In this post I want to continue on from the last one where I looked back over 2019, and now look forward to 2020.
But before I start, I’d love it if you would leave me a comment letting me know if you have made any resolutions or set any goals for this year! And, what are your planned strategies for accomplishing them? I know New Year’s Resolutions have a bit of a bad reputation… We are all tired of the “New Year, New You” optimism being so quickly followed by the realization 12 hours later that we are actually still the same person as the day before. And 12 days later already ‘failing’ at our resolution. And then 12 months later discovering that we completely forgot about our resolutions and are at basically the same place we were the previous year.
I don’t think the solution to all of this is necessarily pessimism… or to just stop making resolutions… (Though if that’s your solution that’s totally fine! To each their own.) So instead each year I try to figure out better (and more realistic) ways to set and meet my goals. I think my plan for this year is going to look a little different than it has in the years past… And my thoughts on it are still taking shape. Which at first felt a little like a lack of planning and a bit of a cop out. I mean, it’s already January 5th! And I only have one concrete resolution so far! And it doesn’t even last the whole year! What a slacker! What lack of forethought!
But having only one goal set then got me thinking that perhaps this is a better way to approach the year anyway. In month-long chunks. I read or heard this somewhere… the idea of committing to shorter, smaller goals that can either build on each other or be completely different. (One month committing to exercise, the next committing to drinking more water, the next to eat healthier, etc. to build up a cumulative improvement in health OR one month to accomplish a health goal, one month to accomplish a social goal, one month to accomplish a work goal.)
Then, ideally throughout the year some of the habits stick and become longer term. And hopefully this method of goal setting would allow for some course correction along the way, in case a particular goal didn’t go exactly as planned or produce the expected result. (And on the topic of habit formation, last year I read and reviewed a booked called The Power of Habit… it’s a great book to read, especially if you’re interested in this topic. You can find that post here.)
We already employ this “commit to small goals” tactic in a lot of ways… people do short term diets or cleanses. They commit to train for marathons. Every year a whole bunch of artists and (budding artists) commit to Inktober, a whole month of drawings. And I might as well go ahead and give away my commitment for the year: lots of people also do 30-day yoga challenges!
I have, since January 1st, been participating in a 30-day yoga challenge through Yoga With Adriene. (Here is the link to the playlist if you are interested.) It has been amazing so far! I have done quite a few of her videos in the past, so this isn’t brand new for me, but I have been a bit of a couch potato recently so my muscles have been in for quite a shock! (As I mentioned yesterday, I am blogging about my days, random thoughts, emotions, and my yoga journey on my other blog and so if any of this is repeat information for you, my apologies! I’ll be back to original content soon, I promise!) My plan is to finish out this 30-day challenge (while blogging as much as possible, but not necessarily daily) and then move on to a new challenge. HOWEVER, I am hopeful that I will also continue to incorporate yoga and being active into my daily life even after January is over. There’s also a possibility that February ends up being another month dedicated to yoga. And March. And maybe all of 2020. But that feels too big and far and overwhelming to think about right now… So for the time being, I am solely committing to January.
I do have all sorts of other ideas for monthly goals though! Drawing every day has been one I have wanted to do, and tried one year for Inktober, but I got so bogged down in social media and comparison that I had to stop for the sake of my mental health. If I try that one again I may just do them for myself and not post on social media…or not do it in October…or make up my own prompts… or who knows! I think it could also be cool to try new recipes (every day sounds like too much though so maybe a couple times a week?) or to garden/learn about plants. Or even a month devoted to focusing on reading!
Last year I took an online course called Early Education Outdoor Learning Environments, which I worked on after my 9-5 and on weekends. That was an example of a multi-month commitment I made… and a goal I successfully accomplished! And it wasn’t something that I had planned to do at the beginning of the year but it came about more organically as the year progressed. And that’s what I am hoping will come out of this year as well. Having a loose framework, but room for adjustments and modifications.
As I am typing this I am also realizing that there are some goals that might not work so well as a daily commitment and might be better suited for different timelines/intervals… (For instance, I’m not sure if focusing on my budget and money every day would be a healthy way to spend my month—I think it would make me a little obsessive and controlling—however a goal to check in with my finances once a week or twice a month could be really helpful.) This was actually one of the things I found to be beneficial about bullet journaling last year. The system is meant to encompass short and long term goals alike. So… while I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too many goals, maybe I will work on an abbreviated form of bullet journaling to plan out some longer term habits I want to establish.
Anddd, well, that’s really all I have for now! I hope your new year is starting of well and that you are accomplishing what you hoped to. As always, I’d love to connect so leave a comment or send me an email or find me on Instagram (@themillsofabstraction and @the.megan.mill).
Here’s to an awesome 2020!
(Just a note to myself here… If I do another “year in review” post next year where I go over my goals, I should title it Hindsight is 2020. Feel free to copy for your own posts… we could even start the hashtag now… #hindsightis2020 #yearinreview)