I’m excited for the new year and everything that’s ahead.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of creating a long list of arduous new year’s resolutions that hover with expectation.
We’re busy humans with tons of competing obligations… family, friends, work, personal interests, travel, etc. Spreading ourselves too thin does not help set us up for success.
Writing a long list might seem heroic but how many times have you tackled that list of 10-15 goals by the end of the year?
Chances are maybe you accomplished 2-3 of those goals. If you did all 10-15, congratulations you’re a super-human unicorn.
My personal philosophy is that focusing on 1-3 big core goals and then breaking them down into actionable steps is much more feasible.
Here are my two personal goals for this year—and the steps I plan to take to achieve them.
Goal #1: Heal + Strengthen My Spine
Healing my spine is high on the agenda, it’s numero uno! My back issues started in high school. I felt self conscious about my height (I am 5’7″ in the morning, 5’6&1/2” by the afternoon) since most of my friends were around 5’2”. I started to intentionally slouch because I felt so insecure about looking like the giraffe leading the pack so I adopted a bad habit that was only supposed to help me coast under the radar for a few years. Unfortunately, picking up the poor posture is still something I’m dealing with today. I weakened a lot of the muscles in my spine in my teens and my back tends to give out fast if I’m on my feet all day. I get fatigued and grumpy quicker, and that’s no way to live. Not to mention, hunchy posture in your early thirties just doesn’t feel sexy. It’s hard to feel like a confident boss female when you’re like ouuuuuch, my back. Help me. Someone call life alert!
Thankfully, the damage I’ve done is reversible. I’m excited to start doing the work.
How I plan to reach this goal:
- More yoga. At least 1-2x a week.
- Mini back strengthening routines. Two to three times a week I plan on doing 10-15 minute at-home routines that I can do in the morning before work or in the evening. I’ll share more of these on social media later this year, which leads me to the next point…
- Taking a social media break. I’m taking a hiatus from Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (right after I share this post). My goal is to be off these networks until April 1st. I honestly feel like any idle time defaults to just scrolling, mindlessly liking, and wasting time. My intention with this break is to train my brain to redirect it’s thinking to tie back to supporting my 2019 goals. Example: Oh I’m bored…hmm now’s a good time to write a new back routine, read, write/journal, or create something. Social media has been monopolizing a lot of my time and I need to make a clean break for some time.
- Opening up my chest. Doing a series of stretches to help counter the forward pull. This feels so good! And I notice an instant improvement in my posture when I do chest stretches.
Goal #2: Pay Off Debt
This has been something that started in 2018 (I paid off $3,069 in debt last year—woo-hoo!) but that number needs to get a lot more aggressive in 2019. My outstanding debt is some naughty L.A. credit card debt (I yolo-d a lil too much in that city), my car, and my student loans.
How I plan to reach this goal:
- Monthly check-ins. In May 2018, I started tracking how much debt I was paying off on a month-to-month basis. I set a monthly recurring calendar reminder titled “Budget Check-in” and then I’d log into all of my accounts, tally up what was left to pay off, and log it into an Excel spreadsheet. When I first started the spreadsheet, it felt like such a daunting anxiety-sparking task. I felt overwhelmed. But once I got into the groove of checking back month after month and seeing the total debt amount go down, it became a fun game. It was also a form of accountability that helped me curb any impulsive spending that may have otherwise happened during the month. It was a really wonderful feeling to see the difference between December and May at the end of the year. Before I started doing monthly check-ins I used to just “budget by feel” (hah! I do not recommend this) or sporadically tally up overhead expenses and debt, then run for the hills. It was not an effective approach to say the least.
- 20% of my paychecks are going to paying off debt. Yep. It’s a big percentage but I dream of the day I’m 100% debt-free and that keeps me going! It’s a small sacrifice to pay in the grand scheme of things.
Of course I have other goals for 2019, but the ones listed above are my *high priority* goals. The rest are nice-to-haves but not crucial. Nice-to-haves include: 3-4 trips this year (one a quarter, possibly a big international trip if we or I catch a cheap flight), a new personal computer (I haven’t bought one in 10 years), fine dining, local adventures, and nicer clothing. These goals will happen passively, but the high priority goals will always take precedence.
The things that really fill my cup are simple: adventures with my love, family time, belly laughs with friends, good health, cooking at home, and a roof over my head. I can’t wait to create more memories in 2019.
I hope this post encourages you to keep your list of goals small but mighty!
What are your goals for the year? I’d love to hear them.