There’s a distinct possibility that I may have mentioned this before in the past, but the holidays are a rough time for me. Not emotionally, because I love the holidays, and I have a wonderfully family. Physically and mentally though? Total dumpster fire. I love the holidays, but they’re an exceptionally busy time, not to mention a very social time, and for a high-functioning introvert such as myself that means that I end up feeling like a writhing ball of fatigue and unproductive slime by the end of it. My brain goes to mush and I have an extremely difficult time working myself back into some kind of moderately-capable mindset again.
For example, did you know that the new year actually happened a full ten days ago? I’m certain that you did, but my brain evidently didn’t get the memo. Hence, here we are on January 10th, and I am finally – finally – giving you guys an update on LIFE.
Fair warning: this is likely going to be a long one.
First of all, let’s chat a bit about the end of 2021. I’m not going to get into a ton of detail regarding my goals from last year because:
a) There’s not much to say.
b) You probably aren’t that fussed to know.
c) I’ll just depress myself, which isn’t exactly productive.
So let’s just go ahead and accept the fact that, for the most part, I didn’t do bugger all in December. I was focused almost exclusively on the holidays, on enjoying time with my family (both intimate and extended), and on doing my best to breathe and block out the raging, rampant negativity of the world we currently live in. I’ll not mention health, other than to admit that I hit a heartbreaking new high on the scale by the end of the month. I’ll not mention writing and art, other than to say that I forewent both for a while in favor of baking, watching Christmas specials, and doing random fun things with my family to keep us busy leading up to the holidays. I will mention ‘free time’, because I carved out a lot of it in the form of the aforementioned Christmas specials and random fun things with my family. Also, hubby and I played ‘Lego DC Villains’ until we unlocked the Platinum trophy, which is as close to doing something productive as I got throughout the entire month.
With that stuff aside, let’s talk about a few of the highlights of the holiday season.
Primarily, the important thing is that the little one (who isn’t so little anymore) had a great time. She was very excited for the overwhelming majority of her presents (with, perhaps, the exception of the bras I wrapped up by themselves just to torment her), and was just as excited to see hubby and I open our presents. All three of us got video games, collectibles, books, and geeky clothing, which really goes to show just how terrifyingly similar we all are in a number of ways.
I also got Crowley and Aziraphale Funko Pops, which just goes to show how much hubby loves me, since he claims that my undying obsession with ‘God Omens’ has all but made him hate it. 😛
We had visits from both Jason’s family and mine, and spent New Years with friends and two very sweet puppers, and all in all we closed out 2021 in the most positive way possible, considering what a shit-show the year was in general.
So with that said, let me officially wave good-bye to 2021 and kindly inform it that I’m perhaps just a teeny bit happy to see the back of it.
Then we come to 2022, and all the good intentions that I had for the beginning of it.
Right from the get-go, I’d previously ordered a new planner from PersonalPlanner.com, because I absolutely adore their custom planner options, and though I’m not always 100% for keeping up with my tracking, my planner is the only thing that keeps my scatterbrained tendencies from completely devouring my life. I also discovered that you can fully customize your planner’s cover with your own image, sooo…
Yeah, don’t even try to tell me that you’re surprised.
Anyway, the point is that I got my planner, filled out a bunch of pages, decorated the ‘Books to Read’ and ‘Things to Watch’ pages, and was totally set to jump into the new year with both feet. And then…it, uh…it didn’t happen. No excuses or anything. I just didn’t do anything. I tried to write, and I kinda read a bit, and I fully intended to get 10k steps per day, and so on and so forth.
I just didn’t.
What I did do was force myself to relax and move past my mental obsession with starting things at the right time (first of the year, first of the month, first of the week, etc etc). Which brings us to now: a random Monday morning, ten days into 2022. As good a time as any.
Herein we shall discuss the goals for 2022, and my fervent hope that I actually, you know…accomplish some of them.
So here we go.
Goal Set #1: Artistic Fulfilment
This goal set encompasses two major aspects: Writing and Art.
When it comes to Writing the goals are pretty straightforward. Firstly, I intend to write half a million words throughout the year. This is actually down from last year, in which I intended to wrote 550,000 words. That extra 50k proved to be just a bit too ambitious, as the end of the year slowed me down and I barely managed to scrape past the 500k line. I decided, therefore, to stick with the half-a-mill this year. it’s not that I don’t want to shoot for higher stars; I just don’t want to overextend myself, especially considering some of the other things I hope to give some focus to.
I more specific terms, there are a number of particular things I intend to write in 2022, not the least of which is ‘The Other World: Book Three‘. It’s certainly time I hauled my ass up out of the gutter that it has fallen into and get that bloody thing done. But that’s not to say that I intend to abandon my forays into fan-fiction, oh no. I have a list, and I currently have that list being voted on by my readers and social media peeps. In fact, if you’d like to be a part of the voting process, you can check out the poll right here. The results thus far have been somewhat surprising. 😀
On the other hand, when it comes to Art, the goals are much more broad. I want to do my drawing, learn how to color my drawings better, and want to also feed my artistic side with things like adult coloring books and gem paintings (which is something my mother got me into by giving me one for Christmas…it’s highly addicting). There are no major specifics here, although I’m definitely hoping to spark some more NSFW art vibes in the near future. Maybe I’ll do some gift art for some of my favorite fan-fic writers.
As a final note on this set of goals – which kinda combines the two aspects – I’d like to continue playing around with podfics this year. It can be fun and rewarding, even if I haven’t exactly made waves in the community yet. I’ll probably put the rest of the holiday fics aside for the time being and move on to one of my longer fics instead, but I’m not going to dedicate myself to anything just yet because it is definitely a time-consuming hobby.
Goal Set #2: Physical Focus
This one is quite broad and basically boils down to: DO BETTER. Because goodness knows I’ve been letting things get out of hand more and more as time goes on.
One specific point I can make here is that I want to lose some weight, especially after packing more on over the holidays. For the sake of being completely transparent, I managed to hit 190 lbs before the end of 2021, which is absolutely outrageous for my 5’1″ frame. I can honestly say that I don’t look like I weigh that much, but I definitely feel like I do. My knees are shot (one more than the other), my belly is holding far too much fat, and I’m tired, like…ALL THE TIME. So, taking on whichever methods such a thing requires, I am setting a goal to be down to at least 150 lbs by this time next year. That will still actually be heavier than what my body is realistically designed for, but I want to set myself the kind of goal that I actually have a chance of achieving, so…there.
This goal set may change throughout the year, depending on what I have going on, but for the time being I’m focusing on water, steps, sleep, and short exercise programs – of which the current is #MBF, which stands for ‘Muscle Burns Fat’. I’ll reassess each month and see where I think I need to improve or change things up to have better results.
Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding
I almost hate to make this particular goal set, because this is something that I am ridiculously, monstrously bad at, but I do want to get better. In a myriad of ways.
First and foremost, vying for attention at the top of the list are Author Tracey and YouTuber Tracey. Of course, promoting those two versions of myself require actually having something to promote, so there will need to be books written and videos filmed. These things are priority.
Coming in underneath are Twitter Tracey and Instagram Tracey, which are closely linked to Author Tracey and YouTuber Tracey. They require time and attention, but are also paramount in the promotion of Author Tracey and YouTuber Tracey, so that will need to be taken into account.
Sliding in beneath those is a relative newcomer to the fray: TikTok Tracey. She’s a fledgling, stumbling thing, but she is highly amused and easy to lose time with, so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Then there’s always Artist Tracey, Musical Tracey, and the oft-ignored but all-important Employee Tracey. They all deserve their own kind of promotion as well, if I’m to continue to exist as a moderately mentally-maintained human being. All things to keep in mind.
The parameters for this one are going to be vague, at least for now. I’ll, uh…I’ll figure out how to go about reporting my successes or failures later.
Goal Set #4: Mental Wellbeing
This goal set was previously known as “Free-Time”, and is being re-branded to represent basically anything that allows me to relax and keep myself from having a complete and utter nervous breakdown, or otherwise experience massive burnout.
This goal breaks down as: do shit that makes you smile and recharge. These can be things such as reading the dozens of books on my TBR list (including ebooks and audio books), watching shows or movies that I’ve been meaning to, playing video games I’ve neglected, or whatever else I feel I need at any given time in order to turn off my brain and allow myself to get a bit of a reset.
I’m putting this on my goals list because I have a rather destructive all-or-nothing mentality that tends to result in my going for weeks at a time without STOPPING and allowing myself to TAKE A MOMENT and just ENJOY SOME SHIT. So yeah. Making a goal to make a point to not do that.
Okay. So, now that we’ve finally made our way to this point, you may have noticed that I sneaked a “Week 1” in the title of this post. That implies an update, right? Right! So, although I did, for the most part, absolutely bugger all for the first nine days of 2022, let’s take a quick look at what I may have managed to sneak in concerning my goals for the coming year.
Goal Set #1: Artistic Fulfilment
The main issue here was not a lack of ideas coming in to the new year…it was a lack of the ability to get my brain to work with those ideas. Multiple times in the first nine days of 2022 I sat down with the full intention to write. After all, I’m only a few chapters from the end of ‘The Prince’s Consort’, and I’ve got seven more holiday prompts to write before I can wave goodbye to December’s ‘Ineffable Holiday’ challenge. Yet every time I sat down with my laptop in those nine days, my brain seemed to become a complete and utter blank. In fact, I think if I could go back and make a chart showing the hours I spent actually physically typing words compared to the hours I spent sitting, staring at my Chromebook’s screen, it would look as though I was actually falling asleep with the device on my lap.
(Which, let’s be honest, I may have actually done a couple of times.)
Going by the random nature of my Pacemaker.press challenge tracker, I should have written roughly 10,131 words in those first nine days, but what I actually wrote was 5619 words, which you may notice is barely more than half. I’m really hoping that my writer’s brain wakes up soon, because I’d prefer not to repeat that kind of performance too many times this early in the year.
What I wrote was entirely fan-fiction, as I attempt to catch up on the several weeks of missed updates I incurred over the month of December. Don’t worry though; I have plans to start heavy work on ‘The Other World: Book Three’ this week. I swear.
As far as art goes, my brain was even less helpful in the first bit of the year. I tried sketching something one day, and doing a digital piece another day, and both attempts were massive failures in every sense of the word. My fingers and inner visualization are out of sync, it seems. Here’s hoping they find their way to working together again sometime soon.
Goal Set #2: Physical Focus
When I implied that I did basically nothing for the first nine days of the year, I wasn’t exaggerating. I hardly moved, if I’m being honest. There was a lot of lounging on the sofa, trying to convince my brain and body that they wanted to team up and get something done. Thus, my physical ‘focus’ was all but nonexistent.
Things began to pick up, however, yesterday. I finally managed to drag myself out of bed at a reasonable time, had a glass of Pre-Workout, and kicked into a lower-body strength-training exercise on Beachbody. And let me tell you, it whooped my ass. By that evening my legs were killing me, and by the time I woke up this morning I was fairly confident that I had crippled myself. Even as we speak, my legs are stretched out on the couch and feel like stiff pieces of abused rubber. Yet, I still managed to get through today’s core exercise! So go me!
I’ve been drinking lots of water and working hard to avoid late night snacks, but I expect it’s going to take a while to reverse the mess I got my body into over the holidays.
Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding
On this one I don’t really have anything worth reporting yet, because I haven’t really made any visible attempt to actually work on it yet. The best I can tell you at the moment is that I’ve taken ‘before’ notes of my social media numbers and have played around a bit with the options available on TikTok.
More next week, perhaps, when I’ve actually worked on it a tad.
Goal Set #4: Mental Wellbeing
Now this one I can actually say that I accomplished in those first nine days, because relaxing is pretty much all that I did successfully. As previously mentioned, hubby and I destroyed a Lego game, which was the first time we’d really played a co-op game together in quite some time.
We also watched several shows and movies, including the second season of ‘The Witcher’, the entire season of ‘Squid Game’, the silly and fun ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’, and the big-dumb-fun ‘Red Notice’. I thoroughly enjoyed them all, although watching ‘The Witcher’ has just made me believe all the more that I require Henry Cavill in my lie.
I didn’t read any books, but I did read a book’s worth of fan-fiction, and it was all lovely and delightful and delicious.
And finally, I worked several times on the gem painting that my mother got me for Christmas. I haven’t got a huge amount done on it so far, but it’s strangely soothing, so I’m enjoying it a lot more than I expected to. I may even work on it some more tonight, when I’ve completed this post.
Speaking of completing this post…I believe I may have! It was a long one for sure, but I had a bit of catching up to do. And now that I’ve done just that, I believe it’s time for me to stretch, get a glass of water, and see if I can accomplish something a bit more. Wish me luck, my dears! I hope everything looks pleasant on your horizon as well!
Feel free to let me know how your year is going so far! Do you have any big goals? Specific plans? Anything awesome on the horizon? Share what’s going on with you! ❤