I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. As someone who is highly goal-oriented and eager for self-improvement, I tend to be overly ambitious with my annual goals. Then, when I fail to achieve them—as I inevitably do—I put myself through a rigorous round of self-flagellation that leaves me wondering why I ever bothered making resolutions in the first place. I’m sure some accountability would help me achieve a higher percentage of my resolutions, but the prospect of actually sharing my goals has always terrified me! I can absolutely relate to this painful-but-true depiction of a (Myers-Briggs) INFJ’s approach to New Year’s resolutions:
Last year, I attempted to bypass this unhealthy cycle by renouncing New Year’s resolutions altogether. Then, I heard a paradigm-shifting podcast about setting and achieving goals that led me to reevaluate my decision. Though it was already mid-January, I decided to set some goals for the year, and I managed to achieve every one of them.
Over the last month, as 2014 drew to a close, I started to reflect on my hopes for the coming year. Not knowing what life as a new mom will entail, I was once again tempted to forgo the goal-setting process, but after revisiting last year’s post on Risky Resolutions, I decided that it couldn’t hurt to establish some goals. I might not achieve them—in fact some of them, particularly the parenting goals, are largely outside my realm of control—but I believe that it will be beneficial for me to have a vision for some things I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. Since I know that life will look drastically different once a baby enters our lives, I hope to reevaluate these goals in June. At that point, I might throw out the goals that aren’t working for me and may even add in some new ones. For now, here are my goals for 2015, broken into a few separate categories.
- Journal every day in my Day One app. This was a goal I made and achieved in 2014, and it proved to be one of the most rejuvenating and fulfilling uses of my time this past year.
- Use a service like Shutterfly to create a family photo album at the end of the year. I’m hoping this one will become an annual tradition.
- Start and maintain a baby book to record all of the memories and milestones of our little guy’s first year.
- Memorize a Bible verse each month. Luke is joining me on this one. I’ll also be sharing each month’s verse here on the blog.
- Meditate at least three times per week. I’m still struggling to find my rhythm with meditation, and I don’t love it yet, but I know that it is good for me.
- Read from a daily devotional book each evening. Luke is joining me on this one, too, and we’ve started A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works.
- Join an adult fellowship (aka Sunday School Class) at our church.
- Go for walks together at least three times per week. We’ve found that we do our best communicating when we’re walking.
- Work through the 15-Minute Marriage Makeover Workbook. Luke gave this to me as a Christmas gift, and I’m looking forward to going through it together.
- Go on a monthly date night. These date nights might be in our living room for the first few months after the baby is born!
- Have a healthy and natural labor—with our midwife at the birth center—with no interventions and no hospital transfer.
- Breastfeed for at least one year.
- Become comfortable with—and use—cloth diapers. . . most of the time. We’ll likely use disposables when we’re out.
- Join a mom’s support group. I’ve already signed up for MOPS through our church, but I hope to find something a bit more intimate as well.
- Read at least 24 books: one fiction and one non-fiction per month. This is significantly lower than last year’s book count, but I have a feeling I’ll have a lot less time for reading in the coming months.
- Become more intentional about my book selections. I’ll be sharing more about this goal in Thursday’s post.
- Pay off our second car by the end of the year.
- Walk at least 5,000 steps per day (tracked on my FitBit Flex), and give myself grace on the days when I don’t reach my goal.
- Attend a Mom-and-Baby yoga class.
- Continue blogging, even after the baby is born. I know it will be tempting to give up the blog, but I want to commit to posting at least once per week (though I’m giving myself a grace period in the couple of weeks after the birth).
- Participate in some sort of professional development. I’m not sure yet what this will entail: it could be attending a blogging conference, going through an online workshop, finding a blogging mentor, etc.
- Have newborn pictures taken.
- Send out Christmas cards this year.
- Switch to a password manager.
- Frame some family photos for our home.
- Establish some new family Christmas traditions. I haven’t settled on what these will be yet, but I like the idea of doing an experience Advent calendar. I’d also like to start a tradition of a pajamas & reading “under the tree” on the night before Christmas Eve.
In addition to following through with these more traditional goals, I’ve decided to try something new with my goal-setting in 2015. I’ve been hearing a lot about people who select a “word of the year.” The idea is that you choose a word that embodies your image of what you’d like your coming year to look like. This word becomes a sort of mantra, directing and defining your year. Claire Diaz-Ortiz describes it this way: “One word that means everything you hope to achieve and catalyze and crystalize and create and live and breathe. One word. For one special year.”
For 2015, my word will be open. The idea for using this as “my word” first came to me in our birthing classes, when our instructor talked about women who have meditated on the word open during labor to command their cervixes to dilate (sorry if that image is a bit graphic). I tucked that imagery away in my mind to use during labor. But as I thought about it more, I realized that open would be a good mantra for my life in general over the coming year. For such a simple word, it encompasses a great deal of the person I’d like to be in 2015: more flexible, receptive to new opportunities and to change, and open to new adventures and relationships. I’m also open to setting a whole slew of goals that may or may not work out; and so far, I’m okay with that!
Do you have any big goals for 2015? Have you ever had a word of the year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!