I Believe – My 2012 Round One ROW80 Goals

Round Four of 2011 was my first rodeo with ROW80.  There were great successes (I rocked the house watching movies while no longer multitasking), smaller successes (more writing and reading) and some misses (regular blogging schedule).  I didn’t rock the ROW as I had hoped to–yes, some of my go big perfectionist issues flared up—and I’m glad I didn’t because of the great tips I’ve learned about what works for me.  I can now craft them into my new goals.

Here are my goals (and check out the goals of others here):


  • 1,500 words of new fiction a week either on novel WIP or short stories.  I’m making this a more general word total instead of a total per day goal and making it specific to my WIPs.  Last round, I found that I did get writing totals done, but it wasn’t always WIP-focused.  Need to crack that WIP.
  • Read at least one chapter a week of a craft book.  This worked well for me and once I’d start, I typically read more pages in a sitting.  The chapter goal makes finishing the to-be-read items manageable. 
  • Read at least one chapter of a novel each week.  Ditto.

Social Media

  • Blog three times a week.  I’m planning on this being a Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule.  Since American Idol will be starting soon, expect to see a few “Rants from an Idol Addict” posts wandering in. 
  • Read, comment and share at least 10 blogs a week.  This worked for me before in terms of meeting more great peeps and building community. 
  • Check Twitter and Facebook at least once daily.  There were some times last round where the busy moments of life kept me offline for days.  It is way too easy to fall behind and then start feeling detached and overwhelmed in catching up.

Healthy Happy Living

  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week. I hit this hard before then lost focus a bit towards the end of the year and ate a lot of holiday sweet potato pie.  This will now be a blend of cardio, strength training, yoga (at new studio I found) and hopefully being able to do an occasional modified Zumba session (with emphasis on the leg versus arm movements).  Due my lingering car accident injuries, I haven’t been able to do Zumba in over a year.  I miss it and that was a surefire way to kick the heart rate into gear. 
  • Finish my poncho project via crocheting one hour a week.  I needed to make this more specific to get the project done.
  • Enjoy watching one movie a week without multitasking.  I found out that this goal has helped me in terms of analyzing story and plot structure.  I walked out of the latest Mission Impossible movie going “well I was entertained by the action, but there was no real story line or cohesive conflict to follow.”  Heh.  As with last round, repeat movies are allowed.  This allows me to indulge in repeated Twilight viewings (yes it is cheesy, but Edward is dreamy).  🙂

Last round, my theme song was Michael Jackson’s “Keep the Faith,” much needed to survive my busiest time at work.  This round, in honor of American Idol starting back in a few weeks, I’m rocking the kinda schmaltzy (with talk of rainbows, pots of gold and shooting stars), but moving, “I Believe” by season three winner Fantasia Barrino.  On my life theme songs list, the song was co-written by my season one fave Tamyra Gray and speaks to embracing an attitude of being able to aim at goals because of belief in self.  “Cause anything is possible when you believe.”

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39 Responses to I Believe – My 2012 Round One ROW80 Goals

  1. Great goals, Barbara… I look forward to seeing your progress this round. 🙂 Happy ROWing.

  2. Callene Rapp says:

    Great goals, Barbara! Very organized and specific. Mine are a bit more amorphous but I’ve learned that I usually need to tweak them as I go, because I tend to have that all-or-nothing mentality.

    Good to see you Rocking the Row again!

    • Howdy, Callene!!! It is great to be starting this round feeling like a normal human versus facing a black hole of stuff to do like a treadmill turned on high. I get the all or nothing mentality, which is why ROW80 is good for me. It breaks up the chunks so I keep going. Whoo-hoo on you sponsoring! 🙂

  3. amy kennedy says:

    Great goals! I love how you learned what worked for you (and what didn’t) and adjusted how you set your goals. For awhile, my theme song of the last round was “Tomorrow,” yikes. I need a theme song for this round — if you don’t mind, I’d like to steal, or, er, borrow that concept — I’ll give you credit as my inspiration.

    Here’s to Zumba-ing soon!

    • Borrow away, Amy! You’ve got me humming “Tomorrow” now–I’m a sucker for Broadway tunes. Thanks for commenting. Yes, I stubbornly kept plodding along last round, but made sure I noted what my patterns were.

  4. Glad you are ready to tackle another round! Best of luck with your goals. Do you have a completion date for your WIP? What are you writing? Just curious…

    • Thanks for popping by and commenting, Nadja! I haven’t set a completion date for the novel yet (dark suspense). I’ve written a little on it, but feel I need to go back and revisit some plot points and direction. If I put the WIP word count goals only on the novel, I’d have a pretty good shot at being done this year. As I get into it, will I want to only write on the book or will I need to take a break and dive into some smaller projects? Having never written anything this long before, I guess I just don’t know my style yet.

  5. Very SMART goals, Barbara. Good luck. I’m watching your Row80 efforts since i’m considering that for next quarter.

    • Thanks, Louise! Definitely consider ROW80–you can still join in on this round. Incorporating the goals into life is a process and ROW lets us each customize and make the changes as needed individually.

  6. That’s what I loved about Row80 too, learning what worked for me and what didn’t. We make much more progress once we know how to approach and tackle things. Good luck with the next round! Love the idea of a theme song to carry you through! 🙂

  7. Good luck with staying focused. I’m watching one movie a week, too, but I’ll probably jot down structure notes when I watch. Reading books and screenplays has probably helped me more than anything else to develop as a writer.

  8. Lena Corazon says:

    Barbara, these goals are fantastic, and I am still in love with your “watch 1 movie a week without multitasking” goal. I am SO bad at it, and yet on the odd occasion that I set aside my cell phone/laptop/book/grading/writing and just watch a film, I find that I enjoy it so much more — and, as you say, learn more about plot and structure and story. I may adopt that as an ‘unofficial’ goal. 😀

    So glad to see you, and I hope you have a lovely week. Happy new year!

    • Adopt, adopt, Lena! I’ll admit that I was antsy to touch my phone and laptop on my first attempts to not multitask. Now, when I have a movie lined up, I won’t let myself put it in until I’m ready to focus and watch. I have “1408,” which I somehow missed in the theater, next on the list.

  9. Fantabulous goals Barbara and I think with your lessons learned, you are armed and dangerous and are going to meet, if not exceed, your goals this round. Woot woot. Here’s to rocking it out again!!!

    • Thanks, Natalie, and hugs! I do feel a bit “armed and dangerous” like I’m hoisted up on a bull, holding on in my cute boots and spiffy hat and am ready to ride it out. As I get tossed around, I’m going to hold on tighter and start singing songs. By the end, I just might be owling on the saddle. Bwah. 🙂 Or I could be all bruised and laying on the mat, but see, there are always technique lessons to learn.

  10. I love that you have a ROW theme song 🙂 that just puts a huge smile on my face. You’ve got great goals this round and I’m wishing you all the best with them.

  11. Fantastic goals Barbara! I’m looking forward to your perspective on American Idol. I’m going to steal your goal for Facebook and Twitter. Thanks.

    I’ve been watching more movies for structure too. Love that you’re doing it without multi-tasking. Have you ever checked out Storyfix? He’s done some deconstructions of movies that are just great.

    Here’s to a productive year. I’ll be waving the pom-poms for you!

    • Steal away, Kate! I’ve been reading how others use a timer for writing sprints, monitoring time on the Internet, etc. and will be picking up one. I like that I will then be able to stop looking at the clock and will use it for my crochet time as well.

      I haven’t checked out Storyfix, but I will. Watching the movies is great for analyzing plot structure and even character development and unresolved story lines. I’ve gotten to the end of some and then gone back to some scenes to see if I missed how something was handled. Leaving a viewer confused or hunting isn’t so good. That definitely transfers to writing.

      Thanks for your support, Kate! And the waving pom-poms. 🙂 I’m counting down the days until Idol.

  12. Fabio Bueno says:

    Great goals, Barbara! I’m participating too. I loved “watch a movie without multitasking” : -) We can do this!

  13. Hooray for a new round! I think your goals sound like good, reasonable challenges that you can tackle with no problem. Best of luck to you, Barbara!

  14. Watch a movie without multitasking lol I should learn how to do that lol
    Great goals. Love the healthy happy list. I should make one like that.
    Good luck!

    • During the last ROW round, balancing my writing goals against healthy living goals is what kept me sane through a busy work time. Feeling sleep deprived or mentally scattered does a woozy on my writing. And the movies are great. It is cool to watch straight through without missing anything. Thanks for popping by, Juliana!

  15. Love this! Your goals are always awesome and now that you know what works for you, I’m sure you’ll have much more of a success. Congrats and kick some butt!

  16. You go girl! The pompoms are ready!

  17. Yeah! That is awesome that you’re going another round! I’ll be watching you from here, Barbara! Rock it only like you can!!!!

  18. Cool goals! All very much doable with a little stretch to make sure nothing gets boring and that it all remains changing. Best of luck to you – I hope I can keep up with mine. :_

    • Yes, you will rock your goals too, Ileandra! That is the beauty of ROW. Some goals will become habit easily and others we’ll need to work up to. We can tweak and modify if needed and all progress is success. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  19. Marcia says:

    “Know thyself.” And you do! Great goals, Barbara. you’re headed for success!

  20. Sounds good, Barbara! I really appreciate that you are going to check twitter and facebook each day so you don’t feel “behind”. I didn’t make it a goal, but I would like to do the same. Maybe I can piggyback off of your success? lol.

    • Just add the goal in, Bridgette. 🙂 Yes, FB had become an “out of sight, out of mind” thing and catching up can then suck hours. Carving out dedicated time each day will hopefully help me with better management.

  21. Pingback: ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In: 1/4/12 | Barbara McDowell's Blog

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