Although we’re already a month into 2011…it took me a little while to get on the 2011 goals bandwagon and actually post them on my blog. This is, in part, because I hadn’t really thought about my goals for the year until now. It’s also because there has been some trepidation on my part about posting something so personal to me. Well, in the spirit of one of my goals – to be okay with being vulnerable – posting my goals will serve as a forum of accountability. I think Emily said it best, “it is one thing to admit something to yourself in your head, another to admit it to yourself out loud, and yet another to admit it to others out loud.”
Using Scott’s (from Reading for Your Success) free Goal Setting Action Workbook I distinguished five goal “areas” and thought about a few SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals around each area. Here goes nothin'...
1. Healthy Mind & Body
· Get out of the grocery store: There are some pretty obvious reasons for this one, both environmentally and health charged. After reading Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food” this point hits home even more. I’m all for supporting local farmers (and hope to be one someday) and my body will thank me for that too. I’m going to do this by:
i. Go to the farmer’s market at least once per month.
ii. Build a chicken coop for the backyard in the spring.
iii. Build a raised bed to expand our garden.
· Read more often. I do a lot of reading…on the computer. There are so many worthwhile books to read out there, fiction and nonfiction. Plus I love snuggling up with a good book. My eyes will thank me for taking more time to get them away from a glowing computer screen. My goal is to:
i. Read at least one book every two months.
ii. Get a library card
· Make more food items that I would normally buy. A few of the minimalism blogs I follow have recently emphasized creating, rather than consuming. That point hits home for me, especially from a sustainability perspective. I’m going to do this by:
i. Choosing four food items (brownie points for pantry staples!) to MAKE instead of buy this year
ii. Learning how to can/preserve foods that we grow in our garden
2. Family First
· Visit home more often. This goes without saying….I simply cannot wait another two years until I see my mom, dad, stepmom, brother and sister again. My mental stability depends on it (just ask Brandon about that!) My goal is to visit once a year, hopefully I’ll be able to make it for the holidays a few times too.
· Appreciate! I’ve gotten 25 years of birthday cards from my family, it’s time I start returning the favor. This goes for Brandon’s family as well as my own
i. Find out the birthdays of my aunts, uncles and cousins
ii. Make homemade birthday cards for each one. I also want to stress WRITTEN cards here, not emails, e-cards, etc.
· Stay in touch. I can count the number of extended family I have with two hands. It’s not a huge inconvenience for me to call them on all major holidays (and Jewish holidays for my mom’s side of the family).
3. Experience Life and Follow My Passion
· Meet new people. Believe it or not, sometimes I am not very good at carrying on a conversation. I’ve gotten much better at this over the years, but there are still times when I clam up, can’t think of anything new to say, avoid eye contact (we will revisit this later). The other impetus behind meeting new people? I’m still a new girl in a new town!!
· Explore photography. I have been saving up for a dSLR. I want to take a photography class and revisit what I learned back in high school. Going back to my quest for continuous learning, this is a wonderful way for me to do so.
i. Research photography classes at Tri-C or other community college
ii. Put away $$ every paycheck for a dSLR camera
· Travel, and stand on my head. It’s been a tradition for Brandon and I to do a headstand in every new city we’re in. Every new and not-so- new, actually. It gives us a new perspective on the world, especially in a brand new place. I want to:
i. Visit two new cities this year
ii. Go to a new place, store, restaurant, etc. in a city I’ve already been to
iii. Run one destination race this year, outside of Ohio.
· Create more than consume. This goes along with making my own food items…I’m going to amend that to food or OTHER items. Creating cultivates happiness in a way that consuming never could. I plan to:
i. Create/make/invent four things this year that I would normally go to the store to buy
ii. Keep a “want but don’t need” list and do not buy items on that list until they’ve been there for at least a month. Try to make some of these items.
· Don’t buy clothing for one year. Many people are doing this, I have more than enough clothing to last me through the rest of my life. I’m not growing anytime soon, and even if I shrink I will probably still be able to wear most of the stuff I have.
· Get rid of “stuff”. It’s time I start to declutter and simplify my collection of “stuff” otherwise it’s only going to get bigger and tougher to deal with. I have more than enough material “stuff” in my life and I would venture to say I use most of it about twice a year. I’m going to start with clothing and slowly filter other things out:
i. Go through wardrobe when I’m switching from winter to summer clothes and donate anything I haven’t worn in 6+ months, especially t-shirts. Why in the world would someone need as many t-shirts as I have??
ii. Go through wardrobe when switching from summer to winter clothes and filter out anything I haven’t worn.
iii. Donate all clothing from points above
iv. Get rid of appliances or other things that are stored and have not been used in 6+ months (hello, spring cleaning!). Sift through these items at least once this year
5. Be Vulnerable
· Speak up. This one is mostly for work, but can also double for my “meet new people” goal above. Like I said, sometimes I just clam up; I don’t want to ask questions or make comments for fear of what everyone will think of me, or that my question/comment will have nothing to do with the topic at hand. I have a baby step for this goal:
i. At work meetings, make a minimum of two comments/questions at every meeting. Let my voice be heard.
· Ask questions. Pretty much the same as above
· Make eye contact. Also something I’m not very good at. All of the goals in this area are ones that are important to me because they all require me to be vulnerable. By staying quiet and not making eye contact, I am moving from fear. This is my way of approaching these fears (of vulnerability) and saying “hey, I’m okay being vulnerable, because that is how I learn!”
i. This goal is less measurable, but I am going to intentionally hold eye contact when having a conversation. Especially with those who I am closest to.
Alright, so that’s that. I am going to check back in periodically, maybe once a month or so, to let you all know how I’m progressing on these goals. One month into 2011, I feel as if I’m well on my way.