A Look Back at 2017
~ First, I just wanted to say that I so…
~ Guys, I’m OVER big lengthy bucket lists or intense resolutions that are impossible to stick to. Why? Because when I can’t complete them or uphold a resolution, I feel this horrible guilt in my stomach and I’m left feeling like some sort of a failure. This year is about personal growth and SIMPLIFICATION! I’m pairing down and focusing on the things that really matter. In the spirit of this, I just wanted to create 8 Growth Goals for myself for 2018 and encourage you to do the same. (*Why 8 and not 10? Because 8…for 2018…EASY to remember!)
Goals are different than a resolution, because a goal is something more realistic. It gives you something to strive towards each day in a way that makes sense for you personally. In my last job, the head of our Board of Trustees once told me that “if you don’t set goals, you don’t accomplish them.” While that’s such a simple concept, the truth to those words really struck a chord with me.
Resolutions always remind me of Lent in my younger days (#teamCatholic over here), but not in the best way. Whenever I would inevitably fail at my Lenten sacrifice and eat cheese or chocolate, I would feel like it was all over and I had failed. “I guess I’ll just eat ALL THE CHEESE until Easter.” This was clearly not helpful and I completely missed the mark! (*however, there was that one year I gave up AOL Instant Messenger and stuck to it firmly…) Resolutions are like that too. They seem too hard to pick back up in February when you’ve been off the wagon for 2 weeks already in January.
A goal is something that you never give up on, even if you’ve failed to make progress that day or that week. You can always be striving towards your goals, picking yourself back up after a day that didn’t go as planned, and giving yourself some grace as you get back on track. It’s about growing and making small improvements that over time, make a big change in your overall life and happiness day to day. OOO yeah, that felt good to type.
We are all capable of SO MUCH. But, we are all also human. Life is chaotic. Life is messy. In 2018, I’m working on making positive small changes based off of the things in my life that I can control every day. I would love it if you joined me!
~ 1. ORGANIZATION ~
~ I’ve mentioned this before on the blog! I am SO DARN OCD ORGANIZED when it comes to anything work related, but personal organization is something I struggle with. Who wants to organize their closet when they’ve just given blood, sweat, and tears to keeping a rack of sample clothes perfect?! BUT, lately I’ve just been feeling so overwhelmed, anxious, and out of control. When there is clutter around, it takes up more mental space than you think! I know my own clutter is feeding these bad feelings. This spring, I watched a 2014 graduation speech which hinged around the importance of making your bed every morning. I have been making my bed every single morning since (*with just a few exceptions) and something SO SMALL has made such a big change in my day-to-day. Imagine if this feeling of order could be infused into all aspects of my life? #GOAL but actual goal.
~ 2. SIMPLIFICATION ~
~ Goal #1 brings us right to #2. Simplification has to happen before the organization can. I’m currently reading Emily Ley’s A Simplified Life, and it’s been amazingly helpful so far. It’s also made me realize that simplification means a lot more than people who own modern white and lucite furniture, live in a minimalistic house, and only have 30 neutral colored Theory pieces in their closets (I know, this misjudgment is so jaded…). Simplification clears up SO MUCH headspace that can be used on OTHER THINGS. When you’re not looking for your favorite pair of scissors in your drawer of 9 scissors, you eliminate the choice and the act of looking. You now have extra seconds, minutes, dare I say hours in a week to devote to other things that matter to you, like spending time with your family or calling your best friend. For me, I realize simplification is key in order to maintain organization, my sanity, and keep my stress levels at bay. Today, I RUTHLESSLY filled 2 giant trash bags of things I didn’t need as I organized my spare room. Next, I have to tackle my closet again, because I have dropped another size. But I know it will be so much more fun to style myself each morning when I only have clothes that fit to choose from!
~ 3. PLAN PLAN PLAN ~
~ When it comes to travel, weekend trips, or big life moves…I’m a planner! Yet, when it comes to my day-to-day and weekday plans, I get so easily distracted! You know the saying…If you FAIL to PLAN, you PLAN to FAIL. I hate that saying so much because gosh, IT’S SO TRUE! I’m someone who thrives off of structure (big thanks to The Hill School in planning every minute of every day for 4 years of my life). AH I miss structure! In CT, my life was so structured and scheduled and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Work > Gym > Blog (with the exception of sailing season, IHYC meetings of course, and volunteering!) Now, I am freelancing and blogging. I absolutely love those two things more than I can express! But I HATE making my own schedule and the lack of structure, especially on the “off days.” The only answer is to give myself a little tough love and stick to a plan for each day and a plan for the blog’s content. I am so visual and I am really hoping that my new Emily Ley Daily Simplified Planner will help as each day has it’s own page and each hour is blocked out. Do you have any planning tips for a visual learner like me?
~ 4. DO MORE THINGS THAT FILL ME WITH JOY ~
~ What you put out into the universe, you get back (that’s just science #LawofAttraction). I want to radiate more joy and give off more good vibes, therefore, I am making it a goal to do more of the things that bring me joy. Mostly, these things are pretty simple?! Sending cards to friends, baking for others, taking that yoga class, meeting friends for happy hour, taking a Groupon cooking class, figure skating, decorating, pulling inspiration, drinking lots of La Croix, spending time with my nieces, skiing, hiking, sailing, golfing, painting, crafting, DIY projects, going to concerts…..why don’t I currently make an EFFORT to do more of these things when I know for certain that they make me happy? 2018….more of the good stuff!
~ 5. CONNECT MORE ~
~ I hate that I am loosing touch with people that I love. These friends are my family! What is happening?! Here’s what I’ve realized in just the past couple of weeks as I’ve made an effort to connect with friends I haven’t talked to in a while: It’s as easy as sending a simple “Hey love! I miss you! When can we catch-up this week? I need to hear your voice and hear about life!” It’s so simple. The goal is to do more of this and to get in the habit of doing it weekly. I realize that my profession will not allow me to be around all the people that I love…and they are all so scattered! This means that I’ve GOT to get good at this.
~ 6. BE INTENTIONAL ~
~ I would not trade my year in Italy for anything, however, I think that the Italian laissez faire outlook on life has rubbed off on me in some negative ways. This past year, my whole attitude has been, “YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, LET’S DO IT” and unfortunately, there are aspects of my current life that I still detect this YOLO attitude that can sometimes be more detrimental than helpful. I want to be intentional with my TIME. I want to be intentional with the PEOPLE I choose to invest in. I want to be less careless and carefree with my heart. I want to be more intentional with HOW and WHAT I spend my $ on. I want to be more intentional with WHERE I choose to spend my time. I don’t want this to cause me anxiety, but I think that making a concerted effort to be more intentional will just run it’s course and put me on a better path for the future, without stressing too much about how that exactly looks if that makes any sense?
~ 7. FEED MYSELF ~
~ *Disclaimer: I swear I don’t have a problem. It’s just that after moving home from Italy…I feel SO much less passionate about food than I used to. My friends always used to comment that no one got as excited about food as I did. And it’s TRUE…all kinds of food really made my heart excited! Colorful vegetables from the market twice a week, the CHEESE truck, truffles, vino, gelato, prosciutto! I cooked every night and eating with friends gave me the most joy! Actually now that I type that, maybe that’s part of the problem. I never cook anymore. I’m back to my frozen veggie burgers & baby carrots & hummus meals that take no thought, creativity, or effort. When I’m on set, I am so hyper focused and I’m moving all day, that even when I get to sit down for lunch, it’s like I don’t even want it. Then it rolls into the evening – Starbucks and blog work around dinner time and then I feel like it’s too late to eat and I’d rather send 3 more emails. Since when did EVERYTHING ELSE become more important than nourishing MY BODY?! 3 MEALS A DAY. NO EXCUSES. Even if it feels forced.
~ 8. GET STRONG ~
~ Physically and mentally. I’m never going to be a size 2 (actually, I really hope not – that’s not how I’m built!), but I do have a desire to get STRONGER and build more muscle. If I can maintain my current size but tone up and feel STRONG, I will be content! I love my gym here, but realize that as freelancing picks up (in different locations), that I might not be able to make it to one gym every day. Have any of you done BBG? I have attempted and failed a few times, but I think that now that I will be traveling and on-the-go more, it could be a great option and worth the $20 a month. Also, I NEED NEED NEED to meditate every day. It’s insane the difference that I feel in being able to control my thoughts when I meditate vs. when I don’t. It’s like the moment my mind drifts away and I get distracted, I can SNATCH it back and focus on what I’m doing in the moment WAY faster when I’m meditating. I have also really been focusing on gratitude and I have noticed improvements in my daily happiness and state of mind. Every day when my feet hit the ground in the morning, I go through a list in my head of things I’m grateful for, and if I am feeling sad or down throughout the day, I continue to add to this mental list. I want to continue to strive for a better attitude of gratitude! I was not built for life’s transition times…I swear that sailing through them successfully is 95% mental strength and positivity! GET. STRONG. GO.
If you decide to make #8GrowthGoals for yourself, please let me know! DM me or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to know! Thank you so much for reading this post and being a part of my 2018 so far. I have such good feelings about this year!
Gratefully with love,