Ahh…how exciting that a brand-spankin’ new year has arrived! I love beginnings, goal-planning, and all the jazz that the New Year brings with it.
In my last blog post, I talked about why I was opting to do “end of year” resolutions. Now that we’re on the flipside (hey, 2019), it’s time to revisit resolutions for the New Year. Now, hear me out — I’m not so cynical that I think resolutions are worthless, but not so naive that I don’t recognize that most resolutions are abandoned just a few weeks (sometimes days) after they’ve begun.
This year, I’m approaching New Year goal-planning a little differently. I’m picking three words that represent themes I want to focus on in 2019, and then attempting to make progress in all aspects of my life around those themes. Basically, I’m doing the opposite of SMART goals (ya gotta know when to break the rules occasionally, right?). These themes aren’t specific or measurable…but that’s part of the beauty. It’s meant to be more flexible, broad, and complementary to your aspirations.
I’ve always done a little better with freeform rules, and this fits the bill. I like the idea of boiling my goals down into one word and then broadly applying it to different circumstances. It forces one to cultivate the characteristic BEHIND the goal habit. For example, say I have a goal for 2019 to become a morning person. What characteristics does that require? It depends on the person. Perhaps you need a dose of self-discipline, a pinch of enthusiasm, or a dash of dedication.
A year or two ago, I sat down and thought about what I wanted my life to look like, who I wanted to be, and my ideal day-to-day. Interestingly, I ended up writing down overarching characteristics and loose ideas instead of specific milestones…things like being intentional with my time, connected with family+friends, and creative expression. Even more interesting, that list always stuck with me. The lists that didn’t stick me with? Boring checkboxes of “go to the gym x amount times this week.” I believe our life/actions will fall into line once our character is aligned with who we aspire to be.
My three themes or characteristics that I want to work on this year are:
This one will likely be the hardest for me because I like to dabble in this or that. I love to begin projects, but I have a hard time keeping them up. This theme is all about consistency in every aspect of my life, whether it’s going to the gym, producing content for my blog, or keeping my sleeping habits in check.
I’ve been wanting to dive deeper into my spirituality, but year after year it ends up taking a backseat. Ironically, I believe this is one of the most important characteristics I can have, so this year I want to refocus my efforts and align my actions with my beliefs. For me, this translates to prayer, reflection, studying/reading, and getting involved.
This isn’t meant to be literal, but I did buy a car recently so I will be in the driver’s seat more than last year! This is a fairly corporate-term (“Can you drive this meeting?”), but I wanted a word that would capture initiative, motivation, and ownership. Active instead of passive. This one is a little tougher to give examples of since it’s not as straightforward as the above two, but I envision it translating to actions like making an effort to reach out to others first or making active decisions instead of using my personal favorite scapegoat “we’ll see!”
Will I conquer all of these themes this year? Umm, definitely not. As the adage goes, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Personal development is a lifelong process, but doing this exercise gives me a few, specific themes to focus on and remind myself of throughout the year.
What three words would you pick to encapsulate your goals for this year?
Bonnie writes about her life, gaming career, and personal development on badassbabe.com, in hopes of motivating other babes to live their most authentic “Level 10 Life.”
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