Several weeks after my post about getting rid of our TV, and even after all your encouraging and motivating comments, that 47” widescreen is still staring me down from its corner in the living room.
After all that ranting and raving, it’s still there! Gah!
I did and still do believe it’s the catalyst to kicking off my other goals, so why is it still there?
Maybe I’m lazy after a hectic day. Maybe I feel too comfortable in that lazy routine. Maybe I’ll feel lost with that big gaping space in my living room. But really, I think the TV is still there because I haven’t clearly defined the goals I’d like to focus on in its absence.
In that last post, I vaguely mentioned that I’d like to read more, write more, cook more, swim more, learn more photography techniques, connect with friends and family more regularly, etc. Basically, I want to take all the little happinesses in my life and amplify them. Okay, good goal; but could I get any more vague?!
I think the reason I’m still hooked to Bones, The New Girl, Criminal Minds, and [yes, really] The Antiques Roadshow, is that I don’t know where to start once they’re gone.
With that said, I’ve taken a stab at defining my goals more clearly. I want to preface this by saying my biggest problem with goals in the past has been that I try to take on too much at once, get burned out within a matter of days, and completely give up all too quickly. Therefore, this is an outline of really tiny baby steps to help me get started.
1. Write [something, anything] 3 times weekly
I was an English major and I love writing, whether it’s journals, fiction, poetry, whatever. I miss it. Journaling-wise, it’s the only true way I can sort through my feelings and thoughts. Creative writing-wise, I miss the feeling of crafting a story or poem and experimenting with language.
2. Have a good reading session once a week
Ditto the above, but substitute writing for reading.
3. Cook 2 real meals weekly, including 1 new recipe
I like to think I’m a decent cook thanks to being taught various things by my parents throughout my childhood, but all too often I take the easy way out and throw a can of soup on the stove or something equally instantaneous. Actually cooking is healthier and makes me more mindful about what’s going in my stomach, not mention the fun I have when experimenting with ingredients.
4. Swim once a week
I used to be a runner, but after a half marathon left my knee in chronic pain, swimming is the only thing I can really handle. I started swimming while I was pregnant and loved it. It keeps me in great shape and helps my knee. Why I haven’t gone swimming in months is beyond me.
5. Avoid sweets and added sugars
This may sound a little radical, but I have a serious addiction! For me, sugar is all or nothing. Plus, a diagnosis of gestational diabetes despite no obvious risk factors while I was pregnant scared me into realizing the astronomical amount of sugar I’ve ingested over the years. I need to stick to fruit for my sugar fix.
6. Be more mindful of finances; look at my bank account monthly
Money stresses me out. It’s not that I’m totally fiscally irresponsible, but I have experienced tight spots that I should have foreseen instead of letting them creep up on me and give me anxiety attacks. I need to stick to some kind of monthly budget.
7. Take a walk at least twice a week
Currently, I live 500 feet from a forest preserve with an awesome grassy trail. Why I don’t get out there more I have no clue. Being in nature relaxes me, calms me down, and lets me more easily work through any chaos in my world.
8. De-clutter the house once a week
Maybe I’m expecting too much with a 40 hour work week, 2 hours of commuting, a baby to play with, a dog and 2 cats to take care of, and a husband to spend time with, but I really wish I could keep the house in better shape. For me, clutter = anxiety.
There’s more I’d like to commit to, but I know without a doubt that I’ll get overwhelmed until I’ve built habits out of these above goals.
I’m hoping that sharing these things so publicly will help hold me accountable. Wish me luck!