I have never really been one to set a New Year Resolution for myself. I mean, yeah, I typically will go with the generic “Oh, I am going to start working out and get really fit!” But then January turns in to February which turns in to March, then April, then May and guess what? I still haven’t done much, if anything, in the realm of eating healthier or exercising. Despite my previous motivations (or lack thereof), I do intend to start working out and eating better this year. I just turned 30 and I became sober, so I feel like now is a great time to start working on being healthier. If I was able to give up alcohol, it should be easy to start hitting the gym a bit, right?
Aside from that, I do have other goals that I hope to accomplish in 2020. I am going to call them goals rather than resolutions because it seems like resolutions get dropped way faster. I think most of the time people (including myself) treat their resolutions like a sprint when it should be more like a marathon. We have that “I want it all and I want it NOW” mentality and that just tends to hurt us more than help us. We have all heard the saying “slow and steady wins the race.” This applies to most resolutions and goals, as well! Small changes are easier to accomplish because they aren’t as intimidating as remodeling your entire life overnight. I also believe that a big issue with resolutions is that we know what we want but not WHY we want it. You want to get fit, lose weight, be healthier, stop smoking, stop drinking… but WHY is that goal important to you? The more specific you can make your goal the better because it causes it to be more vivid in your mind. This then leads to you being more encouraged and more likely to succeed. Also, framing your goal more positively can help. For example: instead of saying “don’t eat junk food,” we should be wording this more positively, like “eat vegetables and fruit as a healthy snack.”
Other ways to be successful with resolutions/goal setting:
Set realistic goals for yourself; ones that CAN be accomplished. It is much better to succeed at a smaller, manageable resolution than to fail at a larger, unrealistic one.
Be honest with yourself; don’t waste time setting goals just because you think you should. If it isn’t something you sincerely want to achieve, forget about it. Otherwise, you are just setting yourself up for failure.
Believe in yourself! Congratulate yourself when you make progress. There is a grey area when it comes to tackling goals. Most people view everything in black and white; either you achieved your goal, or you have failed. If you have gotten half-way, then you have made progress and should feel good about that!
Kill yourself with kindness. We always support our friends by offering kindness, praise, and positivity, but we don’t tend to speak to ourselves that way. Commit to offering that same compassion to yourself!
Recruit someone else to join you. If you tend to have better success when you have outside support, then have someone join you on your journey. This creates accountability and inspiration. Just make sure your buddy is a positive force in your life and not a negative one.
With all of that in mind, I plan on trying to better myself in a few ways this coming year. Below is my list of the goals I hope to accomplish in 2020.
My 2020 Goals:
Work out and eat better.
I already mentioned it, so I will just go ahead and start off with this one. To be more successful than in the past with this one, I plan to go slowly and realize that progress doesn’t happen overnight. It’s too hard for me to change all of my habits with the snap of a finger, so I plan on setting a small goal and then once I complete that, I will set another one, and then another, until I am where I want to be. Then my goal will be to maintain!
I have already started this one, but plan on continuing through 2020. I have recently been into psychological thriller/horror books and have read 3 over the past month and have started a 4th (House of Leaves by MZD, which is pretty crazy and once I am finished I will most likely write a review for it). I have been seeing posts on Reddit from others around the world who are setting goals to read a certain number of books in a year. Some people have been ambitious enough to state that they want to read 100 books in 2020! As cool as that would be, I know that isn’t a realistic goal for me. I will commit to reading AT LEAST 20 books in 2020. This will give me around 2 and a half weeks per book. Realistically, I should be able to complete more than 20 in a year, but by setting a smaller goal, I should be able to accomplish it. And reading 20 in a year is much more than I have read in that period of time since I was in middle school!
Be more grateful and practice mindfulness.
Some studies show that gratefulness can improve your happiness by 25%! It can also help improve your sleep, romantic relationships, and friendships. Here is a link to some gratitude exercises that I plan to try regularly.
Mindfulness, according to dictionary.com, is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It refers to a state that is achieved by focusing on one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations (used as a therapeutic technique). It has been proven that by practicing mindfulness, one can improve well-being, physical health, and mental health. Melissa Heisler states in an article on HuffPost “When we are not mindful, we speak without thinking. We allow our emotions to get out of control. We are worrying about the future or regretting the past. We feel the victim of circumstances, events, and others. Without mindfulness, we are a two-year-old child. We cry when our needs are not met. We don’t understand cause and effect. We expect others to take care of us. We can’t see past obstacles. We are powerless and overly emotional. When you are mindful each action, word, and thought are conscious. Being mindful means taking responsibility for what we are thinking, saying, and doing – and if it is not the experience we want, we change it.” Here are some mindfulness techniques that I am going to incorporate into my life.
Write and create more.
I started this blog because I have wanted to for such a long time. I finally did it and have committed myself to writing at least once or twice a month. I figured that I would probably start out slow but eventually, I want to post more regularly. I don’t want to set myself up for failure by pushing myself too hard, so I plan on leaving this goal slightly vague. I just plan to write MORE. Writing for me is very therapeutic. I love creative writing. Poetry, short stories, descriptive narratives, songs… I definitely plan on working on some more creative writing this year! I also love other forms of art, as well. I want to start making more crafts, painting, doing DIY projects, and hopefully even learn how to build things (with Chad’s help most likely). I also want to start using my video camera to take and create more videos!
Yes, I am referring to money. This one is a tough one for me. I used to be a saver, back in the day. Not so much anymore. The thing is, I LOVE to travel. And the only way I can travel is if I have some money saved up. I haven’t quite worked out what kind of plan I want to use to tackle this goal, but I know that by not consuming alcohol, I should easily be able to save more money than I used to. So that’s a good start! I am still doing some research on good plans to save money because I want to set the goal of going to Iceland for 2021, so if you have any good ideas that have worked for you or someone you know, please let me know!
Continue to stay sober.
Our goals don’t have to be something completely new! Becoming sober has been a newer decision for me (two months down) but struggling with addiction is a lifelong hurdle to jump. I vow to stay clean for all of 2020. This is a realistic goal for me because I have already seen the positive effects that just two months of being sober has had on my mental health, productivity levels, and personal relationships. I didn’t even mention how awesome my internal organs are probably feeling! I have decided that I would rather go through life sober and knowing that I am an alcoholic than in a drunken stupor, denying that I have a problem. One day at a time.
What kinds of resolutions or goals do you have for 2020? These can be goals that you plan to accomplish sometime during the year or by the end of the year, or they can be things you just plan on starting on in the upcoming year. Comment below and let me know what you plan on working on! Also, if you have a plan to accomplish these intentions, talk about that, too!