Happy New Year!
Last year, I wrote a post on my 8 Achievable Goals for the New Year as an experiment. I had not, historically, lived up to my resolutions, either because they were too daunting or somewhat inane. But I really put some thought into it last January - and made sure to frame them as "achievable" - which resulted in fulfilling almost all of them, some to a higher standard than I anticipated.
Before I launch into this year's goals, I'll briefly go over last year's objectives:
Wear one weird thing everyday.
This was part of a year-long effort to "get back" my personal style after feeling overwhelmed by sponsored products and social media "inspiration." I am so happy to say that it worked, and I feel a lot more comfortable in my clothes.
Throw more "crappy dinner parties."
This didn't happen really, but I did spend less time worrying about how clean my house was before letting people stop by, so that's something.
I didn't dance more, but I sang A LOT more.
Streamline my work schedule.
I totally failed on this one. Adding it in again this year.
Read 10+ books
Maintain a part time income through blog and freelance work.
Yes! I doubled my income over last year actually.
Learn the power of saying no to things that aren't right for me.
I learned this the hard way, saying yes to some things that epically backfired. So I think I achieved this goal?
Write something and get it published.
I wrote my e-book in a frenzy of inspiration earlier this year. I'm really proud of it and even met my financial goal for sales this year.
This year, I'm building on what I learned in 2018, but also setting some more mindful goals that help me pivot toward the life I really want to build for myself.
My 7 Achievable Goals for 2019
1 | Stay off Instagram!
I wrote a post about quitting Instagram nearly a year ago, but it took a complete breakdown to get me to do it. I wasted countless hours, money (buying into giveaways), and energy trying to maintain a platform that I never really enjoyed. This year, I want to be firm with myself about staying away from the Instagram rat race even if that means reduced sponsorship opportunities on my blog (which it most certainly will).
2 | Go on two walks a month.
An achievable goal, for sure, walking always clears my head and makes me appreciate my body.
3 | Do morning prayer every morning.
The Episcopal church follows the liturgical calendar, which means it has set Bible readings and prayers for each day. As a part of my discernment for ministry in the church, I am encouraged to maintain a daily mindfulness and prayer life. I am determined to get in the habit this year.
My sister - this is from our New York trip in June
4 | Read 5+ books on social justice, civil rights, and/or lived theology.
I feel a need to have a more robust understanding of theological and social justice frameworks. I'm planning on reading works by Walter Brueggemann, Martin Luther King Jr., Stanley Hauerwas, and Saul Alinsky, but would appreciate any suggestions, particularly books and essays written by people of color past and present who ground their work in religious practice.
5 | Boost my affiliate/passive income and make ~$500 a month on the blog.
I am a little burnt out on the blogging rat race, but think that I am well situated to maintain high affiliate sales that will help me boost my savings account. I'm not going to try to make more money than last year because that really burned me out. But I want to continue to be strategic about monetization in a way that feels authentic and manageable.
6 | Value my friendships with women.
Both IRL and online, I rely on the accountability and support of strong, intelligent women. This year, I want to be more intentional about cultivating my relationships with them, scheduling more phone calls, coffee dates, and excursions. They mean so much to me!
7 | Prioritize my mental health.
I grew up in a household where mental illness and therapy were stigmatized. I am also very stubborn when it comes to admitting I need help, so I have gone several years and endured a number of obvious mental health breaks without seeking professional help. I had been telling myself my current issues all stemmed from August 12th, 2017 in Charlottesville, but over the last few weeks of winter break I've been tracing symptoms back several years and linking them to a series of relational traumas that occurred over the last fifteen years. Even typing this out makes me nervous, because I don't want to be beholden to this goal. But I think I need to seek out regular treatment. It's time to stop feeling ashamed that I'm "weak."
Photos taken by me in 2018
Charity Update: In 2018, I donated a combined $420 to the ACLU and the Xerces Society for Pollinator Conservation