Making New Year’s Resolutions have always seemed silly to me. I believe it’s much more effective if you set goals and then break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Below are the goals I’ve set for myself, and how I break them down in order to achieve them with as little stress as possible. Let’s get started!
SHARING IS CARING!
I entered 2020 thinking I was going to CRUSH IT! Was it just me, or was 2019 just a really tough year overall? I started out going full force last year and then went capoot when school came around. Gracelynn entered kindergarten last September and Arianna entered preschool for two afternoons a week. Knowing this, I thought I’d have more time on my hands to focus on housework, my blog, and finding myself outside of being a wife and mother, because I was recovering from a big surgery. Holy shit, was I wrong. It was nice when life wasn’t so go go go go GO all the time. Do you remember those days? Well, now we are up and at ’em at the crack up dawn everyday and don’t stop going all day long. Needless to say, waking up on New Year’s Day really didn’t feel like anything but just another day. Except now it will take me three months to remember to write 2020.
I suppose that enlightening thought made me realize that New Year’s resolutions are a little silly. Making a New Year’s resolution has never been my thing. I suppose I didn’t trust myself to achieve them because resolution is an intimidating word for a lot of us. I think that’s why a lot of people fall off the bandwagon after a couple of months. Making goals are much more effective for me. You won’t feel obligated to say “Alright, today is THE DAY things will change.” Soon you’ll realize that just saying today it’s gonna happen and not breaking it down makes it seem tremendously daunting. Chances are, you’ve thought about your “New Year’s Resolution” well before you made it. You were probably thinking I’ve got until January 1st, I don’t HAVE to get started today. Am I right? Why can’t that be the day? Why wait to chase your dreams, aren’t you worth it?
If you think that the idea is great enough to be worthy of the title “New Year’s Resolution” above anything else, then why should it be put off until Jan 1? Make the change now and let go of the idea that you have to wait for a special day (or next Monday when the week starts fresh). In other words, stop making excuses and just do it! I’ve had a huge mindset shift and and now I can’t wait to crush it! I look forward to adding more to my to do lists these days; breaking them down to as basic as they can possibly get. Usually this helps me to “plan” around those days I can’t move because of how much pain I’m in. Thank you fibromyalgia and hEDS.
Anyway, I very much prefer establishing GOALS rather than resolutions. A goal can be broken down, down into smaller, more actionable steps. You’ll end up being relieved at how much less of a daunting/unachievable task it is. It’s something that will make you feel accomplished as you get closer and closer to the end result. I will even add stuff to my list that’s already been done just so I can go back to check it off. Do you that too? 😂
Breaking down big goals will give you something to look forward to and make you feel as though you CAN actually do something. You’ll feel accomplished and that is what will make you want to keep going.
When I say “break them down” I mean creating action steps for them. For example, I want to write a book over the next year to 2 years and the ways I can break that down would be to research and collect my sources, write 30 minutes every day, and to complete a set amount of chapters each month and/or quarter. I break down each of those goals as far as I can so I can create a day to day plan of attack. I don’t know about you, but having a day to day to-do list helps relax my mind making it easier to focus on the task at hand.
The most important detail when breaking down your goals into your action steps is setting deadlines. Without deadlines, it’s much easier to put off what you need to do and then not realize how behind you are until you’ve looked back and said, “what the hell??” where did the time go?? Time flies my friend, that’s life.
That said, I started evaluating who it was that I wanted to be; outside of being a wife and mother. Once motherhood hits, it’s very, very easy to lose your identity and that’s not what I wanted for myself anymore. I mean, would you? Probably not… I’ll show you a visual example in the bottom of this post of a couple of my breakdowns so you can see what I’m talking about. I promise it’s not blabbing gibberish; it really works!
So, without further ado, let’s move onto the goals!
To be more confident
Who wouldn’t want to be, right? It’s more than that for me, though. I have never, in my life, felt like I could do whatever it was that I set my mind to. Unfortunate, huh? Is that you too? Having a chronic illness further strengthens that thought because there’s so many things I used to be able to do that I just can’t anymore. I’ve done quite a bit of thinking lately, and I know that I am capable and and strong, just in different ways. You too? Leave me a comment or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat about it!
To let myself be loved
Anyone else feel like they aren’t worthy of the love that their friends and family show them? I felt that way for as long as I can remember, and having fibromyalgia and hEDS limit my abilities does not help AT ALL. Not in making me think I was worthy of anything, let alone love. More often than not, when I get to thinking about it, I just feel like a massive burden. I had such a hard time with this because I have never been able to really love myself for who I am. You too? I’m a role model for my little girls now and I don’t want them to struggle with the things that I, and so many of the other women in the world do.
I am following women like Jenna Kutcher and Sarah Landry from The Birds Papaya on social media who are so inspirational and share all the ways they love themselves the way that I want to love myself and the way that I want the girls to love themselves. Do you want to get in on that with me? Let’s make 2020 the year that we fall in love with OURSELVES and take care of ourselves in a way that shows how much we care. Ie: Taking a break when we need one and letting go of the guilt we carry around for not being able to do absolutely everything perfectly every single day. Maybe even a long, hot epsom salt bath at the end of the day. How can I teach Gracelynn and Arianna how to love themselves, if I can’t even do that myself? You get my point…
Complete my DBT workbook
I have always been treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as most people are when initially seeing a therapist and, in ways, it worked. But at the end of the day, I needed something more. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was recommended as something for me to pursue, however, it’s typically performed in a group setting. Unfortunately, I am unable to join a group at this time. Instead, I purchased a copy of the DBT workbook and have been working through it on my own. I believe this will allow me to achieve the goals I mentioned previously and many more in the future.
Both CBT and DBT focus on how your thoughts, feelings and behavior influence each other. However, DBT gives more attention to regulating emotions as well as using mindfulness techniques; learning to accept pain so as to better manage it. In addition to this I journal on a regular basis. I like these journals because they lay flat and make writing in it comfortable. I have a personal growth board on Pinterest and it has a section for journaling and prompts. It’s a great resource when you want to write but don’t know where to start. I always start with an idea, or problem I’m having and just write whatever comes to mind. When I’m writing, I center myself. I let the words flow until I feel at peace and usually find guidance in what I’ve written.
To be more active
Everybody and their mother says that exercising regularly will give you energy but that’s never been the case for me. I’ve always been so exhausted after. However, that does not mean that I shouldn’t exercise. So, I’ve joined a couple of groups on Facebook that offer TONS of encouragement and get me in the mood to want to get up and move around more. My friend Robin suggested putting on music more often and I am loving just dancing randomly during the day. Not to mention, it seems to brighten the girlies’ mood every time we do it!
Between that and having smoothies more often so I can get all my fruits and veggies in for the day, I am looking at a much better and healthier 2020 than the 2019 year of recovery from multiple surgeries. I also found this app called FitOn that is FREE and has hundreds of workouts, and you can set reminders for specific exercises you want to do throughout the day. You should check it out! I’ve been doing short 10 min low intensity, morning and evening stretches. It’s fantastic! I’ve paired that with walking .5 – 1 mile every couple of days, though I’m hoping to increase that to 5 times a week.
To make plan and actually stick to it
Years ago I was one of those ladies that decorated her planner with stickers, washi tape, and all sorts of little cutsie things that really made me look forward to using and sticking to the plans in my planner. I’m not sure why I’ve stopped decorating my planner like I used to; it was probably because all of my supplies have been in boxes in the basement with no real place to go. But that’s a project for another day. 😁
I struggled at making plans that I actually stick to since then, and don’t look forward to opening up my planner everyday like I used to. For 2020, I purchased this beauty, pulled out all my planner stickers and have made it a point to sit down and plan my schedule for the week each Sunday. It not only clears my head, but makes me feel less stressed out about having to remember ALL THE THINGS. I am really hoping this helps me to be ON TIME for cards and gifts this year!
To put myself out there more
If you’ve been with me from the start, then you know that I haven’t been super consistent with publishing blog posts and keeping up with social media. SORRY!! Over the last few years though, so many of you have reached out to me to thank me for sharing my story. I’ve always wanted to “help people” for a living and I think that putting myself out there more often and more consistently will lead to many new friendships and much more happiness for me and the friends I have already made along the way. Think we might click? Send me an email! (email@example.com )
To make $5,000/month from my blog
Yep. I’ve been slooooow and going since launching my blog because, well life. Now that Gracie is in school full time and Anna has started preschool 2 days a week, I’m looking forward to dedicating more time to my blog and putting a lot more content out there. I’m all about being transparent and honest, so I will tell you that yes, you can make money blogging (and I do, my disclosures are linked at the bottom of the page.), but no, I do not make anywhere close to 5K a month from it, that would be very nice! I will also say that when I started blogging, I didn’t realize, not only, how nerve wracking it can be but how much time and work goes into it!
To be more organized financially
If you know me, you know I love to organize. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” is one of my favorite quotes! We have established a budget and take out cash each month for our cash envelopes. I am in charge of the cash each month and distribute it into categories. However, this year, I’m taking it a step further and tracking every last cent of where my cash goes. I’ve challenged myself to save as much of it as I can so I don’t feel guilty buying a little something when I visit TJMaxx and HomeGoods. 😉
To be more organized in general
Yes, I said it. If you know me, you know that I’m a pretty organized person. When we moved into our house though, I was in a hurry (urged by my hubby) to get everything unpacked and “ put away ” that I basically stuck things where I thought they’d go. I didn’t really feel like I had the time to develop some sort of system for making it all work because it can take time, but figured I would over time. I still haven’t reached a point where I’ve perfected any of the systems, even my under the kitchen sink system, but that is exactly what is on my to-do list for this year. Trial and error is HUGE when getting your organizational systems established. What works for someone else may or may not work for you. You need to try until you get it right and then stick to it.
My goal is to pick one spot a month to really dedicate my time to and make that space work. This month has been spent reorganizing and purging my kitchen and pantry. So far I only have 3 more cupboards in the kitchen and the pantry left to do, but I am so excited for the end result! I am doing it on my own right now so it’s taken me a bit to get through it all, especially when trying to keep up with all the other daily tasks I already need to do to just keep my home functioning.
To be more on top of keeping house
If you have children, then you’re more than likely aware that if you miss one day of tidying up then things have a tendency to get a little out of control. I have established a cleaning/organizing plan and am now working on putting together a list that I can laminate and keep in my planner as a weekly to-do list of things I do everyday. Having a list to follow helps me stay on task and keep trekking along.
To cook dinner more often
David bought me this amazing Insta Pot Air Fryer and Pressure Cooker combo and it makes cooking dinner soooooo easy and so so so good! I can’t stand for super long periods of time without my body screaming at me in pain. Being able to throw something in the pressure cooker and, not only has having it ready in minutes been spectacular, but it has also helped me step out of my comfort zone and try some new recipes. Now I want to try at least 1 or 2 new recipes a week and come up with my own too! The instapot also has a free app that has made that super simple.
To keep better track of my spending
David and I are very fond of Dave Ramsey, and after reading this book, we changed a LOT of things about the way we manage our finances and using cash envelopes has been one of them. I want to take the cash envelopes further than what I do now and track where every cent from each envelope goes. I’m very excited to make some of my own envelopes and I’m using this post as inspiration.
To volunteer more
When Gracelynn started school, she also joined Cub Scouts and fell in love with volunteering and helping in her community. While Anna is too young to “officially” be in cub scouts, she has had a part in all of the meetings and activities and loves volunteering too! I don’t know how I could be any more proud of my daughters. It was so fulfilling to spend time together as a family while helping others out there. David and I have both agreed that we want to bring our girls up doing things like that that make them feel happy and fulfilled and not just around the holidays. Kindness is everything, and spreading it is one of my favorite things in the world to do.
To have more me time
When I say that, I mean taking time to care for myself. I want to remember how good it feels to put myself together. To feel like a woman who is also a wife and mother, instead of being a wife and mother that is also a woman. Over the years, I’ve been so focused on who I needed to be for everyone else, that I lost myself entirely. This year I have started scheduling time for myself each week. While sometimes I’m not able to keep the appointment with myself, it still reminds me not to forget who I am again and that my health and happiness is a huge factor not only for me, but also in how our household runs.
To explore the world of podcasts
I used to be a very avid reader, but after becoming a mom and entrepreneur, I have little time to read anything other than online courses and books relevant to growing my business. Insert podcasts. Gracelynn is 6 and Arianna is 4, so not only do they take up tons of my attention, but they always leave a huge mess for me to clean up. Listening to podcasts have made cleaning up more fun and less like a chore. I love listening to true crime podcasts as well as business and marketing. The ones I love the most are hosted by so many inspirational women focusing entirely on building confidence and loving yourself. Both Jenna Kutcher and Sarah Landry that I mentioned before have amazing channels!
Breaking Down Goals Into Actionable Steps
When I looked at the list I put together, I went wide eyed and started feeling really anxious! Like there was no way I’d ever be able to climb that mountain. You too? Break it down… Check out a few of mine below.
I hope that sharing my goals for the year and how I break them down have started the gears turning in your head. Really focusing on where I wanted my life to be several years for now and breaking down the end goal into smaller, actionable tasks (go as basic as you want) has helped me move closer to my goals at a faster, much less stressful way. I keep my list of goals somewhere I can see them every day and remind myself to not give up, because I very VERY much intend to create a life I love. Fill in your email below if you’d like me to send you your own copy of the goal setting printable.