Happy New Year! Is it ok to still be saying that a full week into 2018?
I spent my holidays running around like a chicken with its head cut off from one family or social engagement to the next, trying to soak in a year’s worth of time with the people who mean the most to me – especially those who were home from far away for short visits!
Being back to work this week was a bit of a shock to my system but actually more relaxing than my holidays – I’m a sucker for routine. Which is why it’s all the more shocking that I completely lost any sense of motivation to keep a routine in 2017 – unless you count waking up, going to work, coming home exhausted, and sitting on the couching watching Netflix and eating naan and hummus as a routine (hopefully not). But if you do, maybe you’ll join me in setting some goals for 2018 to help change that.
Goal #1: Focus on Family & Friends
As an introvert (and tbh sometimes just generally anti-social person) I relish time spent alone, but sometimes I waste the precious and limited time I have with the people I love. So in 2018, I will make time for the people who mean the most to me – my family and friends. No excuses. When I moved back to Toronto last February I had big plans to spend more times with friends and family, and then I fell into this rut of sitting on my couch and watching Netflix after work and those plans essentially flew out the window never to be seen again.
Goal #2: Make Health & Wellness a Priority
We only get one body and that’s why it is so important to take care of it! Since moving to Toronto last year the most exercise I’ve gotten is walking ten minutes each way between my apartment and the subway on my way to and from work – which I know is terrible! I am committing to exercising for at least 30 mins twice a week – starting with the TRUE: 30 Day Yoga Journey.
I also want to make sure I’m giving my body the fuel and nutrition it needs to get through each day. I’m super lazy when I’m tired after a long day of work (which is virtually every day)… so I usually end up eating something quick and easy like naan and hummus or frozen pizza. Not the healthiest options. This year I want to make more of an effort to plan healthy meals for the week so I’m not defaulting to whatever’s easiest – and no skipping meals! (I’m looking at you breakfast.) I’d also like to try one new recipe per month to expand my cooking repertoire so if you have any favourites I’m all ears!
Regular exercise and improved nutrition are my “health” goals. In terms of wellness this year I would like to focus on reducing my screen time. I spend all day in front of a computer at work, and most of my evenings in front of the TV or scrolling through Instagram on my phone. My goal is to set aside a few hours a week as designated “unplugged” time so I can spend doing other things I enjoy – like reading and spending more time outside. The other wellness goal I have for 2018 is to get 8 hours of sleep every night – beauty sleep makes me remarkably less cranky and more energetic throughout the day so I want to aim to go to sleep before midnight so I can fit in 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep on workdays.
Goal #3: Money, Honey!
When I moved back to Toronto I seriously underestimated the cost of living. If I’d realized how expensive it would be maybe I would’ve done a better job negotiating my salary, or maybe I would’ve held out for a more lucrative job opportunity. As it stands I pretty much live paycheque to paycheque each month, and I have virtually no frivolous spending aside from my car insurance/gas. So, 2018 is the year that I will:
- Learn how to invest the money I do have, and
- Figure out how to earn extra income, whether that’s searching out freelance work or finding a part-time retail job
I don’t want my life to revolve around money – either because I’m addicted to watching it grow in the bank or because I’m constantly penny pinching. The goal of earning extra income is so I can actually enjoy the benefits of living in the city, without stressing out about not being able to pay a bill because I’ve gone out for dinner a couple of times.
Goal #4: Personal Development
One of the benefits of living in a smaller city, aside from reduced living costs, is that everything is much closer together! I used to have a twenty-five minute walk to work, and it only took me twenty minutes by car to get to the therapeutic riding barn I volunteered at north-west of the city and a twenty-five minute drive to get to the barn I rode at south-east of the city. And there was so. much. less. traffic. Since moving back to Toronto I haven’t been riding at all – save for one trail ride on my trip to Alberta.
Until I start making an extra income riding is still out of the question but I hope to get back to doing other things that bring me joy. In 2018 I will:
- Get back to writing! Starting with one post per month on this blog.
- Seek out volunteer opportunities for causes I care about.
- Improve my photography. Practice makes… well better 🙂
- Read 30 books (…maybe even write short reviews for the blog?)
- Take a class! One of the things I miss about working for a university is the wealth of professional development opportunities and the “always be learning” climate.
- Get outside! I’ve always loved spending time outdoors but my recent backpacking trip to the Rockies lit a fire inside me for my love of adventure and exploration.
Goal setting in itself is tough, and but reaching them when I’m only accountable to myself is another story entirely. I hope that sharing these goals (with all two of you who are reading) will keep me motivated to work towards them.
What are your goals or resolutions for 2018?