While I've been thinking about what goals I want to make for the year to come there is something about writing them down that holds me accountable. I am not a huge resolution person, and I think goals are a bit more motivating for me personally. In the past I feel as though I have made a bunch of different goals and that can be hard to keep up with. I also know it can be hard to think through the entire year when it comes to making realistic goals. With that in mind, I've decided to make fewer, more general goals that will hopefully be achievable while also challenging me.
I mentioned this in a previous post but 2017 is going to be one of change. With college graduation on the horizon in May and hopes of finding a job and starting out in the "real world" I am sure that I will experience a lot of growing up this year. While the change of graduating college is exciting it will also come with challenges as friends move away to start jobs in other parts of the country and it will be time to establish a different familiarity with life at Furman. With all of this in mind and motivation from my Day Designer I decided to choose a word to focus on this year. I've been thinking about what I want that word to be for about a week now and finally settled on the word intention. I've always considered myself to be a thoughtful person who often puts other's needs before my own, but I think keeping the word intention in the back of my mind this year will help to make all the changes that come with this year easier.
So, all the goals I've made involve ways that I can be intentional with myself and my time, my friends and their needs, and my goals and the accomplishments I strive to make a reality. Even if these subsets of the word change hopefully I'll be able to continue to make wise decisions by grounding myself in the idea of intention.
P E R S O N A L
Making personal goals almost seems counterproductive when thinking about being intentional if you think of it in terms of being intentional with others. I however, know that I need to be equally as intentional with myself as I often prioritize myself, my needs, and well being last. It's like when you are on planes and they remind you to put your oxygen mask on before helping the person next to you. If I don't take care of myself first I am not going to be much help to other people.
It doesn't take much for me to get overwhelmed. While I wish this wasn't the case it is something that I can control if I put my mind to it. Worrying less about the small stuff and thinking of the big picture will help me to be more intentional with my energy and mindset.
make time for me (every single day)
Selfish behavior here I come. Kidding, kind of. Whether it is going to a barre class, taking a bath, or spending a few minutes reading or journaling before bed I know that taking time for myself will help me to maintain a better balance. As an introvert, alone time is crucial for me to regain energy. Hopefully by ensuring I take a bit of me time each day I'll have more energy and a better attitude!
please yourself before others
This should be a no brainer when it comes to personal decision making. If I am choosing something because someone else would want me to I am completely ignoring my own needs. People pleasing is something I've always struggled with but over the past year I've gotten a lot better about it. I hope to continue to keep this as a goal into the coming year. That's not to say that I don't appreciate other people's input though. For instance, the survey I created to hear your thoughts about Prep In Your Step has given me so many good ideas and allowed me to better connect with y'all. It has been so cool to see that everyone who comes to my site is looking for something a little different. With that said, there is no way that I can please every person in every post which is kind of challenging if you think about it. While some of you adore Step Into My Week posts others would rather me do another outfit post or hear an organization trick. The beauty in this is that those people who may not want to see an organization post or outfit post on a given day don't have to necessarily read that post, but because they are interested in other content are likely to check back again for something they may be more excited about. As long as I am writing content I am excited about it is my hope that I will at least have one other reader who is equally as excited about the post or at least finds it helpful.
S O C I A L
2016 was probably my most social year yet. I certainly don't feel like my college experience is the same as everyone else's (see what I mean in this post) but junior year into senior year has helped me to feel a better balance. I've learned what I need to do to be prepared for class while balancing that with friendships, working out, and taking a break on the weekend. I know that this coming semester will be hard as I am student teaching and won't always feel like a college student, so I am hoping that I don't take my last semester with all of my friends in one place for granted because of that.
This semester of full time student teaching and my first year of teaching (fingers crossed I get hired) will surely be exhausting. I know that I am likely to feel as though I've not done enough to prepare a certain lesson and will be bringing work home frequently. It is my goal to be intentional with myself when it comes to this and know when to take a step back and enjoy a way to balance teaching with a social life and workout regime.
stay in touch
With friends bound to end up all over the country (hello new vacation destinations) I know I'll have to be intentional with friendships. As we all try to establish ourselves in the real world I have a feeling that we will often get caught up in what we are doing and forget to check in with friends. Whether it be a random text, letter, call, or trip it is my goal to stay in touch with the friends I've made!
know that change is good
With the right attitude any new experience can have a positive outcome. That's the mindset I am hoping to take as change is inevitable.
C A R E E R
This year will be a telling one for me professionally. After graduating from Furman in May I will be pursuing my masters degree in Early Childhood Education at Furman for the following year. At that same time I hope to get a job teaching in a school in Greenville. While I won't finish up my masters until mid 2018 I hope that I am able to complete that degree and my first year teaching successfully. Additionally, I hope that blogging can remain a dependable outlet for me. Currently, I don't think I'll remain a teacher for forever. I know that it's a field I can always come back to but while I am young I want to keep my options open. For that to be the case it is my hope that Prep In Your Step can continue to flourish in the year to come and maybe eventually lead me to a career outside of education. I'd love to work in PR or for a magazine at some point and know that by continuing to commit myself to frequent, interesting posts I'll be setting myself up for that being a possibility. It can definitely be hard to think about doing something outside of my college major as I've spent so much time and effort in this realm it's also reassuring to know that I've paved my own way to have potential opportunities and skills outside of education as well. I'm sure I'll share more about my plans as graduation approaches but for now that's how I feel and with that in mind here are the goals I have:
make challenges opportunities (teaching)
There will undoubtedly be days that test my patience and decision to be a teacher. I hope that in those moments I find time to decompress but also take time to reflect on the benefits of those challenges. In many of my education classes we talk about how the word "fail" can be interpreted as a "first attempt at learning." If I am teaching my students that I also need to start to embody challenges and failures in that way.
communicatie openly (blogging)
I want Prep In Your Step to be a resource for each of you, but I also want to be seen as your friend and not just someone who exists online. Whether it be responding to emails or comments I hope that openly communicating with y'all will make that more of a reality. This also involves being a bit more vulnerable on here. I try to be transparent to a degree in Step Into My Week posts but have discovered that y'all enjoy seeing the "realness" of my life even if it isn't as picture perfect. I was shocked when I I looked into my top 9 instagrams of the year and saw that they weren't the perfectly styled and photograph pictures that I was most proud of but instead the silly behind the scenes experiences and moments. With that knowledge I am confident that sharing those pictures and details of experiences with y'all won't deter you but instead give you a better look at who I am as a person.
continue to grow (teaching & blogging)
Personal growth when it comes to teaching and numerical growth when it comes to blogging are two additional goals I have for the year. I force this as a year where I will begin to grow into my own as I become less reliant on my parents and being a college student. With each lesson I am sure to face I hope that I grow up just a bit. I also would love to continue to expand the reach I have as a blogger. Consistency and quality will hopefully help to make that goal a reality.
And a fun extra goal ... hit snooze less. I seriously need to work on this since I have become the type of person to set upwards of 10 alarms to wake me up on a given morning. It's bad. This year I hope to hit snooze less and wake up to my first alarm. We'll see how that goes...
Also speaking of goals, I've updated my 101 in 1001 post to more accurately reflect the goals I've crossed off of that list (you can find it here). I am so impressed if you've made your way through this whole post. I'd love to hear your thoughts on 2017 and any goals or resolutions you've made to make it your best year yet.