Monthly Goals: July

July Goals

Well, I haven’t posted any goals in awhile because the last time that I posted them, I got through three-fourths of the month before excruciating pain stopped my life and all goals, large and small, halted. I know that I wrote that I was a person, even though I was sick, who still needed goals. Unfortunately my body, was like “yeah, good luck with that!”

Again, I am not doing well, but I am determined to reach a few goals. Not only will I use the daily goal tracker, but I have a few other things to accomplish:

monthly goal tracker final

[Again, I can’t figure out how to embed an pin still, so you’ll have to click the picture.]

Daily Goals:

  • Some type of daily activity. This doesn’t have to be classic exercise. This can be physical therapy, PT exercises, washing my hair and going to a doctor appointments, or even just a 10 minute stretch.

  • Taking supplements everyday. I’m terrible about this, but if I check it off, I’ll do it.

  • Drink enough water every day

  • I’m sure I’ll think of a few more…

Monthly Goals:

  • Read three novels from NetGalley for review. I’m really bad about over requesting because I’m afraid of being turned down. Then, I’ll get too many. I don’t want to hurt my percentage (they want you to keep an 80% review rate), so it’s time to get reading.

  • Write more blog posts. I neglected this space for awhile. I still feel horrible, but sometimes taking my mind off of my pain and turning it towards something like writing is helpful.

  • Organize bill due dates so I don’t overpay again this month. (Oops.)

  • Try to keep myself organized so that I don’t forget to call in medication refills, pay bills, etc.

What are your goals this month?


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Categories: Goals Tags: ,
Oh, Hey. I’m a Person. I Need Goals.

Chronic Illness can rob you of all of your goals. This is how I'm slowly rebuilding mine.

Goals After Chronic Illness

I know a lot of people post their goals at the beginning of the month, but I do things on my own time table. It’s part of accepting my limitations with chronic illness. For years, I thought because I couldn’t “get things done on time,” there was no point in trying to set goals for my life. I had to leave my dream job, drop out of grad school, move to a strange city, and gradually lose more and more ability to care for myself. I’ve always been goal-oriented, so losing the ability to reach even self-imposed goals has been heartbreaking.

Honestly, I never quite saw the point of posting monthly goals, other than accountability. I thought, hey, I could just write these down in private. No one would know that I can’t reach them...

Then I thought, oh, wait. I’m a person, too. Just like I need hobbies. I need goals.

Current Attitude:

Recently, though, I started thinking about my own goal-oriented-ness. I know that I can’t do everything that I want to do at once, so I made a list of HUGE, broad goals. Ones that could take years and years to accomplish. I wrote down the ways that I would measure if I accomplished them, so writing them down was helpful. I will probably start being one of those monthly goal people, but mine’s a running list! I promise that future posts will be shorter and more concise.

Now, I am keeping that really long running list of small goals for along the way. Much like the way that a runner who wants to run a marathon sets small goals along the way, I think of new things that will eventually get me to where I want to go. As I make tiny bits of progress, I add a new daily/weekly/monthly goal. I just have to accept that I won’t achieve everything all of the time, but there is something powerful about writing it down and at least thinking about taking control over my life, since I don’t always have control over my body. I have the kind of goals that take some energy, but some that can still be accomplished as long as I’m not totally screaming in pain.

I really enjoyed reading people’s goals this month for some reason. Maybe it is because I have a little bit more motivation than I had in the past? Because I’m writing my own goals down in my binder? I even got some good ideas for goals! It was fun to celebrate with my favorite bloggers when they accomplished their goals or even to offer a bit advice or encouragement. Because, honestly, I always skimmed through blogs on the first day of the month (too many goal posts). Maybe now that I have goals again, I won’t feel an unconscious resentment.

Some of my goals are meaningless unless you understand my physical conditions, but I thought that I would share a few things that I’m going to try to work towards during the next few months.

I’m not naive enough to think that I can accomplish anything in a single month. Most of these are long-term. Some are like “do this once a month,” or things like that might just get done once. Others are super obvious goals that other people do without thinking twice, but once I got sick, I stopped doing them.

Aside from creating a little accountability, I hope maybe my tiny goals will inspire other people who have felt like they can’t accomplish goals anymore.


A few timely posts from a blog that I love came to my attention after I started working on my own goals. Life in Slow Motion talks about reframing your setbacks and how to symptoms to prevent flares. Personally, I use a mix of apps and paper to track.

Starting at Home

  • Purposeful reading
    > Read a memoir each month
    > Read a literary theory book each month
    > Read a book towards a reading challenge each month
    > Read a book about writing (this may take longer than a month)
    > Read at least part of an anthology of anything
  • Organization
    > Keep my goal list running and add as possible
    > Organize emails for immediate response, respond as soon as possible, and answer when my health allows me to write the best response
    > Track my goals and schedule, as my health allows! (I found some printables on Pinterest that work well for me)
  • Blogging
    > Since blogging is one of my few current hobbies, I set a few goals for it.
    > Keep a running list of ideas.
    > Try to write when I feel well, so I will have a surplus of posts to publish when I don’t feel well.
  • Life
    > Plan one activity with Brian per weekend where we put away all technology at the house or leave the house, if possible.
    > Treat myself to a favorite TV show or two every few days.
    > Keep a “get ready/go to bed” list taped to the bathroom mirror.
    >>>That’s how bad things can get when you’re sick. You need a list to remind you how to take care of yourself.

I’m working on all of these things slowly, but surely.

How do you set your goals? How do you set goals, especially after a prolonged illness?


Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog’s URL, so that I can find you.

Categories: Chronic Illness, Goals Tags: ,
Achieving My Blog Goals

When I started my blog, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I liked to paint and do crafts, so I thought that I would throw up some tutorials. So, I really didn’t know what I was doing at all, but I did know that I wanted to raise awareness for Cervical Dystonia.

achieving blog goals

Not only have people contacted me to thank me for bringing awareness to something they don’t know about, recently, I received several touching emails from other people who suffer from Cervical Dystonia. Everyone who suffers has their own story of torture and how long it took to be diagnosed. It’s a long, hard road to diagnosis and even longer and harder once you start treatment. It’s a merciless tease when you feel better, grab life with zest again, and then fall back into pain. I’m still learning to live within my own limitations, but it’s hard.

I can’t begin express how grateful I am to connect with other people who want to swap tips for dealing with the pain or navigating life with such a fragile margin for error. One late night night and a little too much excitement can set my neck off with excruciating pain. The stresses of life (both bad stress and “fun” stress, like a vacation) make me sick. I desperately don’t want to let CD destroy my relationships, my job, and everything else that I hold dear.

Since CD is something that I think about almost all day, every day, it does show up on the blog a lot.

If you have a minute, there is a campaign with a deadline of June 26 to make September National Dystonia Awareness Month. Right now, there are not many doctors who specialize in this movement disorder. Furthermore, it can become completely debilitating. While getting disability is always very hard, a lot of people with Dystonia have an exceptionally hard time because people have never heard of it, even though it easily falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I am grateful for how far medicine has advanced and some people can control their symptoms with Botox injections and other complimentary therapies; however, it breaks my heart into a million pieces when I read other people’s stories of their own families dismissing their symptoms.

Here is some information about the petition:

Join volunteer Mike Delise in his efforts to promote dystonia awareness by asking the Obama Administration to recognize September as Dystonia Awareness Month.
We have just 30 days to generate 100,000 online signatures. If we meet this threshold, everyone who signs the petition will receive a response from the White House. Signers must be at least 13 years old.
To add your name today through a simple registration process, visit here!
Please share this link and encourage family and friends to add their name. We the people can make a difference!
Several dystonia organizations came together and voted to coordinate awareness efforts by commemorating September as Dystonia Awareness Month beginning in 2014.

The registration process took a minute or two. I guess they want to make sure that you really want to sign it!

Also, if you still aren’t sure what Dystonia is, here is a little bit from the petition’s website:

Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder after essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease, but remains largely unknown to the public. Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions causing abnormal, often repetitive, movements and/or postures.
Symptoms may impede the ability to walk (as in generalized dystonia or limb dystonia), control the posture of the head (as in cervical dystonia), speak (as in spasmodic dysphonia or oromandibular dystonia), see (as in blepharospasm), and/or write (as in hand dystonia). Many patients experience debilitating pain. There are numerous manifestations of dystonia, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Individuals are frequently misdiagnosed, which delays access to appropriate medical care.

In Other Blog News (!!!):

I am now accepting sponsors and ad swapping! I love the blog-friends that I’ve made, and I’m hoping to create a greater sense of community! I would love to swap ads and feature you on my blog! Email me or check click here. I would love to do giveaways to promote all of the blogs, but nothing is certain yet. If you are interested in that, too, let me know!


I would love to hear about causes that are near and dear to your heart! If you want to collaborate on bringing awareness to a cause or sharing your story please email me or leave a comment! You don’t have to have a blog to share your story.



Categories: blogging, Cervical Dystonia, Health, life thoughts Tags: , , ,
June Reads

Happy June, friends!

I love to read. I love to listen to audiobooks. I’m also prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo to hone my short story writing skills. What better way to prep than to read? (Although these aren’t on the official list, I’d like to re-read some Flannery O’Connor and BJ Novak’s One More Thing).

I read a ton of fiction. While I was sick last month, I made my way through all of the first 5 published books of the Cousins’ War series, by Phillipa Gregory. She does have a non-fiction book out that is about the historical characters that’s in my queue to read soon. I’m eagerly anticipating the final book in September!

So, I know that this list is ambitious, but I thrive on goals!

june reads


  • Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman. My mom is the one who told me about this book. The sequel, A King’s Ransom, was just released. That’s also in the queue.
  • American Psychosis. I wrote a little bit about this non-fiction book awhile ago, here. I put it down because I was so slow at reading it. Not because it was bad, but because I would get so caught up in it and have so many thoughts that I would have to talk it out with anyone who would listen to me!

Start AND Finish:

  • Mrs. Astor Regrets–this book by Meryl Gordon was released a few years ago. It caught my eye when Gordon’s newest book came out this week, The Phantom of Fifth Avenue. I decided that I would read this older book first by picking up a used copy on Thriftbooks (an awesome used book website!), before using an Audible credit on the new book, since non-fiction isn’t always my thing! If all goes well, The Phantom of Fifth Avenue will be on the July list.
  • Erasing Hell by Francis Chan. I know different people believe different things, and within my circle of friends, Rob Bell’s book Love Wins was very divisive. A lot of people I respect immensely read and agreed with Love Wins, when I think it flies in the face of everything that I believe. So, to get the other side, I want to read Chan’s rebuttal to Love Wins.
  • When Christ and His Saints Slept, also by Sharon Kay Penman. I wish that I read this before Lionheart, because it comes first, chronologically. And, personally, I’m more interested in the young Elanor of Aquitaine than I am Richard the Lionheart. So, I want to back up and read that trilogy first.

These past few month have been super historical fiction heavy, and non-fiction heavy. After this, I am totally diving into some new fiction.


What are you reading? What’s on your list for this month?

Categories: Reading Tags: ,