We are already a week into the 2019 and while last week I talked a bit about reflecting, this week I want to talk about looking forward and how resolutions can help you make 2019 the best year yet!
We all know the excitement that a new year can bring. The new year to many people represents a clean slate and many folks set resolution to game plan writing on that newly cleaned slate. But the pressure to ‘reinvent’ yourself is strong and a lot of folks tend to make wild resolutions without working out a plan of attack. This often leads to broken resolutions which can leave you feeling worse about yourself than when you started. Trust me, I’m one of those people. So this year I decided that instead of making broad and general resolutions, I’m not only going to make my resolutions but am also going to add in ways to help me reach those goals.
When making resolutions and since I was a business major back in school, I think it’s really important to make SMART goals. SMART is a mnemonic/acronym which business professionals use in order to make goals that have a distinct purpose. The letters S and M generally mean specific and measurable. Possibly the most common version has the remaining letters referring to achievable, relevant and time-bound.
Ideally every goal you make or in this case every resolution you make should be:
Even though my resolutions don’t fall under a corporate portfolio, it’s still vital to put myself up for success. By following the SMART model in my over personal life, I’m working to put myself up for success. Now, as I mentioned, since this is a project I’m managing for customers I can be a little looser and boarder with my goals, but you’ll find my below resolutions will generally tick off each of these box, or at least a majority of them.
Read 100 books :
Growing up I was an avid reader and I’d still consider myself a heavy reader. As I was going through college and even post college I found it harder and harder to make time to read. In order to start reading a bit more in 2018 I started a small book club with a couple of my friends. While it’s actually way more difficult than you would think, getting 6 women together for a book club is way difficult. So while the book club itself failed after a few months, it was a great way to remind myself to read more.
This year with the goal of 100 books, I plan to read 8 books a month and listen to at least one audio book a month. I’ve also started to keep a log of what I’ve been reading and creating a book list for each month to help keep me on track with my goal. See my January Reading list HERE.
So far we’re off to a good start, it’s January 9th and I’m already on my 3rd book of the year!
Decrease my half marathon pace:
My goal in 2017 was to simply complete a half marathon, no time constraints. In 2018, my goal was complete 6 half marathons and to hit a time of 2 hours and 30mins. I missed this goal by 1 half marathon and by only have a PR of 2 hours and 31mins, so not to far off. Improvement was still made.
For 2019 I’m aiming to hit a PR of 2 hours and 15 mins and to complete 4 half marathons. To help me reach this goal I’m aiming to run at least 3 times a week. I’m also planning on giving more of a priority to stretching, which I’m sorta terrible at currently, I just don’t leave enough time for it.
I realized last year that a half marathon every other month wasn’t realistic for me mainly due to my constant travel, work life, and other commitments. So I’m adjusting my expectations accordingly. Plus I still deal with chronic back pain so I’m learning to listen to my body, which leads me to my next resolutions.
Focus on my wellness
In 2017 was a hard year mentally, emotionally, and physically for me. 2018 I made it a priority to start taking care of myself. For 2019 I want to continue with this trend, with a focus on expectation setting.
I’m terrible at expecting myself to do everything, all the time. This year I want to put a priority on making sure I’m getting enough sleep. It seems so easyyy, and yet I never get enough sleep. Partly because I have hard time sleeping but also partly because I spend so much time doing everything else in life, that sleep just falls to the wayside.
Focus on my financials:
Every 20 year old needs to do this. I think I’ve done a decent job of trying to make smart money decisions, but I also have a problem buying things when I’m feeling emotionally unstable. That’s not just me right? Anyways….my financial goals include:
Working on my personal development:
I have been writing stories since I was young but some where along the lines of college I stopped writing for fun. My sole focus was writing boring essays and thesis’. Okay so they weren’t all boring, but I wasn’t writing fun.
In 2019, I want to focus on writing what I deem to be fun. My goal is to post twice a week on here on my blog, speaking of…! I also want to write at least once a week on other projects I have in the works.
In case you weren’t checking my work as you read here’s how my resolutions measured up to the SMART index. And let’s just assume they’re all time-bound since they are things I want to accomplish in 2019.
Resolution 1: Read 100 books in 2019. It’s specific. It’s measurable, 100 books. It’s actionable, I can actually read the books and I know how to read. I already read at least a book a week, so I’d say it’s realistic.
Resolution 2: Decrease my half marathon pace. I list a specific pace I want to hit, it’s also measurable, and actionable. It may not be super realistic to cut my half marathon pace by 16 minutes in a year, but I think it will push me to at least get close to that number.
Resolution 3: Focus on my wellness. This goal is specific since I explicitly mention getting more sleep as a way to improve my wellness, it’s also actionable, and realistic to aim for more sleep. It’s not very measurable but 4 out of 5 is a win in my book.
Resolution 4: Focus on my financials. Once again I call out exactly what my aim for my finances is. There are three goals tied into this one and each of them are measurable because I can see what’s in the accounts and also actionable because I can physically transfer money into these accounts. It may not be entirely realistic to reach all three but at least I can start working towards them now.
Resolution 5: Focus on personal development. I specifically call out working on my writing skills. It’s measurable because I mention posting on my blog twice a week. It’s also actionable and realistic for me to complete this year.
All in all I’d say I set some realistic goals that will help me to make 2019 my best year yet! Honestly though, resolutions are put in place to help you become the best that you can be, so it’s okay if they don’t meet all of these criteria. So what resolutions are you setting for yourself in 2019?