Lesson learned from the last five years: If you aren’t really sure who you are as a person, if you have nothing driving you and no longterm place to reach, goals and resolutions become fairly meaningless. You can check them off a list, or ignore them completely, and it doesn’t make a difference. Purpose is what gives shape and meaning to your actions. It’s a bit like Marie Kondo says in her Tidy book – it’s important to first know what your ideal lifestyle is before you begin the tidying process. Otherwise you’re just cleaning, not working toward a true end.
This may not be a universal truth – everyone’s different, right? – but it certainly is true for me. I’ve spent the last five years flailing around trying to figure out who I am. My goals have been based on general desires (even when they are very specific goals). I’ve even made goals that strive toward figuring out/finding my purpose! And it wasn’t until these last few months that I’ve finally found focus, intention, meaning, and a shape to mold my future into. I have some idea of ME again, who I am and who I want to be. That clarity lets me see more distinctly what I want, need, and am capable of doing. I am energized. I am ready to walk (crawl, push, claw, fight my way) forward, and not let anyone – even me – get in my way.
So these are my goals for 2020. They are (as usual) quite ambitious. It’s likely that one or two will take over the rest in terms of priority, while the others fall the wayside. But who knows? Maybe after five years of flailing and floundering, I’ll smash them all!
This year, I’ll take the first steps toward eventually getting my library degree. They include:
- Volunteer regularly at my local library
- Apply to SNHU, including discussing transfer credits etc with admissions counselors
- Create a plan to finish my undergrad degree as quickly as possible
- Enroll in classes in the fall
Though I no longer want a career as a writer/author, the act of writing itself is important to my mental health, social life, creativity, and spiritual wellbeing. I began to write again two months ago, and I’d like that to continue, increase, improve, and eventually become consistent again. My goal is to start by setting aside one hour three times per week to write – ONLY write – and build from there. Other possible steps to help include:
- Continue weekly writing sessions with my cousin Jen, when her schedule permits
- Create or join a local writing group
- Participate in the InSANowrimo facebook group during the NaNoWriMo off-season
- Use the Comic Sans method of writing quickly, if necessary
- Participate in the NaNo Prep in October, including at least one in-person meetup
- Participate in NaNoWriMo in November, including at least one in-person write-in
- If writing at home regularly continues to fail, write at the local library instead
In November and December, Jason and I took some major steps toward improving our financial situation. We took out a (legitimate) consolidation loan to pay off our credits cards, and that loan will be repaid in three years (max – can be earlier). We also downsized to a smaller, cheaper home that will greatly help us balance our budget and get out of debt quickly once our previous house sells. Our goals for the upcoming year are to:
- Sell our previous house
- Rebalance our budget with the new numbers, reevaluating regularly
- Put any tax refunds, work bonuses, etc toward debts, starting with the highest-interest debts and working our way through
- Pay off more of the consolidation loan than the minimum for the year
- Design and stick to monthly personal allowances for extras and off-budget purchases
- Do not use the credit cards at all!!
As you might imagine, this is the Big One of 2020. I’m stick and tired of cycling within the same five pounds. I’m sick of struggling with clothes, with doctors, with body image issues, with the limitations linked to my size and weight. I’m also sick of excuses – no matter how valid they might be. I want to end 2020 significantly healthier than I’m beginning it. This includes:
1) Lose 20+ lbs. Preferably 35+ and ideally 50+ lbs, but I’m going more for sustainable loss and I know my body will fight me every step of the way. My minimum goal is definitely attainable, though, and I will fight to reach at least that level. I have some ideas about a personal “20-20 in 2020” fun challenge with rewards to help me along. More on this in a future post.
2) Become a runner again. This is the Big One of the Big Ones! I miss running, run-events, making and beating distance/time goals, keeping a run journal, and all the rest. I’ve made myself a running vision board (more later) and an event bingo board (ditto) to help motivate me, and I’m throwing myself headlong into this transformation. If I had a one-word for 2020, it would be “Run.” Specific steps along the way include: completing C25K indoors, then outdoors; running 2-3x per week; cross-training in strength and yoga to prevent injury; and foam-rolling on a regular basis.
3) Improve my diet. I did really well on this before 2015 and the backsliding is real, y’all. While I don’t aim to do all these things at once, I’d like to eventually: decrease coffee to one cup per day; cut alcohol (altogether or to very rare special occasions); decrease sugar consumption (a LOT); increase produce intake (a LOT); bring water intake back to 10+ cups daily; and loosely track calories to keep myself in balance.
Other general steps to improve my health in 2020 include:
- Avoid screens after 9pm to improve sleep
- Take magnesium citrate regularly
- Track healthy habits over time
- Exercise consistently (not just running-related)
- Continue with social fitness like my hiking group
- Blood donations to decrease iron levels
Other possible smaller goals for 2020 include:
- Go on a vacation!!
- Meet up with an old friend (or three)
- Start or join a book club
- Read/cull the books on my 2020 Book Priorities list
- Get one of the tattoos I’ve wanted for years!
All right. This is massive. This is more than enough. I’m outta here. Wish me luck, heh, and have a happy New Year!