Goal-setting has never been a strength of mine. I over-estimate or under-estimate; I change my mind about what I want midway through. What I am good at, however, is intention-setting.
Since this distinction – goals vs. intentions – may be clear to me but unclear to you, here are some examples:
Setting a goal to lose 30 pounds isn’t my style, but setting the intention to exercise four times a week is.
Instead of picking an amount of money I want to save, I set the intention that I’ll stop spending money on a certain type of thing (ahem, see below).
I’d like to get better. I hear goal-setting is the bee’s knees, and I want to get on board. But I’ve got to take baby steps. I’ve learned that testing the waters first works better for me. Jumping in, feet-first, is scary and big, and I’m not quite there yet. (This is me, being very honest: Goals are scary because then you actually have to do them.)
What I can do, right now, is set intentions for the year. These intentions will help me to create the life that I want, regardless of the bigger goals I’m still working out.
1. Exercise every day.
Incorporating exercise into my daily routine has been a cyclical thing for me. Some weeks, I’m excellent, and some weeks, I barely get out my sneakers.
Making exercise a daily, non-negotiable task is a habit I’m going to create this year.
Doing the 30-Day Pilates Body Challenge via The Balanced Life really helped to change my frame of mind on this issue. The workouts on this plan are tough, and 90% of them are less than 10 minutes long. (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!)
While I’d like to make sure that I’m incorporating longer workouts, like hour-long yoga classes and outdoor runs, having the 10-minute workout to fall back on makes this intention feel doable. Now that I’ve finished the challenge, I’ll often combine two or three 10-minute workouts into a longer Pilates routine.
But even on days where I’m not feeling well, or I’m over-scheduled, or I’m visiting family, I can make 10 minutes for myself.
2. Continue to make the most of mornings.
Productive mornings are crucial to success for me. I am not a night owl, and I never will be. Especially in the winter, when it’s dark before I even drive home from work, my evening expectations of myself cannot be too high. All I want to do is make dinner (or heat up leftovers if I’m lucky), spend time with G, and decompress.
If my workout doesn’t get done in the morning, if I don’t do that load of laundry, if I don’t finish that freelance article, I will be kicking myself all day. Because I know that my relaxing evening will be interrupted by completing this task. And the anxiety of that impending interruption is almost worse than the actual interruption.
Is this anxiety emotionally healthy? Nope. Should I take a chill pill and treat myself with the same grace I reserve for others? Sure should.
And I’d like to work on that. I’d like to work on finding the balance between sleeping in when I truly need to and executing my Miracle Morning the rest of the time.
Right now, it’s all too easy for one morning of sleeping in to turn into a whole week of hitting snooze. Recommitting to a meaningful morning is one of my biggest 2017 priorities. (Expect lots of 5:30 AM emails, friends and colleagues!)
3. Be grateful.
I stole this idea from Ms. Rachel Hollis of The Chic Site. As part of her awesome New Year program, she is encouraging her followers to write down ten things they’re thankful for each day. They can be little things (warm stew on a cold day) or big things (financial stability), but I’ve found that this practice keeps me on the lookout for blessings all day, everyday.
I have a lot to be thankful for. Hashtag blessed, like Bruno Mars.
4. Buy no books.
I saved this one for last because it hurts.
It’s truly insane. I’m not sure that I can do it. And, HONESTY ALERT, I bought Oprah’s new cookbook online this morning. #CantBeTamed
I deleted the Amazon app off my phone as soon as I made this mistake. (I’m sure it will be a tasty mistake.)
This is an area when I justify my spending unjustly. I think that since the purchases are books – which are awesome and healthy and always a good thing – I can buy however many I want. But the truth is that I have approximately 8,000 unread books in various rooms of our house and that shit is out of control.
This year, I want to read that backlog, donate/gift what I’m no longer interested in, and cultivate a happier/healthier/more moderate book-buying attitude for 2018.
(Oh, and I will continue to buy books as gifts, because there is no more perfect gift, okbye.)
What are your goals and intentions for 2017? Let’s keep each other accountable!