Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Goals for 2016

I know I'm a little late getting to these, but here they are (in no particular order).

My primary goal is to live a healthier lifestyle overall. To focus on self-care, both mentally and physically.

  • Eat healthy. Most of the time. It's okay to splurge now and then. I really want to find a good balance for myself as far as food goes. I think a lot of my IBS symptoms are more stress-related than food-related. So I think if I just continue to eat a healthy diet (including higher-quality grains and dairy) and manage my stress better, my IBS symptoms might be reduced.
  • Be active. I want to continue with the [more] active lifestyle I've had since we moved to Dallas. I'm walking 20+ miles each week (which may go down a bit once I get a job). I'm doing yoga several times a week (almost every day, which again, will probably change once I get a job). I haven't started running down here yet. I want to be a little more familiar with the area before I start that. Overall, I just want to spend less time sitting inside on the couch watching TV. I want to get out and explore (and living in a new city certainly helps!).
  • Read more. My goal this year--again--is to read 25 books. I only read about 13 books in 2015, so I hope that if I don't make it to 25, I at least read more than 13. Less TV/movies/Netflix-bingeing. I want to try to read at least a half hour each night before bed to help myself unwind and hopefully sleep better. 
  • Unplug more often. Especially during meal times with Chris, family, or friends. But also at least a half hour before bed (no TV, no phone, no computer) to help myself unwind from the day and sleep better. 
  • Be present. This goes along with unplugging--putting the phone away at meal times and giving Chris or anyone else I am with my full attention.
  • Drink more water and herbal tea. Less beer, wine, and other alcohol. To go with my book before bed, I plan to drink a cup of hot tea (at least while it's cold out--might switch to infused water in the summer). With our move and the holidays, we've done a lot more drinking, and we love trying new, local beers so this will be challenging.
  • Be kinder to myself and others. I am my own worst critic. I put myself down more than anyone else and punish myself far too often. It's time for me to change that. Through yoga, I'm learning to honor my body--both on and off the mat. It's a constant work in progress, but I have made some great improvements over the last year and hope to continue that. I also want to work on being kinder to those around me. To Chris, especially. But also to family, friends, and strangers. I can have a short temper (although yoga is helping me with that, too!), and I'm trying to think and breathe through my immediate emotions. I'm trying to put myself in the other person's shoes. Maybe that person cut me off because they're having a rough Monday and are late for work. Maybe the checker at the grocery store just got yelled at by another customer so they aren't feeling too friendly. I'm want to be kind to those who aren't kind to me, because they probably need it most. 
  • Have better relationships. I want to make a point to keep in touch with my family and friends on a regular basis, which is especially important now that I'm living out of state and most of my family and friends live in St. Louis. I want all my family and friends to know how important they are to me and to let them know by calling and texting them--not just liking their Facebook posts. I also want to be able to let go of relationships that are no longer healthy or just aren't there at all. I had a "friend" who I regularly called and texted to try to keep in touch, see how she's doing and let her know how I'm doing. But she almost always ignores my messages. So I'm going to let that one go. Friendship is a two-way street and I'd rather put my energy into other friendships.
  • Budget, reduce debt, and increase savings. This is something Chris and I will be working on together, but it definitely falls under "self-care" since having less debt = less stress (for me anyway). Chris and I both have student loans, car loans, and credit card debt, though thankfully not a ton of credit card debt. I will probably do some separate posts on our plans for reducing our debt and budgeting in case anyone wants to follow along. (If you're looking for a blog on budgeting and reducing debt, my friend Elise has a great one--her and her husband have made a serious dent in their debt and were my inspiration for wanting to tackle our own debt!)
  • Write more. With the wedding, moving to Dallas, and the holidays, I haven't had a lot of time to write. I am working on a book though, and want to make some real progress with that this year. I also want to continue writing poetry. Plus, writing more will allow me to have [long-distance] workshops with one of my good friends, which helps with the better relationships goals too. Ideally, I'd like to get something published this year. So I might make a secondary goal to this one to submit to one literary magazine per month in an attempt to get published. 
  • Find a job I love. I've been unemployed (again) for a little under a month. Thankfully, with Chris's job promotion, it isn't imperative that I find a job--any job--right away. Having a job will certainly make budgeting, paying off our debts, and saving easier, though. But my goal here is to take my time and find a job that I truly love. I do have one opportunity on my radar and I'm hoping to get an interview set up for that within the next week or so (I'll let you all know how it goes!). If that doesn't work out, then I will keep looking because I want to find the right job for me. I don't want to just settle on something to say that I have a job. I've had to do that in the past and it made me horribly stressed.
Those are my goals, although I'm sure I think of more to add to this later! What are your goals for 2016?