Monday anyway...so who knows, it could work.

Jaleh D said...

I agree with Isengler. Combine the Sun and Mon check-ins. And best wishes toward the marathon goal. One of my future goals is to do a week hike along part of the Appalachian Trail.

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

I love that this helped recenter me, as we move into the at-home phase of Jim's recuperation.

I also prefer challenging but attainable goals. I know, when I can list one as attained, that I put measurable effort into that. It's the foundation of my public writing life, brick by brick...

May we both look up on Sunday and have amazed ourselves! =)

Suzanne Lilly said...

Nice job on the running and writing. I often use the "How would I feel without this?" question to keep myself motivated, especially around exercise. And it takes time to get fit. But it feels good to accomplish something big, like a half marathon. I don't have any ideas for you on the Monday post. But Christina Katz, @WriterMama has some fabulous tips on social media and time organization. It really can take away from writing time, if we let it.

Natalie Hartford said...

FANTASTIC Tia! I love it. Your energy and enthusiasm is contagious! Woot woot. And I hear you on realistic goals and focusing on what you DO accomplish rather than what you don't.
What you focus on GROWS!!
SWEET! Half marathon for your 40th is incredible!
Here's to all your amazing success and GOAL hitting!
Oh, two ideas. 1) how about just reporting once weekly on your goals for BOTH groups? When I do row80 again, I am going to a Sunday only progress report I think?!?! Tossing the idea around anyway. And 2) I've heard of a lot of people setting social media time limits - 1 or 2 hours a day and maybe in smaller chunks? Something to consider.
FAB week - here's to keeping that energy going and riding the wave...woot woot!

Julie Glover said...

Love this: "I'd rather set realistic goals and accomplish them than aim for the moon and only get two-thirds of the way there." I discovered the same thing about myself.

Also, after my 40th birthday, I created my bucket/life list, which I call my "40 After 40." It includes forty things I want to do post-40 years old. I still have plenty to check off. (A marathon of any kind is not on my list, though.)

Best wishes with your goals this week! You'll do fabulous!

Anonymous said...

good luck finding that solution to the social media distractions, let me know when you have the magic pill (answer), I think it will be worth a fortune :)

Tia Bach said...

Thanks so much for all your comments! I'm hopping around to check how all of you are doing.

I appreciate the ideas on combining check ins. I think I'll combine #writemotivation and ROW80 on Sundays and include a short ROW80 on Wednesdays.

That's the plan, but we know what happens with the best laid plans...

Jocelyn Rish said...

I've been slow in making my rounds, but it's good to see we're in the same YA campaign group again.

What a great attitude you have towards your goals - I usually end up shooting for the moon and feeling disappointed. I did #writemotivation in January though and it helped with celebrating the small victories. Although I didn't sign up this time partly because I am already so far behind in write campaign blog visits. :-)

Tia Bach said...

Jocelyn, Thanks for stopping by! I'm struggling to catch up on getting around, but determined to do so.

Great to be in your group again!

Unknown said...

Good goals. They are the only way I actually can get things done. Good luck!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Julia! I need goals and lots of to-do post it notes all around my house to keep me focused. ;-) I blame my lovely children.