Welcome to 2018, friends. I’ve spent the past week feeling equally overwhelmed and motivated.
Overwhelmed, because returning to work, commuting, working out, eating well, and getting my life back in order has been a challenge. (Who am I kidding, I haven’t actually worked out yet this year.)
Motivated, because I have so many goals and plans for this year…but that can be overwhelming, too. I can’t be alone in feeling that there just aren’t enough hours in a day to achieve everything I want to do and still have time to reset my batteries enough to have energy to do it all again the next day.
These posts have been my favorites to read on all of my favorite blogs over the past couple of weeks, so I thought I’d share my goals for 2018, too.
Here’s a look at a few of the things I’m planning to work on in the coming 12 months. I hope they inspire and motivate you! Let me know in the comments if you have any big or exciting goals for this year.
ONE // Embrace “The Now”
I am such a complainer, and it’s been worse than usual lately. I constantly catch myself complaining that my commute is too long, my job is too boring, my pay is too low, my schedule is too busy, I don’t have enough friends, I don’t have time to work out, and on and on and on. I bet you feel like that sometimes, too, right?
Why is it so much easier to focus on what’s difficult than on all of the wonderful blessings that we have?
This year, I want to stop taking things for granted.
In 2017, I graduated from the #1 undergrad business school in the country, moved into a downtown apartment with my wonderful boyfriend, got a job right out of school, and spend all of my weekends doing fun things in the city.
I don’t have to live at home, rely on anyone but myself for money, live with a roommate, or do anything else unpleasant that usually comes along with the first few years after college. But these are the things that I forget about when I’m an hour into my commute and it’s 3 degrees and my car won’t start.
To combat this, I’m actively trying to find silver linings whenever I find myself feeling annoyed or frustrated. I want to enjoy all that life has to offer right now, instead of worrying about the future and trying to make plans so that things can be better someday. There’s no way of knowing what’s just around the corner, and it could be a whole lot worse than the way things are right now. I don’t want to look back and realize that I didn’t appreciate the times that were actually pretty good. I started a gratitude journal to help with this, with just a single line per day to list a thing or two that was great that day.
TWO // More Self Love
Another way to combat the feeling of burn-out and ungratefulness? Take time each week that’s just for you, and no one else. I’ve found that I need this time to be selfish, otherwise I have nothing left to give to the people around me, and I’m irritable and overwhelmed.
You know better than anyone what helps you to reset, so take the time to do whatever that is for you, whether it’s taking a few minutes to paint your nails after work, or taking a trip to the spa for a whole Saturday (a girl can dream). Use this time to forget about whatever else is on your mind, and simply focus on breathing, enjoying the experience, and caring for yourself.
I’ve made an agreement with Joe that at least one night each week will be spent doing a solo activity, rather than spending time together. I love spending every second with him, but it’s important for me to have time for myself, too. Usually it’s as simple as watching a girly show or some YouTube videos in bed, painting my nails, or taking a bath, but it makes a big difference to how rested I feel all week long.
THREE // Health
Ah, yes, I, and everyone else on the planet, want to be more health-conscious this year. I started on this goal mid-way through 2017 (although I completely let myself go over Christmas – cheese, chips, bacon, cookies, chocolate – you name it, I ate it).
So, how am I going to make realistic, lasting changes? I’m starting by setting strict goals for January and then seeing how I feel after the month. These goals include reducing alcohol consumption to the bare minimum (social functions that can’t be avoided, where I want to have fun and not deprive myself) and trying to eat strictly plant-based foods for the entire month.
To be clear: I’m not looking to keep these strict guidelines long-term. I am planning to stop eating meat completely this year (I’ve mostly cut it out for the past 6 months already), but I anticipate that some dairy and eggs will work themselves back into my diet on occasion.
I don’t want to get into the details of why I want to continue eating plant-based as much as possible this year, because it’s a very personal choice (and a touchy subject that can really offend people, I’ve learned!), but if you’re interested, I learned a lot from this book, and I’ve heard good things about this one. As with any dietary information, obviously take everything you read with a grain of salt and make decisions that make you feel good.
I’m also planning to stop using the excuse that I “need to embrace my youth” and stop drinking so damn much. I’m tired of feeling awful on Sundays.
FOUR // Productivity
I am such a homebody. There’s nothing that I look forward to more than getting home from work, putting on pajamas, and plopping onto the couch for a few blissful hours.
Filling up a few mindless hours with TV makes me feel really unproductive, though, and contributes to the trapped feeling of not having enough time in the day to accomplish anything. This year, I want to cut down on mindless activities like watching TV and scrolling through facebook, and instead, focus on using that time for something productive.
More specifically, I want to make a better effort to physically see nearby friends or pick up the phone and keep in touch with friends who are far away. I also want to focus more time on blogging, reading, taking workout classes, and other hobbies that contribute to a feeling of accomplishment, rather than laziness.
What improvements are you planning to make in 2018?