Last month, I wrote about the three things I wanted to get done by October 13 of this year, on which date, by remarkable coincidence,* I’ll be turning thirty.
In the name of
gleaning motivation from the looming spectre of public shame keeping myself accountable, I’ll be posting monthly updates! Here’s the first one:
Goal 1: Get in Shape. I’ve been going to the gym at least twice a week and walking more. Right now, I’m mostly working on establishing a routine, but I’m also starting to tiptoe into weight training (a more wholehearted foray into that is probably going to have to wait until I can either afford a session with a trainer or find a friend to walk me through some basics—I have really bad wrists, and I don’t want to sideline myself by fucking them up with poor form). I know it’s only been a month and change, but I had forgotten how generally much better I feel and how much easier it is to eat well when I’m exercising regularly.
Progress so far: On schedule, although I’ll want to ramp things up soon.
- Keep up the twice-a-week gym thing, and shoot for three.
- Learn how to use freeweights without seriously injuring myself or others.
- Find more ways to exercise incidental to going about my day.
Goal 2: Finish a Novel Draft. Roughly 3k words in. Finally caught the protagonist’s voice, and came up with some semi-useful tricks for staving off self-editing (It’ll cost me more revision in the long run, but fuck that—the goal here is a finished first draft, not anything remotely publishable). Biggest challenge on this one is going to be keeping up momentum and keeping myself from reading back over what I’ve written (for now); see above re: self-editing. If I can establish and stick to a semi-regular schedule, I’m pretty confident I can do this.
Progress so far: On schedule.
Outlook: Guardedly optimistic.
- Establish and maintain a solid schedule and weekly wordcount goal.
- Find a regular place to work. Probably a coffee shop or bar, although it’d be cool if I could work outdoors sometimes…
Goal 3: Beat Mega Man 2. The last month confirms my initial prediction: this is definitely going to be the hardest one. I am making concrete progress—every time I play, I get a bit further, and I’m gradually picking up skill—but I’m still not confident that I can get good enough fast enough. A couple friends have generously volunteered to coach me through this, and I think I’m going to need to start scheduling a couple hours a week of regular time for that. To beat this game by my birthday, I’ll need to do better than a stage a month, and unless my learning curve picks up dramatically, I don’t know how the hell I’m going to do this.
Progress so far: Incremental.
- Schedule regular coached play time, bribing as necessary with home-baked cookies.
- Stop mixing up the “jump” and “shoot” buttons, and, ideally, learn to use them in conjunction.
- Remember that listening to the Protomen and/or the Megas does not actually count toward practice time or improve gameplay skills.
*It’s as good an arbitrary deadline as any.