**Every season, I post a set of goals that I set out to accomplish. I track my progress here on my blog. I like the challenge of setting goals – it helps me to accomplish so much more. This post features my Winter 14 goals**
For the past several years, I’ve changed the way I look at setting goals. I used to have one big resolution; an over-arching, yearlong goal that I would try to achieve. And every year, I would either fail (too big of a goal, too unattainable), or complete my goal too early (too easy, too simple). I’ve since learned that the best way to become the best version of myself is by focusing on several SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-limited) each season. This gives me a shorter time span, and often these goals have a specific task or amount of time to complete them. So rather than having a goal like: “Be less stressed out” I have goals like: “Download and try out a meditation app” and “Go to yoga class five times”. These little goals add up to the larger idea I had in mind, and pursuing them means I might actually get to the place I want to go.
I’ve organized my fourteen goals for winter into categories that make sense for my life. These are inspired by Sage Grayson and her categories. Sage also has an awesome post on New Year’s Resolutions, if you’re needing some ideas.
- Blog on Smiles Go With Everything at least 2x week – While I’d love to blog everyday, I know with my current schedule, it’s just not happening. But I know that I can manage at least one a week. Especially now that I have an iPhone and iPad. I need to get back into the groove.
- Frog an old project and knit something new - I really want to get back into the habit of knitting, but I can’t afford to buy new yarn while trying to deal with my credit card debt. But I have a bunch of old projects that, while they came out nicely, never get worn. So I’m going to frog (i.e. take apart) these old projects and reuse the yarn to make something new.
- Do some serious mending and alterations - A lot of my clothes need minor fixes, but I’m trying to save money right now, so going to the tailor for all of them isn’t an option. So I need to have a couple sewing sessions and fix up some of the stuff I have already.
- Plant 2nd veggie garden – My first veggie garden I planted in the fall has been a success, so now I want to plant a second one. Saving money, increasing self-sufficency, and having awesome fresh veggies – it’s a win all around.
- Try 4 new recipes and blog them - I just bought Make it Paleo a few months ago. That book is huge, and there’s so many recipes I want to try. And I still find myself falling into the old rut of tacos, roast chicken, pot roast, burgers etc that I always make. So I need to try out some more new recipes and blog them.
- Walk 10,000 steps each day - I got a Jawbone with my Christmas money (used on eBay, only $70!) because I’ve realized that I’m a person who loves numbers and data. Just saying I’m going to walk ten minutes everyday doesn’t work for me. Having a gadget that gives me numbers and a goal to reach – now I might be getting somewhere. Maybe this will be the season where I finally develop the habit of walking.
- Go to Yoga class five times during the season- I’ve really, really neglected my yoga practice. And I’ve found that I’m most able to focus when I go to a class – practicing at home doesn’t work as well for me. So I’m going to buy a five class package and make a commitment to use it up. And then maybe in the spring I can increase it to ten.
- Make or buy some blackout curtains for the bedroom - I use a Tempurpedic eye mask, and it has improved my sleep dramatically – it blocks out almost all light. But I know I’ll never convince my husband to wear one, and when he has trouble sleeping, I have trouble sleeping. So I’m going to add a blackout liner to our curtains, and hopefully it will help us both get some better sleep.
- Use Mint to set a budget - I’ve been using Mint regularly for about a month now, and it’s revolutionized my budgeting process. I no longer have to go back and forth between spreadsheets and bank statements – everything is all in one place. I’ve mainly been letting it track what I spend for the last month, but now I want to start using it as a budget – making sure I don’t go over. If I can be firm about it, maybe I can finally get control of my finances.
- Pay off that credit card!!! – Annnnd this one. I tried to pay off my credit card in the fall, but between medical necessities (prescription sunglasses, dental filling) and CostCo trips, my debt went up instead of down. I should have about six paychecks during this season, so if I can make a $125 payment with each paycheck and NOT add more debt, I can pay this thing off by the spring. THIS MUST HAPPEN.
- Join a Twitter chat – I’ve been doing a lot of professional development online lately. I’ve created a Twitter account I use for work, a library blog (still kind of in progress), and done other things to create an online presence professionally. But I want to do even more networking with fellow librarians, and everyone keeps telling me that Twitter chats are the way to go. So I want to participate in at least one Twitter chat this season.
- Watch a TED talk- I’ve been learning a lot lately about how libraries and the Maker movement can go hand and hand. And I want to incorporate Makerspace ideas into my media center. I also know that there’s a lot of TED talks on Makers, and that lots of important people in the library industry watch these videos. So I need to see what all the fuss is about. Already got the app on my iPad, just need to pick a video.
- Download a meditation app and try it out – I’ve had a lot of issues with stress lately, and I’ve been really wanting to try meditation. But I also have ADD, and I find it hard to sit still and focus. So I want to try downloading a meditation app on my phone and see if this can help me build this habit. Stress reduction is something I really need to work on.
- Attend a local meditation class – Ditto pretty much everything above. There’s a lot of local meditation centers that offer free or cheap guided meditation classes. Going to a physical location and having someone else guide me through meditation seems like it could be a good thing for me.