Getting Personal #256: September Goals

Image Credit: Entrepreneur Delights

Welcome back!

I cannot believe it’s already September 2021! Every year gets faster, I swear. The only exception was 2020, and I think a lot of us know why that is.


Here are my goals for the month of September:

  1. Go through all of my American Girl items, and set aside those marked for future sale.
  2. Schedule donation pick-up for the large bags of clothing and household items that need to leave my office pronto.
  3. Schedule more time off from work.
  4. Successfully coordinate my work department move.
  5. Set additional screen time limits, both at work and at home.
  6. Make at least one significant editing pass through the printed version of book 2.
  7. Continue meal planning.
  8. Look into getting re-certified in adult and/or pediatric CPR.
  9. Begin planning for NaNoWriMo 2021.
  10. Start reviewing the current version of book 3.
  11. Look into a business course or something similar to prepare for my launch as an author.
  12. Keep up my library patronage.
  13. Prepare to donate blood again in October.
  14. Restart my regular TBR Recap posts.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of September?

Tell me about it in the comments – I’d love to cheer you on!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #255: August Goals Recap

Image Credit: pinterest.com

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of August:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Celebrate my birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Write and publish my annual Reflections on My Birthday post. — Accomplished!
  4. Make a dent in the mess in my office. — Did not accomplish yet.
  5. Continue meal planning. — Accomplished!
  6. Publish one Book Review. — Did not accomplish yet.
  7. Continue my reduced social media weekends. — Semi-Achieved.
  8. Make progress with editing book 2. — Semi-Achieved.
  9. Donate books to the library. — Accomplished!

August was really good. But, it also went by really quickly!

I had a wonderful birthday weekend! My birthday was on a Saturday this year, so I took off the day before from work. It was amazing. I’ve been hooked on Cold Case on HBO Max, so I blissfully lounged on the couch with Phineas and Ferb most of the day! The blood drive was on my birthday, so I was thrilled to give blood and celebrate with about 90 people throughout the day, My parents bought a variety of fun size Reese’s candies to hand out to everyone, and my mom decorated Fellowship Hall with birthday banners! Al treated me to sushi on Saturday night, yum! And then my mom had us over for an amazing dinner on Sunday!

I enjoyed writing my annual Reflections on My Birthday post. It’s a great tradition for me.

I discovered that the myLidl app has amazing recipes! I made amazing chicken shawarma for Al’s lunches one week, and he wants me to make it again soon! Al’s mom also sent us a great casserole recipe that we both loved: Chicken BBQ Ranch Casserole | Julia Pacheco

I’ve definitely been reading more recently, but Book Reviews are another story. I’m close to finishing up two books now, so I’m hoping to have more Book Reviews published soon!

I didn’t make as much progress with editing book 2 as I would have liked, but I chalk that up to things being really hectic at work for nearly a month, and things are just now calming down and settling back to normal.

I gathered up four big shopping bags full of books to donate, and I carted those to the Friends of the Library on August 21st. I also re-established my library patronage, and checked out three books! I may scale back to one book per checkout when I return those three tomorrow, but I’m happy that I’ve gotten back into borrowing from the library. Going to the library is an incredible, consistent memory of mine, and I’m excited to keep it going as an adult. Plus, it will save me money, too!


What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of August?

Come back soon to see my goals for September!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #253: August Goals

Image Credit: transforminglifenow

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of August:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate my birthday!
  3. Write and publish my annual Reflections on My Birthday post.
  4. Make a dent in the mess in my office.
  5. Continue meal planning.
  6. Publish one Book Review.
  7. Continue my reduced social media weekends.
  8. Make progress with editing book 2.
  9. Donate books to the library.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of August?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #252: July Goals Recap

Image Credit: Entrepreneur Delights

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of July:

  1. Enjoy an extended Fourth of July weekend away at the farm. —- Accomplished!
  2. Continue editing the printed draft of book 2. —- Semi-Achieved!
  3. Send the draft of book 2 to my designated readers. —- Accomplished!
  4. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021. —- Did not accomplish this time.
  5. Make progress with reading at least one book. —- Accomplished!
  6. Send a consignment box to Darby’s Dresses. — Accomplished!
  7. Organize my American Girl items to post for sale. —- Did not accomplish yet.
  8. Begin adjusting to my new hybrid work schedule. —- Accomplished!

July flew by. We had a great extended weekend with Al’s parents, with the exception of me getting cellulitis! I went to urgent care the day after getting home, and I was on antibiotics for 10 days. 0/10 do not recommend. Infected bug bites are no fun!

I worked a lot, recovered from a summer cold, started wearing my mask again, ate good food, and took every single weekend to rest and recharge. We had a great movie night with our neighbors late last week!

I’m hoping to publish at least one Book Review on the blog in August!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #251: July Goals

Image Credit: Rebel Thriver

Here we go! The month of July!

Does it matter that I’m finally posting this when July is almost over? NOPE!


Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. Enjoy an extended Fourth of July weekend away at the farm.
  2. Continue editing the printed draft of book 2.
  3. Send the draft of book 2 to my designated readers.
  4. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021.
  5. Make progress with reading at least one book.
  6. Send a consignment box to Darby’s Dresses.
  7. Organize my American Girl items to post for sale.
  8. Begin adjusting to my new hybrid work schedule.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of July? I’d love to hear about it!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #250: June Goals Recap

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of June:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Begin the first edit of book 2. — Semi-Achieved.
  3. Clean off the couch in my office, and keep it clean. — Did not accomplish yet.
  4. Celebrate Father’s Day with Dad and Grandpa. — Accomplished!
  5. Attend 2021 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention virtually. — Accomplished!
  6. Prepare for my adjusted hybrid work schedule. — Accomplished!
  7. Finish re-organizing my bookshelf. — Did not accomplish yet.
  8. Fill at least one donation bag, if not more. — Accomplished!
  9. Find more recipes for meal prep. — Accomplished!
  10. Reduce the number of American Girl items in my office. — Did not accomplish yet.
  11. Finish building the LEGO Ideas set, and write a blog post about it. — Accomplished!

June was a really busy month! I was really happy to donate blood. We also celebrated our 7,500th unit collected!

I really enjoyed building the Sesame Street LEGO Ideas set! You can read about it here: Getting Personal #249: Sesame Street LEGO Ideas

We enjoyed Father’s Day with my dad and Grandpa! I asked Al to take an updated photo of the three of us, and he was so nice to do that.

The 2021 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention was really awesome. It was the first-ever virtual convention. I participated on Friday night by talking about the International Peace Scholarship (IPS), the project that I learned about over the last two years by being on the state committee. My co-chair and I had a great time telling the project room visitors about IPS and the recent recipients!

I was also very happy to learn that I passed 50,000 all-time views on the blog! Thank you, readers!


What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of June?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for the month of July!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #248: June Goals

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of June:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Begin the first edit of book 2.
  3. Clean off the couch in my office, and keep it clean.
  4. Celebrate Father’s Day with Dad and Grandpa.
  5. Attend 2021 P.E.O. Virginia State Convention virtually.
  6. Prepare for my adjusted hybrid work schedule.
  7. Finish re-organizing my bookshelf.
  8. Fill at least one donation bag, if not more.
  9. Find more recipes for meal prep.
  10. Reduce the number of American Girl items in my office.
  11. Finish building the LEGO Ideas set, and write a blog post about it.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of June?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #247: May Goals Recap

Image Credit: Goodbye Bread and Cheese

Welcome back! I hope everyone has had a good Memorial Day weekend, if you’re reading from the U.S. I’m wrapping a really nice long four-day weekend!


Here were my goals for the month of May:

  1. Finish the first draft of my second novel. — Accomplished!
  2. Start editing the first draft. — Semi-Achieved.
  3. Reorganize my American Girl items. — Did not accomplish yet.
  4. Go through my bookshelf and decide what books to keep. — Semi-Achieved.
  5. Start tackling the “catch-all” room. — Did not accomplish yet.
  6. Publish at least two Book Review posts. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Host a small group of P.E.O. sisters. — Accomplished!

I’m so proud of myself with my second novel. I felt like I was being pulled in different directions throughout the month after having such great success in April with Camp NaNoWriMo. Finally, this past week, knowing that I had Friday and Monday off, I knew I wanted to sit down and look through the entire draft again, and see where I ended up. By Friday afternoon, I had read through the entire draft, made some edits, and wrote another 723 words. Then, I wrote the two magic words that feel amazing: THE END.

It’s currently the longest novel I’ve written to date, clocking in at almost 76,000 words. Next step is to print out the 300+ pages for the first true edit. I also wrote up my first Camp NaNoWriMo recap post in more than a year.

I started going through my bookshelf and donated a few books for the latest pick-up for the local Vietnam Veterans charity, but I have a new bag to fill, so I’m looking forward to a bigger clean out next month. I’m tired of the clutter in my office. I have too much stuff, and what I do have needs to find a proper home, or leave my house altogether.

I did successfully going through the three boxes of stuff from my parents’ house that were cluttering up the corner of the living room. I filled 3/4 of a trash bag, a 1/4 of the new donation bag, and packed up the journals and photographs for my office. I also found my old passport after it had been missing for 13 years! It was fun going down memory lane – A lot of stuff from high school and college were in those boxes. We also found my Uncle Richard’s collection of cameras, plus an undeveloped roll of film! I’m hoping we can get that developed soon to see what’s on it.

I published one Book Review this month. I loved L.C. Rosen’s Camp!

I really enjoyed having my mom and several of my P.E.O. sisters on my porch for the evening earlier in the month. We had a great time, and I’m already looking forward to the next gathering. We are still doing our regular meetings by Zoom, but hopefully we can start to transition to a hybrid setting by the end of the year. Next weekend is the first-ever virtual Virginia State Convention!


Did you have any goals for the month of May?

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for the month of June!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth

Getting Personal #246: Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021 Recap

Image Credit: NaNoWriMo

Welcome back! Here’s my recap of Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021. This was my seventh Camp NaNoWriMo session. I did participate last July, but I did not write a recap post. I was mentally burned out last fall, so I skipped NaNoWriMo 2020 in November.

As of April 1, 2021, I had 44,617 words written.

Original Goal: Write 10,000 new words for book #2.


Day 1: 45,299 words (682) – 15 minutes

Day 2: 46,582 words (1,283) – 26 minutes

Day 3: 47,256 words (674) – 15 minutes

Day 4: 47,948 words (692) – 15 minutes

Day 5: 48,744 words (796) – 20 minutes

Day 6: 49,716 words (972) – 30 minutes

Day 7: 50,496 words (780) – 20 minutes

Day 8: 50,569 words (73) – 30 minutes

Day 9: 51,276 words (707) – 20 minutes

Day 10: 51,276 words (0)

Day 11: 52,230 words (954) – 25 minutes

Day 12: 52,356 words (126) – 5 minutes

Day 13: 53,045 words (689) – 15 minutes

Day 14: 54,246 words (1,201) – 30 minutes

Day 15: 54,965 words (719) – 20 minutes

Original Goal Met!

Total word count: 10,348 new words.


Created second goal in NaNoWriMo, in hopes of finishing the first draft by the end of April.

Second Goal: Write 20,000 new words and finish first draft.

Day 16: 55,795 words (830) – 25 minutes

Day 17: 56,094 words (299) – 45 minutes

Day 18: 56,714 words (620) – 1 hour

Day 19: 57,845 words (1,131) – 40 minutes

Day 19: 58,294 words (449) – 10 minutes

Day 20: 58,882 words (588) – 20 minutes

Day 20: 59,451 words (569) – 10 minutes

Day 20: 59,977 words (526) – 15 minutes

Day 21: 60,621 words (644) – 15 minutes

Day 21: 61,312 words (691) – 15 minutes

Day 21: 61,532 words (220) – 5 minutes

Day 21: 62,026 words (494) – 20 minutes

Day 22: 62,389 words (363) – 10 minutes

Day 22: 62,833 words (444) – 10 minutes

Day 22: 63,322 words (489) – 15 minutes

Day 23: 63,917 words (595) – 15 minutes

Day 23: 64,832 words (915) – 20 minutes

Day 24: 65,791 words (959) – 20 minutes

Day 24: 66,000 words (209) – 15 minutes

Day 24: 66,481 words (481) – 10 minutes

Day 25: 67,140 words (659) – 25 minutes

Day 25: 67,627 words (487) – 15 minutes

Day 25: 67,798 words (171) – 5 minutes

Day 25: 67,984 words (186) – 5 minutes

Day 26: 68,350 words (366) – 10 minutes

Day 27: 69,045 words (695) – 15 minutes

Day 27: 69,372 words (327) – 10 minutes

Day 27: 69,917 words (545) – 10 minutes

Day 27: 70,640 words (723) – 15 minutes

Day 28: 71,250 words (610) – 15 minutes

Day 28: 72,089 words (839) – 20 minutes

Day 29: 73,046 words (957) – 20 minutes

Day 29: 73,539 words (439) – 10 minutes

Day 30: 74,397 words (858) – 20 minutes

Day 30: 74,955 words (558) – 15 minutes

Day 30: 75,221 words (266) – 5 minutes

Second Goal Met!

Total word count: 20,256 new words.

Overall Total for April 2021: 30,604 new words.

Current word count: 75,221 words.


Final Thoughts

I’m super proud of myself. I tracked my progress every day on blue Post-It notes, and I plan to do something similar going forward. I took most of the month of May off from working on this, but I’m determined to call the first draft FINISHED by the end of June. After that, I’ll print it out and start the first true pass of editing.

I also have to thank my friend Ren. We met through the NaNoWriMo group on Facebook, and struck up a friendship through Messenger after that. She started streaming on Twitch during April, and participating in her streams and writing sprints is one big part of my success for Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021. I appreciate her continued encouragement, along with Al, my family, and other friends who have cheered me along in this process.

The key for me is to sit down, whether it’s before work, after dinner, or when I can’t get a scene or dialogue out of my head, and set the timer on my phone. No distractions whatsoever. I’m super proud that I only had one true zero day during the month! Breaking it up into chunks of time has helped me so much.

After I finish this first draft, my plan is to work on book #3 during Camp NaNoWriMo in July. It’s the project I started during NaNoWriMo 2014, so stay tuned for an update on that project on Facebook every day in July, and then a recap post like this in August.


Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #245: May Goals

Image Credit: pinterest.com

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of May:

1. Finish the first draft of my second novel.

2. Start editing the first draft.

3. Reorganize my American Girl items.

4. Go through my bookshelf and decide what books to keep.

5. Start tackling the “catch-all” room.

6. Publish at least two Book Review posts.

7. Host a small group of P.E.O. sisters.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of May?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂