Welcome to the second half of 2019! I honestly can’t believe we are face to face with the beginning of July already. It’s crazy to me how fast time seems to be flying by. This feels like a recurring theme in my thoughts these days. Six months has sped by and there are a lot of intentions I had back in January that have gone unfulfilled. I definitely need a moment to check in on my personal goals for the year. How do I keep time from slipping by at such a hurried pace? How do I maintain more presence, capture more moments to memory, make the days more meaningful? What more can I do to embrace RIGHT NOW?
I think I need a pause button.
The past few months have been jam-packed with so much excitement. Visiting my mama in Virginia, two family trips to the beach (Topsail Island and Ocracoke), a big birthday surprise trip to Asheville that Paul organized for me, my 24 hour Nashville sister trip, Niko’s 1st birthday, celebrating Mother’s & Father’s Days, and starting my blog have kept us all beyond busy. Our normal routines have gone out the window and the delicate balance of daily priorities and my motivation toward personal goals has vanished.
How are we already at the half-way point through this year? I imagine summer feels like this for a lot of people. Just a non-stop whirlwind of adventures and summer magic. There is so much that I love about this time of the year but I can’t help but feel an internal desire pulling at me to slow things down. I find myself craving space for self-reflection and time to process all of the goodness surrounding me. To “check in” and see if I am challenging myself to do more than simply go with the flow.
Resolutions, Word of the Year, and Setting Monthly Personal Goals: My usual M.O.
New Year Resolutions
I would describe myself as a habitual New Year’s resolution maker. I know there are a lot of people who scoff at this process. But I’m simply not one of them! I’ve been known to spend hours at the cusp of this holiday examining all of the places in my life in need of personal improvement. I love setting goals for myself and what better time to do that than the beginning of a fresh new year?
This year Paul and I sat down together and made lists of our personal goals for the upcoming year by category. Family, marriage, finance, wellness, personal growth, fun/adventure, work, friendships, and home were all included. Then we broke down 2-3 specific goals into each category. Some of ours were the same and others varied. It was intended to give us more actionable plans for following through.
Here are a few of them:
- Marriage – weekly date night, marriage retreat this year, and kiss before leaving/upon returning home
- Finance – stick with our budget, weekly $ meetings, and save X amount monthly to buy a home
- Wellness – eat less processed sugar, Meatless Mondays, and be active daily
I often have a hard time reigning myself in when I get excited over setting personal goals and resolutions. So I tend to find hundreds of things I would like to improve upon and want to try and do. My list ends up being overwhelming and unrealistic. Unfortunately trying to create one (overzealous) master list of resolutions wasn’t/isn’t really constructive for me.
My motivation to pursue those goals doesn’t stick around too long after the holiday buzz starts to wear off.
I have learned that goal-setting is basically unproductive for me unless I set specific and actionable goals for myself. When I make goals like “exercise every week,” the motivation to follow through disappears unless I specify exactly what I want that to look like. A better way to set that goal for myself would be “plan 30 minutes each day to be active.” And then I have to specify even further what I plan to do in those 30 minutes (take the boys on a walk, play tennis, attend a class at the ymca).
Ultimately every year I sit down and write out resolutions. Rarely do I find that I possess great resolve in keeping them. But it will be a practice I continue because I love how it helps me recognize all of the areas I want to pursue personal growth.
Word of the Year
Three winters ago, I followed my sister’s lead and started selecting a “word of the year.” In January she blogs about her goals for the upcoming year, reflects on her previous ones, and announces her new word. I love the idea of having one word to anchor me throughout the year. To come back to and keep me focused. It helps set the tone and intention that I want to manifest for myself.
That’s a practice I still enjoy – here are the ones I’ve chosen:
- 2017 – STRENGTH
- 2018 – BALANCE
- 2019 – INTENTION
Monthly Personal Goals
Several years ago I read Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. My biggest take-away was how she broke her goals down into monthly categories. This concept was hugely appealing to me. It actually inspired me to shadow her project with my own personal spin to it. I set goals month to month, chose ares to focus on and even selected books that supported my plans. This was the most organized I have ever felt about personal goal-setting.
I don’t know what specifically derailed me from my own Happiness project but I will cough it up to life in general. It’s as though I get caught up in the current of days. The concept is fantastic in theory but it was difficult for me to reach ahead a whole year and set goals for myself not knowing what that particular season would look like. And so it didn’t stick. I’d love to attempt this again at some point in my life but meanwhile, I’m off to other ideas.
Why start over setting personal goals in July?
I love personal goal setting. One of the highlights of January for me includes making New Year resolutions and choosing a word of the year. The idea of mapping out a year of monthly goal setting excites me. But none of these things has proven very lasting. I lose my resolution list. I forget to reach for my word of the year. My season of life doesn’t fit with my projected goals.
In line with giving myself grace (since technically I’m a little behind on this “check in”), I decided to push back against that voice that is telling me, “it’s too late to do it now” and just be intentional about it anyway.
So here I am at the halfway point.
Enthusiastic to get back on track. Craving accountability. Longing to reconnect with personal goals that will help hold space for the most important things in my life. Capture more moments, make the days more meaningful, maintain more presence. I can’t simply sit back and let time pass me as the hustle and bustle of every day. The days are flying by and I don’t want to miss out.
This space is a wonderful opportunity for me to set and reflect on goals that I would like to pursue as well as creating a greater sense of accountability.
I’ve decided to create a monthly goal-setting blog series that I will run through the end of the year. Each month I will choose three goals that I feel the most pull towards that I want to be intentional about pursuing. And I’ll share them with you, along with what worked/didn’t work for the month.
I would love for you to join me for this challenge. There is SO much of the year left ahead of us. Let’s keep moving.