It is so hard to believe that we are here; recounting the end of another year and setting goals for the next. It still feels in so many ways like 2019 just began, and in three more weeks it will be behind us.
I began 2019 with some goals that I set for myself in my post My 2018 Farewell and Anticipation for All 2019 Will Bring. So what were these goals and how have I done?
#1 – Sleep
My insomnia made a comeback in 2018, and I entered 2019 still battling it. The work it took in my daily and bedtime routine to combat this was tedious, but it worked. About halfway through 2019 I was finally back to sleeping normally…or as normally as sleep can ever be for me. I wake easily, and my internal clock is so strict that sleeping in is an impossibility for me. But, I now fall asleep easily and the early waking happens very intermittently. So I consider this goal conquered!
#2 – Yoga
On this I feel I haven’t done so well. I did great at the start of the year, but then life changed. I met a man, entered a relationship, and my focus shifted in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I suddenly found myself busy with making time for him, and the time I was giving to myself slipped a lot. About six months into our relationship, when the new was wearing off and we were settling into a place of familiarity and comfort, we had a talk about our individual lives and what we needed to take care of ourselves separately, as well as our relationship.
Each of us began once again making time for the things we needed for self-care, and for me that meant resuming my yoga routine. I have been doing much better recently with this, but I did fail at any type of consistency throughout the entire middle of the year and am far behind where I saw myself being my the end of 2019. Another reminder of why it is so important not to lose sight of your own needs when you enter a relationship — something I am very grateful that Michael both understands, and agrees with me about.
#3 – Explorative Cooking
On this, I have done extraordinarily well. I’ve tried and developed numerous recipes throughout the year, and continued my education on health and nutrition. In fact, I am wrapping up the year trying another thing that is new for me — making plant based cheeses using ingredients I have never worked with before, like nutritional yeast, tapioca starch and agar powder. I’m learning that these cheese substitutes are so good that I, a self-proclaimed cheese addict, can be completely content and satisfied using them in place of cheese in my cooking. I am ending the year much more plant centered than I was at the beginning.
#4 – Fun & Discovery
Specifically I said that I wanted to “try new things, go new places, meet more people, learn all that I can, and have at least one fun experience every week”. I began the year making sure I got out of the house at least once a week, and frequently by myself rather than with a group, so that I was open to the new experiences and meeting new people. This goal turned out to be the biggest life-changer for me, because it allowed me to meet Michael, which has changed everything about my future.
The day that I met him, I wasn’t feeling it. My insomnia had not yet been conquered and my sleepless days were many. I was having one of those days when I met him. My friend Zach invited me to join him, his girlfriend and her sister at the monthly Beer:30 event hosted at his workplace. I was tired and miserable and just wanted to go home and go to bed, but I remembered the promise I’d made to myself for this year. And so I sucked it up and I went anyway. After all, I had kids at home so it’s not like I could just go home and go to bed. I only had to make it at the event for an hour, then I could go home. So I went, and Michael went with his uncle, who is also a friend of Zach’s. The rest, as they say, is history.
#5 – Passion
The goal was to focus more on my writing, specifically through blogging (which I have done well with), writing a book (which I basically haven’t touched since I met Michael), and freelance writing (I did do an article for a magazine this year). So much of my time and focus has been spent on both Michael, and on continuing my education on nutrition and blogging, that the book has definitely suffered. However, as much as I don’t like falling behind on it, I do not consider this a failure since the places my energies have been focused are very important. An important lesson I’ve learned this year is that there just isn’t enough time to do it all.
#6 – Stop People Pleasing
I’ve probably done better at this than anything else. It’s like a switch was flipped somewhere inside, and I no longer allow myself to feel obligated to things that I don’t want to do. Sometimes I do still feel guilty about not participating in things, especially in work events or special events in the lives of people I care about. But going back to the last sentence on the previous paragraph — there truly is not enough time to do it all, and one of the most important things to me is not feeling stressed or anxious. What creates feelings of stress and anxiety? Trying to take on more than I can handle. My life is plenty busy without adding to it obligations to things that I don’t have time for.
This concludes the review of my goals for 2019, which means it’s time to start setting goals for 2020.
What are some big changes for me? First, obviously, is my relationship status. No longer am I thinking of myself individually, but also of myself as part of a couple. This definitely has an influence on the goals I will set for myself. Other changes are in the health of those I love, which have pushed me even farther into my focus on nutrition, diet, and cancer and chronic diseases. Two people close to me have been diagnosed with some type of lymphoma in 2019, and an uncle passed away very suddenly at the age of 57, on the day after Thanksgiving.
In talking to my stepmom, I learned that my dad hasn’t had a checkup in all the years that she’s known him, and my mom also admitted that she has not had a health screen in about five years. Here I am, laser-focused on health and nutrition, and some of the people closest to me are deficient in this area. I talked to my grandparents the other day and landed on the topic of nutrition and cancer, and explained some things that I’ve learned over the years. My grandpa said, “you should’ve studied some sort of nutrition or been in the medical field.” You better believe this has an impact on what I want to do in 2020, and the decade that will follow.
With that, here are my goals for 2020
#1 – Get More Plant-based.
The more I learn about the link between diet and disease, the more I want to eat plant-based. Since it isn’t just me that I have to cook for, I can’t make the unilateral decision to make everyone plant-based. I can, however, make some adjustments so that we are eating more plants and less animals. A compromise of sorts, between their desires and my own. To do this, I’m setting some bullet points for myself:
- Reduce dairy to only once per week
- Which means making more cheese alternatives in meals
- Reduce meat to three servings per week
- Eat fully plant-based four days per week
- Which means portioning out parts of some meals for me that I can make with beans or nuts instead of meat
- Start pushing kids more on making healthy choices
- Reduce dairy to only once per week
#2 – Speak Up About Health
Because people only really like to hear things that confirm their beliefs, which is called confirmation-bias, they tend to be resistant to information that disagrees with them. For that reason, I’ve adopted an “if they ask, I’ll share” policy around health. I don’t want people to feel like I’m telling them they’re wrong or like I’m pressuring them to be different.
What I want to do is find some common ground on this. Find opportunities to share information when and where I can. And lead by example — share more about what I’m eating day-to-day. Prepare plant-based dishes for gatherings. Just talking about it more will expose people to it more, which in turn will pique curiosity and encourage more openness. I also will make a point to talk to those closest to me more about their health and encourage them to be proactive. The less the people I care about get sick, the happier all of us will be.
#3 – Physical Fitness
I want to make sure I’m doing yoga five times per week. I’ve recently begun doing some morning yoga a couple of times per week and I’ve really liked that. Working in this routine sometimes means putting my hair in a bun and going to work sans-makeup, but so be it! I’m in an office and only see a handful of people throughout the day anyway.
I also want to start walking more. I used to do this a lot, but have definitely fallen away from it. I’ve moved so much of my focus to yoga that I’ve let this slip. I believe there is room and time for both, if I only make it a priority. This could also be something I can get Michael to do with me…wink, wink since I know you’re reading this 😉
#4 – Go Out with Friends
This is something that, a year ago, I never would’ve imaged I’d need to add to my goals. Since Michael and I have been together, he’s received a huge chunk of my time…as it should be, in all honesty. But I also realize that I’ve spent less time with my friends. I used to be the “group planner”, and over the last few months I’ve definitely not been so great at coordinating outings and inviting people out.
I used to go out for drinks with friends every week, and now it is more sporadic. I want to start making it a point to get together with friends like I used to at least every other week. I have to make adjustments for my relationship, but I definitely want my friendships to be a priority as well. I love my tribe!
#5 – Stick to my Budget
This is something that I’ve had a hard time doing recently. In the last six months, only one month did I stay under budget. Mind you I’m not blowing it completely out of the water. But I would prefer to not go over it at all, and that will be my goal for next year. Which means no spontaneous spending without factoring it into my monthly budget. And I also need to work a “going out” category into my budget as well.
#6 – Grow my Relationship
Since I am in a relationship going into this new year, it certainly makes the list. Michael has been wonderful, and I honestly wouldn’t change a single thing about us. With that said, we’ve been together for eight months and that means we still have so many things to discover about each other and so many milestones ahead of us. I want to focus this year on doing things that will continue building the foundation for a future, and maybe start discussing that future more by the end of 2020.
#7 – My Reading List
This is something I do every year, but my decision to increase my number of books in 2019 failed. Again, my new relationship took up a good chunk of my time and I’ve read less as a result. So for 2020 I’m decreasing my goal from 36 books, back to 24 books, which is what it’s always been prior to 2019.
These are my goals for the upcoming year, so all that is left is my theme. For 2019, my word of the year was Adventure. The corresponding color for adventure was orange. I was in a place of discovery when I began 2019, and discover I did — in so many ways!
Going into 2020 I am in a very different place. While I will always have an adventurous spirit, I have fallen into a place of satisfaction in my life. What I want for 2020 is a season of peace while growing into the future.
Word of the year:
Color of the year:
I’ve already purchased a new bullet journal and began setting it up with this new theme. I’m ready to tackle a brand new year, and all that it may bring.
What are your hopes and dreams for the upcoming year? I hope you achieve them all ❤