Please forgive me, but this post is not soap related. At all. It's the 4th day of the new year, and I've been thinking about goals and resolutions. At the beginning of last year I made several goals for myself and my business. Armed with my trusty bullet journal I set out to implement and track these new habits every day. Looking back at my progress over the year I can see that my little notebook was an incredibly powerful tool that helped me to achieve much more than I would have without it.
While some people felt like 2018 was a dumpster fire of a year (and in some ways globally, it was), I can honestly say that it was personally my best year yet. Here's what made it so great!
I've always been a bookworm, but sometimes life got in the way or I just didn't have a book on hand that I felt like reading. Last year I made it a goal to read every day to broaden my mind, relax, and enjoy a longtime hobby. No time limit, just getting some pages in was good enough. I read everything from science fiction to memoirs, personal development to classics. I read beach trash, listened to audio books, sometimes double fisting books alternating between them. I read everything! I ended up reading 50 books last year, almost a book a week and it was AMAZING. My husband and I shared books sometimes, having our own mini book club (he'd cringe if he knew I wrote that), I took suggestions from women in business that I admired, and I finally got around to reading some classic novels that I had always wanted to read.
I committed to spending just 5 minutes every day in meditation. It was simultaneously the easiest and the hardest thing ever. Just...sitting...for five minutes seems so simple - and it is! - but clearing your mind and just being is a little more tricky. I'm gradually getting better at it, and I've noticed a huge reduction in stressful feelings over the year.
Establishing a Morning Routine
I read a book called The Miracle Morning and implemented its strategies into my daily routine. It calls for creating a routine every morning that involves meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and writing. It sounds like a lot, but it actually flows pretty well once you get the hang of it. All of these micro activities were small steps toward my goals, and I got them out of the way before I even got out of my jammies in the morning.
The E Word
Yeah, so, exercise. I do it, but it's not my favorite thing. It's actually pretty low on the list. I needed to get more consistent, so I decided to start with some easy body weight strength training. I chose three moves per body area (upper body, lower body, and core) and just cycled through one body area every day. It literally takes me less than 10 minutes a day, but that tiny bit of effort every day has built my muscles and helped to keep my (completely wrecked) knee from hurting as much. Yay for being relatively pain-free! Now I can walk faster and farther, which adds to the overall exercise program. My adorable husky dog is loving all of the extra walks!
I made a pretty aggressive goal to lose 100 lbs. last year, which pens out to about two pounds a week. What can I say? I have several (dozen) pounds to lose. Spoiler alert: I did not meet my goal. I did however, lose 36 lbs. last year. I'll take it! Even though I didn't blow my initial goal out of the water, I got 36 lbs. closer to it and took off weight that I probably wouldn't have otherwise if I wasn't working on it every single day. I'm still at it this year, but paring my original goal down to a more attainable 50 lbs. this year (about 1 lb. a week).
Here's where I didn't do so well. I had a goal to pay off some debt last year, but I made the mistake of making a vague, wishy-washy goal that was neither specific nor measurable. This year I fixed that! I wrote out a budget (that word makes me shudder, but I'm dealing with it) and so far - a whopping four days into the year - we are sticking to it. No trips to Europe this year, but we'll find a way to take the party on the road, I'm sure. We always do!
Oh, Yeah! We Went to Europe!
It was a bucket list thing. #noregrets
Looking Forward in 2019
I blew some goals out of the water last year, and just plain blew some goals. The important thing is that I found a system that worked for me as I worked toward the things that are important to me. I can thank my friend Agent Jayna for introducing me to the bullet journal method. You'll definitely want to check out her lifestyle/motherhood/real estate blog because she always has amazing ideas to share! Her latest kitchen design is my #dreamhousegoals!
I'm dying to know...
Do you set resolutions or goals or just go with the flow?
What systems work for you for goal setting?
Is it weird to have a blog post on a soap website that has nothing to do with soap?
Let me know in the comments!