Assessing My Nest: ROW80 Round 4 October Goals

Join in or learn more by clicking the icon!

Can you believe it’s FINALLY HERE?!?!?

I absolutely love that new-round smell, don’t you? Especially in autumn, when it’s edged in the silver iciness of coming frost, and accompanied by the sound of geese chattering away as they wing south, and the delicious palette of colors…

I’m thrilled to be back for Round 4. It’s not that I don’t like the less focused time of the break, but that I really love these 80 day sessions – and I’m always eager to get to the next one while we’re in the place between.

I didn’t stop writing – writing is my delight, and my release, and my conversation with myself and everyone else. It’s what I do. But it’s different between rounds, and I prefer the in-round place, the chatting about my goals, and reading about everyone else’s, the communal energy being shared, not in competition, but in an environment of mutual encouragement.

It feels like home.

I’m glad to be home.

As I posted yesterday, my theme for Round 4 is Nesting. I’ll be paying attention to the components that make up my writing nest, and my family nest, as the season shifts from summer to winter, the days grow shorter, and we begin to spend more time at home and indoors. I’ll be wrapping up some existing goals, moving others forward, and taking on a few new challenges, too.

Yup, there’s a lot of goal here. I roll like that – I like options. Lots of options to fit lots of circumstances and lots of moods. Because, well, you never know, and I’m the wide-angle type…

At each update, I’ll include only those goals I addressed during that session, so as not to overwhelm anyone. I’ll assess my progress on all October goals at the end of the month, and my progress toward my 2014 goals at the end of the round.


  • Queue all November posts for Coffee and Conversation and WIPpet Wednesday features by October 31.

  • Blog all 31 OctPoWriMo poems.

  • Share each feature post to 3 diverse places.

  • Maintain blogging schedule; find a comment rhythm that supports a 2-3 day turnaround.


  • Complete rough draft of Perchance to Dream.

  • Finish plotting The Earth Doth Move (for NaNoWriMo 2014) by October 3

  • Continue first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish.

  • Complete readthrough for Blood and Breath.

  • Complete OctPoWriMo Challenge; write 31 poems in October.


  • Do first revision pass on each poem in Queen of My Infinite Spaces.

  • Complete Deep Revision process for three short stories.

  • Continue with on-page pre-revision notations for BAB.



  • Continue the family room reset.

  • Explore the 52 Weeks of CHaOS program.

  • Continue cleaning and organizing my study.

  • Take time at least once a week to simply be in the space, as it is.

  • Organize laptop files in a rational, intuitive manner. Aim for 15 minutes/week.

  • File or delete Inbox email backlog; maintain at a manageable level.

  • Continue using calendar app to manage my time.

  • Read Smart Change.


  • Continue to meet and make plans with friends.




  • At least one workout at the Y each week.

  • At least one strenuous home/yardtending activity each week.

  • Dance, swim, or play physically with kids at least once each week.

  • At the Y; at least 4 weight-bearing exercises/machines for arms/legs/core weekly.

  • Treadmill: 18 minute mile, walking/jogging; using “Rolling Hills” Program.

  • Work up to 2 miles, at any speed for the second mile.

  • Recumbent bike: 8 miles in 30 minutes, using an interval program.

  • Build toward one half mile walking/jogging on the track each week.
  • Add time on elliptical, arc trainer, and/or rowing machines: goal is 10 minutes on each, by end of round.
  • Set up Wii balance board and use for 10 minutes at least twice weekly.
  • Maintain or reduce body weight – monthly checks.
  • Plan at least two monthly excursions that promote physical activity.


  • Maintain existing nutrition goals (smoothies/salads and yogurt/nuts).

  • Eat fresh vegetables other than salads (raw or cooked), and/or fresh fruits at least 3 times each week.

  • Eat whole grains, in any form, at least 3 times each week.

  • Eat broth or vegetable-based soup at least once each week.

  • Read Intuitive Eating.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Complete and submit my sponsor post. Target attained!

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly.

  • Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit.

And we’re off – come see who’s ROWing with me!


  1. I don’t know ANYONE who ever has as many goals as you do! You accomplish so much, and you seem to stay so calm while you’re doing it. Good luck with this round! I totally understand what you mean by that “new round smell”. And the fall round always feels the most exciting for some reason.

    • Well, answering comments kinda fell of the radar on Thursday, when the kids and I went to the State Museum…I’m still working out how to handle the tremendous jump in volume the last round brought.

      My mind just needs LOTS to do. It always has. So I give it a buffet – pretty much everything I’d like to accomplish goes in the goals post. That way, I’m always doing something that moves me in a direction i want to go…

      I’m not always calm, and I come from volatile stock. But I learned a few years ago that getting all worked up emotionally tends to waste energy I could be spending doing things I actually want to do. So I tend to look at the 80 days more as a framework than a deadline, if you know what I mean. Progress is progress, and there’s always next round (as long as I’m alive, that is) to do the things I didn’t do this time…

      I think the purest beauty of this challenge is that it does give us each the freedom to make of it exactly what we need it to be – and, along the way, we get to see how others approach it.

      Honestly, I’m awed with people who only set a goal or three. I would feel very constrained by that, because I need vistas of things opened up before me, redy to be explored….

      I agree – this fall round has piles and piles of energy. Maybe it’s the air; maybe it’s the drive to “clean up” before the year ends; maybe it’s something else – but I love it anyway!

  2. I am always inspired when i visit and see your range of goals. you are so right – all aspects of our life intersect. I tend to set other goals for health and art when I do a dreamboard or seasonal vision board. I am so trying to buckle down and write consistently. All the best as you move through Round 4.

    • I basically list everything I’m committing to addressing for the round (although those dates are more like a framework for focused effort, rather than deadlines, if that makes sense…

      It helps me because, twice a week at minimum, I actually see the things I want to do written out. And, however much time or energy I have to devote, there’s always something on my list that I can focus on.

      I love the idea of dreamboard….might play with that myself over the winter months…

      Phrases like “Buckling Down” always make me pull back with resistance. Shifting my thoughts to “I get to write” makes it more of a celebration, and I can delight in my writing time.

      That being said, sometimes the well needs refilling, and, if I don’t write much that’s new, I know that whatever it is that I AM doing will also feed my writing.

      So, either way, I can relax into the moment, which saves a lot of energy for creating.

      See you round the round! =)

  3. Gee, and I just have three goals; I feel like a piker… I like your idea of getting as many posts scheduled as possible. It definitely makes life less hectic, and God knows you got enough hectic going on…

    • Oddly, it doesn’t feel hectic…more like a huge buffet from which I can select…

      I think we all have our own way of doing things, and mine is no better than yours, empirically speaking.

      But, if I only had three goals, there would be a sense of “have to” about meeting them – and I don’t respond very well to “have to”, as you might have imagined! =D

      By listing ALL the cool stuff I wanna do, I get to play my way through the round, and move some goals rather seriously forward, too.

      My mind works in mysterious ways, but I’m getting the hang of it!

    • Oh, and I figured it would be good to get those November posts set, so I can focus on NaNo next month – I want to repeat my 2013 accomplishment of writing the entire draft.

    • Writing isn’t separate from living, for me – it’s all one blended life. Remembering that makes writing and living sweeter. I’m sure I’ll see you, out and about during this round!

    • I do love my goals! So much so that I’ve been up all night playing with them, and now the sun is up and the birds are talking!

      I will likely carry some of these into 2015, but that’s OK. Some will get finished, too!

  4. I admire your ability to make goals – I can tell I’m going to learn a lot from you 🙂 My goals and short and sweet; I’m neither a planner nor a goal setter! But, hey, this is the time and place, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the journey with you. Thanks for setting a good example.

    • I’ve evolved a lot. The key, I think, is to do what works for me. Only a few goals would make me nutty – I need lots to choose from, because my life is more a matter of flow than routine, and, this way, there’s always something I can do toward one of my goals when I have the opportunity.

      Some people set only one goal, which would be way too much of the wrong kind of pressure for me!

      It does take some time to learn what works best for you, but the beauty here is that you can change whatever you need to, as often as you need to. They truly are your goals, and nobody else’s!

      I’m so happy that you’re here, and I hope it’s a delightful and productive round for all of us! =D

Take a chance! Type something in this box, and see what happens! =D

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.