If we’re being honest, I have to admit, I’m a little sad to see 2016 go.
Aside from what happened in politics (we won’t talk about that)–this was one of the best years of my life–I got engaged (read our engagement story here) to someone that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world when I wake up in the morning, we bought our first house, and started a very important new chapter of our lives together that we couldn’t be more excited about.
Regardless of how you felt about 2016, you likely have some high hopes of what you’ll achieve in the next 12 months. Like many people, my new years resolutions always start off with big expectations, but fade away after a few months. (Does that happen to you too?)
Recently, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m just not going to achieve everything I want in one year, so a shift in my approach to my resolutions in general was in order. Instead of listing everything under the sun, I focused on five, very simple goals. Easy to achieve, yet monumental when it comes to quality of life!
(Do we share any of them?)
I remember when I was first applying to jobs right out of college–every single job application listed “excellent multi-tasker” under the job description. While it’s good to be adaptable on the fly, I’ve found that multi-tasking results in loss of focus–it makes it impossible to actually finish something when you’re doing 5 different things at once!
This year, I really want to narrow my focus, with work especially, and make it a priority to stop multi-tasking. This means no email inbox up while I’m trying to write blog posts, blocking my time in advance, turning off my cell phone when I’m trying to get stuff done. (My friends are notorious for their group texts, blowing up my phone several times per hour all day. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE–and it makes it impossible to concentrate.)
Scheduling and blocking my time always works really well for me, but I tend to abandon this system when things get hectic (which is the OPPOSITE of what I should be doing, I know). I love the Pomodoro method (which I wrote about here) so this year, I’m really going to focus on implementing it daily.
When I’m productive, it changes my entire outlook on just about everything, are you the same way?
Exercise to achieve a feeling, not a weight
I’ve never been one who enjoyed working out. It’s hard for me to get behind anything that isn’t fun, and going to a gym is about as opposite of fun as it gets. I really liked barre for a hot second, but when we moved to the West Loop, it was too far away from my studio. I joined CorePower thinking I would hate it, but ended up falling in love with power yoga, which provided an entirely new motivation for me–exercising to achieve a state of mind or a feeling, rather than a physical attribute, like toning my arms, or losing 5 pounds. (Read more about why I love yoga & CPY here.)
By tying your workout routine to achieving a state of mind instead of physical change, there is instant payoff. For me, when a goal is so far off, (i.e., it will take months to achieve toned arms), it’s impossible for me to stick to. But when I focus on feeling the best I can feel and improving my health overall, it feels like that whole “I need to work out more” weight has been lifted.
And guess what? When I stopped focusing so much on working out in order to achieve physical change, the physical change just became an added benefit–which made me feel even better.
Getting married this year, I know it’s going to be really easy for me to get caught up in the whole “wedding diet/workout plan” thing, but I’m trying to focus on the mental/emotional aspects, get into a routine, and then I know the physical benefits will follow!
Schedule time to read
I REALLY sucked at reading in 2016, which is truly a shame. I love to read–it’s one of the activities that relaxes me the most, it improves my mood, motivates me, makes me more present, and not to mention, I learn so much more!
For awhile, I would read for a few minutes each morning before getting out of bed (more on that here) and it was the best EVER start to my day. (Why did I stop doing that?) I’d like to get back into that routine so I can read a lot more books–because, let’s just call it what it is–reading makes you happy.
Make more time for girlfriends
The end of the year was so hectic with the holidays, that it’s honestly been months since I’ve seen some of my girlfriends. It’s a rut that’s easy to get in when you live with your significant other, especially when things with work and the holidays get so busy–but time with female friends is really not something that can be replaced–it’s like laughter therapy, with wine! Scheduling more time to see your closest girlfriends is a pretty easy goal to set for yourself, right? I’m setting a goal for myself to hit at least 3-4 girls nights per month.
Approaching goals with intention
It’s so easy to go down the personal development rabbit hole, especially when it comes to work. I always have such high expectations for myself, write down everything I want to accomplish, but no action plan when it comes to accomplishing them. In 2017, I want to be more specific with my goals, mapping them out monthly, and creating mini goal paths and a plan to actually get there. (If you’re a blogger, I wrote more about that over on Blogging For Keeps last week!)