One of the brainstorming tools I use at work is called “start, stop, continue”. As the name implies, the activity involves evaluating your current areas of responsibility and focus and describing what you would like to do more of, what you’d like to do less of, and what new things you’d like to start up.
So many of my goals and resolutions from last year are things that I want to continue for my whole life, so I thought a similar structure might be fun for capturing my ideas and goals for the year ahead! I will jump right in!
- floss (our moms are both dental hygienists and we both suck at flossing. Unacceptable.)
- meal plan weekly & cook 1 blog-worthy meal per week
- better posture!
- make a new friend (working on my cat lady status)
- spend more time with friends each week
- talk with family more often (be better with calls & emails between visits)
- take a writing class
-sign up for a summer CSA
- live by the 4 agreements (worth a read!):
We also have some goals as a “family” this year:
- maximize income (job/career goal stuff)
- reduce costs (cheaper rent with our next apt, pay off loan$)
- open a “house savings” account with the savings… no big plans yet, but it is fun to dream
- workout 4x per week (we are taking another stab at P90X this week…) and pack lunches 4x per week
- Teto is working to overcome his habit of meowing obnoxiously and incessantly at the door…
1) Wake up earlier – I have gotten better at this.. kinda? but still it is struggle city over here in the AM. My new plan is:
- lay out clothes (workout & work) each night, pack lunches
- screens turned off (comp, iPhone) by 9pm for reading and Teto snuggle-time
- get ready for bed and upstairs @ 10
- do 5 min meditation and go to SLEEP
2) Read more – didn’t get anywhere close to my goal of 20 books last year. I think this is 2 years in a row I have failed at both book-readin’ and sleep-gettin’. WTF is my problem? The answer is TV, my friends. My attempted solution is my new early bedtime/reading combo (I’m really just plunging myself further into the depths of cat-lady-dom with each blog post, I know…)
3) Travel to new places. (OMG. this should not be a goal for us. Because already spend all our money wandering around the country like crazy hoboes. Check the Travel tab.) On the docket so far this year:
- ski trip in March! whee!
- Boundary Waters canoe trip this summer (I’ve been before, but Brandon never has and I’m SO.EXCITED. to go back, with him.)
- 3 weddings to attend!
- hopefully another epic National Parks trip like our Yellowstone trip. I am officially addicted. I actually became so consumed with jealousy that my best friend got a National Geographic National Parks guide that my parents bought me a copy for a “New Year” present. Best parents evaaaiiiire. Now on to planning that trip… I’m not sure if the Boundary Waters Canoe Area intersects at all with Voyageurs National Park so I will have to check that out, too. Let me know if you are a National Parks buff!
- hopefully lots of other camping all summer, too. Love my tent!!
4) Volunteer – I have done a couple really cool opportunities through work involving mentoring local kids (I have done both elementary school and high school this year). So I’m looking to keep that up!! I love it!!
5) Yoga – To be fair, I don’t think I did more yoga in 2012 than I did in 2011, but I did carve out a teeny space in my life for yoga (and other yogic principles – practicing presence, deep breathing, setting intentions). It makes me feel good and I should do it more. Forever.
6) Paying off goal loans – I made my goal last year!!!! Crushed it, in fact. I think I paid off last year’s “goal loan” in JULY and have been plugging away with mostly the minimum payments since (with a couple extra payments here and there). I have also continued doing freelance jobs on the side to help put a little extra toward my payments and will be keeping that up in the new year. Let me know if you are looking for a technology writer or someone experienced in blogging about communications in the public sector! The big wins for me here are:
- pay off as much as possible with any extra end-of-year money
- choose a new, specific goal for the year after that
- set up a new automatic payment w/ higher than min each month going to principal
- continue to contribute $ from side jobs to goal
8) Explore Minneapolis – I did a lot of cool stuff in the Cities this year. Tried more restaurants than I can count, did several races in the metro area, ran a lot in our neighborhood, went to events in the area (beer fest, cat video fest!!, movies in the park), enjoyed the lakes, tried local beers… I even ventured a little into St. Paul So this year.. even more Minneapolis, DEFINITELY more St. Paul!
9) Running – last year I ran my first ever half marathon!! and then stopped working out entirely. To give myself some credit, I consider finishing the race without walking to be one of my biggest accomplishments of the year. Training for any “endurance” type event is a time-consuming commitment and I am jealous of people who seem to have the willpower and love of exercise that make finishing races in the double-digit mile category look easy. I am taking steps early in the year to get our cooking/eating habits in check and building a good base strength/endurance-wise (we are kicking off P90X this week!). Then, I would love to beat my time in the half marathon in the second half of the year with a dedicated training plan. I’m hoping this is the year that balancing fitness with the rest of my life finally “clicks”.
Outside of goals, resolutions, aspirations, intentions… all these terms we use to define how we think our lives “should” be going, I think I have taken a lot of proactive steps this year that have helped me figure out my priorities. I think I am more aligned with my personal values vs. striving to achieve a mental image of “perfection” based on external stressors, and I am doing the work I need to do in my own head and heart to be the friend and family member I wanna be. More of that this year please.
1) “Monthly goals” – I think the pressure to update this type of stuff on a blog is one of the reasons I got turned off of blogging for awhile this past year. Frankly, I don’t think it’s probably that interesting for you and it isn’t always that meaningful for me to come up with new goals each month. I am working to continue being accountable and keeping the promises I make to myself so I will blog about that instead
2) Blogging x posts per week type goals – again, taking the pressure off on the blog stuff. I like having one but I also like it to be FUN. When I started this blog, I envisioned having the time and interest to post frequently with informative stuff for people to take and use in their own lives (workout ideas, recipe ideas, tips for organizing, etc.). I’ve found it’s more fun for me to share my personal rambles for friends and family who are curious enough to look in, and I’m rolling with a more relaxed attitude going forward rather than putting pressure on myself to live up to this vision that I don’t really want anymore! New blog name & look soon!! Really this time.
That’s all! A little more unorganized and random than last year, but I think overall my goals last year helped keep me focused and inspired so why not add a few more ideas to the list? I wasn’t going to do a big 2012 wrap-up post like I did last year, but going through all my old and new goals reminded me of so many great things that happened this year that really deserve their own post. So look for that this week!
What are your resolutions this year? Please share!! Let’s keep each other inspired!