Day 310 :Monthly Check-in Pt. 10

Helloooo! It’s been awhile because I’ve been busy (as always). It’s almost Summer, almost the end of my year project, almost time for another. And now it’s time for a check in.

  1. Work on my Novel – Almost done my book! I just have a few last things to add and then I should be done. I also have a draft query letter, and a list of agents to send it to once my book is all done. I’m aiming to finish by this weekend since I don’t have many plans, but I always aim to do that and then end up watching Netflix for hours and hours. Maybe I should go to a coffeeshop this weekend and power through. We’ll see. By July 23, I should at least be querying agents. Call it a half win?
  2. Ballet – I have been going again! After months and years of telling myself I’m too tired, and not good enough, I’ve been going on a regular basis. I think going to Pilates and yoga also has something to do with it, since I’m constantly feeling good from exercising, and I keep wanting to feel that way. I won’t move up to the next class level by July 23, but maybe by the end of the year if I feel up it it. Fingers crossed!
  3. Promotion –  DONE! 
  4. Get out of credit card debt –  DONE!!
  5. In a relationship – I started online dating again. I only took a break for two months or so and then my friend got engaged and my other friend got a boyfriend. So here I am. Expect me to take a break again in a couple months. Haha.
  6. Cleaning my life – Not part of my big five, but it’s my monthly goal. I’ve been doing okay at this. I gave some things to goodwill, cleaned out my car, and am in the process of purging my closet. It’s a process and will take longer than I want it to.

So that’s it! Despite not crossing off any major goals this time around, I do feel like I’m making progress that will pay off two to three months from now if I continue working at the same pace I am now.

I’m also almost done with “this year”, so while some my goals might stay the same for next year, I’m going to take the next few weeks to really think about my life and what I want it to be in the future. And then I’ll make a yearly goals to get there. Stay tuned.

Until tomorrow.

55 days to go.

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Day 294: Spring Cleaning

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As my 30 Day challenge this month, I decided it was time to comb through my room and tidy everything. That means throwing out stuff I don’t need which is in poor condition and giving away stuff I no longer use which is in good condition. I took a few bags of clothing and various other items to goodwill last weekend. It was so easy and yet I had been putting it off for months and months. It’s also pretty refreshing to see space suddenly appear on my floor, bookcase and in my closet. I’m not there yet, but I am working towards it.

This is also helping me work towards my capsule collection, which is part of my 18 in 2018. Since I’m going through my closet it’s pretty easy for me to see what I wear on a regular basis and what I tend to let sit in my closet for months and months (Hint: It’s all the things I have which don’t fit quite right and I feel pretty meh about.) I’m still working through things, but I feel like I’ve made good progress so far. Still to do:

  1. Figure out where to store my art supplies, which I don’t use much, but would like to keep.
  2. Continue purging my closet, figure out what staple pieces I’m missing, and replace with good quality pieces.
  3. Get items tailored which I like, but don’t fit very well.
  4. Hang pictures
  5. Figure out what to do with the miscellany which I move from corner to corner.

A lot to do, but writing out all the steps I need to take to get things in order is really helpful! Now I have a clear path for what I need to do.

Until tomorrow.

71 Days to go.

Day 292: Out of Debt!

Three and a half years ago I moved from the east coast to the west coast with no job, no friends, and no place to live. It was equally brave and foolish. I thought I had a few years of work under my belt and I should be able to easily find a job, but wasn’t easy at all.

For the first year I lived in Los Angeles, I had a series of part time jobs and internships, and I cut down my expenses to the bare minimum. I slept on the floor and my apartment had no furniture. I bought a desk to work and a chair from Ikea. Other than that I dipped into my savings to pay my rent and I put everything else on a credit card – groceries, gas, insurance. I racked up quite a lot of debt even by cutting my expenses to only the necessities. Living is expensive.

I began racking up debt on my one credit card. It made me nervous, so I opened another card with 0 interest for the first 18 months. I thought I would be able to get a job and pay it off easy without having to pay any interest. It took me about a year to get a temp job which gave me forty hours a week and by that time I was several thousand dollars in the hole.

Having a temp job guaranteed me a steady income, but it only paid minimum wage. I only allowed myself a certain amount of groceries in order to stay under budget. Health insurance was incredibly expensive, but at least I had it. Any time there was a holiday or a half day, I got off work, but I also didn’t get paid. If I wanted to visit home, I had to to leave without pay. I wasn’t racking up additional debt, but I couldn’t save any money or pay off any debt either. It continued to rack up with all the interest since I could only pay the bare minimum. Then I had to do major repair on my car and racked up thousands of  more dollars. I was definitely on the borderline of panic every time I looked at my balances.

Meanwhile I continued working my terrible, low paying job. I didn’t have the courage to quit because I was terrified I wouldn’t get any other opportunities, but eventually I had to go. I couldn’t stay forever or I would be there forever with no opportunities forward. Even though I was afraid, I left. The terror of staying there for a long time outweighed my fear of being unemployed. I was jobless for another month.

Eventually I got another temp gig, which paid more and I got some overtime. (The people were nice too.) Then I got hired full time, and got a promotion, and I could start paying off my pile of credit card debt. I paid off a bit and then I started paying off more and more this year. Yesterday I paid off the last of it.  My savings are on the small side, but I should be able to save a whole lot by the end of the year, and I’ll no longer have this particular anxiety hanging over my head. There’s a freedom to not having any debt. So now I just need to work towards the freedom of becoming financially independent.

Two out of Five down.

Until tomorrow.

73 days to go.

Day 285: Whistle While I Work

Happy May! I didn’t do so well on my April Monthly challenge. Turns out taking pictures every day when you’re stuck in an office with too much to do, is good in theory, but not necessarily in practice. Maybe I’ll continue trying to take a picture every couple days just to remind myself to be grateful for the world around me.

For the next challenge the month of May means spring cleaning! So for the rest of the month, I’ll try to do a little cleaning and tidying to put my life in order. I’ve been holding on to a lot of random stuff out of laziness and lack of time, so this month I want to filter through all the things I actually need and use.

I’ve already cleaned out a few pieces from my closet I haven’t worn in forever, and donated them to goodwill. Now I just have to go deeper into my closet and get rid of things I’m more sentimental of. (That’s the hard part.)

Hopefully by the end of the month everything will be appropriately tidy and actually in rotation of use.

Until tomorrow.

80 days to go. (Has the year really gone by so quickly? I guess it has.)

Day 278: Monthly Check in Pt 9

Eek! Already nine months have passed since I started this blog. I feel like I’ve barely made any headway, but that can’t be true. Updates below!

  1. Work on my Novel – Almost done editing my book! I also joined Publisher’s Marketplace, Writer’s Digest and several other websites to help me begin putting together a list of agents to query. I have’t gotten as far as I liked, but I did make some progress. Baby steps.
  2. Ballet – I went once this month, started going to yoga again, and tried a pilates class. It’s not as much as I want to do, but I’m really trying to make exercise a regular part of my life. It’s hard.
  3. Promotion –  DONE! 
  4. Get out of credit card debt – Still chugging along here! I decided to increase my monthly payments so I should be done in July if things continue as they presently are. I had some roommate trouble recently, which made me realize how much I need to pay this off and become more financially stable. It’s ongoing goal, but I will finish paying my debt of this year!
  5. In a relationship – Taking a break from dating. 
  6. A picture a day – I know this isn’t part of my big five, but it’s my monthly goal. I did okay at the beginning of the month and then completely stopped. It didn’t even register with me some days that I should post a picture. I’ve got to find a better way to do these monthly goals.

So I didn’t to as well as I wanted (like always), but I’m still working on things. I’m still moving forward and getting things done…just not as fast as I would like, but isn’t that usually the way of things. Ballet class starts again next week and I’m going to do a lot of writing this weekend, so maybe I’ll be farther along in a few days. And maybe when the year of this blog is over and I have new goals, I’ll be done at least four or five of these. We’ll see.

 

Until tomorrow.

87 days to go. (WOW!)

Day 253: April Monthly Challenge

Happy April! I have three updates for today! My March monthly challenge of meditating every day went pretty well! It was a bit spotty at the beginning due to travel and work, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll try to meditate every day. It really does kick start my day in that I can be more productive after I meditate, and I feel much calmer, and ready to face the day when I meditate. Definitely something I want to continue doing and incorporate into my life for the long term.

Update two! For the month of April, I’m going to take a photo every day and post it on Twitter. I think I decided to do this for three reasons:

  1. It’ll tie into my gratitude since I’ll be taking pictures of things I’m interested in and/or grateful for.
  2. It’ll tie into my meditation, because I’ll be forced to notice things instead of walking through life on autopilot.
  3. It’ll force me to get out of the house.

Feel free to follow me at @CupofJoyce. I’ll tweet pictures and random thoughts. That’s it mostly. And I’ll be providing updates over here, of course.

Update three! I was online dating for awhile, but I’ve decided to stop for the moment. No one was responding to me and I grew very disheartened and discouraged. I would still like to meet someone, but I’ll have to think of new ways of doing that. I’m not going to cross it off in my About Me section, but I think I’m going to grey it out for awhile. Meeting someone just seems impossible right now, and so I’m going to take a break.

I lied. Update four! I am making headway on my writing goals and joined a bunch of websites (which I paid for!) to look for agents. I would say I’m a quarter way done this edit and so once I finish (and write a query and synopsis) I will begin my quest for an agent. I’ll certainly be writing a few updates.

Until tomorrow.

112 days to go.

Day 244: Monthly Check-in Pt. 8

Time for check-in number eight. I’ve felt in a funk for the last month-ish, so I’m don’t really feel I’ve made any progress. Let’s have a look-see though.

  1. Work on my Novel – I’m editing my book again and it feels like things are getting there, although I’m often still unhappy by a sentence or paragraph. Well, I’ll continue editing away and see how things go. I also didn’t make a list of agents or start a query letter or anything. I did break down those tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks today, so hopefully I can make some progress next month.
  2. Ballet – I didn’t go at all this month. Or to yoga. It was a bad month for exercising. I’ll try to get back on the wagon this week.
  3. Promotion –  DONE! 
  4. Get out of credit card debt – This is going really well still! I paid off a large chunk of my debt and am continuing to pay off my credit card at a steady rate. I wish it would go faster, but unless I win the lottery or sell my book I’ll have to continue paying it off one week at a time.
  5. In a relationship – Bumbling away. I haven’t met anyone in person though and most people don’t respond to my messages. Maybe I’ll delete the app finally. I’m tired.
  6. Meditation – I know this isn’t part of my big five, but it’s my monthly goal. I meditated pretty much every day last week and I’m pretty proud of myself. I get fidgety and anxious sometimes, but I think I’m getting better. That’s all I can ask for really.

So what is that? Two and a half out of five. That’s not bad. Not great, but I’ll try to better next month. I’m always thinking about ways to improve my schedule (definitely needs some improvement).

Like I said, I’m feeling in a funk. I haven’t been exercising so I really need to make that part of my life and maybe it’ll make me feel better. We’ll see.

Until tomorrow.

121 days to go.