January Goals

To get a start on my resolutions, I set some goals for this month. When I set goals I try not to set too many. Usually I aim for four, but will occasionally go as high as five. I also try and by very specific about what I am trying to achieve. This month my goals are:

  1. Quilt the Jungle Path Quilt
  2. Finish the Holiday Train Stitch
  3. Submit something to Critique Group
  4. Cardio eight times
  5. Weights six times

I’m already making great progress on number two, and I’ve thought about what I want to submit for number three (MG sci fi chapter 2). The hardest one to complete will be number one. I need to stay focused and work hard.

Do you have anything you want to accomplish this month?

Gymnastics and Flexibility Update

I haven’t updated about my adult gymnastics class in a while, so I thought I would take the time today. These posts are mostly just for me. I like to look back and see my progress.

In addition to doing gymnastics once a week, I’ve been working on my flexibility at home. When I was a teen I was able to do the splits. This time when I started splits practice, I was so high up I needed support to even get into a split position. Left (my dominant side) has been coming along well. Because of a pulled muscle right has been slow, but I’m making progress again.straddle stretch on a yoga matMy big break through this week was to get my straddle to the point where both feet and my butt are on the yoga mat. Also, can I just say how hard that picture was to take. The iPad only has a timer of 10sec and getting a good angle was tough! Need to set a new goal for straddle/middles.

I’m still enjoying my adult gymnastics class, and I’ll be signing up for a second session. I was feeling a bit lost for a week or so, but I’ve got a few new goals to work toward. Hard to feel like you are making progress, when you aren’t sure what progress you want to be making.

On bars I am working on my pullover. Last week I wasn’t having any luck. It felt like I was banging on a wall. I would try over and over, but whatever was wrong I couldn’t seem to fix it. I didn’t make any progress at all. I did get some advice from one coach, but I couldn’t seem to put it into practice. Then this week I tried what she had suggested and it clicked. I guess my brain needed a week to process the idea. Still a long way to go, but I got the pull over from two boxes. Next week I hope to get it from one.

On floor I am still working on my handstands. I found the balance point yesterday and held one for 2-3 seconds! It was amazing. I’m also working on my cartwheel with a goal of moving up to a round-off.

What are some of your hobbies that people might find strange? Do you have any sports you love as an adult that you never tried as a kid?

Handstands scare me, but I keep doing them

Well, I’ve had five gymnastics classes now. I’m still enjoying it and can see myself doing at least one more session after this one. I’m starting to develop preferences for some coaches over others, and I’m starting to get a feel for what events I enjoy and which I’d rather avoid if possible.

The biggest skill I’ve been working on is handstands. In short, I can’t do them. The first week when they said to do five handstands, I remember my eyes going wide. The idea that I could kick into a handstand without any further direction was laughable. I remember trying and barely being able to get both feet off the floor in my attempts. My second foot probably came no more than a few inches off the ground. It needed to stay close to the ground, so I could feel safe.

The second week I worked on handstands on floor and was happy to successfully kick both feet off the floor without feeling overwhelmed. I was even able to get both feet several inches off the floor in donkey kicks. In many ways I found donkey kicks harder than a regular handstand. Having to kick both feet at once felt awkward and difficult.

When I kicked my legs high enough they were a 45° angle from the floor, I was amazed. I was seeing real, measurable, progress. In each of my five classes I’ve seen improvements on my handstand. Three times I’ve had the opportunity to focus on handstands during floor work. Last week I kicked into vertical for the first time! According to an observer, I made vertical, hung there for a fraction of a second, and even my toes were pointed to the ceiling. Last week I also had to truly bail for the first time. It was awkward and I didn’t do it well, but I survived and it left me feel more comfortable, not less. Who knows what this week will bring…

Are you able to do a handstand? What scares you, but you do it anyway?

Adult Gymnastics Progress

I posted last week about taking an adult gymnastics class. It’s my first time ever doing artistic gymnastics. It’s pretty far out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways. I’m having a blast.

You may have noticed in the past that I’m a very goal oriented person. So I’m going to set a few goals for gymnastics. I’m not putting a timeline on anything right now, but I want to have a list in one place of what I hope to get out of the class. It turns out I have more things to accomplish than I thought, and I’ve broken my goals into categories!


  1. Try Bars – Sep. 13
  2. A pull over without human assistance – (two boxes) Nov. 15
  3. A pull over with only one box
  4. Ten head taps without coming off the bar
  5. Get one foot on top of the low bar (left)
  6. Get one foot on top of the low bar (right)
  7. Get both feet up on top of the low bar
  8. Get both feet up and balance for a 2-3 seconds
  9. Hang for 10 secs in an overhand grip chin up


  1. Try Beam

Flexibility (this will be outside class practice mostly):

  1. Get down in a left split
  2. Get within 5 inches of a left split
  3. Get within 5 inches of a right split
  4. Get within 10 inches of a left split – Oct 9 (7.5″)
  5. Get within 10 inches of a right split – Oct 9 (9″)
  6. Get within 10 inches of a middle split
  7. Get both feet and my butt on the yoga mat in middles – Nov. 14
  8. Get within 5 inches of a middle stretch
  9. Get within 10 inches of a middle stretch – Oct 9 (8.5″)
  10. Start working on cobra to stretch out my back


  1. Try Floor – Sep. 13
  2. Forward roll – Sep. 13
  3. Forward roll to standing without using my hands – Sep. 28
  4. Backward roll
  5. Kick to 45° for a handstand – Sep. 20
  6. Kick to vertical for a handstand – Oct. 12
  7. Kick to handstand, then forward roll out
  8. Kick to handstand and hold for 2 seconds – Nov. 15
  9. Kick to handstand and hold for more than 5 seconds
  10. Do a cartwheel – Nov. 8 (still need work)
  11. Do a round off from a box


  1. Try Trampoline – Oct. 4
  2. Seat bounce to seat bounce with half turn


  1. Try Vault – Sep. 20
  2. Get my feet to touch instead of my knees on a springboard vault to my hands – Sep. 28
  3. Straddle vault – Sep. 28

I plan to update and add to this list for this term of gymnastics. Hopefully I find some more skills to add, and check off many that I have on here.

Can you do a cartwheel? What things have you tried that are out of your comfort zone?

Getting new Experiences as a Writer

When a good friend approached me with the idea of taking adult artistic gymnastics classes I was sure I wasn’t interested. I did rhythmic in my early teens, but I’ve never done artistic. I was never able to do a handstand or a round off. I’ve always been hesitant with dynamic movement and scared of heights (I’m a big chicken). Adult gymnastics would put me well outside my comfort zone.

Somehow, I found myself thinking about it in the weeks after my friend brought it up. I’ve always wanted to be able to do a handstand, even though my heart beats a bit faster just thinking about kicking up into one (I mentioned the hesitancy about dynamic movement right?). Re-learning to do a forward roll and a cartwheel might be fun. I like organized fitness classes, it was possible I would enjoy it.

For a few weeks I thought about it. I talked it over with my husband. The timing was fine, the money wasn’t an issue, and if I hated it I would stop at a single term. He also pointed out that gymnastics would help with my fear of hesitancy in dynamic movement. Things like that wall I couldn’t get on top of at mud hero would become easier. I really want to scale that wall at mud hero next year.

There are two things that finally swayed me to give adult gymnastics a try:

  1. A writer needs new experiences. If I hate it, I can stop at one term. By at least trying it I have a new experience to draw on as a writer.
  2. I really like exercise clothes and my husband suggested I would need new capris and a tank for gymnastics.

When I found myself looking for just the right pair of capris (not too long, but tight to the bottom), I knew I was going to take the class. I still made my friend hold my hand (figuratively) while I hit the submit on my class payment though.

We had our first class on Wednesday and it was fun. Really FUN. I kind of remember how to do a cartwheel. My hands and feet are moving in the right order, but I have a ways to go to get vertical again. As expected, I’m too scared to really kick up into a handstand, but I’m not bothered by taking it slow. After one class I’m already thinking I’ll probably sign up for the winter term too.

What new things have you tried recently? Do you ever do new things just to be able to write about them?

Spring is Here (finally)

We had a long winter in my neck of the woods. Long enough that my son had a snow day in early April! Now spring is finally here with its rainy days (we are supposed to have rain everyday this week), and on the days of no rain, bike rides, sidewalk chalk, and other outdoor activities abound.

Spring is known for being a time of renewal, decluttering, and cleaning. I have been trying to take some time to think about these things. This winter, I spent a few months in hibernation. Until we had a few sunny days, I didn’t realize how much I had withdrawn from my own life. Apparently it was a rougher winter than I thought. Now that I am feeling present again it is time to get things done.

Years ago I had to simplify my hobbies. I had too many things I wanted to do, and the end result was that I didn’t get much time to do any of them. These days I focus my limited free time on time with my family, sewing, and writing. If I only have time for only a few hobbies, I need to pick the ones that matter most to me. When I sat down and looked at the long list of crafts, hobbies, and other time sinks I enjoyed, theses were the ones that came out on top. I expect they will change over time, but right now my focus is on finding time for each of these things.

For the last month I’ve made a real effort to exercise. As much as I would love to find time for writing and sewing, I know from experience I need to feel good about myself to be motivated to do much of anything. For me, exercise is the key for feeling good about myself (for me! your mileage may vary). Exercise helps me sleep well at night, keeps me strong enough to play with my kid, and allows me to feel productive. Plus it encourages my love of numbers. Now that I have exercise (both cardio and some basic strength) back into my weekly routine it is time to start adding in other things.

This month I want to focus on writing, with a bit of sewing thrown in. I hope to write twice a week for the rest of the month, and get at least two evenings of sewing. I already know what my projects are going to be! I will finish the Jungle Path quilt top, and write a new short story.

What helps you feel motivated? What hobbies are most important to you?

March Goals

My goals for February were:

  1. Write 10k – including at least two 500 word postsDone!
  2. Sell, donate, etc at least three bags/boxes/equivalent – Done!
  3. Exercise (bike, DDR, or run) 8 times – Calling it Done!
  4. Quilt the mystery quilt – Done!

I’m going to call this month a win. For writing I wrote more than double my goal, although I didn’t write any 500 word posts. For the biking I did 6/8, but I was sick for the last half week of the month when I would have easily done, and had planned to do, the last two workouts.

My goals for March are:

  1. Workout 10 times (bike, swim, or run)
  2. Write 10k
  3. Clear out at least three boxes/big items from the basement
  4. Use my bullet journal all month

Yearly Update:

  1. Piece at least three quilt tops – 0/3
  2. Finish at least three quilts – 1/3
  3. Write 10k a month – 22k/110k (not including Nov)
  4. Submit to critique group eight times – 1/8
  5. Exercise twice a week – 14/96

Declutter Update: I haven’t done as much this month as I would like. I did go through my clothes and get a pile of my son’s old clothes out of the house. I need to move on to paper and the basement next. If I can clear out the basement I have room to put more things in storage down there.

How did you goals for February go? Are you doing anything new in March?

2017 Resolutions Update – January

My Goals (resolutions) for the year are:

  1. Piece at least three quilt tops
  2. Finish at least three quilts
  3. Write 10k a month
  4. Submit to critique group at least eight times
  5. Exercise twice a week
  6. Continue to get more out of the house than comes in
  7. Set up the crafting corner in the study

Some of these are easy to quantify. I’ve set up the numbers below for those:

  1. Piece at least three quilt tops – 0/3
  2. Finish at least three quilts – 0/3
  3. Write 10k a month – 0/110,000 (I’m not including Nov in this)
  4. Submit to critique group at least eight times – 0/8
  5. Exercise twice a week – 8/96

Can’t say I’m doing too well so far this year. I must strive to do better.

The last two items I can’t track in terms of numbers though. This makes it tough to report in on, but I do want to keep myself accountable. My plan is to include numbers for the first five in each monthly update and then a small paragraph on the last two if appropriate.

Declutter update:
In January we didn’t bring many new items into the house. My husband found a few pieces of clothing and we’ve bought books for my son. We sent out two boxes and a big bag of stuff in January. The setting up of my craft space is still in the get stuff out of the way phase. I need to target the study specifically for decluttering.

Have you made any progress on your New Years Resolutions? Any great decluttering tips that might help me sort out that craft space?

January Goals

I didn’t really set December goals, so I have nothing to recap this month. I don’t mind. I like the idea of starting fresh for the new year anyway!

My goals for January are:

  1. Write 10k (does not have to be all the same project)
  2. Exercise 8 times (bike or DDR)
  3. Quilt the mystery quilt (more on that in an upcoming post)
  4. Donate three bags/boxes/equivalent

Since I’m trying to stick to my ‘resolutions’ this year, all four of my goals relate to the priorities I set. I really need to refresh my writing spreadsheet for the year, so I’m ready to track my progress each month.

Have you set any goals for this month? Are you sticking to any resolutions you set this year?

New Years Goals (or Resolutions)

I like to set priorities, then goals within those priorities. For some reason this works better for me than trying to set resolutions.

My Priorities this year are:

  • Organizing the house with the top priority being a new crafting space
  • Sewing/Quilting
  • Writing
  • Exercising

My goals within these priorities are:

Organizing the House
The biggest thing on my mind right now is finding a sewing space in the house, and continuing to reduce the amount of clutter and stuff we own. Everytime I visit my mother or inlaws I am reminded that we don’t need as much as we have to get by. We can certainly get by with far less than we have. It will probably even make us happier in the long run. It will certainly make me less anxious.

With that in mind my specific goals are:
– Continue to get more out of the house than comes in, including at birthdays and other special times
– Set up the crafting corner in the study

I’ve really enjoyed sewing the last few years. I would love to try new sewing projects, but at the same time I’ve felt a real sense of accomplishment from the two quilts I finished. I would love to have several quilts living in my living room and one on each of the beds upstairs (eventually). This year I want to get a start on that goal.

Specific goals:
– Piece at least three quilt tops (this includes already started quilts)
– Finish at least three quilts (this can include any already started quilts)
I actually hope to accomplish more than this, but I don’t want to over commit.

I don’t always give writing the priority that I should. I enjoy writing new things, and I am learning (slowly) to edit what I’ve written. I was to continue to improve as a writer and that means getting the practice time in. I’m always telling my son he just needs to keep practicing his reading and it will get easier. Time to live by my own words.

Specific Goals:
– Write 10k a month (I was going to go with 3k a week, but my friend is doing this and I like it better)
– Submit to crit group at least eight times

I’ll admit the goals I’ve set for this one aren’t enough. I know that, so I’m going to start small and work up through the year. For now my goal is only applicable to Jan and Feb while I find my feet after a far too long hiatus from all exercise.

Specific Goal:
– Exercise twice a week.

To keep myself accountable I plan to include how I’m making out on my yearly goals when I do the wrap up of my monthly goals. I hope that the constant reminder will keep these priorities fresh in my mind and prevent me from forgetting about them next month or even next week.

Do you set resolutions each year? Do you ever complete them?