Here we are, halfway through 2019 and this year is flying by! I can’t believe we are in the month of June and already discussing plans for July. For me, it feels like March was just two weeks ago. I guess that old saying is true, “time flies when you’re having fun.” Since we’re halfway through the year, I thought I would do a self reflection on the goals I set for myself. Although I wouldn’t call them New Year’s Resolutions, in January I wrote down a list of things I would like to work on and accomplish throughout 2019. I don’t necessarily like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, I think most of them are materialistic and end up being ditched in two weeks. The reality is- we should never stop learning or trying to improve. Before I share my goals for 2019 with you, here’s a look at the process I used to develop my list of things I wanted to work on.
Tips for Goal Setting:
Write it down– writing a list of the things you want to accomplish will help keep you accountable working towards reaching those goals
Set realistic goals– don’t just set out to ‘become a millionaire’ this year, instead write down things like save money or pay off debt. Setting realistic goals will motivate you to work towards them, rather than throwing in the towel because your goals are impossible or seem so far out of reach.
Be intentional with your ideas– Ask yourself why this is something you want to do. If you can’t answer your reason for working towards and achieving your goals, your’e more likely to give up.
Set a timeline– ask yourself why a timeline is important and also be realistic with it. Don’t just say, Im going to do this in four months because April seems like a nice time to be finished. Think about your goals individually and how much time, thought and energy each one will need.
Prioritize goals– some goals will take more time than others and some goals will be pre-requisites for others. Look at your list to determine if there is a particular order in which you should tackle your goals.
Take Action– it’s time to move your body and put in the work, no one said it was going to be easy, you just have to start. I like the snowball method, start small and roll onto the next.
Check in on progress and hold yourself accountable– this could be an even bigger motivating factor in reaching your goals. Once you see the hard work you’ve put in begin to pay off, you will be motivated to see it through to the finish line.
I used this process to think about the things I wanted to work towards in 2019 and created a list. I’m ‘Type A’ so seeing all of my thoughts organized in one place is easier for me to stay motivated and remember my goals from day to day, which in turn ends up being more effective. Below is my list of goals and a reflection on progress made within the first half of the year!
Learn HTML & CSS Coding– I’ve been taking all kinds of classes through General Assembly. HTML, CSS, Java Script, Python, Resume Building, Product Management, Digital Marketing, Visual Design… I consider this one process in the making, although the more classes I take the more I realize I enjoy it as a hobby and would not want to do it professionally. That’s a huge success in my opinion, realizing right away that this is fun but something I do not want to continue to do forever will give me the depth of knowledge I was searching for without wasting a bunch of my time.
Learn Italian– okay, so this one got away from me this year. I actually set this goal in 2018 and used DuoLinguo for roughly six months before taking a trip to Italy. While I was in Italy I was more confident hearing Italian than I was speaking it. We had originally planned another trip for 2019 that has gotten pushed back to 2020. To be honest, I haven’t even looked at Italian this year. This is where prioritizing my goals has come into play- giving myself another year to study Italian gives me more time now to work on the goals that require immediate attention. BUT I WILL NOT give up this goal, this one will definitely resurface for 2020!
Learn ASL– man, another one I haven’t started yet… I’ve wanted to learn sign language for years, and used to know a bit of vocab as a kid- but this definitely took a back seat. Does anyone know of resources available to help with learning ASL? Maybe a book, app or youtube channel I can follow?
Exercise daily– some people might see this goal as unrealistic, but for me that’s far from the truth. Have you ever heard the saying, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” well, for me, that quote applies to workouts. Hey Paddle is my happy place, there’s no where I’d rather be than paddle boarding on Lake Austin. The same goes for my gym membership at Madabolic- I looooooove getting my ass whooped, it’s instant gratification. It’s not always easy, some days I just straight up don’t want to and driving there is half the battle. But I never regret those post workout endorphins!
Eat well– this is an ongoing goal from 2015, I have made so many healthy changes since then, I used to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and my cravings were through the roof. I was definitely and emotional eater in the past, I have a HUGE sweet tooth and this was my “old” instant gratification. This one is more of a daily reminder to see food as fuel for my body for those workouts while having a healthy relationship with food and indulging occasionally with friends. I have my own ideas of what eating well looks like for me and I try to stick to it everyday.
Save money– this one kind of goes hand in hand with my final goal of paying off debt. This goal was also started last year when I opened an account with Charles Schwab, my goal was/is to buy stocks paying a dividend and saving money for retirement. This year I took it a step further and opened a checking account with Goldman Sachs, earning an extra 2.25% annually.
Pay off debt– ugh. This should be at the top of the list because it is priority number one. I am almost finished paying off my student loans. I graduated in 2013 and have been making payments for the last five years. Of course, for the first two years after I first graduated, I could only afford the minimum payments working entry level. The last two years I contributed more when I felt like I could. This year it is a priority and I created a time line. I calculated payments, what I still owe and my income to realize I can pay them off completely in 2020 if I buckle down. Again, this goes hand in hand with the previous goal of saving money. So far, in six months I’ve paid $6,147.12 on my student loans. This is incredibly motivating- sticking to a budget, which, lets be honest can sometimes suck, has helped me see the benefits of the effort put in!
Okay, so as you can see, I’ve made progress in some areas and am slacking in others. That’s okay! I’m not giving up, I’m prioritizing! What motivates me the most is that I set goals I’m excited about working on. This is not difficult, learning something new in my free time is not difficult, saving money is not difficult, budgeting and paying down debt is not difficult- what’s difficult is getting started. It all starts with knowing your end goal, writing down how you plan to achieve it and holding yourself accountable for working towards it. I’m extremely pleased with my six month progress report and I can’t wait to see the outcome in six more months!
Be intentional– Why are you doing what you are doing? Focus on that. Give it all of your attention while you are there.
Be present– When you’re with someone, give them your attention. Not half, not a quarter, don’t sit next to each other staring at your phone, be present.
Be kind– self explanatory, I am a kind person, I just lack patience sometimes… My daily reminder is to practice patience in the moment and smile when something or someone is posing a slight inconvenience.
Be honest– inspired by one of my favorite quotes, “speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.”
Not all of the goals I set can be worked on every single day or multi- tasked with another. So, I also set some daily reminders for myself, something I can practice everyday of the year! I’d love to hear your thoughts on goal setting, your goals and daily reminders!