This post is a little behind the times, but with good reason. The end of 2017 was incredibly hectic for us between having a baby and my two major surgeries just before Christmas. Not to mention the typical holiday season hoopla.
Despite the year end rush to the finish line, 2017 was a fantastic year for our family. We spent 6 weeks in Florida. We welcomed Baby G in October. My husband’s business was up again and my own investments gained 35% annually. We continued to pay down debt, knocking out my Home Equity loan and one student loan, leaving $23,000 to go.
The other reason for the delay was that I frankly did not know where to start. Every time I thought about setting goals, and my overall direction, I was so overwhelmed because I want to do so much more than is realistically possible.
I am so energized to accomplish things. Despite the joys of welcoming a new baby, 2017 was really hard for me to focus. My days were consumed by my young children and the morning sickness and the general pregnancy fatigue.
Now that all of that is behind me, I am chomping at the bit. At 10 weeks postpartum, I feel great and am fully recovered from my labor and delivery. I’m 3 weeks post op from from my hernia and tubal ligation surgeries and am still recovering from those.
So I gave myself some leeway and took a couple extra weeks to clear out the cobwebs and set some new goals. Instead of high level resolutions, I decided to set some new habits I’d like to incorporate into several key areas of my life. But before I get to those, let’s take a look at how I did on my 2017 resolutions.
A 2017 Review
My two resolutions for 2017 were:
- Transition to a career in writing (specifically to publish my children’s book)
- Find ways to completely destress
If I had to grade myself on accomplishing my goals, I’d have to give myself a ‘B’ for 2017. Looking back, though, I see several problems with the goals themselves. The first goal was not specific, and not realistic because I had not fully vetted the whole writing career thing. For example, during the first quarter of 2017, I worked for a firm writing copy for Amazon product pages. It was a great experience because I discovered that that is not the type of writing I want to do. My second goal was even more unspecific, with no concrete ways to reduce my stress. Taking that into consideration, here’s how I did with my goals:
I did not do my specific goal of publishing my children’s book. Um, I didn’t even write my children’s book. Actually, I didn’t even lay out the full story of my children’s book. But here is what I did do:
- I was published in several different outlets, here are some of my favorites:
- I completed a personal essay writing course.
- I participated in a private writing group all year, with monthly lectures and one on one guidance.
- I spent 3 months doing copywriting for Amazon web pages.
I could tell that I made major improvments in this area because despite having a newborn and the general holiday craziness, I was still able to keep my zen. Here are the things I did that helped me contribute to my overall level of calm and clarity:
- I started a journal.
- I took time off, away from the kids, and stopped expecting myself to be everything – for this I did things like get a massage, take myself to lunch, etc. Even after Baby G was born, I packed him up and took him along.
- I read much more which is such a wonderful escape for me (which took a lot of effort because my husband doesn’t read or really understand my love of reading) – some of the books I read were: Drop the Ball, On Writing, Unshakeable, Unbound, Bird by Bird, Imperfect Birds, The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, The Vanishing Year, Into the Water, and The Girl on the Train. And I started a bunch more.
One thing I noticed was that I was a lot less stressed simply because I was following some of my writing aspirations. It helped me immensely to get over the doldrums of being a stay at home mom and eased some of my drive to succeed because I was working on something and not feeling like I was just floundering.
I will definitely be keeping this in mind going forward.
Goals for 2018
My goals for 2018 are much more specific than last year, much more geared towards making changes at the ground level. With these goals, I am aiming to improve my closeness with my family, get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (last 7 lbs to go), practice writing as a craft, get my debt paid down (if not off completely), and dig out of my disorganized mess!
Here are the details by specific area:
- One on one dates – spend one on one time with each child at least once per month
- Create Sunday breakfast tradition
- Sign up for yoga 1 day per week
- No dessert unless out for dinner
- Do the Artist’s Way
- Complete 1 writing project this year (haven’t decided which one)
- Publish at least 2 pieces per month
- Pay $10,000 towards student loan in addition to monthly payments
Organization – (my least favorite area but where I need so much improvement)
- Organize digital photos
- Clear out closet & refresh wardrobe
These goals seemed simple and kind of small to me as I wrote them down, but even small changes are hard to accomplish because my life is so busy right now. Plus, I really am not keen on overloading myself with too much this year because I want to spend the time really enjoying Baby G and the last 8 months I have with my daughter before kindergarten.
This year I turn 38, and I am loosely giving myself 2018 and 2019 to spend more time with the kiddos and figure out my next steps. Will that be writing? More schooling? Starting a business? Going back to work? Not sure yet, but I am going to continue to work through this process, keeping in mind what will be the best for my family and my sanity.
Are you working on a Sanity Plan for the New Year? What are your biggest goals for this year?