Last week, I posed the question of whether resolutions are effective. Are they motivating, or guilt-producing? While it might seem like semantics, I'm more of a fan of creating goals for the year. Specifically, SMART goals that help you move from the place of "I wish" to "I can".
I admitted on Facebook that one of my goals for 2015 was to blog more. I got tons of great ideas from friends on topics they would be interested in. But it reminded me that I didn't follow my own advice. I really had only said "blog more" - that is not very helpful. It pushed me to clearly articulate what I was hoping for. So without further ado, here are my goals for 2015.
In 2014, I posted on my blog 75 times. That felt like a labor of love, but it's not really enough to keep people checking in regularly. My hope for the blog is not just to have a space where I pontificate to myself and my mom, but where people are coming for solid nutrition information and help. But I know how long each of those posts took me - I like to be thoughtful and thorough.
My goal for 2015 is to post here two times each week (104 times total). This feels realistic, because I'm not dramatically upping things - I'm not looking for 300 posts! And it helped articulate some consistency. I don't want to post 5 times in one week, then take a week and a half off :) Of course, there might be a few bonus weeks where they are more posts. But I think this will help me develop a better rhythm of blogging.
Running is my exercise of choice. With the move to Chicago, I'm finding that running is going to be a little trickier - cold is one thing, ice is another! But I'm committed to getting out there (or on that treadmill!). It might be the only thing that keeps me sane during the long winter months. Last year, I ran 596 miles. When I opened up my Nike app, I was kind of impressed with myself, even though it was less than 2013.
I've been battling a hip injury for about a year, with off-and-on pain. You might notice that August through November looks a little rough :) I don't want my goal to be miles-based, as I fear I will push myself to injury again. Instead, I want to sign up for a few races, which will get my butt off the couch on a regular basis. But my SMART goal is to incorporate strength-training twice a week. I'm not defining more than this - it could be body weight exercises in my living room or an intense lifting session. The point is to shake up my routine of overtraining in one area and finding more balance.
For me, following a budget is a lot like dieting is for many people - I start off doing really well, and then slowly I slip into the world of a million exceptions. In the past, our basic budgeting strategy has been to only spend money that we have. With grad school, moving, job changes, and non-profit salaries, this has meant we have kept our spending low. It's worked quite well for us, actually.
But as we get further in our careers, there is more money, and more pressure to spend it. I don't want to wake up one day and realize that our money wasn't spent in the places that were most important to us. You might say that it's just as important, if not more important, to determine that when you don't have a lot. I agree, but it's a little too late for that :) By the end of January, my husband and I will discuss our top priorities in how we spend our money - from charitable giving to organic foods to how we vacation.
You might notice that I don't have any nutrition-related goals here, or anything about "dieting" or improving my diet. I just know that having too many goals means that I can easily get overwhelmed - which means I'm less likely to achieve any of them. And, I'm ok with where I am right now. I don't want to be "perfect" in how I eat, (a) because I don't think that's achievable and (b) I don't think it's sustainable. The beginning of the year always forces me to be more mindful and to stop treating myself 8 times a day. And for now, that works for me.
What about you? Have you taken stock? What are your goals for 2015? How can I help you achieve them?