February 2014: Recap

Late (which is sadly becoming something of a pattern – sleep/energy issues ahoy) but here’s the recap for February 2014:

Biz

What worked: Honestly, I didn’t do much biz-wise in February. I wanted to do more, and I did at least post more on the blog, but I just didn’t have as much time or energy as I thought I would to dedicate to it. I did do some planning and strategy work, which is good.

What didn’t: I couldn’t figure out why sales were so low for the spring-cleaning sale…and then realized that WooCommerce pushed an update that had the checkout process glitching. Of course, I didn’t find that out until the sale had about 24 hours left. Which left me with the age old dilemma of: extend the sale and have it look super tacky, or leave the sale be and assume that someone will contact me if they really wanted to buy (so I can extend the discount for them). I mostly went with #2. I am always worried about false scarcity bullshit and perpetuating it, so I erred a little on the side of definitely not doing that here.

What I want to try in March: My main goal in March is to have a table of contents, writing sample, and query letter done for the book so I can start querying agents in April. Aside from that, I want to blog more regularly and also pitch xoJane a piece (even if it doesn’t get accepted). I think I’m also going to revisit advertising in April, and am doing some preliminary research on what spots would be the best places for me to advertise. And I’m working on a guest posting/guest article strategy, though I need to be careful not to overshoot there or else I’ll wind up beating myself up for goals that were unrealistic in the first place. No, Michelle, you can’t write a guest post and a blog post for your blog every single week while working on a book, working/commuting 45-50 hours, and still having time for your boyfriend, friends, & your dog. That’s crazy talk, okay? Calm the fuck down.

Health

What worked: I started meditating more regularly, which, especially if I do it right before bed, means that I tend to fall asleep pretty quickly and sleep through the night. I kept up with exercising and yoga, not every single day, but it’s still a pretty solid habit of mine, which is A+ – there was one period of about 5 days where I didn’t do much of either, and I definitely noticed a difference in how I felt.

What didn’t: I don’t think it was anything I was doing or not doing – because this has been a recurring issue and this is just the latest flare up – but especially for the last week of February, I was so. fucking. tired. I couldn’t hardly function. I mean, we’re talking, sleeping nine hours a night and waking up feeling like I slept for five or less. Sleep has been a recurring issue for me, and this combined with a few other factors is leaving me with the suspicion that there might be something funky going on with my thyroid. Either way, yeah, no bueno.

What I want to try in March: Go to the doctor and start running tests. Keep going to acupuncture, and have another massage appointment (I did one already).

Money

What worked: I started cutting down drastically on my recurring payments – I don’t know if there have been any studies done on the psychology of recurring payments/subscriptions, but there should be. Because I swear. I did up the math and I had no idea how much I was spending because it was all $8 here, $5 there, $10 there. I’m consolidating a lot of my old website hosting plans for things I’m not really using any more, fixing up old email addresses so I can delete them, downsizing the things I am still subscribed to, and so on.

What didn’t: Towards the end of the month, I found myself in the typical end-of-month tight spot again and freaked out. And that started the “oh my god you’re so fucking bad with money why are you so bad at being an adult LITERALLY EVERYONE CAN DO THIS BUT YOU” soundtrack…until I stopped and actually did the math and realized that I had close to $700 of not only unexpected, but unexpectable expenses in February. Cue record scratch and the realization that if that had happened most months last year, I wouldn’t have had enough money to eat. Okay, duly noted. (I guess what didn’t work here is getting back into old stories, what did work was actually doing the math.)

What I want to try in March: Continue checking on and canceling recurring payments that I don’t need, though I think I have most of them cut out. Consider investing in a better mattress/bedframe because I don’t think that’s helping the sleep issues, though it’s definitely not the root cause – but I need to budget carefully. I’m trying to figure out how I can juggle setting up savings, investing in a couple of things that I actually kinda need and that will improve my life long term (that mattress, for one, and a decent bike that I can use for getting around town, for another), and paying back debts, all while paying my bills and not setting myself into scarcity-freakout mode at any point. So this will be fun.

Other

Do I have anything to talk about here? Not that I can think of, offhand. Aside from the sleep issues, things have really been going pretty solidly. Which I am super grateful for – I would change a few things if I could, for sure, but overall, as 2014 progresses, I’m already getting a lot of clarity on what I want in my life, what I don’t, and what I can do to increase the first group and either decrease or accept things in the second group. Yay. Clarity.

That was my February – feel free to share your experiences in the comments. (Or don’t and just lurk. Yanno. Whatever. 😉 )

Leave a comment: