Plan & Goals 2020: Week 18 Review


Another week, another seven days of social isolation and rampant insanity befalling the planet.

Before I get into the meat of the post today, I just wanted to take a moment to make a few suggestions concerning our mutual Covid-19 frustrations:

  • First and foremost: please, please, please don’t give up on us now. I’ve seen lots of news about protests trying to fight against lockdown procedure, various areas in the US opening up beaches, services, and other public places, and people in general just getting super-lax with everything. The fact of the matter is that, yes, the curve is beginning to flatten, but it’s NOT FLAT. And even if it WERE flat, making a full about-face at this point will just result in a boomerang effect. Covid is not going away any time soon, and as frustrating as it is, that means that we have to remain diligent. Even when things go back to “normal”, we’re going to need to be much more cognizant of things like human contact because the disease itself isn’t just going to disappear over night. KEEP VIGILANT.
  • Second, and nearly as important: please, please, please, for the love of all that is good and wonderful in this world, please do not listen to a goddamned word that Donald Trump says. I don’t care if he’s your president, I don’t care whether or not you voted for him, and I don’t care whether or not you think of him as a close-fucking-personal friend. He is NOT, nor has he EVER BEEN or EVER WILL BE a fucking DOCTOR. He has no bloody idea what he’s talking about, is WELL KNOWN for talking out his stupid ass, and his straight-up lunatic-level suggestions are just getting people hurt. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS TALK TO A REAL FUCKING HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL.
  • Thirdly, and just as damn important: please, please, please…just calm yer tits. We’re all frustrated. Even those of us who are more suited to dealing with this situation (hello fellow introverted home-bodies) are starting to get major cabin fever, and with all the different rules and restrictions fevers are definitely reaching one hell of a pitch. But that doesn’t mean that we have to start losing our blessed minds. Every time I hear a news report about a domestic explosion or a confrontation at a store (I literally just read about a woman who SHOT a security guard IN THE HEAD for insisting she had to wear a mask in the store) I want to scream. Surely we can be better than this. Surely with the number of people whose lives are being destroyed by this virus we can restrain from adding to the misery ourselves, yes? Yes. Everyone smarten the fuck up, kindly, please and thank you.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten my bit of societal-induced rage out of the way, let’s get to the point of the post.

Goal #1: Be Healthier

There is little doubt in my mind that this past week was better than the week before. That’s not to say that everything has been peaches and cream and sun-shiny-rainbows, but I’ve definitely managed to work myself into a better situation and hopefully the trend will continue.

  • Eat better (and less) – Monday through Thursday were the best days by far. I tracked my calories as closely as I possibly could, and I did well. I’ve gotten into a system of skipping breakfast (it’s never been a meal I could be bothered with; I see no point in forcing food down my throat first thing in the morning when I’m not even hungry yet), eating a small lunch when I start to get peckish, and focusing the majority of my calories on supper. Then, if I’ve got any calories left by the end of the day and I’m a bit grumbly in my tumbly, I might have some kind of a snack.

    Friday was a bit of a hiccup day, because I had a rough day and the fact of the matter is that I’m an emotional eater. That said, even with my indiscretion, I only went over my calorie limit by something like 2-or-3-hundred, which isn’t a big deal.

    Saturday and Sunday were a little worse. Saturday I won’t beat myself up for because I’d already previously decided that Saturdays are going to be my “cheat” day, and even knowing that I didn’t exactly gorge. But Sunday was totally unnecessary. Overall I don’t think I went over very much even so, but it was still unnecessary. I’ll try to do better next week!

  • Drink more water – I think I may have wavered here and there on the water because I’ve been drinking a lot of tea and coffee and it’s throwing me off. For the most part I still think I’m doing really well; I just haven’t been taking into account that all the caffeine is likely dehydrating me and throwing my numbers off, so I really should be trying to sneak in some more water here and there.
  • Get more exercise – My first week of P90X-2 was both good and bad. On the good side, I got through it! Go me! On the bad side, many of the exercises were total busts that I couldn’t even pull off once, never mind do a bunch of repetitions of. That said, I still did my best, burned a lot of calories, and I fucking LOVE the Recovery & Mobility video. The foam roller is absolutely the greatest thing I’ve ever purchased and I may be in love with it. Being able to effectively give myself a massage at home is going to be a game-changer, and the fact that I get to do that video twice a week? MWAH *chef kiss*
  • Lose 2 lbs per month – Okay, so now that I’ve done a week of eating better (mostly) and P90X-2, have I lost any weight? Well the short answer is yes, but the more realistic answer is no. Technically, yes, I lost approximately 2.5 lbs since the beginning of last week. That said, I’d been after gaining several pounds in previous weeks. So to be honest about it, I’m still technically up half a pound from where I started at the beginning of the year.

    For clarity sake, I started the year at 177 lbs, wobbled up and down a bit over those first few months, and eventually landed myself at 180.2 lbs at the beginning of last week. Since then I’ve gone back down to 177.6 lbs. So, the real test will be this current week. If I continue to see the scale go down, even a little bit, I’ll know that I’m headed in the right direction.

Goal #2: Be an Author

Small confession: I’ve been letting my brain realllllllly wander this past week. That’s not to say that I haven’t been writing: quite the opposite, in fact. No, the problem is that I’ve actually got TOO MANY IDEAS and can’t seem to focus on one at a time. It’s not a horrible problem to have, but it’s definitely slowing down my progress of actually, you know…finishing things.

  • Write 500,000 words throughout the year – This past week was a pretty excellent one for writing! Mostly I was on the fanfiction train (especially with the “Good Omens” anniversary happening, I just couldn’t resist…), but I also wrote some scenes toward Book Three of “The Other World”, as well as a collaboration I’m doing with a comic artist.

    My Pacemaker account set me a modest total of 6595 words for last week. I demolished that, nearly doubling it with a total of 11,925 words. Woo! Hopefully that momentum will continue into this week, because Pacemaker has set me a much larger goal this time around.

  • Promote published books – Book promotion has been pretty lax lately, if I’m being completely honest. This is actually reminding me right now that I should probably re-share my Social Distancing sale.

    On a related note, I recently saw this big long post in a writer’s group from a guy explaining what he had done in the past year concerning paid promotion, ads, and the like, and it choked me a bit to hear that he’s making excellent money with his writing now. I mean, hats off to the dude, but whenever I hear about people having success with paid promotions, it makes me want to bash my head against a wall because I’m too much of a coward to take that chance. I do not have the funds to just throw away at this point, so if I didn’t see a return of at least exactly what I put in, it would be a major deal for my financial security (and that of my family). So, yeah, I just wanted to throw that out there as something that has been giving me major secondhand stress just thinking about it.

  • Promote Patreon & exclusive content – It is a new month, and therefore I need to think of some new exclusive content! Don’t worry, I already have ideas, I just haven’t put them into motion yet. On that note, though, I haven’t actually PROMOTED my Patreon in ages either, so I should probably add that to my little mini-list of things to do today.
  • Work on Author social media – Overall I’d think that I did really well with social media over this past week. Particularly with the author accounts, I stuck to it daily. That said, the numbers definitely do not reflect the effort. I’m hoping it was just an off-week (those DO happen), but the Twitter account gained two followers thanks to #GoodOmens30, while the Instagram account neither gained nor lost. It’s been literal months since the author Instagram didn’t gain followers, so I can’t lie; that one stung a little.

Goal #3: Be a YouTuber

Holy shit you guys, you’re not going to believe this…

  • Film/edit/upload – WE ACTUALLY FILMED SOMETHING. No, I’m not joking! I mean, it was only the one video because we’re super out-of-practice and are trying to work our way back into the groove of things, but it’s a definite start! And I think it may have even turned out half-decent! Now we just have to relearn editing with a new program…*cough cough*

    There are definite plans to film several more “catching up” videos with the stuff we’ve had sitting around waiting for us for ages, but honestly, after how long it’s been, I’m genuinely proud that we managed to pull off the one video without either screwing something up or ending up down each other’s throats in frustration.

  • Promote and Interact (Social Media) – In the meantime, the social media stuff has been going perfectly fine. I believe there was one day when I kinda laxed off, but I’ve been posting pics, sharing fun stuff on Twitter, and trying to interact with comments and the like as quickly as possible (so I don’t forget to later…a bad habit of mine), and I think it’s been doing well. That said, the numbers aren’t exactly the kind that instil confidence in a person’s abilities. The Twitter account lost four followers, and the Instagram gained four, but it had been down from previous weeks so it hasn’t technically gone up any further than it ever was.

    I’m not trying to be cranky about it, I swear, just stating the facts. lol

  • Expand website content – Okay, so technically nothing to report here, but now that we’ve kinda got things on the move I definitely want to try to start putting some daily effort into this. First steps though: I’m going to have to remind myself of how it all works. 😛 Our website runs on WordPress (not this site, but the actual, professional-style one that requires actual coding and whatnot), and I haven’t touched it in ages, so chances are that my first few attempts are going to mostly be me screaming at my computer. Baby steps though!

Goal #4: Be Fun!

Fun is the name of the game, baby! And on that note, since it doesn’t fall into these specific categories, I wanted to mention that we broke out Scrabble yesterday, and while Jason and Adrianna jointly (as a team) beat me the first round, I demolished Jason the second round, and beat him quite soundly on the third round as well.

Just wanted to throw that out there, because screw you, I’m proud of myself. 😛

  • Read 50 books throughout the year – Reading time seems to have gotten away from me lately, so I don’t have any major report here this week. That said, a friend of mine gifted me ebook copies of the entirety of “The Walking Dead”, so you’re damn right I’ve started to read that! I’ve always been a big fan of zombie stuff, and I’ve heard from many a fellow reader that the graphic novels kick the show’s ass, so I’m excited to see how true that is.

    Currently I’m about 3/4 of the way through the first book and definitely enjoying it. It’s kinda funny to see the characters in their original forms after spending so much time with the actors who were chosen to portray them. Some of them fit so perfectly, and some are so bloody different. Either way, I’ve been pleased so far.

  • Play video games – And because, apparently, people love me a lot more than I feel they should (*cough*self-depreciating-bitch*cough*) another friend sent me a gift last week in the form of two download codes for Nintendo Switch games – “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, and “Splatoon 2”. I haven’t been able to try Splatoon yet because I needed to find an SD card for the Switch in order to get it downloaded, and that only happened recently, but I’ve been all over “Animal Crossing”.

    It’s the first game from the series that I’ve ever actually played, but it’s very much like “Harvest Moon”, which is a series I’ve adored in the past. My one complaint, if I were to make one, is that apparently there’s a “one island per Switch” restriction, which means that when my daughter started playing she was automatically put on my island and we have to share. That’s not a big deal for us two specifically, but I know lots of siblings for which this would be the literal end of the goddamn world, and I don’t really understand why the developers felt the need to make that restriction.

    Aside from “Animal Crossing”, I’ve been picking at “Katamari Reroll” every so often (just because rolling a katamari is hella-relaxing), and I’ve occasionally been helping Jason with puzzles on the games he’s been playing. We recently went through the original “Clock Tower” game on the SNES, and man…it doesn’t really hold up super-well today, but some of the scares and death scenes in that game…yikes! I can definitely imagine them being horrifying back in the day!

  • Watch shows/movies – Focusing on shows, we’re still finishing up “Brooklyn 99”, but have added the most recent seasons of “Harley Quinn” and “What We Do in the Shadows” to the repertoire.

    Movies have been all over the place as far as style and quality. We recently watched “The Foreigner”, starring Jackie Chan, and I loved it. There was a lot of politics, which isn’t my thing AT ALL, but there was also lots of action and a magnificently painful performance from Chan.

    We also watched “The Extraction”, with Chris Hemsworth, and I also loved that. It’s hardly Shakespeare or anything, but if you want Thor beating the shit out of a ton of bad guys while trying to save a kidnapped kid, this will be your jam.

    And the last one I’ll mention this week is the one we watched last night: “Beneath”. It’s a stupid premise, about six teenagers going out onto a lake and being trapped there by a giant, man-eating fish. I won’t say it was horrible or anything, but definitely not the greatest flick, and I genuinely wanted each of those asshole teenagers to die. They were just…just fucking horrible.

So that’s that! Another week of social-distancing survived, and some actual productivity happening. I can’t really hope for more than that, you guys. Can I get a wahoo?

How was your week? Any accomplishments you want to share? Goals you worked hard on? Feel free to share in the comments! ❤