"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Goals for a New Year!

(Ok, so I guess that title is a bit misleading. Some of my goals for this year are actually old goals...just with new resolve :)

My theme for this year's resolutions:

"A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline." ~ Harvey MacKay

As I've said many many times before, I'm a dreamer, and not necessarily a doer. Which leads to many happy thoughts, but not a lot of growth. It also leads to deteriorating talents, a messy house, disorganization, frustration, and wasted potential. None of those are things I want for myself!

This year I'm trying something new. I have a LOT of dreams I want to achieve, so I'm going to make my list of all the things I want to do this year, and make monthly check-points (a plan and a deadline!). A length of time that I want to spend working on a goal, or a certain mile-stone I want to pass. Small stuff like that to keep my long-term goals in my mind, and keep me progressing towards them without that whole feeling of guilt and failure that accompanies the realization that where I want to be is so far away from where I am now. So basically, the ultimate goal that I'm trying to achieve this year is progress towards my dreams!

So, what are these dreams, and how do I plan on progressing towards them?

1) First, and most importantly, I want to draw closer to my Savior, strengthen my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and grow stronger in my personal testimony of the Gospel. And I want to go a step further and be more prepared to share what I know with other people. I'm not talking about shoving my religion and ideas down everyone's throat; I just mean that I want to be able to clearly express what I believe, and why I believe it.

The Plan: I'm going to be more diligent at setting aside time to devote to personal scripture study, and I'm going to study with Preach My Gospel as a guide! This goal is hard to quantify, so I'm going to measure it by logging the time I spend studying, and setting a certain number of pages in Preach My Gospel to get through each month. The specific month-to-month goals are yet to be determined.

2) I want to take better care of my wonderful body by eating better! You are what you eat. No wonder I'm so sweet :) And no wonder I'm not especially healthy! I don't plan to diet; I know better than that. I'd just fail in a heartbeat. What I want to do is get away from the tendency to eat junk as comfort food, or because I'm bored, or because I'm hungry and don't feel like taking the time to make something worth eating so I just eat junk because it's handy. I also need to be better at staying hydrated!

The Plan: The main things I want to accomplish are to drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, eat less junk, and develop a healthier mentality about eating. I don't usually think too much about what I eat while I'm eating, but if I sit down after and look at what I did (and didn't) eat, I'm usually disgusted with myself. A daily food log will be too easy for me to fail at, so I'm going to keep a food log one rotating day a week. I can do that. Small steps. Included in that food log will be things that I wanted to eat, but realized were poor choices and avoided by choosing something better :) Also, I want to put more planning into preparing food, so when the hunger strikes, healthy choices are just as handy as junk choices. So each month I want to have a print-out I can put on the inside of one of the kitchen cabinet doors. That way I'll have it right where the food is, and I can keep a tally and see my progress, and have it there to remind me when I'm about to make food choices :) The print out will have boxes to check off for 5 pre-packed healthy lunches a month, 1 pre-planned healthy dinner a week, and 1 food log day a week. Once I get good at remembering to log things, and good at eating better, I'll increase the monthly goals :)

3) Take better care of my body by exercising more! My current level of exercise is like, about one 90-minute ballet class every other week. My sedentary desk-job life is far short of the recommended 30 minutes a day! And my cardio is so bad that I can hardly make it through ballet sometimes. Working on eating better will definitely help, but I'll still feel and be better if I exercise more. Much more.

The Plan: 2 hours of exercise a week! That's 30 minutes a day with Sundays off, and two days of forgetting/slacking forgiven :) The catches: if I go to ballet, it only counts as 30 minutes (maybe 60 if it's an especially hard class), at least one of those 30 minutes needs to be cardio (jogging, jumping, working out with Trevor, etc.), and a full yoga class only counts as 30 minutes. This one is going to be hard, but it will be worth it! And it will probably have the most visible results :)

4) Project downsize and organize. I have been meaning to do this for YEARS! Literally, YEARS! And instead, I just keep getting more and more stuff, and not having anywhere to put it because I'm so unorganized, and then it ends up being an even bigger mess, and then I find more stuff that I like, and now I'm drowning in great stuff that I'm not even using, and it's not doing anyone any good either! And it makes my house feel icky and cluttered. I'm on my way to becoming a first-class hoarder someday.

The Plan: Some of the main reasons I think I have been failing at this up until this point are that I have a hard time getting rid of things (I'm afraid I'll need them sometime, and I hate to get rid of things that I paid good money for or have memories attached to), I have so much stuff that I don't have enough places to put everything, and the thought of fixing the two previous problems is so unbelievably daunting that I just give up and keep collecting more stuff and leaving it out everywhere. I'm going to tackle this problem 1 box at a time. We've already started getting ready to make progress on this by reorganizing our rooms to have space for more stuff. 4 boxes, and 10 give-away/throw-aways a month is the plan. A 'box' means going through a box of junk and organizing it and putting it away, taking a bunch of stuff that's not in a box and organizing it into one, or getting rid of a box of junk, and the 10 items can be included if I get rid of a whole box of stuff.

5) Clean house maintenance. It's pretty self-explanatory. It's easy to let housework go when no one comes over and sees it, and when the mess can easily sit around for another day without immediate consequences. It makes for a less-than-ideal environment though, and it's time to change it!

The Plan: We started a cleaning chart awhile ago, but after a few missed days, it got abandoned. This year, when I do my monthly check up on the progress of my goals, I want to have at least 15 days of successful job completion!

6) Increase in creativity and learning! This is actually a pretty big category with a ton of sub-categories, but I want the first 5 goals to have the bulk of the focus since they are my big ones. The underlying drive for this large category is my need to create and be artistic! I want to do things and have something to show for it! Something that's mine. The first 5 goals are good life skills and will do wonders to my overall well-being and happiness, but this sixth goal will help me find that real fulfillment that I want (different from the fulfillment that comes from religion, family relationships, etc.). I don't want to be just another nice good little Mormon girl who manages to be reasonably healthy and a decent homemaker; I want to be a me :) 

The Plan: Do one project a month, and blog about it. The number of hours and skill level required can vary, even if it's a huge flop it still counts. The plan is just to keep trying and growing and learning! Examples of acceptable projects: sew or alter an article of clothing, learn a new song on the piano, choreograph something, learn a new way to do my hair, make some cutesy decorated dessert or something, enroll in a photography class, finish reading a book, blog regularly for the entire month, do some pinterest craft, make a fun video with my Trevor, learn how to use my new photo and video editing software and come up with a notable finished product,...the options are endless! And at the end of the year, I'll have 12 creations and learning experiences to my name :)

7) Report on my progress!! There's nothing like a bit of accountability to bring out the best in me.

The Plan: On the last of the month (or first of the next month) I will total up my successes for each goal, and post about it. That way it will be easier to keep my goals fresh in my mind and see my progress :)


So, now that I've sorted out these dreams, and moved them to category 'goals'...it's already February. But never fear! The year is still young! And now there's just all the more room for improvement this next month!

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