The picture shows an actual page from my journal, dated January 1, 2019. a full year ago. You may not be able to read my handwriting (no one can), so the list goes:
- Morning Person
- Write everyday (even if it’s just this journal, but strive for more).
- Utilize and plan every hour of the day so as to not waste time.
- Read every day, at least one chapter.
- Early to bed, early to rise.
- Spend less, save more.
- Exercise every day. Treadmill is there – use it.
- Dare Greatly. Be Brave. Be Honest. Be Open.
- No alcohol (“I am not a drinker”). No sugar (“I don’t eat sugar”)
- New job.
How many of my goals did I keep? More than the average person, I will say that. According to U.S. News and World Report, 80% of resolutions (goals) fail by February. This is how fitness gyms make their money. They oversell memberships in January, charging registration and application fees, and incentives for discounts if you pay all at once, then count on 80% or more of those memberships to go unused or canceled by the month’s end.
But, of course I wasn’t perfect. Let’s review:
- Morning person. The majority of weekdays I am up by 4:30, and no later than 6:30 on weekends. I love it. I can’t say it is entirely natural yet, but it is close. I don’t need as much sleep as I once thought I did. Six and a half hours seems to be my sweet spot on sleep. It is amazing how much more time I have by starting and ending my day earlier. Being a morning person made it possible for me to achieve the majority of my other goals. I journal in the morning, I get my exercise in the morning, I read in the morning.
- Write every day. While I had been journaling for a while, I pledged to do more in 2019. I started every morning with a page or two and by end of the year I was up to at least 10 handwritten pages. I wrote so much that I developed tennis elbow. I look forward to journaling every day. It has given me a clearer picture of who I am and who I want to be.
- Utilize and plan every hour of the day. Ha ha, yeah, not so much. I do plan better. I use the Full Focus Planner (no affiliation) to organize my goals and day to day activities, both personally and for work. It is a great tool for tracking progress and keeping me on task.
- Read every day. I’m a voracious reader so, in hindsight, this was probably a “gimmie goal.” I read before bed. I read after I journal. I read at lunch. I read whenever there is nothing else to do.
- Early to bed, early to rise. I would not have been able to keep up the 4:30 a.m. wake ups had I not resolved to go to bed earlier. Previously a night owl, evenings were my most active time. Before, I would read into the wee hours and wake up at the last possible minute in order to be at work on time(ish). But now, I’m usually in bed by 8:30. I haven’t watched television in years, so there is no show to stay up for. It was hard at first, laying there awake waiting for sleep, but now I just launch my Simple Habits (no affiliation) mediation app on my phone and within minutes ZZZZZZZ.
- Spend less. Save more. Maybe…. but how much is less? How much is more? I didn’t give this goal the best advantage as it is not quantifiable. I have spent smarter this year. Having recently reconnected with favorite style (vintage menswear), I have saved in clothing purchases. My goal is to dress myself as inexpensively as possible without looking homeless. I refinanced my car to reduce the interest rate. I moved my credit card balance to a zero interest card, so I could pay it off more quickly and have resolved not to use it going forward. Any bonuses or incentives I get at work are put toward debt. The expenditures I have made have been more meaningful; my college education for example. I have spent far less on eating out or mediocre entertainment. Christmas presents were replaced with a post Christmas trip instead of things.
- Exercise everyday. Here, I’m at 95%. I rarely miss my morning sunrise walk unless the weather makes it dangerous. I have a great accountability partner, Myrna the Mutt, who “dogs” me every morning to put my shoes on. Truthfully, this goal was intended to include weight training, which I need improvement on if I am to avoid the dowagers hump. It is scheduled for 2020, so it gets done.
- Dare greatly. Be brave. Be honest. Be open. Yep, I nailed this one. I dared to accept a new position for which I had no experience. I bravely stepped into the position, taking on a leadership role for women’s empowerment, sitting in with C levels, and openly and honestly sharing my opinion. I quit doing a thing I had been doing for a loved one that I hated. It was hard to do, but I did it. I have let some relationships go because they no longer served either of us. I re-enrolled in college in pursuit of a degree, which scared me to death.
- No alcohol. No sugar. This one took several tries before I got it right. I changed it up. Maybe I just only drink on weekends. Maybe I only eat sugar and drink on special occasions. Eventually, I realized it was drink or don’t drink. I could not do it half way. So, in October I just quit. No looking back. The sugar thing, meh, I good for days, then someone offers me a brownie. I’ll do better this year. I will.
- New job. The best thing about my 2019 was this new job. I no longer dread Mondays. In fact, I took off December 24-January 2, and I simply cannot wait to get back to work. I almost went in December 30 and 31 just because I missed it so much.
The year 2019 was a good one for me. So much personal growth, which only showed me how much more I have to do. I’m struck by how each goal affected each other goal. New job gave me more income, so I could save more. Being a morning person gave me time for sunrise walks, my sunrise walks inspired me to write more. Not drinking resulted in less spending.
I have not completed my goal list for 2020. I know it will be more specific and grander. It will be less realistic, because being realistic is what I did most of my adult life. I’m going to set my sights on the unrealistic this year. I’m going to let my fear lead me. If it scares me, I’m doing it.
Happy New Year. Onward and upward!!!