I know how easy it is to scoff at new year’s resolutions.  I don’t personally like to use the word ‘resolutions.’ It just sounds like a word that is going to be hard to achieve. Let’s go with goals. Goals is a great word and it makes for a better hashtag anyway.

Before we hit the reset button on January 1st, I like to look back at some of the goals I outlined exactly one year ago. Here’s what I listed:

  1. Be more grateful.  
  2. Learn a new language.
  3. Read two new books per month.
  4. Create a stricter plan for student debt.  
  5. Master a gymnastics tumbling pass.  
  6. Learn an instrument.
  7. Volunteer more.  
  8. Try a new fitness class.
  9. Learn knitting.
  10. Experience more live performances.
  11. Take a trip.
  12. Write more.
  13. Eat cleaner.
  14. Make more time for people I love.

How I did: There are a couple goals on this list that I feel I genuinely accomplished. I did begin to learn a new language (French! via UW Madison Continuing Studies), I took a trip (to D.C. with my little brother), I learned how to knit (thanks to this amazing place in Verona called the Sow’s Ear), I created a much stricter plan for student debt (I’m on track to have them paid off this spring!), I tried a couple of new fitness classes and I do feel I practiced having more gratitude this year. There are goals here that I did just ‘ok’ at, which include: reading two books per month (I probably came close to this but not certain), writing more, experiencing live performances, gymnastics and making more time for people I love. And I outright failed at learning a new instrument, eating cleaner and volunteering more.

Looking back at your goals is so important. Even if you feel you miserably failed, force yourself to stare at your list. I made a note on my iPhone with all 14 of these goals listed and I would take a look at it about once a month. Sometimes even that quick little peek at my list would motivate me to research some French classes or find my next good read. Other times, I’d read through my goals and conclude something like: “Learning how to play piano is just not in the cards…right now.”

It’s fun to make lists like this. And it’s important to take actionable steps to achieve these goals but I also think it’s important not to beat yourself up if you miss a few of them or fail at most of them. It’s all about progress!

So, in the spirit of progress, here’s my new and improved ‘goals list’ for 2019.

  1. Bring student debt to…zero! The goal on my 2018 list that I am most proud of is the work I did on my student debt. Now, it’s time to say ‘good riddance’ once and for all!
  2. Hand-make at least 3 gifts for people next year. Whether it’s embracing my new-found knitting skillzzz or following through with a cool Pinterest project, I’d like to focus more on making things for people. (Taking suggestions in the comments.)
  3. Read 2 new books per month. My first carry-over from 2018. (Carry-overs are totally acceptable!) This year, I’m going to write down the books I read so I can track them 🙂 I am also taking book suggestions below.
  4. Get decent at cross-country skiing. I attended the American Birkebeiner last February and I was so inspired, I found myself dropping $500 for ski gear recently – despite the fact I’ve only gone once. So here’s to hoping I can find some great lessons and hit the trails!
  5. Take at least one more French class…and string together a sentence! I loved UW’s continuing studies program and found the course to be affordable. I learned the basics only but I’m eager to actually speak a little French here and there.
  6. Write more. Another carryover from last year. Writing is so important to me and yet, I don’t prioritize it like I should.
  7. Cook more. Anyone who knows me well may be in a state of shock at this point but yes, I do intend to cook a bit more in 2019 and have already lined up a few recipes. (Again…suggestions? Be easy on me.)
  8. Explore 2 new places. Ah, how I love to dream about the places I would like to explore! This goal should be a ‘gimme.’ (Hey, every list is entitled to at least one gimme.)
  9. Get started on something I’ve been putting off. I have some undercover career-ish ‘to dos’ that I’ve wanted to get started on. 2019 will be my year!
  10. Eat cleaner! Ok, my last carryover. I’m hoping goal #7 will help me better accomplish goal #9. But lord knows I’ll need all the help I can get when it comes to curbing my incessant cravings for anything with too much sugar.

Alright, there’s my list! What are you looking forward to achieving in 2019?! I’m dying to know! Comment below 🙂

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2 thoughts on “New Year. New GOALS.

  1. It is hard to improve on perfection, so I’m glad to see you have goals to become even better. I hope you know you inspire a lot of people, myself included. I think you are a good role model for young people, especially young women like my daughter who is choosing a path forward in high school. She is also studying French and doing very well in school. Her main interest is in art, and I look for ways to encourage that talent.

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