I am a goal-oriented person. I think I’ve always functioned that way. I have to have my eyes on something ahead, or else I get lost. It’s part of the reason why it’s impossible for me to be bored. There’s always another goal to reach, a height I can climb to.
I am proud of the goals I reached in 2014. And even the ones I attempted but didn’t quite reach. But it’s also been a difficult year for me.
My company has had a chaotic year, and it looks to continue like this for the foreseeable future. When you work 45 hours a week at a job that is stressful, and spend about 6 hours on top of that commuting every week (if I’m lucky), you’re already starting “behind” so to speak. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t claim to be the busiest person in the world (and that’s not a badge that I’m interested in earning) and I also know that we’re all given the same 24 hours a day and it’s how we spend them that counts.
But I know for me that 2015 has to be different. I’ve had a GI issue that I’ve been struggling with for more than a year and the only things the doctors can tell me to do are things I already do, plus “manage your stress.” So that is telling me something. I manage a thyroid disease that doesn’t guarantee me the greatest sleep.
Here’s the truth. I feel like a really old cell phone battery. You know what I’m talking about here. When a phone is just about toast – when it can only stay off the charger for about an hour before you get a low battery warning. I am that “nearly toast” phone.
Thus, I’m structuring my goals a little differently this year. I still want to have some specific goals, but I have an overarching theme this year that all of my goals need to be aligned with. What’s that theme?
I need to create more margin in my life. I have to be okay with the fact that I can’t take on a lot of new projects or hobbies right now. I would love to have time in my life to make my own yogurt and bake all my bread from scratch. I’d like to take a foreign language class or develop my photography skills. But that list gets quickly out of control, especially when you have homesteading type aspirations like me. It just becomes too much. And I don’t even use Pinterest.
So most of my goals this year are extensions of things I currently do – or truly need to do to be my healthiest self. I’m setting my sights on being the healthiest, happiest Joanna I can be within the things I can control.
Finish the “sewing” room
We don’t actually have a separate room in our house for sewing, but we’ve re-purposed the guest bedroom to be a space for my sewing machine and for my favorite reading chair. It’s pretty smushed, but I have plans for it – both for organization and decorating.
Margin: This room is a calming place for me to go to focus on quiet hobbies. Making it a comfortable space encourages me to spend time in it, doing things that are relaxing.
Organize my race bibs
I have saved all of my race bibs, and I have a photo from every race that I’ve done. I want to create a simple album for both the bib and the photo, with a few stats on the race. Nothing complicated, but just archival.
Margin: The overflowing box of these items needs to be organized for it to be decluttered. This year is the year.
Read 100 books
This year I read 100 – finished my last one on New Year’s Eve. My goal for 2014 was 75, so there’s a part of me that wants to reach for 125. But I know that 100 felt pretty comfortable as far as pace for me, and I want to keep that same comfort level and not push. I might vary the genres a bit and expand my horizons, but I never have a shortage of things to read, so I’m keeping it simple.
Margin: Reading is my favorite re-charge activity. I don’t feel like myself when I’m not reading, and it satiates my cravings for more knowledge, which have just been part of my personality since I was a child. That will never go away, so incorporating intentional reading in my life makes me feel like myself. Which is essential for stress relief.
PR in the half marathon and 5K distances
2014 was the year of the marathon, but I’m going back to the beginning in 2015. The half marathon is my favorite race distance, and I want to get my fitness levels back to where they were when my GI issue wasn’t so serious. I recently started my serious training for the Pittsburgh Half (more about that next week!) and I hope to PR at that race and spend a lot of 2015 doing maintenance, casual running.
Margin: Exercise is an essential part of maintaining my overall health and about 85% of the time, it’s also a stress reliever for me. Having concrete running goals helps me maintain that habit.
Sew a t-shirt blanket for Mark
Now that I made my own, it’s time to do one for Mark, the king of t-shirts.
Margin: Sewing has become a calming activity for me, and picking only one “project” for the year is a manageable goal for me. I will likely sew more than that, but I’m not over-committing.
Incorporate one relaxation technique daily
The last time I had a really bad thyroid flare-up, I got in the habit of a calming sleep routine – chamomile tea before bed, deep breathing and meditation, etc. Once I started to feel better, that slowly fell by the wayside. I’m going to try to do at least one relaxation technique – tea, deep breathing, guided meditation, yoga, etc. every day.
Margin: These kind of behaviors activate the body’s relaxation response, which is key to stress management. I need to commit to this probably above most other things. I am going to begin with a series of daily yoga videos and will change it up as necessary.
We typically eat really clean diets, full of lots of whole foods and vegetables. But since about November, I’ve been relying more on convenience food and also slacking when it comes to my vigilance with eating only ethically and sustainably raised meats. Time to recommit.
Margin: Clean eating is as essential as exercise for me, both for my particular medical issues and just for general health. I’m passionate about it and need to remember that passion when I’m tempted to make choices that aren’t the best for me.
Blog when I can
This site is a hobby. I love writing and sharing here, but I will also not take on projects that I can’t manage simply to have something to write about. I am going to try to allow the site to naturally come together based on what we’re actually able to do, being two people with full time corporate jobs in an urban setting.
Margin: Because this blog isn’t an income source, I can’t prioritize it like it is one. I will do my best, and that will be good enough.
What are your goals for 2015? Anything that you want to do differently? Or am I the only one that spends time thinking about this stuff?