Setting Goals for 2019

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I’ve gotta imagine most people don’t take New Year’s resolutions very seriously. I mean, the average person’s resolution only lasts until January 12th. A whopping 12 days into the new year. And according to another study, only eight percent of people actually accomplish their goal.

Personally, I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to ‘start over’ when the calendar switches over. A few years back, I gave myself an easy one — fill up my car before the gas light comes on. I’ve been bringing that resolution back every single December in hopes I get better at it. The positive? It’s helping. The negative? There have been more close calls than I’m willing to admit. Like, nearly running out of gas on the side of the road. That close. I’m not proud but like I said, I’m working on getting better at filling my car up with gas before it becomes a service call to AAA.

This year feels a little different for me. I’ve been back in Minnesota for about two weeks now after spending a month in the U.S. Virgin Islands, volunteering with All Hands & Hearts — a smart response disaster relief organization. It was a huge reset for me (just a tip, if you are looking to find yourself, going to an island alone with very limited cell service and no television is a quick way to start your journey). I came back in a better place both emotionally and physically. I’m excited about my future. I’m excited about the change in my mental health. Granted, it shouldn’t take a leaving your job and moving to an island for a person to find some clarity but meh! I got it done!

I am avoiding setting actual resolutions. Instead I’m opting for goals, changes I would like to make in my life. Long-term changes, not just quick fixes. I still need to work on filling up my gas tank before my light comes on — I’ll own it the first time it happens — but I’m on such a great path right now thanks to my time in St. Thomas, that I want to keep that big old ball rolling.

  • Establish a better daily routine

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My month-long trip to St. Thomas was monumental for so many reasons, one of the greatest being it gave me a glimmer of hope that I could someday become a morning person. I loved the routine I established — getting up early and going to bed early is a lot easier when you have 9 to 10 hours of manual labor under your belt each day.

But it wasn’t just the fact that I was tired at night. I was living in a condemned middle school, with little to no distractions. I wasn’t watching mindless television after work or settling in with my laptop for hours. I would eat dinner, get ready for the next day, socialize a bit and then realize how exhausted I was and go to bed.

It’s definitely a lot harder keeping up with that routine now that I’m back at home because I’m so used to being a night owl. But breaking habits and establishing new ones takes time and consistency so even though it hasn’t been the easiest adjustment, I’m sticking to my plan. A couple things that I’m hoping will help — scheduling workouts in the morning, adding in a SAD light box to my routine, leaving the bedroom television off when I go to bed and drinking less alcohol.

I’ve also upped the dosage of my anxiety medication and have started taking it first thing in the morning instead of at night. I’m about a month in and right now, I’m falling asleep easier than I did when I took my prescription before bed. I’m still having issues with waking up in the middle of the night but I’m monitoring changes with my FitBit and am hopeful I can start to up the amount of deep sleep I’m getting each night. (right now, I’m getting under 90 minutes ).

  • Organize my finances and pay off a significant amount of debt.

I’ve never been great with money. I also don’t love talking about money or my debt. But as I work out my anxiety issues with my therapist, I’m becoming more and more comfortable talking about all of the ways I have screwed up. Like those Citi credit cards I applied for on spring break in Cancun when I was 18 years-old? They did a number on my credit score (my fault, of course) and it is time to own my shit.

Right now, I have a pile of medical bills I’m waiting to pay off until 2019’s FSA is transferred over into my account, I’m still paying off student loans and John and I have a few house projects we would like to start saving for (way more exciting to daydream about before you acknowledge how much it is all going to cost). I also want to travel more and would like to start putting money away for a trip.

My goal for 2019 is to start a budget (yes, start!) and be aware of what I’m spending my money on. I’m working on being less frivolous and manic in my spending and cutting out things I don’t need — like committing to making my coffee at home every morning and giving up eating out in January. I’ll like keep challenging myself to cut out unnecessary restaurant visits as the continues.

  • Become more aware of my human footprint and make changes to lower it

When we moved into our home in March, John and I started composting. We acquired a tumbler for our backyard and set up a bin below our sink for food scraps and paper goods. That small change has motivated me to look at other ways we can lower our human footprint right from the comfort of our own home. We recycle, use cloth towels as much as possible around the house and we both have plastic water bottles we use instead of buying water from the store.

I have even tried to be consistent about carrying my tumbler with me in an effort to cut out getting cups at the coffee shop— I brought it along to St. Thomas and used it it all of the time. My goal is to try and make it through the entire year without throwing away a coffee cup. Which means I need to have my tumbler with me an awful lot. I’m also going to push for us to add reusable grocery bags into our routine. We recycle every bag that comes into our house — which is a start — but it is also something we can simply cut out.

I’m researching other things we can do to help lower our impact on the environment and am excited to see what we can come up with.

not. my. hands.

not. my. hands.

  • Make a commitment to

I have so many ideas on things I want to do with (also, hey! thanks for stopping by!!!!!) and I haven’t been as committed to my website as I have wanted to be. I gotta own that. Life is busy and hard and frustrating and at the end of the day, I need to hold myself accountable for getting myself on a better schedule when it comes to content.

Right now, my plan is to set a schedule — maybe on Mondays, I release a new recipe, Wednesdays become a day for a personal post, etc. etc. I have to put that in place myself. And then I need to create a content calendar and put a plan in place to make sure I can get my posts done on time. I’m going to have to adjust my current schedule — I’m aware of that. I need to be more aware of how I spend my downtime and I’m going to have to cut some things out. There’s no way around that. I’m also hoping to become more efficient in how I spend my time and am going to be using my therapy appointments as an accountability check-in.

what are some of your goals for 2019?

Share them in the comments!