ROW80 – Round 1 – final check-in

Well, I can’t believe we’ve got another ROW80 under our belt. 80 days/11 weeks and we rocked our goals out hard. We laid it all out there for the world to see and were accountable to one another while also being cheerleaders and support systems.

It’s an amazing community and a huge thanks to Kait Nolan for all her work to keep ROW80 ripping up the blogosphere and to all of this round’s sponsors for their encouragement and enthusiasm! I know I speak for all of us when I say it made a huge difference in my world!

Overall, I am pretty pleased with my success this round. I may not have nailed each and every goal, as you’ll see below, but I made huge steps towards making writing, social media, and a healthier lifestyle bigger parts of my life. That was the ultimate goal so I feel like this was a HUGELY successful round for me. And I’ll take that! Not to mention, I learned a TON about what works for me, and what doesn’t! Squeee!

Writing Goals:

Social Media Goals:

  • Done: Blog – post 4 times a week
    Goal: 44 posts
    Total: 47 posts
    24 047 words in total
  • Done: Blog – post ROW80 progress reports twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday)
  • Done: Tweet/Comment on at least 10 blogs a week
  • Done: Comment on 1 new blog per week (ROW80 or otherwise)
    I think I hit every week although might have missed 1 – although I hit more than 1 new person a few weeks

Healthy Lifestyle Goals:

  • Close: Cardio – 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
    Goal: 33 Cardio
    Total: 23
    Only 11 short 
  • Bit far off: BowFlex – 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
    Goal: 33 BowFlex
    Total: 16 BowFlex
    17 off from goal so not stellar 
  • Done: Maintain a daily food/migraine journal

What I learned:

  • I have no issue nailing the social media stuff. Woot woot!
  • On the other hand, social media can be a time burner. I need to be careful that it’s not a detriment to my other goals. It’s about finding a balance. Maybe setting time limits or leaving it to later in the evening when other priorities are checked off the list.
  • I am not great at writing every day. Instead of doing small bursts of everything, I do much better when I do one or two main focus areas for each evening.
  • Making a list of priorities for each day helps me ensure I meet my daily goals, especially on weekends.
  • Putting things like TV or going to the movies off until after I hit my priorities (later in the evening or later in the week) is key to lessening procrastination and distraction.
  • Weeks when I came out of the gate hard and with momentum, I was able to keep that going all week. That means kicking my procrastinating butt on Monday night to get stuff done ensures a great week going forward.
  • When writing, I have to leave the couch and go into my office and shut the door. Distractions are extremely counter-productive to my creative nature. And I can’t help but get lost in whatever TV show is on.
  • No beating one self up! I do better when I shrug off a less than stellar week as “obviously I needed some down time” so I can move forward amped up for the week to come.

As you can see, I got a TON out of this round of ROW80.

I would also like to take a moment and thank all of you who read my progress updates, cheered me on, tweeted your support and were just all round fabulous! Each of you made the last 80 days a tremendously rewarding experience and without you, I’d be lost. So…THANK YOU!

Unfortunately, I won’t be returning to the next round of ROW80. I am on vacation from April 4-18, 2012 and when I return, I’ll already be 2 days behind in Laurie Schnebly Campbell’s Master Class: “From Plot to Finish” which is essentially the continuation of the class I am taking now. It runs until the end of April and I want to give it my full attention. But, I will still be around to cheer all you ROW80ers’ on! And here’s hoping I join in Round 3 with a plotted novel ready to be WRITTEN! Squeee….

Take care everyone and here’s to always Rocking the ROW!

How did you finish up ROW80? What were the valuable lessons your learned? Any tips/tricks to share?



  1. I always learn a lot from ROW80 as well. Sounds like you got a solid plan for April. Vacation exiciting!!! 🙂 Enjoy the class. I think I have to enroll in one of those sometime soon.

  2. You totally rocked this round–Congratulations! I love how you have a section on what you learned. Makes me want to contemplate that myself–I have learned so, so much about myself from participating in ROW80. And I wouldn’t have been able to stick with the challenge if it weren’t for all of the support the community offers! You guys just are awesome! Have a great vacation and good luck with your class!

  3. So glad you had a great round and learned so much. You did great, and have fun in the class. Sounds well worth the time!

  4. Way to go, Natalie! Good luck with your online course, and enjoy your vacay! We’ll miss you!

  5. You did great!

    I totally “flunked out” on this round, what with the funk I was in. But I’ve come out the other side renewed, and reading everyone else’s updates is helping me prepare for the days ahead. It even inspired me to start sharing some fiction on the blog.

    So, thanks for being one of the “inspirers”. (That’s right. I make up words, too)

  6. Hi, Natalie! You did really well!
    This has been my first round of ROW80, and I appreciate your support during these 80 days. Thank you so much
    (see, I figured out a way of commenting on your blog, using my twitter account).
    I’m sad we won’t be seeing you in round 2 😦 Have a great vacation!

  7. *waving the pompoms*

    You did a FANTASTIC job, Natalie, and you learned a ton, which is so important. I definitely hear you about the need to shrug off “down” weeks and accept the fact that your body and mind just needed a little time off. No use crying over spilled milk, etc.

    I’m so excited to leap into Round 2 with you!

  8. You had a fabulous round Nat. Kudos on the courses you’re taking.

    “When writing, I have to leave the couch and go into my office and shut the door. Distractions are extremely counter-productive to my creative nature. And I can’t help but get lost in whatever TV show is on.” – I so, so hear you on this one!

    “On the other hand, social media can be a time burner. I need to be careful that it’s not a detriment to my other goals.” – This is my big struggle with social media, it’s way too easy to lose myself in supporting my friends, fellow ROWers, reading up on craft, etc.

    Here’s to finding that balance! I’ll miss seeing your updates but look forward to ROWing with you again in round 3 🙂

  9. Excellent round, Natalie!!!! Oooo you are going to have so much fun on your vacation!

  10. Great job Natalie. I’ll miss you in the next round.
    Have fun on your vacation.

  11. Tia Bach says:

    I will SO miss you in Round 2! But I love your blog and will be checking in often. Don’t be a stranger.

  12. This is awesome! It’s great you have accomplished your goals! Well done! 🙂

    Subhan Zein

  13. I think you did terrific, Natalie! We’ll miss you in Round 2, but enjoy your vacation and class. By Round 3, you’ll be ready to rock the ROW again. 🙂

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