March Plans: Full Steam Ahead!


Just some ideas I’ve been batting around for March. February was pretty hardcore but on the whole pretty successful. March feels more monumental somehow – the next time I’ll be doing a monthly wrap-up will be the end of the quarter! – by which point I really need to have seen myself achieve something. It’s also going to be getting into the busy period at work which is due to last until May – no cunning random days off until the Easter long weekend, four straight weeks at work and plenty of work to fill the days. Once we get into April, with the warmer weather and the start of Birthday Season, there will be much more going on and I can feel myself wanting to bury myself in and just have a really positive, productive, and fairly serious and disciplined month so by the end of it I’ll have made enough progress to continue to motivate myself over the spring/summer/next quarter. The goal is to feel like I’ve conquered Stage One by the end of 1Q and that means meaningful, evident progress from where I started at the beginning of January. Part of this will also be not over-scheduling myself – there is quite a lot on already and I’m definitely looking forward to a couple of free weekends and easy weeks without too many obligations.

The Big Goals – there’s nothing really “new” in this list or specific to March but these are the main things:

  • Stay on top of Weekly Targets – I guess I am going to keep putting this in each month until it’s so natural that I’m confident I’ll never miss them! As I have less time at work now I’m not going to be as strict about all the study targets (it’s good to have a one area where I can afford to cut myself some slack) but I definitely want to complete my Russian pages, do F9 every day I’m at work, and keep up with the kanji test rotation, as a bare minimum.

The other concrete things to not miss are:

–        Exercise sessions: 5x5s moving up to 6x6s gradually (I hope!) – In both Jan and Feb I did cardio 70% of the days so it would be great to increase this.

–        Music time: 15 hours baseline + extra

–        Weightloss: 2.5lb baseline loss every week

–        I’ve been doing really well at keeping up with weekly letters, presents and seeing friends. This could get tougher as March gets busier so aim to arrange to see all my main friends at least once.

  • Health: I have enough weightloss goals for this month to sink a ship! I want to bring everything I’ve learned and implemented so far into a consistent approach that I hope will result in greater losses.

–        Ultimate goal is to get to the 220s which is 15lbs away (gotta write it anyway!)

–        Lose more than Jan + Feb combined = 9.2lb+

–        Lose a stone, I guess that’s a good goal

–        If I want to get to LWY by my birthday then I need to lose 2.5lb a week. There are 4½ weeks in March so let’s say 12lb on the safe side.

My new eating habit for March is going to be to make a note of how I’m feeling every time I want to eat. Hopefully this will result in me not eating half the times I would have just shoved things in my face without thinking about it! But at least I will be able to collect a pattern of feelings and eating habits, which might help me come up with some better strategies. I can make notes on my phone, on my weightloss blog, or in the little notebook I have for the purpose. I’m aiming to have at least 200 notes by the end of the month!

  • Music: focus on actually singing and songwriting. The first two months of the year I’ve been doing a lot of guitar practice – which has been great as I can now play pretty well and have learned a whole bunch of new songs! Now the serious work I need to do is almost all in my voice – range, tone, breathing, flexibility, stamina, and just working on actual performance of various songs. I need to shift my mindset to thinking of the music as a vehicle for my voice as an emotional outlet rather than the other way around. Fortunately this is the most fun bit out of everything and when I’ve been focusing on it recently, I’ve gotten really lost in it and just forgotten about the time, so that’s really encouraging. A few guidelines here then:

–        15 minutes of vocal warm-ups as many days as possible – start my practice here on work days.

–        15 minutes of songwriting as many days as possible

–        At least 1 hour of piano-song practice each week to keep my hand in

–        Always sing when practicing guitar (having warmed up beforehand) unless it’s last minute practice for recording or something really new or really technical

I have at least four or five recording projects to work on this month so the second arm of this goal will be to get some things actually finished and uploaded. In February I managed to upload my first new song so hopefully March I’ll be able to increase that and see some real work getting done and some results. I’m enjoying starting to interact with people through the various websites so it’d be good to keep that going and hopefully raise interest.

  • Be Creative Every Day. I have been so inspired lately reading people’s blogs on card-making, scrap-booking and art-journaling, and rather than having one big session a week, I’ve found that most days I feel a little bit sad if I go to bed without having messed about with colourful things and sticking bits of paper to each other! So I want to aim to do something at least a little bit creative as many days as possible. First phase of this goal is to get my desk set up a bit better so I have all my most-used and best-loved crafting tools and resources within easy reach – at the moment it functions well as a catch-all for music, songwriting, normal writing, sewing, and generally running Moosey operations, but I need to work to make the creative stuff more accessible. The second part of this goal is to focus on making things for other people – continue with cards and also little things I can give as gifts wherever possible. The third thing is to continue to try out new techniques, learning better lettering and calligraphy and playing around with some of the mountain of supplies that I have, even if nothing comes of it. It only has to be five minutes a day but I know it will make me so happy!
  • Mental Housekeeping: broken down into two sub-goals:

–        Work is going to be getting really busy during March but make the time to write at least one blog-post each day, even if it’s just a short update. These themed updates really help me keep myself updated!

–        Have at least one day where I sit down and have a decent thinky-time session (2-4hours) and think things through for this month and in preparation for 2Q. Again because of work, I won’t get my usual extra “me-day” this month so I will need to plan to fit this in somewhere deliberately.

The nitty-gritty:

  • I have exactly the right number of days at work to allow me to complete my Russian pages at a rate of one-a-day; this now takes me less than one train journey so that should leave extra time to do other reading or swot up on other kanji, assuming I don’t get any time at all during work hours (which I still might)
  • If I carry on at the daily rate I’ve been going, I can get through my F9 textbook by the end of April and leave myself a month to revise, but only if I do the half-hour every single day (or make up for days I don’t do – blech). This will take some real discipline as well as staying on top of other work so I can find the time each day – but it would be really worthwhile to get this out of the way in June and not have to have it hanging over me until December.
  • I’m still on track with my music hours but I want to try and fit extra hours in every week in March if I can. I have to hit that 200 hour target and my focus is going to be on singing, writing and recording rather than playing, for this month – I’m well enough up on the playing for now.

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