Okay, so it isn’t exactly a “new” year, we are already one month in, but 2017 is over and 2018 is here! The New Year always seems to bring with it plenty of reflection on the past year and a slew of New Year’s resolutions. However, for many people, those reflections and resolutions are soon forgotten. It becomes so easy to slip back into the daily grind and old habits and routines are just so much easier to fall back on.
Personally, I find that goals are useful all year long and goals with a smaller scope are much more attainable than goals for an entire year. Goals are also useless without a plan for how you can achieve them. Still, I do the same end of the year reflection and goal setting that many other people do (even if it has taken me until February to write about it).
2017 was a good year for me. I finished my thesis and finally earned my MSW. I went to Ireland and married Cal, we also celebrated 10 years since we first started dating. Our children continue to grow and make awesome strides. Overall, it was a great year for us.
That does not mean that everything was great. There was plenty that I would change if handed a magic wand and our lives have plenty of ups and downs, just like anyone else’s. However at the end of the day (or end of the year in this case), those things don’t really matter and it does no one any good to focus on them. Instead, I like to focus on the ways we have grown and moved forward in the past year, while also thinking about where we want to be in the coming year.
I feel like (and hope) 2018 will be a good year for us. When talking to Cal about what the year holds for us, there are a lot of things that I don’t have direct control over and that cannot be achieved solely through persistence and planning. For example, buying a house or having another baby. Those are both things that we would like to see happen in the coming year, but not things that I can or should be working toward on a daily basis. I tend to have an obsessive mindset, which can serve me well when used constructively. However, it can also send my anxiety and depression into high gear if I am obsessing over certain things on a daily basis and nothing is to come of it. Ultimately, we have to wait until the right house comes along or until we conceive. Obsession is not going to make either thing happen faster.
However, there are other goals that can benefit from being thought of daily. Those are the goals that I plan to focus my energy on this year. All of these goals are similar to goals that I made last year. However, I made progress in each area last year, now it is time to take that progress even further.
- Lose weight
- Write more
- Get organized
Losing weight was a big goal of mine last year and I was successful at first. I was under my pre-pregnancy weight and working on losing more. However, then I had four chemical pregnancies last year. With each one I gained another 5 or so pounds and pretty much forgot about even trying to lose weight. I’m not quite back to where I started, but I still need to buckle down and really focus on losing that weight and getting healthier.
Writing is an important aspect of my life. It is something that I am passionate about and I am so much happier when I am writing. This year I need to refocus my energy on writing on this blog more regularly, and also working on the book I am currently writing . The first step for this goal is making time to write and creating a good writing routine.
I need to get more organized. Last year I found using a journal/planner helped me focus on my goals and feel more organized. I do not know how I would have finished my thesis without the use of that system. However, after I finished my thesis and some smaller tasks, my journal was slowly set to the side and forgotten about. I need to recommit to creating healthy routines and being more organized. I will also be going back to using that journal to help me.
Driving is one goal that I haven’t made much progress on. Part of the problem is that I am embarrassed by it, so it is so much easier to just pretend that the problem doesn’t exist. So, I never think about it, which also means I am never working towards this goal. I don’t think I even got behind the wheel of a car once in the past year.
However, my mental state is much better and healthier and I made great progress on that front. Anxiety was the biggest thing holding me back from driving and I feel considerably better and more ready to take things on.
Those four “goals” are just vague areas that I wish to improve on. Now, I need to sit down and create a plan for how I am going to achieve each goal and how I am going to measure my success. I will be writing more about the process in the weeks to come, but for now I just want to share what areas I am focusing on and break the silence that has taken over my blog for the past few months.