Today I asked Lilly what her New Year’s resolution was. Her response, “To become a kitty cat”. If only grown-ups could make as lighthearted a resolution…In all seriousness, I have always loved the idea of using the new year to take a step back and reevaluate your life. I don’t believe you can grow as a person without self-reflection and goal setting. The problem I have with resolutions is that we often either mentally pick a few things within ourselves that we want to change, or casually jot them down on a piece of scrap paper, and a month later have long forgotten those ambitions that we wanted to pursue.
Before I go further, I want to show you the examples of resolutions/goals I set for myself yearly.
For me, my relationship with the Lord is most important. Faith-based goals can be different for everyone. Maybe your goal is to attend church more regularly or to spend time doing a daily devotional, reading the scriptures, and praying. I have found in my own life, that when I center my life around my relationship with the Lord, I am surrounded by an immense amount of joy. There are also other ways to strengthen your faith. Maybe there is a Bible study you would like to be involved with or a volunteer opportunity that has been on your heart. For me, I want to focus on living a life of love for others.
These can be short-term or long-term, small or big goals/resolutions. When I am writing my own personal goals, I take time to write down the categories in my life that are important to me. I write down goals for each category. I also like to take the time to write down things that I want to change or improve in my life. For example, this year I want to cut back on my coffee intake (short-term, small goal) and do a better job at keeping my bedroom organized (because being totally honest, it’s where things go to die in our house).
It is so easy after the holiday-season to get into a work slump. I try to use it as an inner challenge to step-up my work game. Spend some time writing down the things you love about your job, and once again, a list of short-term and long-term goals. Maybe you want that promotion. What are the short-term steps that will get you there? For me, I have some long-term goals for the blog this year and have made a list of the short-term goals to achieve those goals.
If you are single, you don’t have to worry about consulting a significant other, but Alex and I sit down monthly and talk about our financial goals for the short-term (month) and long-term (one-five years ahead). Alex plans even further into the future for us, and for that, I am so thankful. But a current example of a goal that we set is saving money to renovate a few rooms in our house (one being my office, that we are starting this week, eeeeek). A few more examples are saving money for Lilly’s college and our retirement (long-term) and saving for any potential trips that we might take (we also plan trips according to a percentage of our overall income). A small financial goal that you could make is cutting out unnecessary purchases. Maybe you go to Starbucks every day of the week or need that convenience store item to get you through the day. Those small purchases add up quickly and are a great place to start when deciding what your short-term financial goals/resolutions are.
One thing I dislike about this time of year is the amount of pressure and emphasis the media places on “losing weight”. They basically body shame people into going on an insane diet or starting a vigorous workout regimen that isn’t going to work long-term. Fitness and healthy living goals should be focused on feeling good about yourself. They should make you feel strong and happy. I will be writing a post focusing on fitness goals this week, but one piece of advice that I cannot stress enough is setting small, attainable goals. As a personal trainer, I can’t tell you how many countless times I have seen people in the gym absolutely killing themselves throughout January, then by February are nowhere to be found. Why!? Because they are setting goals that are not attainable, and are expecting to see results too quickly. If it isn’t realistic for you to spend two hours a day at the gym throughout the year, then don’t start your fitness journey that way. Also, set goals that aren’t just about weight loss. Maybe you want to do your first pull-up or run a 5k. Setting goals like those are empowering, makes fitness enjoyable, and takes the emphasis away from a number on the scale.
My parents used to have family meetings when I was growing up. It was a great way to spend time planning out the day to day schedules of every family member for the week. It also allows time to spend in family fellowship discussing any upcoming events, planning trips or maybe community service that you want to do together. Last year, Alex and I made it a point to take Lilly on a monthly “date”. It’s so nice to unplug and spend the day showering your kiddos with quality time and affection. Alex and I also take time daily to pray with Lilly. We ask her who she wants to pray for, and it’s amazing how compassionate she has become just because we have taken the time to teach her to care for others.
SLAY YOUR 2018 GOALS
As I was saying earlier, it’s easy to mentally think of a few goals or resolutions, but I challenge you to take the time to write them out. Furthermore, I challenge you to not only write them out but list the specific steps you will take to achieve those goals. For me, I have a journal that I write in daily. Writing my goals somewhere that I can refer back to daily has been life-changing for me.
I also have two favorite planners that I highly recommend for anyone who is searching for the perfect one: The Simplified Planner and the Living Well Planner. Emily Ley, the creator of the Simplified Planner offers free weekly printables that you can find here. I use these weekly and LOVE them.
My family uses a desktop calendar that we color code based off of the activity or event listed. It has helped Alex and I stay organized with schedules throughout the week, thus preventing panicked phone-calls as to who is picking Lilly up from where.
Sharing goals with loved ones and close friends can also be a great way to hold yourself accountable. I remember the first marathon I ever ran, I called my dad immediately after signing up to tell him the news. He was my biggest supporter, and I most definitely couldn’t have finished it without him. Setting deadlines, and reevaluating your goals monthly can also help keep you accountable. Remember why you set the goals you did for yourself, and never lose sight of the big picture. Make 2018 a great year!
Happy New Year, friends! I cannot begin to thank you for your ongoing support of Style Her Strong. Please feel free to reach out to me with your goals or questions in the comments! I would love to hear how you are going to achieve your goals in 2018!