Like I’m sure, many of you, I fall into the camp of, if you want to get started on a goal or a new behavior, don’t wait for the arbitrary date of January 1 – just start! But since the new year obviously feels like something of a fresh beginning, I recently got to thinking about some goals that I’d like to keep in mind and good habits that I’d like to incorporate in the coming year. Here are some more details on my 2016 goals…
Goal 1: Work out at least three times per week (preferably more).
I joined the gym a few months ago, finally getting motivated after reading this book. I’ve been pretty good about going once I get into a routine, but then when something throws me off (our trip to Montauk, Christmas), I have a really hard time getting back. Well, the time has come to get back! I’ve been taking classes, which I enjoy because they incorporate strength training with cardio (plus you don’t have to come up with a routine on your own, just follow along). When I can’t do a class because of timing, I just walk/jog on the treadmill, which is really boring – but listening to an audiobook helps! I hope to work out more than 3 times per week, but my goal is really just to stay consistent and avoid long breaks.
Goal #2: Read more.
Even though I canceled my cable a long time ago, I still manage to waste hours of time after work clicking around on the Internet or watching old seasons of Project Runway on my laptop. That needs to stop! It’s so hard when I get out of work because I’m pretty exhausted and just want to veg out, but it’s such an egregious waste of time that I can no longer abide it.
I get out of work at 7:30PM and my goal is that after eating dinner and dealing with whatever I need to in terms of answering emails, finishing up blog posts, posting to social media, etc, I shut the computer down, get in bed, and read. This will stop me from entering that state where you’re literally just on the computer or watching TV for hours, and then you get so tired and lethargic that you can barely muster up the energy to wash your face, let alone read before bed. Hopefully, besides getting me to read more, this will also get me to fall asleep earlier and get more sleep. This is going to be really hard for me, but it’s an important goal and one that I am going to really try with. I set a reading goal on Goodreads for 50 books this year!
Goal #3: Pursue interior design.
Interior design has been an interest and passion of mine for a long time, and this year I’m going to pursue it in a more serious way -by which I mean both learning more, and hopefully, doing more. In terms of learning more, my parents gave me the best birthday present I could have imagined (and didn’t imagine/expect at all) – they offered to enroll me in a certificate program in Interior Design at the New York Institute of Art and Design. First of all, I’d never even heard of the program and am so touched that they took the time to research and find it for me. I had looked into online interior design courses in the past (I can’t do in-person because of work), but the ones I saw were at the New York School of Interior Design and SO expensive. The NYIAD’s online program is very affordable and it seems like it teaches you all of the fundamentals of design and decorating, which is exactly what I’m interested in. That said, I’m still researching and figuring out which program is best for me, but the point is that by giving me this gift, my parents made me realize that instead of sitting around and hemming and hawing about wanting to pursue design, I should DO IT. And the best way to start is by learning more and getting a certificate that represents that knowledge.
On another note, I did take on my very first interior design client last fall and it’s been the best experience! I hope to share more on that with you guys soon, but in the meantime I am open to taking on more clients – you can see my Hire Me page for more on that if you or anybody you know might be interested!
Goal #4: Try out an editorial calendar.
In the spirit of not waiting until January 1 to pursue goals and resolutions, I already created an editorial calendar a couple of weeks ago using Google Calendar. So far, I’m loving it! I simply put the title of the post in the day it’s going to posted as an “event.” If the post is already written I leave it blue, and if it still needs to be written I have it marked in red. This way I can clearly see what posts need to be written and by when.
I always thought an editorial calendar seemed like overkill and kind of a waste of time, but actually it’s helping me to see how I can space out my topics more evenly, what posts I have coming up, and how often I can post – I was able to fill up my calendar with post ideas for January already, so I know that I have enough content to post everyday in January. Already I can tell this is going to keep things more organized and help me to get ahead and plan my time out better. I’d been having this problem lately where, when I should have been relaxing and decompressing, I was feeling guilty and sort of antsy thinking that I should be getting ahead on posts (or cleaning, but that’s another story). Having this editorial calendar will allow me to see that if I have a lot of upcoming posts already written, I can chill!
Goal #5: Save for big purchases.
I have two ways that I’m considering going about this. One would be opening a new bank account that would be titled “short term savings.” I’m thinking if I opened an account for short term savings, it would help me to save up for those big purchases that I want to make but need to really save up over time for – say, a new camera or lens, or our upcoming trip to Charleston (or any traveling I might want to do). Having it in a different account should help with motivation as I can actually see it and watch it grow, and having it separated from my checking account is a way of signifying, don’t spend this.
The other idea, which I got from one of the participants in Victoria’s finance survey (which was interesting, you should read it), is to open a separate account titled “Bills.” Then when you get your paycheck, you transfer the amount you know you need for monthly expenses to the Bills account, and then what’s left over you know you can save, or spend. I think this might be helpful just in terms of showing myself exactly how much money I have left over after rent, 401k contribution, monthly expenses. Any thoughts on which system might be more effective?
Goal #6: Eat real food.
You can read my original post about this, for background.
Unfortunately, I’ve gotten pretty off-track on the eating of real food (i.e., minimally processed foods with no creepy chemicals, preservatives, or additives, which eliminates pretty much all packaged foods from the grocery store). There’s been way too much cereal or Seamless for dinner. To jump-start this goal, I signed up for the 100 Days of Real Food 14 week mini-pledge. Components of the pledge include incorporating more fruits and veggies into meals, cutting out processed food, eating more whole grains, etc. I’m going to be cooking more and putting more time into grocery shopping and meal planning. Excited to see how this goes!
One other thing I’d like to work on this year is putting more time into my photography. I’d like to attempt to stop buying crap I do NOT need and instead save for a better camera and lens. We’ll see! I’d also like to start shooting in RAW and get a better backup system in place, since RAW files are ginormous and take up tons of space on your computer.
What are YOUR goals for 2016? I’d love to hear!