The new year is always exiting for me. I’m one of those cliché people who loves the idea of a clean slate, or a fresh start. Besides the date, nothing really changes. Yet for some reason it inspires so many, including myself, to take on new ambitions, resolutions, habits, and goals. Others could care less about reflecting on future prospects. After all, you can’t fall off a horse you never mounted. My husband is one of those people. I’ll admit that many of my resolutions often fail. I think this has a lot to do with how I plan them. Actually, it probably has a lot more to do with my lack of planning. I usually just sit down with a brand new shiny journal and write out a list of things I would like to achieve that coming year. They usually sound something like: “get back into shape”, “read every book on my bookshelf”, “use our cookbooks more often”, or “go on more date nights”. You get the idea. The problem with these goals is that they sound nice in theory, but they aren’t what makes up an achievable goal.
According to MindTools, personal goal setting should focus on setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific, SMART for short. Basically, goals you can actually stick to in a realistic time frame that can be marked as ‘complete’ once they are achieved. So, for example, instead of writing “get back into shape”, you would think about what is actually do-able for you. If you live an incredibly busy life and you know for a fact that you aren’t going to be getting to the gym every day, maybe start small with “I will work out at the gym for 30 minutes twice a week”. Or, if getting to the gym isn’t going to happen, you could replace the word gym for home. The next step in making sure you’re going to stick to these goals is to make a plan. What days of the week are you going to work out? Tuesdays and Thursdays? Mondays and Wednesdays? What time are you going to work out? Before work or after? Really think through what works best for you and write it down. One of my goals is to read one book off of my bookshelf per month. To help see it through I wrote out a checklist with the names of the books I want to read. Each month, I will pick one book from the list and put in on my night stand. Once complete, I can check off that box and pick a new one. I enjoy journaling, so I keep everything together in a visually appealing notebook.
I want 2018 to be the year that I do what makes me happy, regardless of what others may think. Take starting this blog for example. I have wanted to do this for years, but have always been restricted by the thoughts of others thinking it was a bad idea. Well, not anymore! It’s time I put on my big-girl-panties (I had a little chuckle typing that because my best friend absolutely despises the word panties) and stop holding back on my happiness.
Just to keep me even more accountable, here are my goals for the year 2018:
- Start a Blog by the end of January √ (whoo hoo!)
- Breastfeed Calvin until at least his first birthday
- Save $5000 by the end of the year
- Read one book off of my bookshelf per month
- Workout at home for minimum of 20 minutes 4 days / week
- Go on one date night (or day) per month