Last year, I decided to try and set some goals by taking on #19for2019 as described by Gretchen Ruben and Elizabeth Craft in episode 250 of the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
In December of 2018, I sat down and thought about how I wanted 2019 to look from the perspective of my personal, family and professional self.
So what 19 things did I want to focus on? Buckle up. This is a long post. I’ll cover 1-9 in this post. Tomorrow you’ll see a post covering the other 10.
Something Gretchen and Elizabeth suggest is to have a word to focus on for the year. Something that will bring a lot of things together. I chose two words: Be Virginia. Without getting into too much personal baggage, for the past few years, I’ve realized that I haven’t always felt like myself. If you asked me who I was and what I was interested in, I would be hard pressed to come up with much beyond the fact I’m a mother and details about my jobs; obviously there’s a lot more about me, but I was struggling to see beyond those two versions of myself.
I saw taking on #19for2019 as an opportunity to focus on some things that would help me reconnect with some things I enjoy, while also focusing on some goals I would be proud of.
My 19 for 2019
How did I do?
Well that depends on how you look at some of these items. A few were simple one-offs, a few are continued works-in-progress, and a few were completely neglected (and I’m fine with that).
1. Complete a reading challenge – Success! On Goodreads, I arbitrarily decided to try and read 25 books over the 12 months. At this point and likely my final count is 33 books. There’s a pretty good split between ebooks and audio books, with some hard copies tossed in there as well. Some folks aren’t a fan of audio books, but when you’re busy with a tiny human and holding a book or smart phone isn’t an option, an audio book is a nice compromise. It can also help make maternity leave feel less lonely.
2. Own fewer books – I have no metrics to back this up, but I have been donating a lot of old childhood books and have been working hard not to purchase new books this past year. One great resource has been accessing digital and audio books through our local libraries thanks to the Libby app. It has definitely helped to increase my reading and lowered my temptation to buy books. <3
3. Blog more – technically this was a pretty easy win given that my poor neglected blog only received 2 posts for that entire year. Funny thing maternity leave can be when it’s your second time around. I figured I would have more time to blog and work on personal projects because “hey, I’ve done this whole temporary stay at home mom gig, so I know what I’m doing”… ha ha ha ha ha ha! Quiet the opposite this time around. Our eldest started kindergarten last year, so I found myself juggling baby’s naps and after school pick up… and on some days, not much else was fitting in between those two priorities.
4. Spend less time online – A toss up on whether or not this was accomplished. Early in the year, I downloaded an app (can’t remember which one) and it would track how often I used my phone, but something it really focused on was how many times in a day I unlocked my phone… which is apparently a lot. I’m convinced it actually stressed me out more by having those notifications constantly popping up. I deleted the app and decided to just try and curb my online activities. Granted, part of my job is to literally be active on certain social media accounts, but personal vs. professional usage can be fairly easy to flag if the purpose is to personally unplug.
5. Make three new friends – I have no idea what the main motivation was behind this and honestly, it sounds incredibly lame to even read inside my head. The goal was to expand my regular circle/network of regular contacts and friends. Meh.
6. Mail some hand written letters – NOPE! Zero success rate on this. Didn’t really have a plan or take time to put some thought into this. I had great intentions, but no real drive to make it happen. Again, I make note of the naivety to think maternity leave would be productive…
7. Spend more time outside -Alright, let’s ignore the fact that the summer of 2019 on the Avalon Peninsula was almost total garbage… I did make a conscious effort to get outside more whether it was in the neighbourhood or at our summer home.
8. Go swimming as a family – Nope! My original thought was to try and have us go to a local pool during a standard family swim session. We did manage to get both kiddos into the pool at the summer home, but it didn’t involve both of their parents. This was mainly due to the fact that Matt was busy helping my dad with some important projects that did not involve splashing around in a small pool. Let’s instead focus on the fact that the tiny humans really enjoyed any time that was spent in the water.
9. Organize the Green Room’s closet – That’s a major work in progress. We have this really weird closet space in a spare room downstairs – it’s basically the shape of a bay window with all the same angles and narrowness at the sides. It currently has a mishmash of boxes stuffed within it. I want to get everything out of it and completely reorganize the space with shelves and in turn create some sense of order.
So there you have it. The first nine weren’t terrible and I have no regrets or negative feelings around the items that were total misses. I had fun coming up with a variety of goals to pick away at throughout the year.
Are you the type to make resolutions or set goals throughout the year? What’s your motivation to do it? Or maybe you’re against the idea of setting yourself up with expectations – if I want to accomplish something, I’ll just do it, right?
Stay tuned for number 10-19…