The Long Term Goal Conversation

Now that we’ve all gotten those resolutions for the year off our chest and January is nearly gone, let’s talk about what comes next.

Like so many people out there, I am complicated. My hobbies are multi-faceted, and it can be a real challenge to prioritize accomplishments. I want to get so much out of this single life I have, how can I make my dreams into more of a reality?

Most of us will undoubtedly lose that spark of enthusiasm that jetted us off into 2019. The mantras containing “new year, new you,” will be forgotten for another 348 days. So how do we keep ourselves moving towards our goals? I’m sure there are many ways to motivate yourself. And everyone will find that their ways of motivating themselves is different. But for me, I find that keeping my long term goals alive, involves my journals.

Shocked? I know right? I have talked about my journal experience more in 2019 than I have since I began my journey with it two years ago. But I swear, writing things down really helps me visualize where I am going/what I need to do in order to get to a specific endpoint. 

And yes, you read that correctly. I have more than one journal that I use for achieving my goals. A little crazy? Maybe. But I promise you it will make sense once I explain it a bit more to you.

So in order to prepare my journals for 2019, I did an overall goals page. I split up everything I wanted to achieve into six major categories. Here they are below:

  1. Creative Goals (includes craft projects also)
  2. Health & Fitness Goals
  3. Financial Goals
  4. Marriage Goals
  5. Spiritual Goals
  6. Language Learning Goals

I won’t share all the information or details on two of the six goal areas since they contain private information, but I will at least give you the basics and my tips for tracking my progress for the rest (once I figure it all out). It is a LONG post, so I placed them beneath the cut for your convenience.  

Here are the goals I have set out for myself, and the methods of tracking I am employing in my bullet journal so far (again, I still need to figure out how to track some of these, so it’s a work in progress).

Creative

  •  Work through issues in my novel. I definitely need to participate in NaNo’s revision process in February.
    • How to achieve this? Replace my daily reading time with writing time for the month of February. This is a totally new idea that occurred to me. I’m not sure if it will work, but I am in process of reading like a fiend throughout January to take some stress off of me to focus on whether or not this novel is worth exploring further.
  • Finish Grandma’s blanket. My grandmother used to be an avid craft lady. She created some of the most beautiful homemade items ever. And she did try to teach me some of these crafts. I never fully appreciated this until she got sick with dementia. I got this idea probably about a year ago to crochet her an afghan. And I have since taught myself to crochet, ordered the appropriate supplies, and begun the process. It was originally intended to be completed for Christmas 2018, but other shit got in the way. I am now shooting for May 2019 (her birthday), but this takes a long time so I don’t know whether that’s realistic or not. We will see what happens there. 
    • How will I achieve this? Honestly? Still trying to figure this one out. I think one approach might be to limit the gaming I do with my husband to a couple of night’s a week, and to work on it while we watch TV. We will see if this works.
  • Make Christmas cards again. I really enjoyed doing this last year (even if it is a dying tradition). So I think I will work on getting supplies and coming up with ideas around the end of October when the Christmas décor comes out in stores. 
    • How will I achieve this? Things to worry about later in the year.
  • Journal for a whole year. I think this is pretty self explanatory.
    • How will I achieve this? Getting in the right mindset, doing something small each day will amount to this happening daily. So far, I have successfully carved a few minutes for this at the beginning and end of each day. I sometimes even find time during my lunch breaks or after work before my husband gets home. Each journal update doesn’t have to be a spread that took you five hours. It could be something as simple as updating a tracker or crossing off a day on a monthly spread. Below is my habit tracker that is one of the things I work on in my journal every day. You can also see that I track several of my other goals on there to make sure I am on track with getting them done. 🙂jan habits
  • Reading goals.
    • How will I achieve this? I do have a specific tracker in my journal for this (see photo below). It also has my goals, hastily written out on the right hand side there. I know you can’t really read them, but for further explanation on what they are, see this post for more details.reading-log.jpg

Health & Wellness

  • Lose 30 lbs (13.6 kg).
    • How will I achieve this? In addition to eating healthy and journaling more positively, I have a couple of trackers to help me visualize my progress.
      • Weight Loss tracker with a reward system. For each milestone I reach, I will reward myself with something that is healthy and just for me and me alone. 🙂
      • Type of Workout tracker; honestly this is colorful and simple to update. It also has a quote that makes me smile and feel happy. Sometimes journaling can be “selfish.” Especially if that’s all it takes to make yourself feel good.
      • Mini Workout tracker for when I don’t feel like going to the gym. Sometimes I don’t feel like leaving my house. But I have so much built up energy that I spiral into stress/anxiety mode. So this is to help alleviate that, and get me more mentally into a positive space. It is also literally a six minute work out! So for those of you who have kids and/or juggle multiple schedules, but don’t have time to go to a gym, this would work so well for you!weight loss workout trackermini workout
  • Eat healthier.
    • How will I achieve this?
      • The first thing I did to help with this was to cut back on my alcohol intake. I only allow myself to drink two days a week, and for anyone who knows me or the family environment I grew up in, this is a big deal to me. I’m doing OK with this, and can monitor it inside of my monthly habit tracker.
      • I also included an “eat in,” line in my habit tracker. Before, I was counting myself and my husband on this line, but one thing I learned is that I cannot force him to change his behavior. So it is reserved for me. If I do not spend additional money on eating out for lunch, then I get to color in a line on my habit tracker. So far it’s working out pretty good 🙂
      • Connect with more people who have this goal on Insta and share recipes with them. I have a couple of followers who share amazing recipes on their Instagrams that are also healthy. Having a group of people who share the same goals as you, definitely makes it easier. It’s also inspiring to see new recipes that I would not have even thought of. 🙂
  • Run AT LEAST 1 mile (1.6 km) with no pauses for walking or mini breaks.
    • How will I achieve this?
      • I have a line on my habit tracker for this as well. I also made a personal vow that I would go to the gym 3 times a week in January (not documented officially) and to slowly increase that amount by one day as the year goes on.
      • I also rotate my workouts so I don’t get bored with just straight up running. Sometimes I do the steps, the bike, the elliptical, etc.
      •  When the weather breaks, head to the outdoor track in my neighborhood. Yes! Running out versus running on a treadmill, much harder (but fulfilling whenever you reach your goals :)).
  • Do 1 mini-marathon/running event. Last year I virtually ran 10k (6.4 miles) with hardly any training. So imagine what I could achieve if I actually trained!
    • How will I achieve this?
      • I think once I get into a groove with my workouts and lose some weight, I will feel confident enough to sign up for one of these.
      • Also, doing one with my co-worker might be helpful as well.
  • Make doctor’s appointments and ACTUALLY GO!
    • How will I achieve this? Start out with an easy one. I think my fear of doing this, has been because I know I am overweight and I also know I haven’t been to a doctor in at least 10 years. I fear the judgment so much that I keep putting it off. I think that if I start with my eye doctor (whom I have continuously gone to), and then go to my lady doctor, and then find a totally brand new dentist, I will be successful with doing this. Besides, if I fulfill another one of my “personal,” goals this year, it won’t just be about myself anymore.

Spiritual

  • Join a church and actually go!
    • How will I achieve this? I really just need to carve out the time to go to their office and complete some paperwork. They don’t make it easy though, with their limited hours. I really like the church close to my home, and I would love to become a bit more active in it.
  • Pray daily.
    • How will I achieve this? I have started most of my days with a little prayer, and then have tried to find a few moments of quiet time throughout each day to just sit and send good thoughts and intentions His way. It hasn’t worked daily, but I am noticing that I am making it more of a priority on my habit tracker list.

Language Learning

  • Learn more conversational Dutch. I think a lot of you know I have a couple of Dutch speaking friends (well technically Flemish, but ya know…details ;)), and I am actually going to Belgium in May. Not that I will be fluent or be able to hold a full conversation, but I wanted to gain more working knowledge of the language. 
    • How will I achieve this? Well, this is where journal #2 comes in. I have a couple of different components to my language learning journal, so let me take the time to share and explain them to you.
      • 365 days [d: Driehonderdvijfenzestig Dagen] of Dutch words [d: woorden]. Sounds like a mouthful right? Keyboard smashing happens quite a bit (or so I’ve noticed) in this language and it’s kind of awesome; even if your brain is like WHAAAAT HOW DO I EVEN BEGIN SAYING THIS WORD? But anyway, on top of the flaps I have the Dutch word and beneath them is the English. And I have a lovely friend teaching me a word a day. 🙂365 dutch words
      • Duolingo and Babbel trackers. Every time I get a crown for each lesson area, I get to color it in! And same with the lessons I have chosen to master on Babbel! I find that this also enables me to achieve my goal of daily journaling as well. 🙂 Both of Duolingo & Babbel are great language learning resources, and I plan on doing some reviews of them both in the near future, so stay tuned for that!
      • And then on the next page I have my hours of Samson en Gert tracker. A beloved children’s show that I was told to watch in order to accustom myself with hearing the language. I think I found around 200 episodes on Youtube, so yay for free learning! S&G also have A TON of songs on Youtube, so every now and again I listen to it on my drives to and from work. I’m not tracking the music yet, just the series watching, but things to think about for the future. 🙂language trackers
        • I also have grammar lessons pages between things here. This is to help me with certain components to the language that I struggle with. I didn’t show those off because they are just boring old notes. But definitely useful to have!
  • Get back into learning French. J’ai étudié français pendant cinq ans, mais, je ne me souviens pas beaucoup. Loosely translated (or at least I hope haha): “I studied French for five years, but I do not remember a lot.” I would like to change that. Although, I am finding switching between Dutch and French is more challenging than I expected. 😉
    • How will I achieve this? I have a few minimalist looking trackers halfway through journal #2 to help track my progress with French. I think in February I am going to commit to alternating my Duolingo lessons between Dutch and French on a day to day basis. This will help keep the minimal knowledge of French I have alive in that part of my brain. I also think I should also dedicate a couple more months this year to primarily focus my language learning on French. This is one of the things that hasn’t been decided yet.french tracker
  • Familiarize myself with Spanish. I took Spanish for two years, and switched to French because I had the worst teacher ever. I would like to learn it again. But alas, I don’t know if I will get to it this year. And I am totally ok with that. I just wanted to include it here, so I don’t lose sight of the fact that it is another language I would like to learn.  

 

So that is everything folks! If you actually read through this entire thing, I’m proud of you. I know it’s longwinded, but if I can help one person visualize their goals and take action, then I think it was definitely worth it!

How do you keep your New Year’s resolutions going? Any other techniques outside of journaling? I’d love to hear about it!

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