I am the last person to make a list of resolutions. As I pointed out last year, many of the things we list to achieve are only there to set ourselves up to fail. Diets: if you’re really going to make a change, don’t wait until the new year, start “NOW”, get used to it. It takes 28 days to form a habit — GO! Getting out of debt: “I’m going to be strict with my money and pay off my credit cards; this is the year! Oh wait, I need to stop at Starbucks for a trenti triple shot hazelnut latte mochachino monstrosity.” Yeah, these are a couple of the common ones.
I like to make some positive goals and see how I will obtain them. Not much different from a resolution, but it differs enough. Example: Last year I wanted to run a 5k race in under 27 minutes. Before I made that goal, my fastest 5k was 29 something. Well, Guess who ran her 3 fastest 5ks this year. THIS GIRL! I ran a 27:24 in May, then Achieved my goal in July with a 26:23, and again in September I ran my second fastest 5k. Not a personal best, but it meant a lot to me to see that the hard work I put myself through all year didn’t wilt after achieving my goal. On the road to my 5k goal, I made a 20 minute PR in my 10 mile race, then beat THAT a month later by 61 seconds. Creating these viable goals that are reachable as well as uplifting can be more beneficial to your well being than going cold turkey on carbs for 3 weeks only to fail on day 2. I came across my friend, Nicole’s Facebook post a week before New Years. It was inspiring to see a list of things to do and accomplish in the year versus a list of things to deprive yourself of for the year, which tends to fall short.
Here is a paraphrased explanation of her list guidelines:
- Every year write down all of the things you want to accomplish, instead of giving something up.
- At least one of those things has to be to better yourself.
- One has to be to improve the life of someone else.
- Places you want to see, books you want to read, or people you want to make sure to stay in touch with.
- Look at your list 6 months down the road and see what you can cross off.
It’s also a good reminder that even though you are not exactly where you want to be, at least you’re making progress.
Here is my list of wants for 2014 (In no particular order):
- Have a more optimistic outlook on life – Whether it’s not letting myself get too down on myself or not being so quick to react with anger to situations and be more positive and open to new opportunities. I can be a bit of a grump and have no problem carrying my feelings on my sleeve, but being a happier person makes all the difference in the way you carry yourself and how others perceive you. I love music and often times I listen to specific playlists based on how I’m feeling. I have a playlist on my iPod called “Meh”. Chucked full of mostly melancholy, mopy tunes. The other day, I decided that if I’m feeling a bit blah, that last thing I should be listening to is angry or depressing songs to keep me in that mood. So, I deleted all the songs in that playlist and replaced them with songs that are known to lift my spirits and put a grin on my face. It’s small things like this that can help keep your attitude on the upswing.
- Run faster – As I mentioned in the example earlier in the post, in 2013, I was able to run faster than I imagined my body would let me. I was amazed by what I was able to achieve, which makes me want to push myself to run faster this year and break records. Of course, it always helps to have someone coaching you to push you further than you were planning on pushing yourself!
- Balance the budget – In my 20’s I never made myself sit down and really look at how to manage my money properly. I’m going to be 31 years old in March and have a well-paying, big kid job, that I’ve been doing for the past couple of years. I love it, but with the better pay, came more spending instead of saving. Budgeting helps not only save and prepare for the future, but get yourself out of debt. Mint.com is a great tool for tracking how you’re spending and saving, along with your debt.
- Get more organized – I’m a clean person, but tend to be a tad untidy when it comes to my room and work space. I’m no hoarder, but find myself saving things longer than necessary. Organizing myself and going through the worldly possessions I’ve held onto over the years, for no reason and toss what I truly don’t need.
- More hiking – Almost every trip I take to visit my mom, we go on a mother/daughter hiking trip. I love hiking and want to do more of it than when I’m in South Carolina. I’ve been wanting to visit Montana and the Grand Canyon for a fun hiking and camping trip.
- More travel – I don’t want to lump hiking trips in with travel, so I won’t. I’d like to go somewhere new this year. Somewhere I’ve never been before. There’s such a long list of places I’d like to visit, so I’ll have to save the where I’ll travel to for another post.
- Volunteer more – I don’t volunteer often enough. I help at my church and I enjoy volunteering for running events, but I’d love to be able to do more to help. With so many great charities and organizations to get involved with, I hope to find somewhere to give my time back to. I’ve always wanted to volunteer to hold babies in the neo-natal ward of a hospital, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that.
- Cook more at home – I love to cook and bake, but with all the busy-ness this past fall and winter so far, I haven’t made time for myself to cook more “new ” recipes. With things starting to finally settle down a little bit, I’ve been able to make new dishes. I got an immersion blender from my mom and step dad for Christmas and was able to try my hand at cauliflower mash and am excited to try out some new soup recipes, especially a Mediterranean style lentil soup!
- Do it myself more – I cannot even tell you how many cool and adorable things I’ve pinned on Pinterest that I want to make, whether its decorating my place or the skirt I could make from two t-shirts! I want to be more productive and feel like I’m using my creativity more than just at work or while writing. So many things are floating around in this noggin of mine! Also, once you’ve completed a DIY project, you have a massive sense of accomplishment!
- Stop caring so much – Life is too short to have to deal with the weight of everything on your shoulders. Other people’s stress and drama isn’t worth the headache or the nerves you allow to consume yourself with. I let myself let others bog me down with things that made me feel out of control and unable to make myself let go of. Enough thinking about people who don’t allow time for you. If they don’t have time for you, why make room for them to consume your thoughts. Care about things that really truly matter. Caring less about the terrible things makes room for caring about the important and good things in your life!
These are just my items to work on and keep in mind this year. It’s nice to have things that you can work on that are easily attainable! What are some of your 2014 list of goals to work on? How are you making them happen for you? I’d love to hear about them! Make sure to comment below!
P.S. I achieved every goal on my short list last year.