Quarterly Goals / Resolution check-in / Mid-year freak out

 

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Call it what you want. New Years resolutions aren’t just for being declared and forgotten… I’m posting updates each quarter on social media to keep me motivated from fear of embarrassment all through 2018.

Initially, in 2015-2017, I was creating yearly goals, but because of the amount of time that’s spanned, things were too easily put off and I wasn’t getting as much done as I wanted. I’d fiddle-fardle around until the last 3 months of the year and then go on a tear to start completing things off the checklist…. Only to finish a dismal amount of items. Just like my approach to studying in high school. *sigh* After inspiration from Jenna Moreci, I’ve re-worked my goals in to quarterly lists for 2018 and hoping to increase my productivity. I tried monthly goals in the first quarter, but found it wasn’t enough time for my lofty goals, and writing novels are chunky items to get through, so quarterly seems to be the business. Those first three months were depressing: I locked myself inside, in the dark, working my behind off and did not complete one task. Oi vey!

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Here’s a link to her latest quarterly goals video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67VbahiISDo

So what achievements were in my sights for Apr-Jun? I wanted to complete the final edit on one manuscript and finish the first draft of another. I was also looking at expanding and updating my online platform in preparation for a marketing campaign when my novel is ready for the publishing stage. Then there were some personal goals around income, home renovations, and socialising…

How did I perform?

None were completely finished, but progressive percentages all added up to the halfway point as a whole. I feel like it’s not good enough – I should have been able to complete everything comfortably but was sidelined with a lengthy period of illness twice this quarter, and had family come to visit. Spending time with family and taking the time to recover to optimal health is important, so I’m giving myself a break. But I’m hoping to have everything ticked off and adding a few more items for July-October quarterly goals. *crosses fingers and strikes a pose in the mirror – I got this*

Is this new format working? I’d say so. With a more immediate deadline, I tend to be more focused. Value my writing time and stop distractions that waste time. I’m a checklist gal. I like to cross things of a to-do list to make me feel happy and productive. Breaking down my writing into completing set scenes/chapters has made it easier to keep the pace up for my writing goals. Especially when it gets to the pointy end of completing your novel because there is so much to keep in mind wrapping up a story, your head can get ‘full.’

It has also helped in keeping me balanced. I get out and explore the Coast a lot. I catch up with friends more frequently. Last year I was starting to feel a bit down, and on closer examination, it turned out I wasn’t leaving the house for weeks on end. No sunshine, no outside contact, just sitting at my computer for hours typing. Having those breaks – that balance – has invigorated my stamina and helped me focus when writing. I has also increased my physical health. I’m more active and my waistline and expanding rear are shrinking back to a more modest size.

How do you set goals and track your progress? What works for you? All tips and tricks greatfully welcome! List some of your best tools in the comments section.

I have always cherished and guarded my writing time, but quarterly goals have made a point in just how valuable it is. I’ve stopped falling into the social media k-hole, or binge-watching shows or YouTube videos. I set a timer and get some solid writing done each day.

Check back with you at the end of Sept, hopefully with a big list of completed items – and some great news on the writing/publishing front.

Stay calm and carry on writing!

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© Casey Carlisle 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Take a good look at yo’self!

Take a good look at yoself Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

I decided it was time to get serious about my #healthgoals and take a proper stab at losing some weight and increasing my endurance… that’s the Pageant way of saying I felt fat and needed to do something other than starvation.

I’ve managed to let 20kgs creep on my hips and thighs over the past 2 years. Now I’m at the point where I don’t feel attractive in my clothes anymore. So I started to eat clean* and expected the weight to melt away like it did in my 20’s

The results: Bitch you’re delusional!

You’re practically middle-aged! You work as a writer. Sitting on your dimply ass banging away at a keyboard all day. The most amount of exercise you get is lifting a weak cup of tea to your lips in a poor excuse for a bicep curl.

Snap out of it!

Sorry about that – I was watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and the inner Diva emerged. But in truth I think I needed to be read. I’ve been telling my friends I was on this health kick, and I have been for many years. Making sure I was eating the right food, and the right amount of food. Getting regular exercise. But nothing happened. Instead, I actually got fatter. What the Hell?

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Looking back I think it was because as soon as I got a little bit uncomfortable, or just started to sweat in the workouts, I had decided that was enough.

Duh! Have you not watched any weight loss television show? Do you not see the thousands of Gym’s and Weight Loss Centres all around? Doesn’t that tell you that slimming down isn’t that easy?

I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to be that one in a million girl that never has trouble managing her weight… like I said – delusional!

So what am I doing to change it? Well I did the gym thing, and it was too easy to skip when the weather was bad, or I had a packed schedule. And every now and then, I’d cheat on the meal plans – only because I was continually re-stocking the pantry with biscuits to temp me. One snack here and there adds up to a lot of biscuits by the end of the week.

I stopped buying foods that I shouldn’t eat. And I bought an elliptical. That helped. A lot. But it didn’t all magically happen from there. I had months of stop-start with the healthy lifestyle I had pictured for myself. It is true that weight loss is about training your mind. Finding that strength inside to keep going.

So after many, many, many, many, many (well, you get the picture), many failed attempts; I’m finally starting to see results. I have a system that works for me. Controlling what I eat isn’t too hard for me, so the perseverance came from working out. Every day. I started with an attainable goal, half an hour of walking, and each week increased the intensity. Now I’m running 10km mist mornings in 45 mins followed by some sit-up and stretches. And I feel great.

It’s not about me having lost any weight, in fact I wasn’t weighing myself at all. Just the fact that I’d achieved something I thought impossible makes be happy. Things aren’t jiggling as much on the elliptical anymore, so I know I’m toning up. Though I have to also be careful with my expectations… suddenly fitting back into a size 8 after a week is. What? You say? DELUSIONAL!

But I’m hoping for half a kilo or maybe a whole one… So what are the results?

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After being on the regimen for 6 weeks I’ve lost 2.5kgs and an inch from around my thighs and waist. So I finally feel I’m on the right track. Something is working! So my journey with continue through the Australian winter, and who knows, maybe come spring I’ll feel confident enough to don a swimsuit again (of course after I tame the native forest that has populated my legs under pants in the chill).

So to anyone who is wants to change the way they think about their weight – don’t worry about the number on the scale. Not at the start. Begin to develop a daily habit of exercising and cleaning up the type of food you consume. By no means have I jumped straight into an extremely healthy diet, and daily workouts, it took me a few months of building it up slowly to get to the point where I’m starting to see results. That’s because I have no motivational trainer, have a low tolerance for pain and discomfort, and let’s face it, not exercised regularly beyond breaking out in a sweat for many (too many to count) years. I work at a sedentary job – so yes, I am a marshmallow. It was more beneficial for me to get into a routine, and build from there.

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Once you’ve trained you brain that this is what you do every day, it is not going to fight back to slip into old habits. IT will also allow you to increase the intensity or length of your workouts every few weeks without feeling like you’re about to die.

Well that’s the start of my journey to a happier, healthier body and mind – I hope it can help someone else along a similar path. Go for it!

*Eating clean is a term used by nutritionists regarding consuming foods if their most natural state. For me, it meant cutting out things that came in packets – those notorious biscuits, chips, anything processed. I also made an attempt to reduce the amount of sugar intake, the number of cups of tea/coffee. I also had one day (usually Saturday) where I didn’t follow any rules as a reward/relax. And let me tell you – I stopped wanting junk/fast food and actually craved healthy meals as sugary foods left me feeling sluggish and headachy.

I wasn’t strict about the routine or eating plan simply because it would be unrealistic to expect me to follow it – I’m a rule breaker, so leaving some leeway keeps me on goal.

Casey Carlisle Contributing byline

 

 

Alternative Health Therapies Magazine by Kate Grainger

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

The Year of the Furbaby!

Year of the Furbaby Pic 01  by Casey Carlisle

Wishing everyone the very best for 2016!

Normally over the Christmas – New Year break, I’d be visiting family, lapsing into food comas, tidying up on a sugar high, or cackling the night away over conversation and champagne. But things have been a little different this year: I’ve had three sick puppies to mind, and spent just over a week sitting in waiting rooms of Pet ER’s

This is also part of the reason I’ve been absent from my blog for a few weeks.

I posted a few months ago about Ben, and his big heart. Now in the later stages of failure. So it wasn’t a surprise that he needed professional attention a number of times, but still it’s heart-wrenching. He has been giving me big puppy dog eyes and cuddles every day for just over 11 years. Ben still has that slightly awkward puppy gait that makes him seem more bunny rabbit than canine. It’s only going to be days to weeks before we have to say goodbye.

The other visit to emergency that just about floored me was Baillie, the lively pooch I inherited from Mum when she passed away 2 years ago. He hurt his eye, and though it didn’t look serious I rushed him to Pet ER not liking to see him in pain, and it being the holidays – all the regular Vet Clinics are closed. By that night he’d lost an eye from a fast developing ulcer.

Devastated.

Please take warning – eye injuries with dogs degrade so quickly. If you notice a hint of something wrong, seek medical attention immediately. Even though that is what I did, it could have been much worse.

Picking up Baillie after surgery was alarming – they’d shaved half his head, and with an eye stitched closed, head lolling to one side and tongue hanging out – it’s a sight no owner is prepared for.

He’s much better now, barging into things with his medical collar, not letting the ocular loss impede him in any way. He’s still my little adorable munchkin, but now have some new nicknames for him like Pirate, Cyclops or Winky.

Nonetheless, it has been wonderful to spend Christmas and bring in the New Year with my entire furbaby family. They have been loyal and loved unconditionally. I’ve made sure they’ve felt it back in return and given them all the doggy things!

So in honor of my fluffy little family, I’m declaring 2016 the Year of the Furbaby!

 

P.S. all that time in waiting rooms was well spent reading, so I have a large list of book reviews waiting to be uploaded, so keep an eye out for more biblio-fun coming your way soon 🙂

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Resting up with their Christmas toys after hospital visits

 

 Muttly Mania by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Gone by Lisa McMann

Bringing new meaning to sleeping your life away.

Gone Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Fantasy, Paranormal

No. of pages: 214

From Goodreads:

Things should be great for Janie—she has graduated from high school and is spending her summer with Cabel, the guy she’s totally in love with. But deep down she’s panicking about how she’s going to survive her future when getting sucked into other people’s dreams is really starting to take its toll.
Things get even more complicated when she meets her father for the very first time—and he’s in a coma. As Janie uncovers his secret past, she begins to realize that the choice thought she had has more dire consequences than she ever imagined. 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

It took me a while to pick up this final book in the Wake Trilogy… mainly because, even though I enjoyed the first two books, I wasn’t all that invested in the story. That, and I wasn’t sure if this conclusion would do the series any justice.

Well, ‘Gone’ totally blew my expectations away.

I enjoyed this much more than the other two – maybe because there was less forced lexicon to connect with the YA audience, maybe because it wasn’t so over the top, or maybe because a lot of questions got answered. It has been two years since I read the previous novel, ‘Fade,’ and I think the break did me some good.

There is always plenty of action and controversy in these novels. And yes, the writing style annoyed me, but ‘Gone’ was better in all accounts in comparison to the previous two instalments.

I enjoy the bitter-sweet of this series – how Janie’s ability comes at a cost, and she has to weigh her conscious over whether to use it for good, bad or try and supress it. It gives her an inner strength that I really respect. In the start of the series, Cabel was continually coming to her rescue, but by this book, they were in more of a symbiotic, equal relationship.

I have a love/hate affection with this series. The premise is great, but the writing style, juvenile; and some of the mechanics in the plot a little too convenient or fantastic. The mythology of Janie’s ability is organic, and I loved how it is spread throughout all three books, and some questions don’t really get answers, although we get some resolution in Janie’s acceptance of her fate.

The real crux that lifted this book above the rest for me was that there is more character development and spiritual dilemma, moving away from the action/conspiracy centred story lines in the start of the series.

While not an outstanding novel, it provides a satisfactory culmination to Janie’s predicament, and we really get to see her shine. A great fast paced read with a paranormal twist.

Overall feeling: Yes!

Gone Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Gone Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.