You may have noticed some radio silence around here over the last month, and for that, I apologize. To say that 2017 dragged me down would be an understatement. The year ended in a hectic fury of exhaustion and feeling I was letting myself down. However, I am determined to move forward, to grow and develop, to persevere in the face of every setback, and to smile victoriously when I achieve my dreams. I may have been slowed down, but I have no intention of stopping until I reach my goals.
I thought it would be nice to go into 2018 fresh with the intent of recentering both personally and professionally. I plan to maintain my focus throughout the year and adjust myself and my goals as necessary. Every year – every day – is what you make of it, and I aim to make this one worth remembering.
This year, aside from setting myself goals, I have decided to create a word of intention. This word will be the anchor of my entire year; it will push me toward my goals and help me to focus my purpose and priorities. After some introspection, and “trying on” a few different words I think I found the perfect fit.
In 2018, I will
Thrive: [thrahyv] verb; thrived or throve, thrived or thriven [thriv-uh n] (Show IPA), thriving.
1.to prosper; be fortunate or successful.
2.to grow or develop vigorously; flourish.
Is there any better word to push me into being my best self?
Setting Goals For Productivity & Happiness
This year I plan to introduce monthly goal setting into my life, and therefore I have limited myself to 10 annual goals. These goals are a mixture of tangible and abstract, fun and practical, expeditious and leisurely. I have not included business goals, reading goals, family goals, or any of those narrow lists we tend to create for ourselves. Being the list-maker I am, I have, of course, set all of those things as well but they are looser and more personal. Each item on the list below will create its own small journey that I can share with you, my tribe.
1. WRITE EVERYDAY
Today is day 1 of 365. I am challenging myself this year to write something every day, whether it is a new post, a letter, or a poem. Each and every day I will work on honing my skills as a writer by practicing. I will set aside time, even if it’s late at night or the wee hours of the morning, to help my writing thrive.
2. MASTER TIME BLOCKING
This organizational habit was inspired by this post by Abby at Just A Girl And Her Blog. As someone who loves organization and order but can be a bit scattered it is a beautiful thing. I have been trying to integrate time blocking into my life slowly because life with a toddler often has curveballs, but this year I plan to move full-steam ahead and master the art. I am sick of watching half of my to-do list go undone because my time is not being managed and utilized properly. In order to thrive, I have to make the most of my time and maximize my productivity.
3. LEARN A NEW SKILL
This one is both fun and practical. I haven’t yet decided what new skill I would like to add to my roster, but being a well-rounded individual involves constant learning and development. Perhaps I will learn to knit, become a Kon Mari master, or learn to make my own pickles. There are no limits really, but whatever it is, I plan to totally own it. If you’re in the market for a new skill, this nifty page offers 101 possible ideas to try!
4. TRAVEL SOMEPLACE NEW
As always, the when and where will depend on finances and appropriate timing, but the world is a great big place just begging to be discovered. Honestly, I am hoping to squeeze in a fair amount of travel this year but as two entrepreneurs trying to cultivate our baby businesses, we will take what we can get. I’d love a road trip weekend to Salem, a week in New Orleans, or an overseas excursion. The important part is that we are discovering and enjoying a place that is new to us.
5. MASTER SOURDOUGH BREAD
As someone who loves cooking and baking, this has been on my list for a while. The ideal sourdough can be very fickle and am setting my mind to truly perfecting it this year. I will be testing different recipes and techniques until I can say I’ve truly done it. If you have a great sourdough recipe that you think I need to try email it to me at Jill@Cappuccinosandchaos.com
6. SPEND MORE TIME OUTDOORS
Even in the colder months, it is important to stay connected with nature. I am always much happier when I get a decent amount of time outdoors. For that reason, I intend to be doing more of it this year. It can be very easy, especially when working from home, to become a house hermit for days on end. I will not allow myself more than one consecutive day of being cooped up indoors. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday will have at least 30 minutes of outdoor time, whether it’s a little walk around town, shoveling some snow, or drinking coffee in the yard. Once the weather gets nice again I will obviously spend as much time as I can outdoors.
7. OBTAIN NYC SIGHTSEEING GUIDE LICENSE
This is a thing I have wanted to do since last year when I learned about it. As someone who obsesses over travel, loves sharing experiences, and revels in the wonders of my city it seemed like such a perfect route for me to take. Unfortunately, last year, many things cropped up that prevented me from seeing this pursuit to fruition. This year I will remain determined and I plan to become a licensed tour guide by April. I will share my journey with you and hope you enjoy it as much as I know I will.
8. PRACTICE SELF-CARE WEEKLY
Self-care is so important yet it seems to come last for many of us. Taking good care of myself and cultivating my own hobbies and interests allows me to be the best version of myself. Being a happy and well-rounded individual makes me a better mother, spouse, friend, and colleague. Ironically, when we become parents we tend to redefine self-care. We act as if showering, eating breakfast, or getting a haircut can sufficiently serve as “me time”. For this reason, so many of us end up feeling run ragged. I plan to block out real time, 2 to 3 hours a week, that I will dedicate to myself. Whether it’s painting, reading a book, or getting a good manicure it will be some time I truly invest in myself and my happiness.
9. TAKE A COOKING CLASS
I have been dying to take a recreational cooking class for quite some time now. This will be the year I actually go for it. I love cooking and cultivating recipes and I think it would great to expand on this skill by learning from a pro. NYC has no shortage of amazing places to learn bread baking, cheese making, and cake decorating. I plan to do a little research and enroll in at least one course this year.
10. GO EASIER ON MYSELF
This is perhaps the most important goal on my list and will likely require the most reminding. I am always my own worst critic and set expectations for myself that are often unreasonable. This year I want to be kind to me and be my biggest cheerleader. I will be proud of my attempts, forgive my failures, and push for greatness while loving myself.
I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year and I look forward to sharing the challenges and joys of 2018 with you.