Quarterly Check-In

It’s that time of year! Instead of checking in halfway through the year, I like to do two quarterly check-ins and a final wrap-up at the end of the year to look at how I’m doing on the goals that I set in January. I’ve found that this, for me, at least, is a super low stress way of doing it instead of realizing halfway through the year that I’ve done absolutely nothing and need to get my butt in gear.

Obviously, goals are completely personal preference. If you don’t like setting goals, don’t. I work really well with them, and it’s good for me to be able to look at my writing, specifically, with a really clear path. The novels that I’m working on this year will probably be most effective if they’re all written at the same time, so setting goals specific to them helps me stay on track!

Anyway, there’s that little disclaimer, and let’s get cracking on what I was hoping to accomplish this year. I’ll chat about each of them below, too, but here’s my original goals post from the start of the year.


Image may contain: one or more people, living room, shoes and indoor

My goal for this year is the same as last year–accomplish a forearm stand & a handstand away from the wall. My handstand has definitely suffered a lot with the lack of physical activity at the end of last year, and while I can still do one with no problem, it’s taking me a few tries to get up there where I would normally just kick up on the first try. I’ll be honest, I’m really, really struggling with my mental health where it concerns my physical health. I enjoy being physically active, but I’ve had a lot of why bother moments, and it’s taking a lot to move beyond that.

However, on the flip side, I’ve kicked up into several forearm stands in the middle of my practice and actually held them. Only for, like, a quarter of a second, but still, it’s happening. I’m working on holding them at the wall, too, so not touching the wall, but using it to find my balance and then just hanging out upside down for a bit. I’ve also got the falling part down. Most of the time, with inversions, the scary part for me is kicking over so much that I flip over, but that’s also how I get over the fear of being upside down. Truthfully, if you took away fear, I could do a forearm stand and handstand away from the wall no problem. Most of where I’m at is fear-based right now, but I finally just made myself do it a few months ago, and now I’m adding forearm stands into my practice a lot more.

So, I’m getting close with one and moving behind with the other?


Speaking of inversions! I’m just going to list out what my goals are and then talk about each.

  1. Read 100 books.
  2. Catch up on all currently published Shadowhunters books.
  3. Finish all outstanding series from 2019.
  4. Read one classic OR nonfiction per month.
  5. Review LOTR & Book of Lost Tales.
  6. Read all 2019 books before the end of the year. As of this post, that’s 72 books!
  7. Stick to my monthly TBRs!

Oh boy.

  1. Okay, so I dropped this to 75 pretty quickly into the year, and then about a month into that, dropped it to 50, and have recently jumped it back up to 75 given current events and spending all of my time at home. The truth of it is that I’m probably going to hit 100 this year, but I’m also only at 26 right now, so we’ll see.
  2. I want to just hide from every single other item on this list. CALL ME OUT BECAUSE I STILL HAVEN’T FINISHED TID!
  3. I really do actually need to make a list of this. Let’s break and do that. Oh, wait. I did? I did, it’s on Goodreads. There are 22 books on there, which breaks down to 14 different series. Of those 14, I currently own 12 of the next books. Not only have I not made this list smaller since January, I actually added one. Oi.
  4. AHAHAHAHA, I am failing miserably at this. I read Tolkien’s biography in January (nonfiction), but then I struggled through Wuthering Heights for ALL of February & March (classic), I didn’t read Mansfield Park even though it was my March Austen, and I don’t know if I’m going to read one for this month. I am currently reading Tolkien’s Letters, so I guess that’s nonfiction, but wow, I did so much better last year.
  5. I want to hide? I keep pulling FOTR off of my shelf for a few days and then putting it back.
  6. How was it 72 books? My 2020 TBR is 81 books. I’m confused. Did I include books that were not 2019 purchases on the 2020 TBR? Who knows, but my 2020 goals shelf on Goodreads is at 59, so I’ve read 13 of my 2019 purchases, apparently.
  7. Um? January: 3/5. February: 4/5. March: 4/7. April: 0/3, but it’s still ongoing.

Well, okay. This is why I do quarterly check-ins. Now I know what I have to work on for the next few months.


This is the section where I go HEYOOOOOOO I’M DOING GREAT!

  1. Edit sister witches 1 & 2 into final drafts.
  2. Write the first draft of sister witches 3, which will complete the trilogy.
  3. Write the first draft of vampire detective.
  4. Write the first draft (FINALLY) of Mason.

The other day, Erin said to me, after really struggling to come up with a comparison, “It’s like if I said to you, oh I started running, I managed a couple miles today, and you were like, HECK YEAH GET IT I RAN TWO MARATHONS TODAY! Or like those people that actually like kale?” And I just?

Laugh Laughing GIF - Laugh Laughing Funny - Discover & Share GIFs ...

I am wheezing, why is that so accurate?

Anyway, let’s see where we’re at:

  1. Uhhh, whoops, I’m starting with a half-assed one. My CP finished reading SW1, so it’s on me to get to those edits, but I’ve been busy with goal #2, so we’re going to call it even. And I did finish writing SW2, but a final draft will come after she reads/edits it.
  2. We’re getting there! As of this post, I’ve written 36,144 words, which is about 33% of the way there.
  3. Both of these last two are pretty much going to be the same. I’m not starting this until I finish SW3, which means I’ll hopefully be halfway through this when we do the second check-in.
  4. I’m not starting this until I finish vampire detective.

I’ve got to say, I’m pretty happy with where I am currently. My goal by the time we get to the second check-in, which is usually in September, is to have SW1 edited & queried, SW2 in Chelsea’s hands, SW3 completed, and vampire detective just about done.


A section I can actually be proud of!

  1. An actual schedule! I’d like to post three times a week (Mon, Tues, Wed), which is what I’ve kind of been trying to do this year with only about half success.
  2. Discussions. I love reading other people’s discussion posts, and again, January should help get me into the groove for this. (Don’t worry, all my January hints will be revealed in a few days.)
  3. Book reviews! These, uh, will honestly mostly be Tolkien posts, but eventually, I’d like to get into the habit of long-reviewing other books outside of the Middle-earth universe.

I’m keeping the descriptions in because the actual goals themselves are kind of vague.

  1. SUCCESS! I have been sticking to this without missing a single post, and most of that is because I’ve made it mandatory for myself to have at least 3 weeks or a full month written in advance.
  2. SUCCESS! Mondays have been for discussions, and I think I’ve done some form of discussion every week, even if it ends up falling on Wednesday.
  3. Half success? Here are the reviews I’ve posted so far: The Hobbit, Tolkien’s biography, These Witches Don’t Burn (more of a rant than a review), and all of David Mitchell’s novels (which I’ve been wanting to do for a while, so I’m particularly happy with this one), so actually SUCCESS! I didn’t post one in February, but that’s because I couldn’t fit These Witches into my posting schedule, so I’ve actually done more than one review per month so far, which is handy since I don’t have one prepared for April, AND only half of them have been Tolkien. Okay, actually, I’m really proud of this one.

But, Mary, the real question is, have you loved your chickens more than normal? Considering the state of the world, this is hard a yes, and Grace would like to know when the fuck I’m going to leave the house again. She is over all of this extra love, and she’d like it to end.

Lily is having a ball. If she could sit in front of me while I’m on my laptop every day of her life, she’d be content.

If you set goals for 2020, how are they going?

8 responses to “Quarterly Check-In”

  1. Jonathan Avatar

    Well done on the exercises (and the reading, and the writing) – since being in self-isolation, I’ve started to realise how little exercise I’m doing, and trying to figure out how I’m going to fix that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      It’s not easy! I’ve found it’s mostly about determination rather than motivation because forcing yourself to get out of bed is always going to work better than hoping you will, haha.


  2. Margaret @ Weird Zeal Avatar

    I love the idea of doing quarterly check-ins! And hey, it looks to me like you’re doing pretty good with your reading goals, if you’ve already read 26 books!

    And wow, well done with your writing goals! That’s amazing how much you’ve already completed. Keep! It! Up! Hope things continue to go well for you with all of these 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      They’re so much less stressful than mid-year check-ins! And thank you! 💕


  3. waytoofantasy Avatar

    The good news is that there is plenty of year left and we’re probably all struggling a bit this year with some things. Also, fantastic job with your writing goals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Very true! And thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Quarterly Check-In – Mary and the Words Avatar

    […] And so, if you’re interested for whatever reason, here is my January goals post and my first quarterly check-in for April. As always, we’ve got a couple different categories to get through, so let’s get […]


  5. Goals Wrap-Up – Mary and the Words Avatar

    […] because my brain went off the tracks and had a field day. As always, I do quarterly check-ins in April & September, and now we’re here, at the end of it […]


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: