Hocus Focus

I’m trying to master distractions and reclaim my focus. In order to do so, I’ve been reading books and articles with techniques, tips, and tricks. Right now I’m trying the 18 Minute program from Peter Bregman. The basic idea idea is that you define areas to focus on in your life. Everything you say yes to should fit into and move you ahead in one of those focus areas. Then, day by day you plan your work based in the focus areas and calendar the work to be sure you have enough time to complete your tasks. If an item does not get finished in a day, it moves to the next day. After three days you have a few choices for that item- do it now, put it on a maybe list or forget about it.

I like the process so far. Calendaring my items shows me whether or not I have enough time to complete everything I think I can. It will help me decide what projects to take on because I’ll have a better idea of how much time I actually have.

i also like the process because it’s applicable to any job/life situation. It works for me as a contractor, but I can also see how it would be helpful to someone in an office. It’s really about where to spend your time, how to determine how much time you really have, and what to do with tasks that don’t get done.

YouTube Workout Challenge, Days 29 and 30

Well, it’s over. For the last 30 days (plus all those days I didn’t actually work out) I’ve made workouts part of my routine. Almost four months ago I left my office job and started to work from home as a freelance writer. Pursing my dream was a monumental decision. As I worked long hours to establishing myself as a writer for hire, I was mostly sedentary. I was no longer walking to meetings or around town on breaks with my colleagues. My longest walk was about 15 steps from my home office to the mailbox. My body started to rebel. I gained weight in places I didn’t know you could gain weight. I lost muscle tone and become pretty out of shape in a very short amount of time. This challenge was to get fitness back into my daily routine and it has helped a lot. I didn’t take any weights or measures before I started, so I don’t have numerical proof, but I do have general, feel good proof. My clothes fit better, I feel better, and most importantly, I look forward to my workouts. They’re a part of my daily routine now.

The final two workouts were: 20 Minute Beginner Workout: Full body Yoga, Tone, & Cardio by Gym Ra and 20 Minute Upper Body Arms and Abs Work Out: Armed and Dangerous by JessicaSmithTV

Verdict: Both felt good. I’ll be sure to keep them on my rotation.

I’m not sure what my next challenge is, or if I’ll even do one. These last two challenges were ways for me to revive my blog and get writing more often. Maybe my next challenge will be a writing challenge. Maybe NanoWriMo?

30-Day Blog Challenge, Day 30

The end!

Your goals for the next 30 days.

First I’m going to reflect in these last 30 days. I was not happy with the topics in this particular blog challenge, but I think I have a few ideas about how to turn the posts around into actual, interesting, readable material. I’ll let you know more as I hash it out.

But my next thirty day challenge is going to be a fun one. The purpose of this first thirty day challenge was to make blogging more of a habit. The purpose of the next 30 days will be to make exercise more of a habit. I exercise fairly often, but it’s usually one of three go to workouts. As I’m getting older they’re just not cutting it anymore. So to mix things up, I’m going to do 30 different YouTube workouts in 30 days. By the end of the month, I’ll come away with at least a few news routines or ideas on how to get some variety in my exercise plan!

I’ll post the links here and a quick review of each video.

30-Day Blog Challenge, Day 19

Your biggest regret in life.

I’m not much of a dweller. I tend to look forward more than look back. There are things I wish I’d done differently and things I wish hadn’t happened, but nothing that feels like a nagging regret. Ultimately I wish I’d been a better friend, daughter, and sister during my teenage years. I struggled nightly with trying to find my own way. I think it’s why I’m drawn to writing YA. Telling someone else’s story feels like I’m getting a bit of a do-over. 

 

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 9

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Well, this one is easy. I’d be a writer. I’d make a living with my words, my ideas, my characters, my visions. I’m so fortunate to have found my way toward this path. I’m making small steps toward making this dream come completely true. For now, I still write for other people, but at least I’m writing. Someday, I’ll write my own fiction. Someday I’ll hold my own book in my two hands.

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 4- Right on Time

Your views on religion

I think my answer to this is similar to the drinking and drugs question. I’ve seen religion tear families apart, alienate people, and propagate ignorance. I’ve also seen religion being peace, well-bring, and community to others.

I don’t believe religion is in anyway innately bad, I believe when people do something in the name of a religion or the name of their God that bad things happen. If we could all believe what we want and treat others well, religion would be something that people don’t reject and turn away from. It would simply be a way of living.

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 3- 1 Day Late

Your views on drugs and alcohol

Hmm…in moderation, when needed, and not before driving. I’ve seen lives ruined by both, but I’ve also seen people enjoying their lives with both. As long as it doesn’t hurt others and as long as it’s not being used to hurt yourself, I think a little imbibing is fine for most people.

 

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 2- 2 Days Late

Where you’d like to be in 10 years?

This is a better question than the first day prompt. I think I was so frustrated by how inane Day 1 was that I almost gave up. But I’ll make it up now.

In 10 years I’d like to have a few books published and be making a comfortable living as a full-time writer. I hope to still be as happy with my relationship as I am today. My dogs will be seniors and we’ll spoil them rotten everyday. My nephew will be 10 1/2 years old, a healthy, smart, happy boy who loves his tia.

I hope to make more time for volunteering and bettering the community. I hope by then I know more of my neighbors.

I guess I don’t really want anything too big or too crazy. I just want to be healthy and happy, surrounded by people and dogs I love and doing things that matter.

30-Day Blog Challenge- Day 1

Rather than spending too much time apologizing for my absence over the last 4+ months, I’m just going to get right into this. I need a kick in the pants to get blogging again. So here goes:

Prompt: Your current relationship status. If single, discuss being single.

Right away this blog challenge irks me. Why should we single out single people? Why can’t married, divorced, dating, asexual people discuss, too?

My relationship status is not something that should concern others.

So there you go! Welcome back to blogging, Amanda.

30dayblogchallenge

The More Things Change…

It’s been a while. Life and all that stuff is my excuse. I’ve been writing and making wonderful progress. Both YA novels are in some form of revision and I’m pretty happy with the direction they both took. I meet with a writing critique group twice a month. They’ve offered invaluable advice and support. I’ve kept up the habit of writing everyday, usually about 1100 words. So writing is good.

Actually, writing is great.

And that’s where my life is changing. I’m beginning to feel a distinct calling to do more writing work. I’ve been reaching out to friends who freelance and getting their advice on building my own writing portfolio and maybe starting a little writing work on the side. Today I took major steps toward that interest. I offered to do some volunteer writing and I answered a posting online looking for blog writers. Nothing may come of either, but in the end I made that small tiptoe toward a calling I feel.