Quarterly Goals 2018, #3

I'm pretty sure the second quarter of 2018 was the worst, hardest quarter I've encountered since I first fell in love with this idea (through the beautiful and inspiring Jenna Moreci). Making lists of my quarterly goals has been helpful in so many ways - keeping me focused and on track, helping me break my goals down into manageable chunks, reminding me to keep trying, and pushing me not only to set goals in the first place but also to continue breaking them down.

I share (most of) my quarterly goals here, but what I haven't shared so much of is the way I break those goals down into daily targets, which I use an app to keep track of. Like I mentioned though, the spring quarter was pretty tough on my family and I; my mother was in and out of the hospital twice, readmitted this past week, is looking to stay admitted for a while, and our family also lost a loved one. It has been hectic, both in life events and in the way those events have impacted my mental health.

And speaking of health, I've finally gotten some long-held questions answered regarding my physical health and well-being. But that's for another post.

In the meantime, with this quarter being so wild for me, my tracking totally fell off about halfway through. My ability to keep up with tracking my goals disappeared, buried under trips to various doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes - I did keep my goals in mind throughout the various crises though, so while I'm not using my tracker this time gauge my success on goal-keeping, I'm still going to be as honest as possible in how I feel about whether I accomplished my goals or not. With that being said ...

Last Quarter's Goal: Keep up with my daily devotionals and continue to increase my trust in God's plan for my life. PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal: Continue reading and studying daily devotionals, and work to nurture trust in God's provision.

This quarter was really hard, but I did try to keep up with my devotionals. Using daily readings from scripture really helped me, and while letting go of my rosary memorization did losing the meditative aspect of my prayer life for the most part, it also freed me up to speak more honestly with God about the things I was going through and worrying over during the spring quarter. As summer goes on, my goal is not only to succeed at reading a devotional every day, but to make a point of carrying the message with me as a meditation throughout each day.

Last Quarter's Goal: Continue listening to at least one personal development podcast daily. FAIL.

Next Quarter's Goal: Rebuild the habit of listening to a personal development podcast daily.

Everything got too overwhelming for me to keep up with this, and then as the stress of my declining health, my mother's health issues, and concern for several other ill family members (one of whom has recently passed on), I just stopped caring. I didn't want to bother. I didn't want to listen to encouragement and cheerfulness and self-building. All I wanted was to sleep - and I hardly even had the mental capacity to do that.

I kept up with my writing here - and most other things in my life - by sheer force of will, but podcasts went by the wayside, and while my heart is still too detached and exhausted to care, my mind still recognizes how healthy this habit is for me, so I'll be working to build it back again in the summer quarter.

Last Quarter's Goal #1: Drink 75 ounces of water every day. FAIL.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Remember to take my meds daily. PASS.
Last Quarter's Goal #3: Continue intermittent fasting 3x weekly. FAIL.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Drink 75 ounces of water every day.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Purchase and implement medication organizers.
Next Quarter's Goal #3: Address better pain management options.
Next Quarter's Goal #4: Continue intermittent fasting 3x weekly.

On the first goal, I honestly have no solid idea of how I did with my water intake during the spring quarter. I know I drank more water than I tracked, but I also didn't track well enough to have a solid look at how bad this fail really is. I know I drank too much coffee and not enough water ... so I'm just keeping the same goal going forward with this. In the summer quarter, I'll be aiming for more success with drinking 75 ounces of water a day.

On the second goal, I did a great job. I remembered my meds well even as new ones were added to my regimen - however, in the summer quarter, I'm planning to purchase and set up some weekly pill organizers for the girls and I. With my health still changing and big things possibly in my future, I think getting a better-organized system set up for my family's medications is a good idea. I'm also hoping to look into better options for managing my pain levels - sometimes ibuprofen and tylenol don't cut it anymore, but I'd like to avoid stronger drugs for as long as possible.

Last quarter's third goal (3x weekly intermittent fasting) is another one where I know I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I'm not truly sure how well I did or didn't do. I was mindful of my eating schedule, but as I went from hospital to home almost as many days as I didn't, sometimes things got unorganized. There were days when I ate all day because I was ravenous, and days when I barely managed to find time and emotional energy to eat at all. In the summer quarter, I'll work harder to get this under control again, regardless of whatever might be going on.

Last Quarter's Goal: N/A
Next Quarter's Goal: Still N/A

I'm still not really paying much attention to this - even on the days when I'm longing for the excitement of a new relationship or wishing I had someone strong to lean on when I'm in crisis, the fact is, I don't have the time or energy to really devote to a healthy relationship at the moment. So I'm continuing to let this rest, in faith that God knows where I'm supposed to be and who I'm supposed to be with. Things will come together when they're meant to.

Last Quarter's Goal #1: Continue to make fun time with the girls a priority with some sort of outing or focused hangout time every week - and keep making the coming move an adventure they can be excited about. PASS.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Secret family goal. PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: At least one weekly family fun day.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Secret family goal - same as last time, but instead of being 3 times weekly, I'll be shooting for daily this quarter.

Surprisingly, this quarter the girls and I managed to go on a ton of fun outings despite everything that was going on. Some of those were silly times we spent laughing and hanging out with my mom at various hospitals (I didn't count the days that weren't fun), others were days spent hanging out at home playing games together, but most were days we spent at the park or other places with friends or family I think it was the going out and making a point to have fun that made the spring quarter bearable. In the summer quarter, I'm shooting for the same goal - just to make time to have fun with the babes at least once a week. In the meantime, we're still working on making our move as much of an exciting adventure as it can be.

As the summer goes on, I'm also keeping my secret family goal - but I'm stepping this one up a bit despite everything that's been going on lately. This one is super important to me, so I'm glad it did so well as making it a priority last quarter. I intend to do the same this quarter.

Last Quarter's Goal: Write at least 10,000 words on SFFF. FAIL.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Write at least 10,000 words on SFFF.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Catch up all writing tasks and Patreon rewards.

Okay, this one was an absolutely abysmal failure. I literally wrote NOTHING on Still Fighting For Freedom. And I could list a thousand excuses, from hospital visits to the busyness of having the girls around for summer to the complications with our various health concerns ... but the list doesn't matter. What matters to me is that I failed to accomplish a goal that I've been consistently failing at for so long, and that this failure was actually so deeply horrifying that I also ended up falling behind on fulfilling the rewards for my Patreon subscribers. I'm not currently super behind, but it's definitely a goal to get - and stay - all caught up. In the meantime, I'm carrying last quarter's goal over, and I'll keep carrying it until SFFF is published. I so desperately want to tell the rest of Christine's story.

Last Quarter's Goal #1: 2000 page views a month. PASS.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Secret book sales goal. FAIL.

Next Quarter's Goal #1:  2500 page views a month.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Secret book sales goal - same as last time.

The goal I set for my blog views is always fairly conservative because I want my blog to grow organically. I love this blog and I love what it has brought into my life in terms of friendships and financial blessing, but I want writing to be the way I spend most of my time, not promoting. I do some promotional stuff with the blog, sharing my content around - but for the most part, I'm just using this goal as a way to keep track of the progress the blog is making on its own. Even if there is some promotional effort involved, I tend to think jumping from 2000 views a month to 2500 as the goal should be an almost natural progression, so I have total confidence in this one.

In the meantime, the goals I set for book sales in the spring quarter appear to be exactly the right goals for growth and progress. The secret goal is twofold, and only one part of the goal was hit in one month out of the three last quarter - and while on the one hand I'm a little disappointed to have not done as well as I'd hoped, I'm actually really looking forward to spending the summer quarter trying again. I know it'll be super fulfilling when I'm able to hit this goal consistently, and it'll be a great way to build my little "snowball."

Last Quarter's Goal #1: Secret self-care goal. FAIL.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Read four books. PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Improve regular accomplishment of my secret self-care goal - create a habit.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Read four books.

My self-care goal isn't anything majorly important, but it is definitely something that makes me feel way better about myself when I keep up with it. I'm a little sad that I wasn't able to give that gift to myself in the spring quarter because I was so overwhelmed I ended up largely shutting down, but I'm looking forward with hope that the summer quarter will end on a more positive note.

As for the reading goal, I did read four books in the second quarter of 2018. Here's what I found time to dive into this spring:
  • Lodestar, by Shannon Messenger: This book is part of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series I've been reading for months, and I'm pretty sure I'm madly in love now. Shannon Messenger has an amazing talent for weaving a world full of lovable characters, each with their own intricate backstory - and yet the story doesn't feel overly dramatic, the cast isn't overly full, and the story is rarely overwhelming unless the overwhelm stems from the emotional richness of the plot lines and character development. I'm currently working on getting the full series from our local library for Eden (that's how I've been reading them), because there's no way she would settle for reading this series one book at a time without driving me utterly mad.
  • The Perfect Hope, by Nora Roberts: This was the final book in the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, and it was a beautiful wrap to the series. This little miniseries follows the love lives of three brothers as they find just the perfect women for them - with a little help from a lovesick spirit eager to see those she loves have loves of their own.
  • Confess, by Colleen Hoover: I can see why this book has won a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance. I can see why this book was turned into a mini-series for Verizon's Go90. I can see why Colleen Hoover's CoHorts so loved the story. Just like every other book I've read from her, it's absolutely, one hundred percent lived up to the hype.
  • Nowhere But Up, by Pattie Mallette: Venturing out of fiction now and then, I find a good memoir and settle in for something real I can relate to - and Justin Bieber's mom is so much more than the mother figure of the famous (or infamous?) pop star. She is an undaunted woman in her own right, and I was touched by how deeply impacting her story was. She's survived so much, and she came out of it with a great story to share, a great testimony with which to reach others, and the kind of compassion our world today so desperately needs more of. She had such a beautiful perspective on recovery and forgiveness, and I found her utterly inspiring.
I have no idea what the summer will bring - but as for reading, I know the coming quarter absolutely brings the next chapter of Sophie's story in Nightfall, book six of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Pretty sure this'll be one of those series' I look for in hardback to add to my collection once I've got my family moved. I can't wait to start filling bookshelves once I have the space!

Last Quarter's Goal: Tell someone I'm thankful for them daily. PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal: Tell someone I'm thankful for them daily.

Spring is usually a really hopeful time for me, and this was no different despite the many setbacks and challenges. I'm looking forward to continued growth and change as the summer quarter passes, looking forward to continuing to build the momentum of 2018 as 2019 approaches with impossible speed. The thing about hope is that it breeds positivity, which is why I did so well with making sure that the people who bless my life by being in it knew how thankful I was for them this past quarter. From buying flowers to sending cards to simple phone calls and my trademark "thinking of you" text, I was proud of the effort I made through the spring quarter to reach outside my comfort zone and share my heart with others more openly. As the summer rolls on, I intend to keep this habit up, building and nurturing it until it grows irrevocably into the very foundation of my character.

So ... if you've been following along with the PASS/FAIL ratio, we're at 7 passes and 6 fails, which is basically a miracle as far as I'm concerned. This was a tough quarter for me, with doctor's appointments, court dates, hospital visits, the end of the school year, and the upcoming move all bearing down hard on my heart and soul. But just like always, I stood up and survived. I kept up my therapy appointments, I looked out for my girls, I advocated for myself. I got things moving in the right direction, and did everything I could to keep things moving as well as possible. It was a hard quarter, but I'm proud of myself.

Moving forward, I intend to search for better balance in my life, and also to start doing more with the brand new Undaunted Army Coat of Arms. I'm hoping to create more merchandise designs, and I'm even brainstorming ways to use the new Coat of Arms in a fun Undaunted Army game!

What are you working on in your life? Do you set quarterly goals - or goals at all? If so, what goal is heaviest on your heart right now, and what are you doing to accomplish it?

If you liked this post, related to it in some way, or know someone who needs to see it, make sure you drop a comment below - I would love your feedback as well as the chance to interact with you! It would also be great if you could share the link to this post with your friends - it helps me get my blog out there, and I love that it brings new exposure to the Undaunted Army and what we hope to accomplish! Be sure you check out my quarterly giveaway page, too - there are several free and easy ways to enter - and members of the Undaunted Army are always eligible for extra entries!

And speaking of the Army, I'd like to personally invite you to take your place among the ranks of those who have fought and survived the battles of life. Addiction, abuse, violence, divorce, parenting, illness, and other traumas are real battles too, and those who suit up to fight every day have a right and an obligation to nurture their own health, well-being, and self-empowerment. But there is strength in numbers, as as a member of the Undaunted Army, you have the hope of knowing that you will never have to fight your battles alone again. Enlist as an Undaunted Army Private for free, or invest in the growing impact of the Army with an Undaunted Army Officer Commission for as little as $1 a month.

However we stay connected, always know that my brand and the Undaunted Army itself are solely built on what I write and who I'm writing it for. "Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman" isn't just a slogan or a tagline - it's a purpose and a goal, which is why, whether you're a first time reader or a long-time loyal follower ... from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being here.