I typically do not like making New Year’s resolutions. At least not as most people make them. I don’t want to make some resolution and then break it. I want my resolutions to be more than pie-in-the-sky aspirations. So I like to set goals which I can work toward. Concrete targets. Workable goals. Attainable goals.
It helps that my birthday is January 3 because my goals coincide with me traveling around the globe another year since my birth too.
Last year, with the help of a friend (thanks Chelsea!), I set a new financial goal for my office, and got down to making that goal a reality. It is still in process but I’m definitely on the right trajectory. That this goal will be multi-year does not make it less valuable. It is a hill worth climbing.
Instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, I set a goal to better health each year and my continued improvement of my health. As I get older, I know that this is a crucial aim to achieve. It is always a journey though.
For example, I recently started eating rice, corn, and white potatoes again — after 3 years of none. But I don’t want to go crazy. They aren’t the best of foods for me to eat, especially since I love FRIED potatoes and can eat them to sickness. So I set my goal so that for the most part, I would not make them at home and only eat them out of the house. I am not uber-strict about it but I still haven’t bought rice or corn in years. Eating these items while dining out (or takeout at home) keeps me from over-indulging.
I always have a goal to eat healthier foods. My daily goal is to drink enough water. That hasn’t changed in years. Neither has my goal to eat lots of veggies. My newest goal is to eat more fish and lamb and less beef. I will accomplish this by eating beef most of the time while dining out and only eat poultry, fish, lamb, and some pork in the house.
It helps my food goals that I eat 2/3 of my meals at home and that I really like to cook. It also helps that I have two friends that are professional chefs. One cooks me great, healthy meals to take home periodically (the cost is less than eating out). The other is someone that I can bounce ideas off of for home-cooking and has some of the same food challenges.
I set a new goal to do more yoga and/or tai chi in the coming year. I’ve said it before but I have made a serious setting of intention this year. My thought process is that I want something that is good for my mind and spirit not just my body. I am that person that feels great after going to the gym but getting me there is hell. But with yoga, I’m not looking for power yoga or exercise disguised as yoga. I want yoga that has lovely, slow movements and lots of breath and mindful meditation. It may very well mean a beginner’s class. I’m okay with that.
I have set a goal for reading books every year for as many years as I can remember. I am forgiving of myself and change it as necessary. The past few years I use Goodreads to assist by following their annual reading challenge. The reading challenge helps me keep track of books I’ve read (I do not make any money from Goodreads; I just like the program). Last year I read 27 books (plus 1 book I read 1/2 of and just couldn’t bring myself to finish). But I decided to set my goal at 12 books for 2018 because I’d rather readjust upward than “fail”. My goal since I was 10 years old has been to read at least one book a month. As I get toward the goal of 12 books, I will reevaluate and likely increase the number of books to read by year’s end. I love to read so this is not a hardship but sometimes work gets in the way of my reading habit.
Some other ideas I have for goals this year are to start playing guitar again (we’ll see how that goes) and to take my love of photography more seriously (I bought myself a camera for the holidays so that’s a start!).
One of the most important goals I have made a commitment to is to friends and family. Life is too short to spend on people that will suck your time and affection from you. After someone I cared for and trusted showed me that I was wasting my time and energy where it wasn’t appreciated, I made an almost immediate goal half-way through 2017 to connect and reconnect with those people that truly care about me and that I care about. I am continuing this vital goal this year with gusto. Tea, coffee, drinks, lunches, dinners, movies, emails, letters, phone calls. Do I fall down? Yes. But I keep trying.
In Hebrew, the number 18 corresponds to the word “chai” which means “to life”. So here’s to 2018 — to life!