I always like to begin each year by creating a list of words that I want to focus on.
I’m not the best with keeping up with resolutions – sometime it seems like I’m writing down things just because it seems like the right thing to do (eat more veggies, drink less coffee, workout 3x a week!). I was reading the other day (and I wish I could remember where!) that resolutions are tricky in a lot of ways.
We put all this pressure to achieve these goals – some attainable, some rather lofty – at the beginning of each calendar year, and we rarely reward ourselves for them. Instead, we say after week three, or month four, that we fell off, we couldn’t keep going, we gave up. And we say screw it, there’s next year.
So the past couple of years I’ve found that if I pick a word – or words – it’s much more attainable than creating a list of resolutions, and I can apply it to every aspect of life.
For 2018 I have two words: accountability and intent. They go hand in hand in a lot of areas that I want to “focus on” this year, but they’re also easily applied to every day actions as well – and I’m trying to refocus more on the small stuff right now.
2017 was pretty damn amazing. Nothing will ever compare to the overabundance of love I felt the entire year, and I will never “regret” soaking up every incredible moment. Ever.
But, 2017 was consumed by a lot of wedding planning and wedding attending, and once our wedding was over in September our world got rocked a bit, so I never felt like I was able to find my footing like I was expecting to. I hate making excuses, but I found myself making a lot of them, and in part I found myself further and further away from where I actually wanted to be.
Instead of beating myself up over the should, coulda, wouldas, I’m turning the page to a fresh one. While I could (and have) gotten upset with what I didn’t do (and said I wanted to), I need to focus on looking forward. And, I also need to give myself a little bit of credit (and cut myself some slack – we all do!), because I know I worked hard.
One of the ways I’m going to keep myself accountable is by trying out time blocking. As a lover of lists, I don’t know why it’s something I haven’t done earlier. At the beginning of each week I plan to sit down and write out everything I know I need to get done – whether it’s every day, twice, once, etc – and every hour I know I have to work on stuff – and arrange my days so that I’m maximizing my time. This includes breaks, a few minutes of scrolling through insta, etc. I’ve been trying it out this week and was almost amazed at how easily I can get distracted, whether it’s on the internet or my phone, and before I knew it – my “time” was up to work on something else.
I think (hope) once I get into a groove it will become second nature to just stick to the schedule and not be so strict, but it is one of the ways I’m trying to stay accountable. I know there will be nights when we’re sitting on the couch and I’m working on my computer, but my hope is that each night I can feel like I accomplished everything I needed to that day – or at least all the major stuff – and I can really relax and enjoy the time with Erick without gearing up for the next day.
I also know there are going to be days when things come up – probably more often than not – that I won’t be able to stick to the time block and I’ll just have to rearrange the days following to get it done. And that’s okay, I’m not expecting this to be a life-changing thing! Whether it’s work-related, exercise, less time mindlessly getting distracted, 30 minutes devoted to reading – I’m just looking for small changes on the daily that will help keep me accountable to get done what I intended to get done.
The intention part is pretty straight-forward. I want (almost) everything I do to be done with purpose.
I love yoga and barre classes but I’ll find myself making excuses for the times that they are at and instead go to the gym and do a half-assed workout on the treadmill and not feel as great as I know I could. I say yes to a lot, and I want to pause before saying yes and ask myself what will I get out of it? What will it really give me? Will I be annoyed with myself for saying yes once I’m doing it? I want to write again without second-guessing it because it makes me feel right.
I want to do things that make me feel good about doing them, and I want to do them when I say I’ll do them. Whether it’s sticking to a time block, clearing my head in a yoga class, unplugging with a book at night, meeting up with friends and not going home after to work more, taking opportunities because I want to not because I need to.
I want to be more mindful, accountable, intentional. And so far, it’s off to a great start!
If you could create a list of words to describe what you want your 2018 to look like, what would be on it?