How are those New Year’s resolutions going?

I have mostly New Year’s goals and plans rather than resolutions, but I have a few resolutions.

Regular exercise is one — it’s 120 minutes of cardio and 2 strength training sessions each week for women my age, and so far I’m on it. Not starting to work until I’ve done my morning stuff (xanga, breakfast, gym, getting dressed like a grown-up) is another, and I’m not quite there yet, but closer. Healthy eating and not slipping any further into the Geek Lifestyle is the third.1

I think that mostly requires organization.

Fortunately, my planner arrived. A dear friend of mine from my college days sent me a check as a Christmas present. I was amazed, but I knew just what to do with it. I had been mooning over Franklin Covey’s Design It Yourself planners, and so I ordered one.

You get to make it exactly the way you want it, uploading your own pictures and choosing how the pages are laid out and everything. You can even have all your regular stuff and upcoming appointments put in for you ahead of time. It takes them a long time to make it, so the thing to do would be to plan for it in November. This way you can get all the little details done and still have it in time to get your new year planned.

Mine reminds me to hit the gym every weekday. Not only did I not have time to put in lots of other details, I also didn’t have a clear enough idea of what I’d be doing this year to be able to say. I have goals, and plans for reaching those goals, but 2008 contained enough Complete Surprises that I don’t really think I can put much into my planner yet for 2009.

I’m starting class Monday, and today I have a faculty meeting, at which we will be finalizing our syllabi. I have to drive to the Next County for said meeting, and I figure I’ll go find my classroom while I pass through the Next Town, where it is located. I also have a plan to hit the gym on the way home from this class (7:30 a.m., MWF), so I’m going to load up my gym bag and practice that today, too.

I’ve calculated that my salary from the college is the equivalent — on my current pay scale — of five hours per week, so I plan to spend as little more than that as possible. Realistically, I think that my face to face class and online class will take about 10 hours a week. Many freelancers, at this point, would figure that it was ten hours a week and paid half the hourly rate, but I am resisting this. I have read tales of people teaching 20 online classses at once, so I’m thinking that I will work toward teaching four online courses, which would still take ten hours, but pay ten hours, too. Until then, grading papers will still be unbillable hours.

1 I’m also getting my house back in order. Not very exciting, but I did want to show you how well you can store your handbags with shower curtain hooks over the clothes rod in your coat closet.

I have too many handbags, I think. But I like them all.

I also think I will end up liking the one I’m knitting right now.

And I guess that frequently changing from one bag to another is one way to keep your purses orderly.

#2 daughter gave me for Christmas a very cool billfold that holds absolutely everything. and a pretty faux-croc makeup kit, so I can just grab those two things and my planner and stick them into whichever bag I’m carrying that day, so it’s not too bad.

Another order came in the mail. It is not really related to being organized, because it’s a bunch of gorgeous hair ornaments made by Rivkasmom. If you click on the link, you can see them, which you cannot in this typically bad photo. She sent them all dolled up in a fancy case, with a snazzy free bookmark for me. I sent the hair ornaments off to long-haired friends and relations who have things to celebrate right now.

The organized part of that was the fact that I 1immeditely went to the post office and packed them up in the packing stuff they had there, which was quite festive, and sent them right off. It cost $10 and took me about 30 minutes. Normally, I would have searched around for recyclables in which to pack them, and made birthday and congratulations cards by hand, and not gotten them sent out for a couple of days.

So I guess I’m doing better on that.

I’m still doing more unbillable hours than I want to, but that’s the difference between goals and resolutions. I’ve already spent more than five hours on the college, because I’m still building that WebCT course and planning my face-to-face course and whatnot, and today will probably be another five hours, with the driving and so forth. I’ve spent five hours on my Dark Art clients this week, which is good. I have a new client at oDesk, a substance abuse counselor trainer from Guilford, and we’ve agreed on five hours tomorrow, which is perfect. In analyzing last year’s financials, I can see that working through oDesk and The Computer Guy’s firm, even though I charge only half as much per hour, is actually more profitable because it doesn’t involve nearly as many unbillable hours. I’ve therefore mentally adjusted my pay scale to that number. I’m hoping to do five hours a week on oDesk this spring (twice my average from last fall) and work up to ten for them next fall. If I do ten each for oDesk and the college, I will earn enough for my simple needs. If I average five hours for The Computer Guy and for the IT guy who has asked me to do 5-10 for him beginning next month (and who knows — neither of those guys has signed a contract), then I would be fulltime. The true beauty of this plan is that it would mean that instead of my unbillable hours going toward marketing, meeting with clients, unbillable Dark Art scope creep, and paperwork for multiple small clients, it could go toward improving my skills and pro bono work, which go hand in hand.

Guilford, I believe, was the putative home town of Ford Prefect. Overseas clients sure make it evident that I don’t know much about other countries. But if you find yourself in Guilford and need a drug counselor training center, or rather centre, I can definitely hook you up.

Yesterday also involved a planning meeting with the pastor for this week’s worship team meeting, hemming pants for #1 son so that he can go jobhunting, and helping him set up a CafePress shop which he did in lieu of jobhunting. I had a request to interview for a large classical music related SEO project, preliminary work for the FAFSA, an informational meeting for #2 son’s college, an emergency grocery store run, and an absolute mountain of laundry. I was able to get a few unbillable things crossed off my marker board. Today is supposed to be the launch date for a site The Computer Guy and I are working on, but I’ve had no content update requests, so I have the feeling that wer’e going to be late on that, or else I’ll be at my computer all night. One or the other.

Grapefruit now.