Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Goals for 2018

Over time, the word resolution has started to get a negative rep. In some cases, people's New Year's Resolutions do only last until mid February although I know plenty of people who stick to this kind of commitment. Personally, I prefer to set goals at the start of each year. If you're looking for ideas of good resolutions/goals to make this year that have nothing to do with fitness I highly suggest looking at The Every Girl's list. For one, I love their site. And secondly, the ideas they included helped me when it came to setting my own goals for the year.

This post has been on my to-do list since 2018 started. I always like to take my time working through the details of my goals since it makes me want to consistently work toward them. I also refer back to this blog post all year long to keep me on track. So, if you haven't made your own goals for 2018 let me be your proof that it's not too late. But, let me also encourage you to write them down and put them some place where you can continue to refer to them.


When thinking about what 2018 may have in store for me I foresee a lot of uncertainty and change. I've been reading Shonda Rhime's book, The Year of Yes, and she put it best by saying that up until college graduation you always have an end goal in mind. Getting that diploma or landing a job is great but then what goal are you pushing towards next? She is real in stating that post-grad comes with a lot of independence, but figuring out what to do with that independence can be tricky. Take my word on the fact that she articulates these thoughts a lot more gracefully than I am now. I may have to do a whole post on some of the best books I've read that talk about this unknown after graduating and well into your twenties and how to make the most of it, but right now I'll focus on my goals. I like to break mine down into categories so I can think of how to better apply each of these goals to my life at the moment. Some of these goals are more fluid from being involved with my personal life and transferring seamlessly to career and social goals while others seem to better fit within their own categories. 

P E R S O N A L

Make more choices for myself.
Even when you don't want someone's opinion, it's not uncommon for them to give it anyway. I've always been a bit of a people pleaser and over the years have started to move away from that. I can't say that I'm fully at the point where I don't care what other people think (is it actually possible for someone to get to that point?), but I'm making noticeable progress. My guess is that come June I will have some big decisions on my plate that will/and have already started to take a lot of things into consideration. I want to be sure that this year I'm not afraid to make more decisions for myself. While other people have my best interest at heart they may not always understand where I'm coming from so I'd like for them to not have as much sway as they once have. Whether it's a big decision or something small, if it's not something I want for myself then it's a no. We'll see how well I do with this one...

Read.
Over the summer and Christmas Break I read so much. Reading is something that I really enjoy and because of that I'm going to try to make it a priority to give myself more time to read each day. So far this year, I've been ending my day reading half a chapter or a chapter of whatever book is currently on my nightstand. I'm hoping this will help me to wind down at the end of my day and better prioritize myself and what I enjoy each evening. It's also helping me to make progress with my next goal.

Less screen time.  
In a way, screen time is part of my job. With blogging and social media I'm bound to spend time behind my computer and phone in order to "get the job done." Unfortunately, my phone can also be a major distraction keeping me from being productive or going to sleep at a reasonable hour. I am going to make a conscious effort to be better about putting my phone away when with friends and attempt to not use it after 10:00 on week nights. 

C A R E E R & B L O G

Save more. 
A little fun fact for you, until January I haven't been getting full pay. The way my program through Furman works has it so that we start getting full pay in January since we don't end up with our teaching certification until December. I could rant about this for a while but will save you all the pain. A teacher's salary isn't anything to write home about but it definitely feels like more now that it has increased in amount. Right now, my goal is to ignore that additional amount and instead get better about saving it. Whether that saved money is used for rent in the future, moving expenses, or even just a nest egg in case of emergency I know that it would be nice to have to fall back on if push comes to shove. So far this year I've done a good job of saving (especially since a friend and I are both only buying the essentials in January) and I'm hoping to keep it up as the year progresses.

Take more risks and embrace them.
In 2017 I became a lot more transparent in real life about my blog. Years ago I was absolutely terrified about the idea of people I know finding my blog. I would get so embarrassed and want to change the conversation as quickly as possible. Now, I love talking about it because of how proud I am of myself for committing to keeping it up with other jobs/activities as well. I still get a bit terrified about my students finding it (no idea how they would especially since half of the internet including my blog is blocked from school wifi), but being more vocal about it has definitely become more natural over time.

With that in mind, I'm hoping I can take more risks when it comes to blogging in 2018. While these risks may not be as noticeable to everyone knowing that I am taking them and trying to create opportunities for my little corner of the internet is empowering. Not all risks I take will be successful, I'm fully aware of that. Hopefully, the ones that are continue to lead towards growth and passion for what I am doing.

Make connections.
One of the books I read over the summer, The Defining Decade, had a whole chapter about the strength of weak ties. Embarrassingly, I find myself looking back at that chapter frequently. I've already seen success in making connections this year and it has led to an opportunity I am overjoyed to have. From creating a linkedin (yep, Im new to that you can be shocked) and making connections on there, to talking to followers more through direct messages on instagram, and even to having meaningful conversations in real life I foresee this being a fun goal to have. 

L I F E S T Y L E

Be more creative when it comes to cooking.
I miss home cooked meals and a meal plan. Home cooked meals are probably a given, but a meal plan? Yeah, I didn't really expect myself saying that either. Really, I miss the convenience of having a plethora of options for a meal where I've done none of the prep work. I'm pretty good about cooking in but tend to rotate through the same meals and most of these are far from exciting. This year, I want to work at being more creative with what I am cooking. I know that most of these meals will still be pretty quick to make since coming home from school I'm usually pretty tired and don't want to spend hours in the kitchen but there are plenty of great ideas for delicious recipes out there. I'm kicking off this goal this week by trying a free box of Hello Fresh. There are three different meals included and I am actually looking forward to making them.

Branch out. 
Staying in the same city where I went to college has been convenient in so many different ways. I'm lucky to be familiar with the area, have friends at Furman I can see, and even have Furman friends living with and around me. With that being said, I haven't really branched out much in trying to get to know other people. I'm hoping to get better about this in 2018 since I don't necessarily plan to stay put in Greenville forever. Making friends without the connection of Furman and teaching will be important at some point so why not go ahead and start now.

Accomplish at least one 101 in 1001 task each month. 
Back in July of 2016 I made a list of 101 things I'd like to accomplish in 1001 days. While I've made significant progress so far I'd love to do better about focusing on some of these tasks each month. I have until April of 2019 to get these all done so with this being my last full year with the list I want to make it a focus. Accomplishing or at least working towards accomplishing one task each month would definitely help to make getting these 101 tasks completed more of a reality.

Go to bed. 
I stink at getting enough sleep each night. As a teacher, I am up at around 5:15 each week day. I love mornings and am usually most productive then but I also find myself getting a second wind at night. Often that second wind leaves me awake much later than I should be. I am hoping to get better about going to bed earlier this year. By no means do I really expect myself to always get 8 hours but getting closer to that would be ideal. I've started working toward this goal by setting the bedtime alarm on my phone. We shall see if that helps.

This list is going directly on my bulletin board (both at home and at school).

Each year I like to choose one word to focus on. Even if all of my goals aren't at the forefront of my mind I can try to work toward accomplishing the goals when thinking about this one word. Last year I chose the word "intention." I wanted to be intentional with all that I chose to do/invest my time in. While I think that is still a good word to keep in mind this year's word is a little different and needs some explanation before you classify it as being too generic.

word of the year: gratitude

I was having some trouble choosing a word this year. I knew I wanted it to have something to do with attempting to be positive and had thought of the word gratitude, grace, and grateful before 2018 had even arrived. I wasn't committed to that until I was reading the beginning of The Five Minute Journal that I recently began. This book is meant to help to focus your mindset on the positive by choosing what situations you focus on. So far I've really enjoyed the journal but even more so I enjoyed its description of gratitude. The book explains that it is ok to be grateful for things that haven't happened yet. This idea is completely different than how I had previously thought of the word. Seven more interesting to me was the definition it gave for the word. "Gratitude derived from the Latin word gratis (meaning grace, graciousness, or gratefulness) eludes easy explanation by academics. Definitions such as 'the willingness to recognize the unearned increments of value in one's experience.'" This explanation sold me on the word. A lot of what I'm doing currently isn't necessarily going to reap benefits for me at the moment so the word gratitude will help to remind me to recognize the unearned value in what I'm doing currently. Being derived from the word grace, hopefully it will remind me to give myself a little more grace in situations and not be so hard on myself. The word willingness in the definition also reminds me that overall, this is my choice. I must choose these things in order to make them a reality. As if I wasn't already sold, the following statement also helped.

According to the book, "A 2003 study by Emmons and McCullough found that keeping a daily gratitude journal leads to better sleep, reductions of physical pain, a greater sense of well-being, and a better ability to handle change."

Better sleep, a greater sense of well-being, and a better ability to handle change all fit into my goals for the 2018 and expectations or what the year might hold pretty well. So, gratitude it is.

This year I also decided to choose a song of the year. Honestly, this song could have easily classified as my song of the last few months, but I think it encompasses a lot of my thoughts right now as well. If you haven't heard it I've included a link to it on spotify as well as some of my lyrics below.

song of the year: Happiness by Need to Breathe

"I've got a homesick heart but a long way left to go
I've been doing my part but I ain't got much to show
I'm asking you to show me some forgiveness
It's all for you in my pursuit of happiness"

"These days are tough, these days are long. Sometimes it's hard to carry on.
I hear a voice raging, and I know it's true.
I've got dreams that keep me up in the dead of night.
Telling me I wasn't made for the simple life.
There's a light I see but it's far in the distance.
I'm asking you to show me some forgiveness.
It's all for you in my pursuit of happiness."

"These days are tough, these days are long. Sometimes it's hard to carry on."

So now that you've seen a maybe overly transparent about my thoughts as we enter into the new year I'd love to hear some of your goals below!

I've included some of the books mentioned above for you to look at if they sounded interesting. I've also included a couple of others along the same lines that I've read and would recommend as well:


5 comments :

  1. I love your goals! Reading is on my list as well. I used to read a LOT as a child and even though I've begun to read more the past year, it still isn't enough for me! Definitely working on that! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope you share your experience with Hello Fresh! I love reading blog posts about people's experience with those boxes because I'm always trying to decide if it's something I should try or not!

    xoxo, SS


    Southern and Style

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