The spring semester is coming soon. Even though it seems to all of us Janesvillians that we're in the depths of winter, flowers are coming sooner than we think, and that excites me. The start of college for me is January 25th, so I have a bit of time left before my winter break is over, but after that I'll be jumping right back into the insanity that is being a college student and that means back to a routine.
I've had a lot of fun so far this Christmas/New Year's/winter break, but I'm starting to feel the itch to return to regular productivity. And I'm also starting to get melancholy-- a clear sign that I need to be doing something important with my time. I wish I had been a bit more productive with my time during break, but there's no help for it now. Time to look to the future and figure out how to make my time productive from here on out. And that's where these goals come in.
Instead of doing New Year's resolutions, which tend (for me) to be daunting and more than a bit overwhelming, I'm going to be setting semester goals for myself that are much more achievable. And once those are accomplished, I'll set summer goals for myself, and then fall semester goals, and so on as each segment of the year comes and goes.
So, without further ado, here are my (very achievable) goals for the spring semester:
Study The Bible Every Day
As opposed to my previous (failed) goals of simply reading the Bible every day, this semester, my plan is to study it every day. To really dig into the Word and understand what God wants me to know about His character and His people's history. I had a great run in the fall of listening to the When We Understand The Text podcast every day and having a Bible study that way, but it still wasn't perfect. This semester, I'm planning on reading the Bible every day (and listening to a Christian podcast every day on my way to and from school, as I did in the fall). I found the Ligonier Ministries app on my Kindle, which has not only a bunch of articles, blog posts, and commentaries on theological truths, but has a "read the Bible through in a year" plan that will keep me going throughout the year. So, I suppose you could say that my New Year's resolution is to read through the Bible in a year, but that's one that is very achievable and one I should have accomplished years ago.
Write Ten "Life" Posts
I haven't been writing enough of these lately. These are the real meat of a blog such as this one, and I've been slacking. I'm going to write ten different posts in the "Life" category of this blog: Devotionals, theology pieces, updates on my walk in life, and other posts of the same sort. This shouldn't be terribly difficult to pull off, but I felt like I needed to have it as a concrete goal to keep me focused.
Compliment Someone Every Day
As I was writing this, I just randomly thought of this additional goal. I think it's something incredibly important, to always be encouraging to people and build them up. And so I'm gonna try to do that every day. At first, I thought "is this a realistic goal?" but then I quickly realized it totally is. I can compliment someone every day. Most days I already do, so might as well make it official.
Write 6,000 Words Every Week
I would say write 857 words a day, but I know for sure I wouldn't keep that goal. There would be days when I couldn't write or days that I could write more but wouldn't feel compelled to after the daily goal. This isn't going to be NaNoWriMo, per se, but rather a weekly quota of fiction writing that I have to fulfill before I go to sleep Saturday night. And yes, I specify that with fiction (non-fiction such as blog writing or what not will not count) but not with To Look Skyward (I won't have to write on the novel, but in theory, most of my writing will be on this). I want to give myself a little leeway so I won't feel forced into writing on the novel every single day if the words aren't there, but hopefully I'll be producing some fiction every week.
Have A Chapter Of To Look Skyward Out Every Monday
If you haven't noticed, I've been releasing a chapter of my novel-in-progress every Monday for a few months now. And I plan on continuing this. I'm about two chapters away from reaching the point where I have to write a new chapter to not break this goal, so hopefully this goal will keep me writing at least one chapter of the book each week throughout the semester.
Make It To The 75% Mark On To Look Skyward
For the last two goals I've had concerning To Look Skyward, I've planned on finishing the first draft. Well, knowing what I know now, I don't expect that to happen in this semester. I expect it to happen by the end of the year, surely, but I'm going to set my bar lower here to give me some leeway. Given the way the book is progressing so far, I'm guessing the final length of the first draft will be somewhere around 250,000 words (yes, it's a long book), so 75% will be around 187,500 words. Which means I have to write around 96,500 words this semester to complete this goal (around 5,000 more words than I have written on the project so far). It's definitely a possible goal, especially if I keep my 6,000 words a week quota, but it's going to stretch me. Here's to finishing out strong on this book, once and for all.
Have a 4.0 GPA Semester
I haven't had this yet, sadly. But since I'll only be taking twelve credits this semester, due to some money issues, I should have more than enough time to focus on making sure I get all A's in my classes this semester. I'm interested in all of my classes, so that should help, but it will still take some work to pull it off. Here goes nothing.
Write Fifteen "Learning" Posts
I definitely did not do this as much as I meant to last semester. I got caught up with school (understandable) and so I didn't have time to write about school. But hopefully with the time I have I should be able to give you at least a quick update on most Tuesdays about how my learning is progressing.
Apply What I'm Learning To My Writing
I'm planning on doing this a lot this coming semester, even if it doesn't mean applying what I'm learning in my classes. I'll be learning about lots of things throughout the semester, I'm sure, and so I'm hoping to put that knowledge to good use.
Write Four New Songs
Since I already have several songs in the works, this shouldn't be too difficult at all.
Record Four Songs
The recordings don't have to be fancy, but I'd like to start making more a digital catalogue of my music.
Write Eight "Music" Posts
I want to start making this blog more active again, so that means more music posts as well, whether they be recordings, band or album reviews, or just talking about music in general.
Release An Episode of the Christian Artist Every Week
Last year didn't have nearly as many episodes of The Christian Artist as it should have. We missed quite a few weeks due to audio problems, scheduling problems, or any combination of both. But not this year--I'm hoping to have an episode for every week, but I'll settle for an episode every week of this spring semester first.
Record/Edit Two Different Projects
I have no idea what these will be yet, but I want to be doing something film-related, even if it's not terribly involved. We'll have to see what that will be.
Polish Up The First Draft of The Core Istoria Rules
We have a basic first draft of the core rules already ironed out for the most part, but I'll need to write these down and polish up the rough spots before I'll really consider the first draft done. And then hopefully we'll do some more playtesting and edit the rules some more.
Create A Set Of Rules For The Worldbuilding
The core rules for the campaigns of Istoria may be mostly drafted, but the worldbuilding rules have yet to be touched at all. I'm hoping to really nail those down this spring.
There are a lot of things going on this semester. But they're all very achievable and productive goals. And I'm hoping to follow up on all of them. Here's to a great semester.