Yesterday I got to take a hike with one of my closest friends. We have gotten together once a month to keep each other on track regarding goals and general direction for the year.
I noticed over the year that, of course, I lost some focus on my New Year Resolutions. I know this is common, but I still enjoy making them every January. Having these resolutions and meetings helped string together the months, give me overarching goals that I can look back on. Meeting with my friend each month seemed to make a difference in keeping my resolutions in my consciousness, though.
I chose 4 areas this year to focus on: eating and fitness, reading, career, and clutter. I feel good about what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown in all of these areas.
In clutter, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up which I feel helped me learn how to get rid of stuff as well as how to choose new purchases that I actually enjoy – not just buy things that are on sale because they are on sale, or get something because I think it will be useful, or because I’m too impatient to seek out what I’m really wanting or needing.
In eating, I’m learning more about how to accept my weight, and learning that food is food. Food isn’t “good” or “bad,” and I am not “good” or “bad” for eating certain types of food. I feel like I’m having less anxiety regarding food, and learning a more balanced approach to eating. And in fitness, I’ve kept up the ability to run a mile, and am ever-so-slowly getting closer to the 10-minute-mile goal. The big triumph for me this year has been the fact that I want to be active now. If I don’t go to the gym in a few days, I go to the gym out of desire. That’s so different from the dread, making myself get into my gym clothes and go. I never really believed that I would ever want to go run a mile.
In reading, I’ve read 28 out of 36 books this year, so I am on track! I love variety in reading and I’ve read novels, short story collections, poetry, memoirs, essays, and general nonfiction. The problem I have with a book goal is that I tend to pick books under 500 pages because I have the pressure to meet the number of books… my husband suggested a page number goal, and I think I’m going to go with that next year. I’m going to look at goodreads and add up the number of pages I’ve read this year to make a goal for next year. That will give me flexibility in different ways. 1. I can choose to stop reading a book if I’m not enjoying it (or choose to push through) and count the pages towards my total, and 2. I can choose 800-900 page books if I want!!
Career: I’ve changed jobs and decided that I want to apply to Ph.D. programs. Which is a huge decision, but it’s something I’ve always toyed with. After starting a new job working from home, I’m realizing that I like this job better, but it’s still not where my passion is. Higher education and research are more appealing to me, and that’s the direction I want to go in.
I have some areas I’ve been thinking about for next year.
- I’m always reading, so I’m going to keep a reading goal but modify it to page numbers instead.
- Meditation – something that’s always been in the back of my mind as a thing I’d like to do regularly, but I’ve never dedicated myself to that goal. I haven’t decided yet – 10 minutes a day? Every Sunday? I’m not sure what I want to do with this goal yet.
- Personal blogging – this blog is something I just started, and it’s been easy to watch the months go by without a post. Especially with many life changes, like starting a new job and moving, I’ve put it on the back-burner. I think I do want to do a reading review, because I enjoy when others do this and think it’d be good for me on my journey as an atheist. So… I might make a goal of reading through and blogging the Bible, for instance (though Neil Carter has been doing an amazing job of that on his blog). Or Redeeming Love (Though Samantha Field is doing an amazing review of that too!). Even if it’s redundant, though, if I feel like it would be good for my emotional and mental health and growth, I want to do it.
- Continue eating/fitness goals, maybe make some measurable goals like “run 2 miles twice a week” etc…
- Apply to Ph.D. programs, see what happens
Obviously there are still 2 more months in the year, but it’s nice to have some direction about what goals I might want to make, instead of it, suddenly, being December 31 and I’m thinking, “What do I want my resolutions to be?”
What about you? Do you make yearly goals? What do you think about New Years Resolutions? In what areas of life do you want to see change and growth?