In 2018, I didn’t make any set goals. We had just turned our lives upside down, moving halfway around the world. Everything was different and new, and rather than making some ambitious plans to change my life even further, my main, unsaid goal was pretty much to just settle into our new lives. I wanted to make friends, to grow in my career, and to make this place a home. That seemed daunting enough, and yet I accomplished this unspoken goal, just as I achieved my 2017 goals the year before. Seeing as one of the things I offer as a coach is help with goals, I figured I should probably show you how I apply this to my own life, by sharing my own 2019 goals.
But it’s not enough to just have dreams or ideas. They have to be translated into action steps, as well as daily, weekly and monthly activities. The goals need to be clear and easily quantified, and then the steps need to be actionable, or else it all becomes too overwhelming, vague and impossible. So this is how I hope to change my life in 2019.
The 2019 Goals or “New Years Resolutions”
I have mentioned before that I hate the idea of New Years Resolutions. I don’t need for the calendar to swap over to change my life. I can make healthy decisions any time of year, big changes in February, July or October. But, just as it’s helpful to always workout on a Monday to set yourself up for a good routine for the week, I find it helpful to at least use the New Year as an opportunity to assess the year that was and look ahead to the goals for the upcoming year.
It’s also key to think about the life I want to have before imagining goals. There’s no point having a goal of getting a new car if that’s not something I really want or need in the life I’m trying to create. I know I want to continue working from home – I like the freedom and flexibility I have. I will continue to do the freelance writing, but I’d also like on elements that are more fulfilling. I want to connect with people. I want to make time for myself. And I want to be healthier and less stressed.
As a result, these are some of the things I brainstormed.
Things I want to have: Savings, building towards 3 months expenses; Nintendo Switch; memberships with massage, waxing and other beauty programs
Things I want to do: Visit Europe, specifically see our friends, meet up with Dean’s family at the Edinburgh festival; go for a holiday in Huntington Beach, perhaps as a way to get Dean’s visa for the Europe trip; try out the whole “family hike” idea.
Things I want to be: Healthier, losing weight or inches; Less stressed; Successful coach, blogger and YouTuber.
So, that’s a LOT. It’s ridiculous to try for all of those at once, which is why I’ve prioritized.
Realistically, we could buy the Nintendo Switch whenever we want. It’s not really a goal, it’s just something we don’t have, we aren’t sure if we really want or need, and yet I keep coming back to. I should probably just buy it for the family as a group Christmas present. But anyway, the only ‘have’ goal that I think is worthwhile is the savings one. Of course, that probably conflicts with the travel one, but might as well work on those together.
So my main one is really the Europe trip. It is so inspiring for me to imagine seeing some of our amazing friends again. I haven’t seen our European friends from university in years, but when we Skype or chat, it feels like no time has passed. So, of course, I want to see them in person, see where they live now, and generally just hang out. I love the idea of doing a trip to the Edinburgh festival because I know Harley would absolutely love it. Plus, I’d get to spend plenty of quality time with my amazing friend Sadaf, and see her hilarious husband Chris perform at the festival itself. Also, Dean’s parents have said that they would love to meet up with us in Europe next year. So it all feels like the right thing to do… it’s just ridiculously expensive. Time to start some serious savings!
Also, Dean will need a visa to travel to Europe/The UK, which means a trip to LA for the consulate, so why not turn that into a fun weekend away in Huntington Beach, right?
I have never been one to go on hikes. But they look amazing here. I mean, people rave about the hiking in Arizona. I also think it’s a good, healthy habit to create for kids as a nice chance to get outdoors, stay physically fit, exercise as a family, and all those great things. One of our new friends in the area loves hiking, so it feels doable to at least ask her if we could organize something together. It’s not a top priority goal, but I think it’s something worth trying.
I keep talking about health and weight. But I know the scale is a lying bitch. No, seriously! With Dean’s mom visiting for three weeks, plus all the Thanksgiving, birthday and other silly season stuff, I didn’t just fall off the wagon, I ate it. I stuck with my exercise routine, and I don’t think I went super overboard all the time, but definitely felt like I’d messed up, and the scale was agreeing with me. But Carla had insisted I did measurements with this challenge, and I had actually lost an inch around my waist. So, I’m trying not to focus on the scale as a goal or measurement tool. I’m not quite sure what’s realistic to hope for, but I’d like to continue to feel healthier and get trimmer in 2019. Lose another inch or two off my waist, continue to feel able to run on the elliptical without dying. Those seem like worthwhile goals.
I also want to address the issue of stress and mental health this year. I think I fell into some difficult routines this year, never feeling like I have enough time to get everything done. And that’s true! I was super busy with work, taking care of Harley, getting settled into our new home, making friends… the list goes on and on. But I also think I was busy spinning my wheels a lot more than I needed to. I was often anxious or stressed for no reason. Which is why I’ve decided that I need to focus on this as a goal, particularly by returning to meditation. The health benefits of meditating are massive – from lower stress levels and blood pressure to improved mood, more focus at work, and higher creativity. Sign me up!
Then the harder to quantify stuff. I want to be a successful YouTuber, blogger, and coach. What does that even mean? Well, I’d like to get steady coaching clients each month, or even consult for organizations or businesses. I’d like to grow this blog here in the US, as well as retain my links with South Africa. And I’d like to get more subscribers on YouTube and even have authors send me books to read on my channel. To be clear, I’m not expecting this to replace my freelance writing. I’m not expecting to make loads of money from these pursuits. These are the things I do as creative outlets, to feed my soul and help me feel fulfilled while I do the other work to pay the bills.
I know this is a lot. I know that it’s hard to do, but I also know that a big part of it comes from being consistent, which is what I really need to work towards.
Action Steps to Achieve my 2019 Goals
One of the first things I need to do is something I’ve been starting with the past couple weeks. I need to start daily meditation. Right now, I’ve been setting aside 5 minutes a day to meditate. It’s not a lot. The goal is to build that up to 20 minutes a day, but for now I’m happy with being able to spend 5 minutes a day clearing my head.
Open a savings account. I need to do this if there’s any hope of building up a savings cushion, whether we use it for travel or in the event of emergencies. Making regular deposits into it can help it grow, and keep us from spending that cash on random crap.
Plan the holiday and determine the necessary budget. I need to look at the different airlines and routes. Once I know the plan, then I can figure out just how much we need to save, divide that by the number of months and put the budget in place.
Schedule an action plan on the blog, YouTube and coaching side of things. I know that I publish new YouTube videos every Wednesday and Sunday. So no matter what else is going on, I make sure to record and upload on time. As a result, I have started to see growth in my YouTube channel, even if it is slow. I need to do the same with my blog, setting myself firm deadlines for blog posts so that I know when posts need to be live, no matter what. As for the coaching, I think I will also need to make firm rules for myself, setting aside time to share blog posts that can help people on the topics I cover in my coaching or other ways to reach out to those who could use the extra help.
Goals to Achieve in the first 6 months of 2019
- Lower stress through meditation
- Holiday in Huntington Beach (or at least have it booked and paid for)
- Have a savings account with $3k or more (barring any unforeseen expenses, payments for travel, etc)
Goals to Achieve in 12 months
- Get healthier – lose the weight or inches
- Build the coaching, blog, and YouTube
Daily activities to progress towards goals
- Meditation (starting at 5 minutes, up to 20 minutes per day)
- Drink more water (2-3 refills in my big cup)
- Work on 1 of the 3 channels creative and fulfilling pursuits (blog, coaching, YouTube)
Weekly activities to progress towards goals
- 2x YouTube videos (plus promo)
- 2x blogs (1x coaching topic related)
- Meal plan (good for budget and health stuff)
Monthly activities to progress towards goals
- Assess budget and deposit money into the savings account
- Check stats on the blog, YouTube, etc
- Progress pictures and measurements
It can sound a bit daunting at first, but when it’s broken down into action steps, it feels a lot more doable. Of course, managing all this while also working the job I need to pay the bills, plus taking care of Harley, hanging out with Dean, spending time with friends, and making time for my own downtime, it can be difficult. But these all feel like goals that I can manage.
What are you striving for in 2019? Do you have goals for the coming year or general ideas of things you want? What do you think of these plans that I’ve made for myself? Am I being overly ambitious, or do you think it’s doable?