There are at least two schools of thought regarding New Year’s resolutions. The first school loves the new year for its promise of a fresh, blank slate, its shining swath of opportunity stretching out 365 days. The students of this school are the ones proudly declaring resolutions on Facebook, buying planners, and creating vision boards.
The second school is less excited and thinks January 1st is just another day. To these folks, it’s silly to get all riled up with vows of losing weight, getting organized, and saving more (the three most common resolutions in 2014). Most people give up on their resolutions in a matter of months, anyway. Besides, any day is a good day to make a change. I wonder if these are the same people who think Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday and claim that they romance their partners everyday. Hmm…
Well, my vision board has been up for several weeks now and my 2015 life planner is almost completed. Who’s with me in loving this time of year?
The start of the year is ripe with the feeling of change and newness. I hear the anti-New Years resolution peeps, though. Instead of resolutions, I focus on goals that must be S.M.A.R.T. and align with my vision for my best life. (This article from Inc. explains the S.M.A.R.T. acronym and then suggests an alternative).
2014 was kind of a bust. I set some really ambitious goals, but only completed one of them. Several others I partially completed for a variety of reasons/excuses (more on that to come in a future post). I still think these goals are attainable and important so some of them found their way onto my 2015 goal list.
- Reach my goal weight: Ugh. I’m a little embarrassed that this is even on my list…again. In the past, I’ve tried to focus instead on a more fitness-oriented goal like running a half-marathon. Ultimately, I realized I was just kidding myself and the results I really wanted were both to a) run the half marathon and b) lose the weight. I’m tired of seeing this on my list every year, so this is the year it ends. I want to be happy with what I see in the mirror and be the best version of myself. Plus, I’d also love this year to be injury-free. My knees can’t be digging the extra weight. I’m about 15 pounds away from my goal, so achieving it within the year is totally reasonable.
- Begin freelance copywriting business and make $3k/month: Another goal I’ve wanted to complete for so long. I love to write and helping people and their businesses look more professional and credible would be gratifying. Is it realistic to expect that I can make $3k a month by the end of the year? We shall see. This is my most overwhelming and scariest goal, but I really want to create another stream of income for myself so I can save for other future goals like buying my own home or going to grad school.
- Increase my strength: I don’t like strength-training, but I know it’s important for health, fitness, and keeping my weight down. It’ll also help prevent injury and should also translate to some triathlon gains. Feeling strong and sculpting some sexy muscles wouldn’t be a bad thing, either. How to measure this goal? Holding a three-minute plank, doing five pull-ups (eek), and twenty-five non-modified pushups works for me.
- Read 25 books: I love to read. I love books and I love words. Twenty-five seems a manageable number (about 2 a month). Some of these will be audiobooks that I can listen to while I cook, clean, and eat. Last year I fell three books shy of the goal. Several of the books I read were really long—that should count toward something, right?
- Read a book in Spanish: This is a way of making my ultimate goal of being fluent in Spanish more measurable. It’ll give me something to work toward throughout the year. I’m thinking the A Fault in Our Stars en espanol? Any other recommendations?
- Save $20k: This goal will only be possible with some income from freelancing. Why did I choose this number? Because it’s big enough to light a fire under my ass. It will also force me to be more vigilant and conscious of my spending.
- Complete 4 triathlons (one in under two hours): Yay! Finally, a fitness-related goal. This was my goal last year, but I only completed two sprint tris before getting injured and having to take some time off from running. That damn two hour mark eludes me, but not for much longer. I’m switching up my training this year to focus more on quality rather than quantity. All four 2015 races will be sprints. Running is my biggest challenge, but I also want to improve my speed and efficiency on the swim and bike, too.
- Give up TV for all of 2015: I learned last year that TV is one of my biggest time-wasters. I always had great intentions of coming home from work to do something productive. Then I’d sit down to an episode of South Park as I ate dinner and then it would be two episodes…and then before I knew it, it’d be time for bed and I’d be annoyed at myself for not getting anything done. Admittedly, I’m not much of a TV watcher anyway. In fact, I don’t have an actual TV but instead get all my shows through Hulu (the Netflix subscription I let lapse over a year ago) or Amazon Prime.
- Blog 3x week: I’ll start with a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule and see how that goes. Overall, I’ll keep working toward the goals outlined here.
Any ideas on how to prevent this year’s goals from becoming next year’s goals? That’ll be the subject of my next post.
What are your goals for 2015? Spill all the beans in the comments below.