January Project Updates: Whatever Happened to 2018?

writingSo… It’s been a minute.  A short hiatus from blogging stretched and expanded until suddenly an entire year has slipped by.  There were a few factors within my control (priorities), and a few factors beyond my control (chaos at work) – but as the calendar has circled back to January and I started thinking about what I wanted for the new year, writing was back on the list.  (Maybe not at the top of the list, but certainly above the middle!)

In coming back to this blog, I’ve also reflected a bit on which goals benefit from being exposed to the public, and which are better left private.  My unexamined year has helped me realize that some goals cannot be quantified in a way that fully captures the progress that defies metrics.  For example, “go to the gym twice a week” will not be appearing on this list because, well, I already know that’s not going to happen.  Between my work schedule and other factors, I’d be setting myself up for a demoralizing string of failures.  However, “work toward a healthier lifestyle” will appear on the list.  Weeks that I don’t have time to make it to the gym, I can still make healthy eating decisions, stand at work instead of sitting all day, or do an at-home yoga work-out.  Progress.

My list of goals this year will be fewer pass/fail type goals, and more general resolutions about ways in which I’d like to improve.

1. Cleaning, Downsizing and Organizing

When I started this blog, I was a slob and a boarder-line hoarder.  Over the past few years, I’ve gone from being someone who identified as “a messy person” to someone who is generally organized and neat… with a bit of room for improvement!  To anyone who has never struggled with disorganization, this probably sounds like the most frivolous of goals, but this shift has changed my life for the better in many hard to quantify ways.

My January goal will be to improve the organization of the kitchen after upgrading some of the furniture last month (and receiving some new kitchen gadgets over the holidays)

2. Nurture my Marriage

My relationship with M has been generally good, but we still have times when we don’t communicate well.  One of my goals this year is to make sure we make time for each other – ideally planning a special date each week.  Another is to make sure that we continue to support each other and communicate even when we don’t see eye to eye.

January goal: weekly date nights

3. Career

This year, I have four general goals related to work:

  • Continue to learn and grow in my field – it’s been less than two years since I switched careers from teaching to working for a small company, and I still have a lot to learn.
  • Develop my leadership skills – I’m currently on track to be shifted into a role with more leadership responsibilities, which will be my first time leading other team members.
  • Be more organized – just as it is at home, staying organized at work is a bit of a struggle for me. I’m constantly trying to find better ways to streamline schedules, systems, my desk… it’s a work in progress.
  • Be more positive – during the crisis my company faced last year, my co-workers and I saw both the best and worst sides of each other. Even though things have mostly returned to normal, there is a lot of lingering negativity.  I’m hoping to help re-build a positive culture at work, and to be a stabilizing force for members of my team who are angry or frustrated.

These are the goals I’ll be working on in January, and likely throughout the year – but these goals may shift.

4. Healthier Lifestyle

As advertised, this year I’m working toward a general shift for the better – healthier eating, more exercise, and… earlier bedtimes.  I want to focus on progress and improvement more than specific goals, but here are the guidelines I’ve set for myself:

  • Eat better: avoid foods that contain processed sugar and plan healthier breakfasts
  • Exercise more: work out a way to fit exercise or physical activity into weekly schedule. Try different kinds of exercise, especially ones that can be done at home.
  • Get more sleep: go to bed before 11:00pm most nights

Hopefully I’ll get better about some of these things in 2019!

5. Make Time for Friends (and Family)

I am an introvert and tend to be a hermit – especially in the winter!  This January, my goal is to make an effort to connect with friends I haven’t seen since before the holidays. Second goal: to spend time helping my mother-in-law clean and declutter her house.

6. Watch Less TV

As in 2017, M and I celebrated observed No TV November last year and were reminded of how much we miss by spending evenings in front of the TV.  With watching TV off the menu, we spent more time playing board games together, working on projects, reading, or going out with friends.

I’m hoping to limit my TV-watching in 2019 to two nights a week.  M has set a further restriction on himself that he has to earn TV time by spending that amount of time reading.  I am… not quite that ambitious.  (At least not for January!)

And that’s it!  Six goals for the new year—and hopefully you’ll hear more about them before the year is over!

Do you have goals that you’re focusing on for the new year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

One thought on “January Project Updates: Whatever Happened to 2018?

  1. Hi! It looks like you may have abandoned this blog. But I recently just thought of you and how you are. I know little to nothing of you but you were in Singapore for a short stint and it already made me feel like I could relate to you 🤣 But in all seriousness, I just had this feeling in my heart about where you are in this journey of life. It’s a bit hard to make sense of it sometimes and I hope you’re coping well with it. This random message may not get to you or it may! It’s funny to say this, but I genuinely care that you’re doing well and am praying so for you! ~ Isabel


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