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So it’s that time of the month again, where I review all my goals set for last month and decide whether I passed or failed. I’ll just give you an advance notice in saying; I did FAR better this month than last.

Here’s a reminder of last months goals. They are notated in italics; my comments on their success/failure follow each in bold.

1. Write – I’ve abandoned the idea of setting out to write a particular amount of chapters because they can vary in size and not really say much for the amount of words. So I plan to write 10,000 words. This shouldn’t be hard, but I do have to start from scratch again. Still – I will do it and maybe even write more than that. (Boy would that make me feel happy.)

SUCCESS! I finished the month with 26,867 ‘keepable’ words. I wrote more than that overall, but canned a bit of it in re-reads and re-writes. Even though I far surpassed my goal for the month somehow I still feel like it wasn’t enough. Hopefully I will out due this number next month.

2. Sketch – At least fully sketch the damn house. Even if it takes tons of graph paper I want to at least have something to show you next month regarding their Bryce & Brynn’s home (which doesn’t even have to be that big anymore considering I removed two members of their family entirely). Since I no longer have AutoCad at home and would only be able to actually draft it during my 30 minute lunch breaks I will remove this from my goal list for the time being.

SUCCESS! Although I completely forgot to send home the scans to show you, I did finish the drafts Bryce & Brynn’s property and I even finished it in AutoCad, which was more than I set out to do. It occurred to me while I was plotting out the land that the house I had in my mind was one I came across a few years ago and marked as my “Dream House” but with some tweaks. Since I can’t show you the layouts today (I’ll show them later this week though), I will attach the pictures of inspiration.

This is the exterior of the house, but imagine it all completely in stone. No Shingles.

This is what I imagine the driveway leading up the property to look like, but with a lot more curves. The point is, it’s lined with trees.

This is how I imagine the walking paths throughout the property.

3. Books – I’m going to stick with reading 3 books because it seems like a reasonable amount to shoot for without taking away from other important activities. If I read more then great, but my mind is sharpest when I’m continually reading and even though it’s difficult to read AND write at the same time I need to get better at this and practice makes perfect. Also, I will only allow myself to buy 3 books this month (well three books for pleasure – you’ll understand that once you see what books I purchase later this week).

SUCCESS! (Well, Partial) I read 3 books entirely (“Hex Hall” by Rachel Hawkins, “Need” by Carrie Jones, & “Linger” by Maggie Stiefvater) and read half of two books (which I never do – reading more than one book at a time is just hard), those books were “The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” by Michael Scott and “Night Pleasures – A Dark-Hunter Novel” by Sherrilyn Kenyon. The part I failed on though was the buying of books. I ended up buying 6 books this month which was double what I told myself I was allowed to buy, but considering I read as much as I did I’m not exactly beating myself up over it.

4. FanNook – Write 2 book reviews and they need to be for some of the books I read earlier on in the year before they are no longer fresh in my mind. If I write more than great, but I need to at least produce something and 2 seems reasonable. As far as content on the 2 active sites… well I’d like to say I’d stick to it daily, but I’m not sure I will. I’ll shoot for at least 1 post on each a week and see if I can manage that, then maybe next month I can aim higher.

SUCCESS! I actually wrote 3 book reviews this month (even though they weren’t for books I read at the beginning of the year). Those 3 reviews were for “Hex Hall” by Rachel Hawkins (which I’m saving for FanNook), “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” by Stephenie Meyer which can be found HERE, and “Linger” by Maggie Stiefvater which can be found HERE. I also kept one of the FanNook sites up to date with posts every day or every other day all the way through the 27th. I do need to get back up on top of that, but at least I stuck to it this month like I wanted to.

5. Weight – Lose 5 lbs. 10 lbs was apparently too intimidating so I’ll cut the number in half and see if I can handle that. And if by some miracle I do better than 5, well then I’ll feel even more motivated to do even better the following month.

SUCCESS! Okay my scale says I lost 4.9 lbs to be exact, but I’m gonna say rounding up on this one is okay.

6. Health – Find & Schedule a Dr. Apt. with a general practitioner. I know this may not seem like a truly important goal for me, but I assure you it is. I seriously need to see someone about my migraines and there are several health issues that run in my family such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and thyroid problems that I haven’t had checked in years because I do not have a regular doctor. It’s about time I see a regular doctor, not just the specialty ones I see once a year. I detest going to the doctor though and especially male doctors. Still as my eyes grow weaker and weaker and my head aches more and more and I worry endlessly over the possibilities that something could be wrong with me and I’d never know, I know that now is the time to take care of it not later.

SUCCESS! After a crazy search I finally found a doctor who was taking new patients and accepted my insurance and saw her the week before last. I was very comfortable with her (which is super important to me) and she seemed very thorough. She scheduled me for a series of blood tests which mostly came back good with the exception of my thyroid (which is hypoactive) and my cholesterol levels (which are dangerously high). She would like to test these things again in 3 months before she acts on treating them with medication. She also wants me to see an actual eye doctor and is scheduling me for a CAT scan and possibly a MRI to get to the bottom of my migraines (since they do not run in the family). In the meantime she prescribed me a low grade migraine medicine that has seemed to work, but makes me incredibly tired so I’ve really tried to take them sparingly. Since I was on this health kick, I also scheduled a much overdue dentist appointment which is tomorrow. Bonus 🙂

7. Save – Start putting aside 50 from each check to fix my truck. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot (since I only get 2 checks a month), but my checks are already planned before I get them (that’s how tight I live) and there isn’t much to spare, sometimes none at all. But my truck is in dire need of work. I need 4 new tires (which will probably be a min. of 75 bucks a piece) and I need some crazy stuff done with my breaks (not the normal routers and pads change) to make them stop hissing and come to a halt on immediate command. I’m constantly paranoid while driving because of these neglected things and a paranoid driver is never good.

FAIL! This didn’t happen for a variety of reasons. One being, my damn BGE bill went up another 50 bucks from the 50 dollar increase it already faced last month (total 210.00 bill!) This heat is killing us on electricity to try and stay cool. CAN NOT WAIT until FALL!!!! Plus I took my car for an oil change which was another 45 bucks where they informed me that since I’ve never flushed my transmission (which is apparently supposed to be done every two years – I’ve had my truck for 6 of it’s 8 years of life) that I no longer can and it is likely to die altogether soon. ::Sigh:: Which means I will be needing a new form of transportation in the near future so at this point, what’s the point in investing money into a dying machine? Mom and I are talking about my options as buying a new car isn’t exactly ideal at the moment.

Alright so overall for the month I had a fairly successful outcome. On a grading scale this would be an 85% (B) which is still no A, but acceptable in my book. So what do my goals look like for next month? Let’s see…

I’ve decided to cut the number of goals down because coming up with 7 actual goals feels a bit difficult. And because of this I will probably make the goal post earlier next month so I can stick with the “# on the #th” style titles.

1. Write – This is always goal #1. I am so incredibly eager to finish my book (for the second time) and get it in motion. So I’m pushing hard on this one. This month my word count goal is 20,000. If I was able to do all that I did this month in basically a week there should be no reason why I can’t do it in a month. And I’m really hoping I will double the goal again next month. That would really put me ahead of the game.

2. Read – Read at least 3 books again this month. This number doesn’t intimidate me and so I will stick to it. Plus of the writing I’ve done this month and shared with my mother she is just blown away by the improvement in ability in just the last year and the fact that I’ve learned it all just from reading. So obviously it’s not something I should cut back on, it’s important. Like free schooling since I’ve never been officially trained. As far as buying books goes. Well I still have 2 books from last months purchases to finish before I should let myself buy more so I will try and uphold myself to that, but my dad is in the process of building me a bookcase and something tells me the second I have it I will be even more tempted to buy what’s waiting for me in my Amazon shopping cart. Those books are: “Captivate” by Carrie Jones, “The Iron King” by Julie Kagawa, and “Fantasy Lover” (Dark-Hunter Book 1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

3. Weight – At least 5 more lbs. I really need to take this weight loss thing more seriously for more than one reason. The most important is my health though. I am wearing 60 more lbs than I should be for my height and age and with those high cholesterol levels the combination is not good. Now the hypothyroidism could be playing a part in this inability to lose weight lately, but hopefully I can get that under control too in the next couple of months. But I’ve also got a little over a year to be ready to stand in my sisters wedding and I don’t want her looking bad with me as “the Blob” in her wedding party.

4. Music – Stop Avoiding it. I can’t believe I’m really saying that because Lord knows it can be so distracting to me at times, but I’ve found over the last week with my newly acquired obsession with “Local Natives” that new tunes are necessary sometimes and since my old playlist isn’t exactly giving me the motivation it used to it’s time to let some new songs into my vision. My sister is making me a mix CD based on my acceptance and enjoyment of her “Local Natives” suggestion so hopefully there will be some more goodies to get addicted to on there. Any other suggestions are welcome 🙂

And in the spirit of the happiness music is bringing me these days, here’s the latest “Local Natives” song on repeat. I promise I’ll try to make this the last one as I’m sure you’re getting tired of my persistence with this band. I’m sorry, I just can’t help it.

That’s it for the month, just 4 goals. Shouldn’t be too hard to manage and hopefully I’ll do all of them better than I’m anticipating. ::Fingers Crossed::

Peace – Sarah