The beginning of the year is always filled with so much potential and promise. Just as I open the pages of my new planner, this new year opens the doors to new possibilities and new adventures. Empty pages are exciting and oh so inviting to write down your new ideas and plans, aren’t they?
I say “ideas and plans” intentionally. I stink at resolutions, and so it never really appeals to me to make big promises. Honestly, I much rather prefer thinking about it in terms of having an “IDEA” and then coming up with a “PLAN” to execute it. Setting simple smaller goals and working toward them throughout the year sounds much more appealing to me. I guess I just really like simplicity but with a dose of realism, of course.
Do you ever find that sometimes you do better at some goals than others?? That’s totally ok! I was looking through my planner for 2018 the other day just to see if I have missed some special notes or important info on its pages before recycling it. And it was such a great illustration of growth and progress!!
Yes, I saw some unfinished tasks and failed endeavors that never took off like I hoped or just simply backfired. But what I also saw was how far I have really come in the last year overall, and that’s what mattered to me! I learned that those failures and struggles only taught me to be tougher and smarter this year.
So my last year’s goals and aspirations became this year’s lessons.
Here are a few that stood out:
1.Let go of things that don’t work.
Even if they are sentimental things that had worked and benefited you in the past, but right now only stand in the way of your happiness and success, let. them. go. It’s important to recognize what these stumbling blocks are, because often they are masked as “good things”. But in reality, they drag you down and stifle your progress. These wonderful but “expired” things have served their purpose, and now it’s time to move them into the memories and make space for something new and more beneficial.
2.Take one baby step at a time.
Making big and audacious goals last year was something that scared me and made me very nervous. But it also made me feel empowered. Starting a blog, taking a citizenship test, taking an overseas trip as a family, finding a new church family, etc. All these things made the year very exciting, but…it also taught me that you need to break them down into smaller goals and tackle them in the correct order to succeed. Biting more than you can chew is kind of comical and counter-productive.
3.One area of life cannot work well without all others.
When setting big business goals, for example, you need to also consider your health, your relationships, your job, and other responsibilities and things that depend on you. You must look at ALL areas of your life to make sure they won’t be compromised when you make commitments that require considerable effort and your time.
For example, when I started a blog last year, I found myself sitting on the couch with my laptop a lot. I gave my entrepreneurial aspirations the priority, but I overlooked something important. Exercise and being active are detrimental to my health (including my mental health!). My feet and knees started hurting, and I was considerably more tired from being sedentary for the majority of the day. In May, I created a challenge for myself (a month of walking), and it turned things around for me big time! I felt alive, refreshed, clear-headed, and had more energy to boot!
Read my Walking Challenge: a Walk a Day in May post.
If you are considering a new job, ask yourself : will you be spending more money on eating out, childcare, or your commute than bringing in? Is this change worth it? Will you be neglecting time with your husband and/or your kids when you take on a college class or open a business? Will you and your family be OK with that? How can you find a compromise? Where can you be flexible and where you absolutely cannot? All these questions must be answered or at least considered BEFORE you make the jump into working on your big goals for the year!
4.Having an accountability buddy is so important!
Last year, my husband and I made a commitment to give up sugar. My hubby had to make this change due to the medical reasons. He was having some GI issues and wanted to help his body naturally. Who wants to be on acid reflux medication for life? Along with other changes, he wanted to try to eliminate sugar to see if this was contributing to his issues. To help him stay strong and provide encouragement, I decided to give up sugar as well.
This January 13thwill mark a 1 year since that big change! We stayed faithful during the whole year and only made a few exceptions for some very special occasions. Often we would just have a taste to be polite. It was such a big accomplishment to stay the course for that long, and I am convinced that the fact that we were there for each other, was one of the biggest reasons it worked!
If I learned anything from this experience, aside from how much better giving up sugar had made us feel, was the simple fact that having someone to answer to was a little uncomfortable and convicting, but so extremely helpful!
Now onto the new year and my new “ideas” 🙂 They may be simple or trivial, but they are mine and I’m excited!
my 10 goals for 2019:
- Invest good quality time into my relationships with hubby and kids
- Have a thriving blog that helps people
- Try Whole 30
- Continue to stay off sugar
- Make a new friend
- Reconnect with old friends
- Explore 5 new hiking trails
- Read 10 books
- Visit a new state (or maybe even a country!)
- Rediscover the joy of photography and welcome it into my heart again
I’m going to look at each goal separately and set smaller, actionable steps for each of them. Again, these start as IDEAS first, and later I will come up with specific PLANS to execute them! I’m getting excited and inspired for 2019 already!
So friends, let’s go into this year with a positive attitude! Let’s be hopeful and intentional about our ideas and goals! Let’s be kind, mindful, and generous.
This is the time to let go of all that heavy junk of last year: sad memories, toxic relationships, bad habits, old offences, and self-sabotage. Let’s welcome the new, the exciting, the good, and even the unexpected!! My this year be a time of great adventures and opportunities for growth in all areas of life!
Here’s to an awesome year!