Hi everyone! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas that was dismissed of any and all unnecessary stressors and really good food ;) I’m up in Northern Michigan with my mom and Chris, and really couldn’t have wished for a better holiday. We spent it amidst the renovations that are going down at the chalet, but honestly it was so cozy and charming. We even cut down a tree just days before and got some decorations up. It’s been a really sweet end to a really sweet year. I’m honestly just so thankful to be living life alongside good company in such a beautiful place.
Since we’re leaving 2017 behind and moving into the new year (quickly, it seems!) I wanted to take some time to chat more about goal setting. You may remember this post over here which we discussed the difference between resolutions and goal setting, and why I believe whole heartily in letting go of resolutions entirely – and this post is basically an extension to that. I know how difficult it can be to sit with your thoughts and brainstorm ways you’d like to grow and evolve, especially if you’re in a season of feeling stuck (I’ve been there), so I really hope that some of these ideas resonate with you and help you to move forward to what I know will be your best year yet. Let’s get started :)
How To Create a Goals List
First things first, it’s important that we know how to create a list for your goals. That might sound really silly and seem very obvious. However, there is a rhythm to ensure you keep it organized and have a better chance at achieving each one on your list. Personally, I find it incredibly helpful to break them down into categories. I generally keep it to 3: Personal, Professional and Health. The key with creating your list is to ensure that you’re in a relaxed setting. Somewhere you can truly feel present. Let’s also make sure that any goal that you write down as a solid purpose.
If you want to lose weight, why? Whats the real, underlying reason? If you want to become a better cook, why? Is it because you want to avoid spending money on dining out? Or maybe you want to be able to host your friends? Get real with your thoughts and allow the bullet points of each goal to flow out of you. You may find that when you’re forming these goals you’ll start looking far into the future (passed 2018) – that’s totally okay! Go with it. It’s your intuition getting to the real, soulful purpose of what it is you want out of your life. Let it all unfold organically. Most importantly, have fun with it.
Here are some category examples that you could use for your goal setting list, as well as a free worksheet that you can fill out. (It’s the same one I use)
Centered around the relationships in your life, over all personal growth and personal development, habits you’d like to form or habits that you’d like to break, personality traits you’d like to rid yourself of or would like to develop, how you view and take care of yourself, etc.
This is always an exciting one to brainstorm (in my opinion anyway!) because some of the best ideas are born here. Whether you work for yourself or you work for a corporation, don’t sell yourself short here. If you’ve been thinking hard on ways you can increase your personal development or there’s something you’ve been wanting to complete and bring to the table, now’s the time to let that idea shine and live front and center.
These goals are formed around your physical and most importantly, mental well being. Maybe you know you need to focus on some form of meditation in order to process stressful situations, or maybe you’d like to up your cardio game to eliminate tension in your body. Whatever it may be, try and connect the two if you can. Remember: they’re a package deal.
Longer Term Goals vs Short Term Goals
If you’d like to get even more detailed, you can break your goals down into Long Term vs Short Term. This isn’t something that I do personally, since I try to view all of my goals as long term, but I completely understand how this can be a helpful tool when creating your list.
New Year Goal Ideas List
Below are some ideas to get you started on a list of your own. It’s a healthy mix of personal goals, professional goals and health driven goals in case you’re feeling stuck on what you really need from yourself this year.
Keep a journal
I talk about it often, but using the Five Minute Journal has the power to transform my days entirely when I use it regularly. Even if the day ends up being a tough one, coming home to fill out what I could have done better and having a moment to look back on all that happened – it allows me to let go of any and all mishaps, and begin again.
Free writing is another thing that’s so good for the soul, and has a zero-pressure rule. This journal isn’t meant to make perfect sense or to have A+ grammar. The idea is to let your heart out onto the page, without agenda. Give it a try. It really can change your life.
Try the one in, one out method
This is a lovely way to begin the decluttering process and learning how to live more mindfully. My friend Erin and I chat about this often, as it works wonders for both of us. I started using this rule of thumb when it came to my beauty products since I used to have a tendency to hoard any and all skincare/makeup products. Now? I make sure that if I purchase something new, it’s to replace another item. I’ll either donate it to a girlfriend or let it go. It’s a simple as that.
The great thing about this practice is that it will start to shift your train of thought when it comes to making purchases. Do you love the item enough to give something else up in it’s place? Is it worth it? It’s all about beginning to ask yourself the tough questions and not just surrendering to the trends and “wants” that are sure to quickly fade by the end of the day. Challenge yourself to be mentally strong and awake.
Nourish your relationships
It’s easy to wrap ourselves up in a cocoon and fall victim to the coziness of being a homebody – especially during the cold months (raising my hand here), but it’s crucial that we maintain and nourish the relationships that serve us as often as possible. This doesn’t mean that you have to be with your friends and family every day of the week in order to make this happen – on the contrary.
It does mean that you put in a little extra effort to send them a note in the mail or a text to check in on them regarding a previous conversation you had. Pay attention to the details and take care of your people from the inside out. Hop on a five minute FaceTime call or meet up for happy hour once a month. It may seem like it takes a lot of effort, but it takes more effort to rebuild lost friendships.
Stay offline one day per week
I’m known for falling off the grid on Sundays. Honestly it’s one of my favorite days of the week because of this. Sometimes I’ll even go as far as to power down my phone and computer entirely. Instead I rely on things like books (gasp!) to entertain me. I’m always sure to let my mom and sister know that if they need me for an emergency or any other reason, they can contact the person I’m with (which is usually Chris).
I appreciate this practice so much due to the fact that when my dad was fighting cancer, we were all so glued to our phones. Every ring would make our stomachs drop and every text felt like an emergency. I swear I’m still unwinding from the hyperactive tendencies that my body would go through, and while I would wish for that back in a heartbeat, – feeling free of my device is a pretty incredible feeling.
Start a morning and evening routine
I used to be someone who didn’t understand the appeal of routine. Didn’t it get boring? I was always so afraid of living a stale life – one that didn’t have any mystery, one that was predictable. But then I came to realize first hadn’t how lovely implementing routines to your day actually is. When I started out on this lifestyle change, a routine wasn’t something that I had. Not even close. So it was actually one of the first steps that I took towards living a slower, more mindful life. By setting something up for yourself both in the mornings and in the evenings, you’re setting a comfortable rhythm for your mind. Your giving yourself the permission to slow down and unwind. Leave the mystery and unpredictability for the rest of your day.
Learn something new
There’s no pressure here, and I surely don’t mean to imply that you have to learn something new and be great at it. But the goal here is to expand your mind and continue to learn. For me, using a program like Dualingo to brush up on my Spanish and learn my native language (Swedish) is high up on my list. It takes about 10 minutes out of my day each day, and I’m learning something that’s both resourceful and meaningful to my life.
I’ve also been wanting to try different mediums within the artistic field. As most of you know, I’m a photographer full time so I have a real passion for the arts. Recently I’ve found myself gravitating towards ceramics and pottery whenever I’m out shopping or at restaurants. I think to myself, “I want to make something like that for my home.” So, it’s an adventure that I’d really like to embark on this year. Choose something that excites you and that adds value to your life.
Put energy into giving back
The misconception that we’re all so busy is purely a choice. You’re busy with things that you’re choosing to be a part of. Personally, I don’t believe in the art of being busy. It’s one of my least favorite descriptions and I avoid it at all costs. This is why I generally only commit to one outside obligation per day (say, a photoshoot or a social commitment). When you find that you’re not feeling the need to use the word “busy”, you have time for things that truly matter – like giving back.
There is no greater reward than spending your time enriching someone else’s life. For me, it’s about putting a lot of effort an energy into this blog to ensure that I’m providing helpful tools for any of you who may feel stuck – because I’ve been there, and it’s a daunting feeling. I also want to start volunteering more around my local community.
Start a capsule wardrobe
This may make you roll your eyes. and I get it. I used to be that person. But when I gave in and created my first capsule wardrobe this fall, I had an ah-ha moment. It’s not about who has less things in their closet. It’s more about having the right things in your closet. Trying this wardrobe method is a sure fire way to wake you up to your spending habits. tO get to know yourself and your style that much better. It will shift the way you think about your purchases from here on out. I loved living through my fall capsule for the ease of getting ready each morning (and for the money I saved). So much that I created a winter one, too. It doesn’t have to be forever, but it’s worth a try if you find that you’re an impulse spender (like I was).
Create a workflow rhythm
Having a rhythm within your work day, much like a morning and evening routine, has the ability to remove any unnecessary stress. Some examples might include reading a few articles before you hop into your email, or finishing your cup of coffee and skimming Pinterest before you start blogging. Maybe you have a specific time each day where you do an overall backup. So you never have to worry about a computer crash. That peace of mind is invaluable. It’s one thing you know you have taken care of without having to give much thought to it. Whatever your profession, corporate or artistic, a workflow rhythm is an attainable way to keep you feeling inspired and organized.
Complete a no-spend challenge
Much like trying out the capsule wardrobe method, completing even just one no-spend challenge in a year can transform your spending habits entirely. I can say this because I did it, and it worked. While I’ve implemented a lot of different tricks that I’m sure added to the success (capsule wardrobe, one in-one out method, keeping a simple budget), going six weeks without purchasing anything other than my necessities (groceries & toiletries) was so incredibly eye opening. I plan on doing one every year.
Simplify your beauty routine
Remember how I told you earlier in the post that I used to hoard beauty products? That’s a little dramatic, but I did have way too many items in my vanity and in my bags. The funny part? I would really only reach for the same handful of products every day, so the others were just collecting dust. The best way to efficiently simplify your beauty routine is to visit an esthetician. Its how you will find out what your skin needs from you. Mine needs hydration and a lot of sun protection. I have hyper-pigmentation (I freckle easily) and my skin is often parched, so instead of buying every new beauty trend on the market, I now only buy things that I know my skin needs (hydration masks, retina cream, Vitamin C serum, etc)
Let go of things not meant for you
Speaking of which, this is one of the most important goals that you could set for yourself in the new year. It’s also one of the hardest things to become comfortable with as human beings. Letting go of things not meant for you – whether it be relationships, habits, items or even traditions.. honor yourself enough to know that what maybe worked for you in the past doesn’t have to work for you now – or what works for someone else, doesn’t have to be your truth.
Keep a simple budget
By keeping track of your finances using a user-friendly budgeting system, you’re freeing yourself of any and all necessary financial stress. Even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Having a method in place will ensure you know where your money is going at all times. You will know you’re staying on track with your financial goals. It takes discipline and habit will have to be formed. Especially since it requires you to check in at least once a month, but it’s worth it. I myself couldn’t find a system that worked well for me. Nor could I find a platform that was aesthetically pleasing. So I created my own spreadsheet. Here you go. It’s yours (for free) if you want it :)
Start a rewards program for yourself
Ensuring that we’re rewarding ourselves for our hard work or just for being human is a lovely way to float through the year. Whether it be that you’ve made it through the week and it’s Friday, so you’re treating yourself to your weekly green tea latte (yum). Or maybe you put in a lot of effort into a project at work. So you’re really feeling a manicure and pedicure. You should definitely go do that. Self care is the name of the game, and I’ll preach it until I’m blue in the fact. Because we can be of no service to anyone else, if we first don’t take care of ourselves. PS: download your free copy of The Simple Guide To Every Day Self Care right here.
Say no to something at least once a week
This practice is another difficult one for humans. So saying no just once a week requires you to simply dip your toe in the pond, not head first into the ocean. (we’ll get there) Remember, saying no to something that doesn’t feel good to you is no reason to feel guilty. You should feel empowered. It feels good to get to the place where you respect yourself and your time enough to know when you aren’t able to extend it to others.