Welcome to the end of January (it’s only a couple of days away!).
As many of you know, I’m staying off the grid this year, and in the early days of this journey I want to share how it’s going so far.
What’s going well
Writing. A twelve-day staycation allowed me to finish the first round of editing to the sequel to Broken Man Broke. Despite a hectic schedule, I’m being consistent with my blog and newsletter. And I’m having fun working on a new book. You can read a sneak peek here (and I’d love to know what you think!).
Running. Winter in Toronto can be bitterly cold, but January hasn’t been that bad. Once I get going, running outside when it’s -21 C doesn’t feel so bad … if you’re dressed properly. And even though the stomach flu put me out of commission for about five days, I ran more than 220 km (a small increase over January 2019).
Social Media. My presence on social media has been minimal. Not having the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram apps on my phone helps me to stay disconnected.
New experiences. I bought a pasta maker and made homemade, goose-filled ravioli. They were delicious. I also attended a Beef Hind Quarter Class offered by my favourite local butcher. They showed us how to break down the beef hip and loin sections to produce popular cuts like striploin, tenderloin, rib eye, top sirloin, inside round, eye of round, outside round, and sirloin tip. It was fun.
Sleepwalking. Not in the way it sounds. Even rising at 3:00 am, it didn’t feel like I spent a lot of time doing focused work. Small tasks that needed to be done stole a lot of time, as if I’d sleepwalked through the day. I didn’t feel as if I’d accomplished much, or made the progress I’d hoped for. My goal is to get back to a place where I can get in four to five hours of focused work daily.
Podcast. In 2019, I produced twenty episodes for my podcast, Black Sweater Talk. I was hoping to launch Season 2 this month, but it would have meant stretching myself even thinner. I’m grateful that people are still following the podcast and hope to produce new episodes soon.
Training. Last October, I signed up for an online training course for authors. I know online training is all the rage, but I struggle with the format — someone just speaking at me without any interaction. It’s the same thing that made university a challenge for me. I’d rather read a book and take notes than watch a video or be in a large classroom with others. My goal was to finish the course this month. It didn’t happen.
What’s ahead for February?
Staying true. Even without social media, there are so many demands on our time, so much noise coming at us. And amidst it all, I lose track of why I’m doing what I do and what’s important to me. That’s the moment that doubt sneaks in and steals the show.
That’s why staying true is so important for me. When I stay focused on my ‘why,’ I can sit down at my desk and write across the finish line. On that bitterly cold morning, I can eagerly brave the cold to run. When negativity explodes at my day job, I can stay positive and not let it bring me down. Staying true, I can make healthy meal choices, take time to recharge and rejuvenate, and seek balance.
Specifically for February, my goals are: 1) finish the online training course; 2) begin and complete fifty percent of the second round of editing on the Broken Man Broke sequel; and 3) increase my focused work time by ten percent.
Like I always try to do, I’ll take it all one day at a time.
How was your January? What are you planning for February? Click Reply to let me know. I love hearing from you!