My Thoughts On: A New Year and Making Goals for the Year Ahead

Happy New Year and welcome to 2015! If you’re like me every year at this time you have the feeling of a new beginning, a fresh start. I usually get this feeling three times throughout the year: January, when the New Year has just started and everyone is making their resolutions for the upcoming year. April/May, when the weather gets warmer, the sun we haven’t seen in 5 months decides to grace us with its presence, and you find yourself in a fit of spring cleaning throwing out those jeans that you just weren’t ready to part with back in the fall, but you still haven’t worn. And finally, September. You can smell the crisp of autumn in the air, it’s all about boots, scarves and chai tea lattes, and everyone is getting back into the swing of their usual routines now that summer has come to an end.

So it being January, I sat down the other day with tea and a notebook to figure out just exactly what I want and expect from 2015. To look forward to the year ahead and to dream and wish. To make plans for myself and make some concrete goals. I think making goals and expecting something from yourself is so important. It will make you happier and give you a sense of accomplishment and more importantly it will give you the chance to learn and grow.

Before looking ahead to the future, I think it’s always a good exercise to first reflect on the past. Think back to the past year and last year’s goals. Did you accomplish everything you set out to do? If not, why and how can you go about making them a reality in 2015? Some years I am really successful at completing my goals. Other times I get off track and before I know it another year has already passed and I have yet to complete that one thing I’ve been saying I’ll do.

So here’s the thing. I am GREAT at making goals. I am GREAT at dreaming. I am GREAT at knowing what I want from life. I am, however, less great about making sure that all of these amazing dreams and goals come true. I think part of my problem is that I make so many goals and I want so much out of life that I forget all of the things I set out to accomplish in the year ahead. I never write any of them down nor do I make a step by step plan on how to accomplish these goals. Suddenly it’s 2015 and I’m reflecting on the past year and realizing that I haven’t completed nor made any progress on them. I have ended up focusing on a few of them, the more important or attainable ones and the others get swept under the rug because they just feel less important at the time. For example, last year Bryce and I decided that although we don’t own a house or property or have any children that we should do the “adult thing” and look at creating a will. Now no one wants to talk about dying or think about their loved ones dying (I know I certainly don’t) but I’m sure that being prepared for those unthinkable situations is not only smart but important. Well, last year came and went and now it is 2015 and we have still done nothing about creating an actual will… mostly because we are both thankfully alive and well and it just didn’t seem important at the time. Swept under the rug… So, this year that one will go back on the list for 2015.

The other day when realizing that we had not yet created a will I thought “how can I make sure that these goals actually happen and that they don’t just get pushed on to the next year?” After thinking about my goals from last year I realized my problem. I am a “to do list” kinda girl. I LOVE lists. I love the feeling of putting little checks beside my list once completed… and I have not yet for some reason created a list for my goals. My goals have always been in my head and close to my heart but never actually written down anywhere or at least not formally written down in one place. They used to be. I used to be all about journals and writing down my feelings and somewhere along the line I stopped. Not only are they not written down anywhere but I have not spent the time to create an actual plan to help obtain these goals. I’ve just been winging it! So, this year unlike the recent past, I’m writing it all down. It is now all in my notebook right there for me to reference, right there for me to go back and check out what I wanted out of 2015… and right there for me to know exactly when I’ve been slacking. Along with my goals this year I am also making notes with ways to go about accomplishing them. What are the steps that I need to take to be able to complete these goals? Or the “to do list” that I need to at least get closer to achieving them. And you know the best part? By making this list I will now have the satisfaction of putting tiny little check marks beside all of the things I accomplished in 2015.

Usually when looking forward to the year ahead I make many goals for myself and this year I have broken them down and placed them into these main categories:

Life

Love

Health

Travel

And of course…

Career

I have gone through each of these five aspects of my life and come up with important goals for 2015. Some categories have more goals than others and some already have a concrete plan to achieve these goals, well others I’m still working on and researching the best way to make them happen. And of course some of my goals also include Bryce and therefore some of the planning and steps need to be figured out together. I think that making goals for yourself can be a very scary and personal process so I’m not going to necessarily share all of my goals with you (I’m not that brave) but I will share some with you… it will also hold me accountable.

Well you already know that a goal in my Life category for 2015 is for Bryce and I to create a will. So if you have any suggestions on how to go about making this happen feel free to send your thoughts my way as it is a whole new thing for us.

In Health I have set a goal for myself to complete the next Insanity program. In 2014 my goal was to complete not only Insanity but Insanity: The Asylum and I’m happy to report I did it! And so this year I’ve made a goal to complete a suggested 30 day program that is a hybrid of the two together.

In Travel the real goal this year was to make sure we went somewhere on a big trip together. Last year one of our goals was to focus on saving some money and setting money aside and so we didn’t have our usual big trip together (although we still did really well and were able to visit Puerto Rico, Boston, New York, Washington, Wisconsin and L.A. between the two of us). This year I am excited to report that there are at least two big trips in the progress and one involves a wedding in Jamaica! (Thank you Julie and Warren!)

In the Career category for me I have tons of goals that I would love to accomplish this year so I won’t bore you with all of them but some fun goals I have set for myself are…

  • To read at least one play a month. I know this shouldn’t be hard, it’s only 12 plays, but you would be surprised at how little I read plays throughout the year unless it’s for a class or for research etc. So this year I have decided I am going to make sure to read at least one play a month. This idea came to me when Santa (thank you mama Hunter) gave me a gift card to Amazon specifically for purchasing plays. Maybe I will finally read The Glass Menagerie.
  • To add to my website. Last year one of my goals was to create a website for myself and now that I have one I want to make sure to continue to blog and add different things including more photos and hopefully videos.
  • And to take an improv class. I think improv is hilarious. I love it… and yet it terrifies me. I remember loving it in school and not being terrible at it but it always seems daunting for some reason. So this year a goal is to take an improv class. If you wanna join let me know!

So now that I have my goals in place I think my next step will be to set dates and map out the year to decide exactly by what date I want things done by. Hopefully this will also help me to stay on track and succeed in 2015!

If you haven’t already done so take some quite time for yourself alone and think of what you want from 2015 and make it the best most productive year yet!