Quarterly Check-In

I want to say that I am holy hell shocked that we’re here at the second quarterly check-in of goals, but this year is basically stuck in the space time continuum and doing whatever the hell it wants, so this honestly makes sense. It’s September? What???

ICYMI, I like to do two quarterly check-ins with the goals that I set in January and a final wrap-up in December. I really enjoy setting goals because it helps keep me accountable, mostly with writing, so that I can actually keep taking forward steps to chasing my dreams. A mid-year check-in sounds stress-inducing, though, (that was a lot of hyphens) so I’ve found quarterly check-ins (jfc) to actually help a lot! 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 started!


In April, I was having a tough time with this goal. I’d really cut down on my physical fitness because I was feeling mentally awful with everything that was going on at the time, which, in retrospect, I can see just made it all worse because yoga is what keeps me sane most of the time. Thankfully, since then, I’ve gotten back into a routine, and my mental health has soared because of that. I know that self-care is the last thing on the list when your mental health is taking a nosedive, but I’ve been trying to consistently remind myself that getting on my mat is always going to make me feel better.

And I’ve actually made really great progress with my forearm stand! When I was first learning how to headstand, I had three steps in mind. (1) Kick so hard that I overbalanced myself and ended up falling over. This helped me get rid of my fear of falling so that I could start seeking balance without the fear of crashing. Once I knew what falling over felt like, the rest was gravy. (2) Start kicking up farther & farther away from the wall until I felt comfortable being at a distance where doing a backbend made more sense coming out than hitting the wall. (3) Door yoga! Doorway yoga is the legit hardest, but being able to rearrange your body in a tiny space in order to get upside down is going to do wonders for feeling confident in your practice. You’ve got such a small space to land on that if you don’t, you’re falling over, and you’re falling in a smaller space, as well, so you’ve got to utilize control.

For my forearm stand, I’d already done step one, and I’m now very comfortable in a forearm backbend. (Actually, it wasn’t a goal, but I’ve been practicing heart-openers a lot because I usually avoid them, and that’s not how healing works. Something I didn’t say out loud that I wanted to work on was walkovers, but I’ve been practicing them pretty consistently, and it feels amazing. 2021 is probably going to be about successfully dropping back without a wall.) Step two has been happening mostly in my practice so I just skipped the wall part entirely, and I know I need to actually do this because it does help a lot. I still have a lot of fear associated with falling over, so being able to just tilt back a little bit and reach the wall will help me find balance away from it. And step three actually happened very recently! In July, I wanted to post an update on where I was at with my forearm stand, so I made a few attempts in the doorway. One of them resulted in my smashing my shin off of the tile floor and bruising myself pretty badly, but I was also able to successfully get up (when I wasn’t using a timer like an asshole) and balance in between the doorway, so I’m feeling pretty good!

My handstand still needs some work, and I doubt that I’ll be anywhere close to getting up away from the wall by the end of the year, but ya win some ya lose some, so oh well.


  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!

LOL, I can already see there are going to be some here that I made absolutely no progress on at all.

  1. I dropped this down to 75, and ya girl totally crushed it as of August.
  2. LOLLLLLLLL. I don’t know what’s wrong with me? I love Shadowhunters. I could scream about it for hours. The amount of times I do scream about it in posts should mean that I completed this goal ages ago, but there’s just something about it, I don’t read them for months at a time and then I’m like ALL THE BOOKS RIGHT NOW. Anyway, I finally finished TID, but I still haven’t even touched The Dark Artifices.
  3. Uhhhhh? Okay, in April, there were 22 books on this list with 14 individual series, and I owned 12 of the next books. Stats time. There are now 16 books on this list with 9 individual series, and I own 13 of the next books. My math may have also been a little shit in April because I just realized there was one book on there that hasn’t released yet and a Cassandra Clare that’s the beginning of a series, so that shit don’t count. Anyway, I know that I’m doing good with this even if it doesn’t seem like I am. One of the series is a middle grade that I don’t have a ton of interest in, but my friend bought me the first six damn books, so they just keep haunting me. I should probably take them off this list, honestly, because I’m not up in arms about finishing them. And one of the series is a magical nonfiction type of thing that I don’t even own the rest and–okay, you know what, new math. There are 9 books on this list, 7 individual series, and I own all 9 of those. That’s my goal between now and December.
  4. Yeah, this isn’t happening, not even a little bit. I haven’t finished my Austen books, I’m not motivated to read Brontë after hating Wuthering Heights so much and I don’t own anymore, and I’ve just mostly been ignoring my nonfictions.
  5. How is this still not done??? I finally reviewed FOTR, and I’ve got TT & ROTK planned out, but we’ll see if it actually happens.
  6. I’m still confused by how this number was 72 at the beginning of the year when there were 81 books on my list, but whatever. In April, I was at 59, and now I’m at 40, so while I am making progress, it’s very, very minimal progress, and I am mad at myself.
  7. Yes? January: 3/5. February: 4/5. March: 4/7. April: 3/3. May: 3/5. June: 9/17. July: 5/5. August: 4/5. Well, this is not going well.


I am always going to be proud of this section because it’s the only one I actively work toward completing.

  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.

I’ve now been called crazy, inspiring, and absolutely mad when it comes to writing, and I think all of those are compliments? I don’t really care anymore. I’m a four-book-a-year type of person, and that’s just how we vibin’.

  1. HALFWAY DONE. I finished edits on the first sister witches, and though I now know that I have a lot more to do thanks to wonderful feedback from my writer’s group, I did complete it. My CP currently has SW2, and as soon as she’s done with it, I’m going to dive into edits, which are going to be even more extensive than the first one, so wish me luck.
  2. DONE.
  3. We’re getting there! As of this post, I’ve written 17,936 words, which is not even 25% of the way there. I also accidentally wrote a prequel novella to help me figure out the main romance in this, which was 32,802 words, so it feels like I’ve done even more. However, this goal has gotten shoved a bit around because of an accidental novel, soooo we’ll see if I actually complete it.
  4. Because of both the novella and the accidental novel that I’m working on, I’m unlikely to even start this goal. I was originally pretty miffed about it, and I tried to ignore the accidental novel entirely, but after some really sage advice from CP, I’m not going to force myself to write something that I’m not 100% invested in right now, so, while I’m upset that I may not get to Mason this year, I’m also okay with it. It could be worse. I could be not writing at all.


Okay, sim, I have actively worked toward completing this section, too.

  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 going to need to think up a new goal for blogging for next year since I’ve done such a stellar job this year.

  1. I don’t think I’ve missed a post all year! I’ve also been keeping up with having posts scheduled a minimum of three weeks in advance, so I’m pretty proud of myself. (lol @ myself for the optimistic way I drafted this a few weeks ago when, in reality, I’ve spent the last month frantically writing posts the week before)
  2. Another success! Almost every Monday has been a discussion post, with the exception of a few reviews, and they’ve all been ones I’m really pleased with.
  3. Success, actually! I started writing film reviews, as well as book reviews, and I think I’ve nearly done one every month. January: The Hobbit & J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography. March: These Witches Don’t Burn. April: every David Mitchell book & King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. May: The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien & Ravenspire series. June: Beowulf. July: Lost in Space, The Old Guard, All Souls trilogy. August: The Fellowship of the Ring. Wow, damn, okay.

We have turned a corner with the pandemic, and Grace would now like it to continue forever so that I never leave her again. She did a complete 180 from April where she just wanted me to go the hell away to now annoying me at every single opportunity. And Lily’s the same, she thinks I’m the bee’s knees, and the feeling is very mutual.

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

10 responses to “Quarterly Check-In”

  1. Chelsea D.G. Bartlett Avatar

    Looooool I was enjoying this post, minding my own business, being proud of and impressed by you as usual, and then I saw the question at the end. Honestly I do not even want to THINK about the goals I set for this year!!! What even is this year, after all??? I’m not even close to having the 2020 I planned for myself, in any way whatsoever, and it kind of makes me sad to think about all the things I wanted to do and, for one reason or another, absolutely have not done.

    But you know, at the same time, there are silver linings. Sure, I’m not getting married this year, I didn’t get to see the McElroys or My Chemical Romance, or my friends. And no, I haven’t written anything at all that I planned to write. But I’ve read so much more than I have in years, since high school really; I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world; and I’ve made real progress in terms of freeing myself from my own internal pressures and allowing myself to find joy in writing. I love goals, and hopefully 2021 will be a good year for them. But I guess I can’t be completely mad at the way this year has just ripped all my goals and plans to pieces and thrown them into the trashfire wind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      You’re so right! The best laid plans are always the ones that get thrown into the fire, and it sounds like you’ve managed to do and find joy in a lot of unexpected things, which is it’s own kind of magic. 2020 is a mess, but it’s kind of a powerful mess when you think about it because it’s really forcing us to shed light on what’s most important–our own happiness. And heck, 2021 will be just as, or even more, fantastic.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim @ Traveling in Books Avatar

    The only real reading goal I made for 2020 was to hit 100 books again, and I got that a couple of weeks ago. Woot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Huzzah, congrats!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. waytoofantasy Avatar

    Glad you’ve made progress with your fitness! Mine has been so up and down and while I’d love to blame the pandemic and my depression/anxiety because they’ve all played factors, it’s really my own fault for letting myself go lol. Looks like you’ve done great with most of your goals so far, Mary! Great job and good luck with the rest of the year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Those are still big factors, though, and not ones to be ignored. They have such a huge effect, particularly right now, on the way we’re taking care of our physical bodies. Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Em @ The Geeky Jock Avatar
    Em @ The Geeky Jock

    Bravo on the forehand-stand! 😀 I’m just getting back to yoga, and have set a goal to be able to do a respectable crow by the end of the year. Baby steps!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Thank you! Just remember to always look forward in your crow, and you’ll have it in no time!

      Liked by 1 person

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

    […] 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 […]


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