Hello! Welcome to the first goals post of 2020 for my monthly goal-setting series. If this is your first visit here, thanks for joining me! In July of last year I decided to start setting three specific goals for myself each month through the end of the year. My objective was to be more intentional (my chosen word of the year for 2019) in my day-to-day life. It turned out to be such a great experience. So I decided to continue on with January goals and to go forward this way into the new year! This series is designed to share those goals with you as well as to provide me with more monthly accountability.
Welcome to a new year. A new decade. New beginnings.
High five and huge thanks to the teenage boy working at the Christmas tree farm who snapped this holiday-card-worthy shot of all of us on my DLSR camera in ONE try. Too bad I haven’t gotten around to ordering any holiday cards yet. I may still try and send them out, probably as Valentine’s cards at this rate. Ironically last month at a Christmas party someone told me they “looooved” my card this year. That gave me a good little laugh.
We are already into the second week of this new year and the only resolution I can keep fresh on my mind is how I need to get more sleep! There are a ton of different thoughts swirling around in my head and I’m working on reigning them in. One of my favorite parts of this time of year is organizing and feeling more focused about what’s in store in the months ahead. FOCUS has been on my mind as a possible word of the year (thanks to a dear friend for the suggestion!). NURTURE and CONNECTION have been tempting me too. But I’m still not ready to commit for some reason.
I decided rather than procrastinate my January goals post by feeling a need to have it ALL together. You know, lay out all of my resolutions, share my newly chosen word for 2020, specify 3 goals for this month, and look like I’ve basically got it all together – HA! I’m going to start small and be thrilled about that amount of progress after only a week gone by!
December was a wonderful whirlwind of events and memories. We started some new traditions and kept others in motion. There were parties and more parties, champagne toasts galore, and lots of indulging on amazing delicious foods. We had guests from Arkansas, Virginia, and even Kiev, Ukraine visit us. We’ve been on two trips since Christmas already – one to go see family and another for a weekend getaway to the mountains with some friends. We made gingerbread houses and gingerbread cookies and decorated them all in grand affair.
It was definitely a month to remember. Full of rich memories, joy, and laughter. As someone who loves this time of year best, I can say it was 100% a winner. I hope your holidays were filled with that kind of warmth and connection as well. Noah was so sad that December ended. We gently reminded him of all of the exciting things coming in the next few months (including his birthday!) and reassured him that it will be the holiday season again before we know it! Isn’t THAT the truth!?
A review of my December goals:
Participate in an Acts of Kindness Advent with my family
This was such a rewarding and lovely goal to participate in this past month. During the holidays I feel like we get so caught up in the things that don’t really support the true meaning of Christmas, despite our best intentions. I wanted to carve out space for things that would encourage a generous and compassionate spirit within our family. Each day we had a card that gave us a new “act of kindness” to complete. The boys woke each morning in eager anticipation (the candy canes we carefully tucked in each pocket didn’t hurt!).
We made treats for our neighbors and coworkers. Left goodies for the delivery people to thank them for their hard work during such a busy season. We made survival kits filled with essentials and shared them with people in need. Donated toys and books and clothing to others. We made thank you cards for teachers, garbage collectors, babysitters, and even each other. I hope this is a tradition we will carry forward from year to year. It really enhanced our holiday spirit.
Learn to play a Christmas song on the guitar and/or ukulele
Truthfully, I pulled out my guitar once the entire month. It was a hugely concerted effort on my part. I brought it along on one of our trips with the sole intention of fulfilling this goal. Turns out Rudolph isn’t as fun for your kids to sing when you aren’t very good at switching smoothly between chords! Though they were very interested in strumming along with me.
So this goal turned out to pretty much be a fail. I will say it did feel good to tune up my strings and play around some. It was a brief reminder of how much I love music and desire to have it in my home. And, while I’m going to need a LOT of practice before I’m any good, it brought me joy to pull it out so I plan to do that more in this upcoming year for sure.
Work to improve my posture
I am proud to say that I’ve been going to physical therapy once a week since setting this as a goal for myself last month. They gave me specific exercises to do that help strengthen my back, core, and hips. I haven’t been AS committed to doing them at home as I should be, but I’m trying. Paul got me a gift certificate to a pilates studio for Christmas so I plan to start up with that in the next few weeks as well.
I didn’t pull out my posture tracker. Actually I completely forgot about it until I got back on here and looked at my goals from last month to write this post! I’ll have to dig it out and start using it too. I know I can do a lot more to improve my posture but I’m happy with the first few steps I took last month to pursue this goal. And I definitely plan to continue with this so I will see more progress.
My January Goals
1. Choose a Word of the Year & Organize my Resolutions
For the past several years I have chosen a Word of the Year to guide me as a sort of mantra. Susannah Conway (same person who does the Unravel Your Year course I mentioned in my last post) has a free 5-day email course that I’ve used each time. It can be a great resource to help you discover a word that speaks to you. I am also in a place where I have tons of ideas but not a lot of focused follow-through when it comes to resolutions for the year. I think once I choose a word, things will start to piece together for me more clearly.
Why this is a January goal? Because it is fun and I enjoy doing it every year. In the past, my word of the year has served as an inspiration, a guide, and an anchor for me. Organizing my resolutions helps me decide what to focus on and what I need more of/less of in the upcoming year.
Action plan: Finish the Find Your Word e-course by Susannah Conway. Set aside some time to specifically work on these things. Report back here for accountability!
2. Buy a new bra & underwear
Yesterday my sister posted an IG story about buying a new bra and underwear each January. She’s heard of a woman who did that each year and was talking about what a great idea it is! This is such a funny goal to make for myself but it’s also something I really do need but never seem to make time for!
Why this is a January goal? Why not? It’s been waaaay too long since I’ve done this.
Action plan: Make a trip to the mall. Get re-measured to make sure I buy the proper size bra. Find styles that are cute, comfortable, and practical. Then burn my old ones.
3. Start a newsletter for my blog
I’ve been thinking/talking about doing this for several months now. In a lot of ways I’m not the most computer savvy person when it comes to this blogging stuff. I can usually find my way around eventually but it isn’t easy. A while back I realized that I had no idea where the information went when readers entered their email addresses to “sign up” for updates. On top of that, I had no idea what updates you were signing up for! So I decided I should start looking into it. Turns out – nothing happens.
I try to keep my inbox from getting to overwhelmingly full at all costs. Unlike my husband, who gets hundreds of emails a day, I am a person who intentionally goes in an unsubscribes from things. I probably spend about 15 minutes a week unsubscribing from the junk that inundates my inbox. And it always makes me feel empowered! Take THAT junk mail! The last thing I want to do is add to anyone’s inbox clutter.
But there are a handful of blogs I subscribe to and get newsletters from that I really enjoy! A few of my favorites are: Design for Mankind, Love Letters from Susannah Conway, and The Blissful Mind. These are always things I am happy to see in my inbox and find myself reading enthusiastically. Now that I’m almost 9 months into blogging, it seems a perfect time to start my own accompanying newsletter.
Why this is a January goal? Because it’s been a “behind-the-scenes” goal for the past 3 months that I haven’t worked on. Emails feel a little more intimate somehow in ways a blog doesn’t always seem to be. I believe it is a great way to build relationships, connect, and engage with readers.
Action plan: Write my first newsletter of 2020. Make a plan to send out one a month and get it on the calendar to hold myself accountable.
I’ll be back next month to update you on how well I kept up with these January goals. And to share my upcoming goals for February!
What are your January goals? I’d love to hear – leave a comment below!