Sunday, March 31, 2019

'Self' Progress: First-Quarter Report

Those of you who follow me on social media know that every year—at least for the past few years—I compose an annual New Year’s themed blog post in which I lay out my resolutions for the coming year. Why do I do this? Mainly, to hold myself accountable in the public square. I’ve learned over the years that resolutions kept to oneself are easier to take shortcuts around, gloss over, or just conveniently forget altogether. Each year, I establish at least three goals, laid out within the holistic framework of mind, body, and soul. This year’s post can be found here.

For this year’s mind-centric resolution, I set out to drastically limit political postings to my Facebook wall and have tried to refrain from commenting on political threads elsewhere. Three months in to 2019, and I’d deem progress on this goal well underway. One scroll through my social media feeds and you’ll see a tremendous (dare I say, “bigly”?) reduction in the number of posts about our current administration. Yes, there are a few—times when I simply can’t contain the myriad thoughts that pour out of my mind onto the keyboard, times when I feel like I really have something of value to add to the conversation. And, yes, I’ve succumbed to the demonic pull of commenting on others’ political posts on occasion, try as I might not to. But, overall, vast improvement noted in this area. I’ve also continued the strides made in the year-prior’s slate of resolutions, continuing to limit my news sources, filtering out biased sources in favor of more unbiased, legitimate ones.

After tanking both of my 2018 body-related resolutions—re-gaining forty of the fifty pounds lost in 2017 and failing miserably to decrease my psychological reliance on Starbucks coffee—I’m proud to say that Stella’s got her groove back in this area. After a shaky start in January, I’ve now dramatically decreased my Starbucks consumption—the iced Cinnamon Dolce latte and accursed bacon, egg, and gouda breakfast sandwich were my mainstays—to once per week, down from daily. I went cold turkey, suffered through the psychological withdrawal and am now no longer dependent on that daily fix. In addition, after failing last year to recalibrate following Oprah’s tinkering with the Weight Watchers’ successful SmartPoints program by adding the nonsensical “freestyle” element, I’ve finally found my way through the program’s changes and lost just over 15 pounds over this first quarter (and, really, more like since the middle of February when I finally re-grouped enough and got serious). That puts me at 25% of my 60-pound year-end goal—exactly where I should be. More than enough to declare first-quarter success on my “body” goals for 2019!

Lastly, regarding those soul/spirit-centric goals I’ve set for myself in 2019, I’m also off to a solid start there as well. I’ve already accomplished my priority this year: Completion of my first poetry collection(!). While it resides with a select handful of beta readers who I trust to offer unflinching feedback, I will next begin to scout out an appropriate publishing home for it. I will now commence completion of that handful of unfinished short stories I mentioned in my New Year’s post and find fitting homes for those while I await word on the one that was submitted to a very cool themed anthology earlier in the year. I also set out to perform more acts of kindness this year, with a goal of performing one random act of charity/kindness per month. Although the acts have been small, I’ve kept kindness on my mind through the first three months of the year—and will continue to do so. Good progress on the “soul” goals!

So, enough about me. How are YOU doing on your goals for 2019?

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