The way that people feel about goal-setting is really intriguing to me, especially at this time of year. There are obviously many people who make New Year’s resolutions that will not be met. There are some people, like my husband, who do not do it, nor ever will, simply because they will set a goal and accomplish it on their own terms, not because of a date on the calendar. Then there are people like my dad, who have an intrinsic goal-setting instinct that easily drives them to accomplish what they set out to do. This, I cannot relate to at all, but I find it quite admirable.
Personally, I have spent a lot of years feeling that I’m the kind of person who shouldn’t set goals, because I know I will fail. (Lacking self-confidence much, there?) However, my last few years of life have helped me become more aware of what I can do well in terms of setting goals. I’ve been learning that big, lofty, unspecific goals will probably not be met. Making small, achievable, slow steps is the best way to move toward those larger goals that I have for myself.
A few January goals that I have:
– Find a special way to serve someone once a week. Right now we’re between jobs and living with my in-laws, which means that I really have lots of time that I could be bringing someone a meal, watching a friend’s kids, physically doing a task for someone who needs help, etc.
– Organize my in-law’s fridge and freezer. I’ve been working my way through the book An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, and it has inspired me to do things like prep veggies at the beginning of the week, use up old food that gets overlooked or thrown away, and eat leftovers in new and interesting ways. I highly recommend it if you’re needing some inspiration in the kitchen!
– Organize ALL THE THINGS in the garage. Nearly all our American possessions reside in the garage here, and in the name of minimizing and only keeping necessities, we have a goal to go through and reorganize all of it. We probably have about one or two months left before we leave the country, so the sooner we start, the better!
– Get a job. We’re planning to head back to South Korea to teach English for one or two more years. Our paperwork for acquiring visas is finally almost complete, so we can finally start to look for jobs that will start in February or March. We’re praying that both my husband and I will find good jobs – always a challenge when you are doing it while living half a world away. However, we’re more confident now than when we did it two years ago. I’m thankful that we have some idea of what we’re getting into.
A few goals that I have for 2014 in general, but specifically to be started in January:
1. Reboot my exercise habit. Last year I did a Couch to 5K program religiously for a few months, and it helped me slim down and have a regular exercise routine. Now that it’s gotten cold, I’ve stopped running. We also came back to the US after living in Korea for two years, where we didn’t have a car and walked everywhere. We’re planning to move back to Korea in the next one or two months, so I know that my daily movement will increase once I’m working and walking again, but I still need to get a regular exercise routine going again. Mostly I’ve just been lazy. I received a Fitbit Flex from my husband for Christmas, so I’m planning to use it to at least reach 10,000 steps every day. I still need to decide if and how much I want to run, or if I want to primarily do strength training. I have a great app for bodyweight training that I need to put to good use again.
2. Planned posts for my blog. I think that I want to set at least one or two weekly themes for posts so that I can be posting more regularly. At the moment I want to do a weekly photo post, and I might do one related to what I’m currently reading, too. If all goes well, maybe I can add more later. Baby steps, baby steps!
3. Keep reading what is interesting and engaging. Near the end of 2013, I made a big effort to reboot my love of reading and I haven’t looked back. I’ve found that instead of wasting lots of time on Facebook or my reader feed, I’ve culled my online activity and spent my time with books instead. Right now I have a huge list of stuff to read and not much done, but that’s okay. I’ll catch up someday! I’ve set a goal of 50 books and hopefully that will be pretty attainable.
4. Reconfigure recipe storage. For the last two or three years, I’ve used the web-based subscription service Plan to Eat to store recipe files and reference them when I’m cooking, but for some reason, it hasn’t worked well. It’s handy for storing online recipes but not that great visually, and it’s a lot of work to input recipes from cookbooks. I’m pretty sure that I want to just use a three-ring binder with clear pages that can store print-outs and photo copies, but I want it to be nicely organized and visually pleasing. I’m picky about what I like, so hopefully I can find or make something sooner rather than later.
I’m hopeful that this year I can be more intentional about setting my own goals and accomplishing them. The last two years have been quite focused on raising our daughter, and it’s obviously been a time of big transitions for our family. Now that she’s almost two, my days are much more predictable, and having a set routine will make it easier to accomplish the goals I have. At the moment, we’re working on getting back over to Korea to live and work for another year or two, so it might be awhile before our routine is established.
Honestly I have no idea what our year will be like, but I’m hoping it will hold a lot of goodness, and grace.