Setting Goals for 2019

Another new year approaches.

This blog used to be all about goals. I used to be all about goals. I was all for losing weight, facing fears, traveling, living life, and checking things off of my 101 Things in 1001 Days List.

Well. Life-draining nursing jobs and super-tight finances put a damper on all that. I couldn't do what I wanted to do because I had no free time and/or no money. Eventually, I guess I stopped caring and became another depressed, boring adult, just working to pay the bills and get through life. But I don't want to be that person. The name of my blog still rings true. Life is for living. Not making a living. 

I want 2019 to be the year I start getting back to that.

In 2019, I'll be 30. Thirty. I'm not a kid anymore. I'm not just killing time, waiting to grow up. I'm a thirty-year-old woman with a family of my own to take care of, to be present with. A daughter to set an example for. Yeah. I'm somebody's wife and mother now. Eeek.

I gotta get it together.

I've been spending the last few weeks reflecting on what kinds of goals I want to set now. Who am I now? What do I care about? What do I want? What would even be realistic?

No more Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Buy a cute pair of shoes just because. Nothing with "treat myself to" in the line. Nothing expensive, nothing spontaneous. Finances are tighter than ever, and we're parents now, with no childcare options.

After all this time, all the changes that have happened in my life, I find myself coming back to the same stuff as always. Losing weight. Getting finances in order. Being a nicer person. Writing more. Not watching so much TV. Seriously, the same basic goals I've had since I was teenager are pretty much the same goals I have for 2019. I've had the same struggles forever. But that doesn't mean I should give up on them.

For 2019, I'll address these same areas again while updating them for the present, plus I'll throw in a couple of new ones. Here's what I have right now:

1. Provide care for my child at home.

This is tops, and I'll do whatever I can to make this happen. Childcare is outrageously expensive, and it doesn't make sense for me to go to work simply to earn enough money to pay someone else to take care of my baby. That's where almost my entire paycheck would go. Plus, the thought of leaving her with strangers who are also responsible for lots of other children, when she's so small and needy, makes me want to cry. At home, I can breastfeed, cloth diaper, cut out screens, read to her, take her outside, give her one-on-one attention, and make sure she is being taken care of safely. She is my biggest responsibility, and this is my primary goal for the year. I can always make more money later, but these most important years of Claire's growth and development won't happen again. 

2. Continue breastfeeding through September. 

I'm three and a half months into exclusively breastfeeding. It's been hard, but I'm so thankful I've been able to persist. I want to keep it going for as long as I can. Claire will be starting solid foods soon, but I hope to continue supplementing her with breast milk through her first birthday in September. 

3. Set a healthy example for Claire.

Sure, she's just a baby, but she won't be for long. She's already watching everything I do. I need to get into healthy habits now- especially in regards to nutrition and exercise- that she can learn from. If I can't find the motivation to get healthy for myself, surely I can for her. 

4. Run Woodstock 5K in August.

I miss running races. They somehow made exercising fun. Woodstock was the race that started it all for me, my first 5K. It seems an appropriate place to go back to at this point. This goal implies and requires mini-goals (monthly, weekly, daily) related to running, strength-training, and eating well. 

5. Eat meals at the table, not in front of the TV.

We've gotten terrible about this. Matt and I don't even talk or look at each other during meals, we just plop down on separate couches and watch a show on Netflix, balancing our plates on our laps. Meal time should be family time. And since we'll have a baby in a high chair learning to eat with us in a few short weeks, it seems like a good time to go all in with this. 

6. Have two- and only two- set times each day to check social media.

I find myself mindlessly scrolling Instagram and Facebook multiple, and I mean MULTIPLE, times throughout the day. I open the apps without even thinking about it. I waste so much time doing this, I miss out on real-life conversations. I disconnect from my family. It's a compulsion, and it's pointless. I don't want to delete my accounts entirely because that's how I connect to many people, but I have to impose strict limits on it.  

7. Focus on being present.

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. Listen when people talk. Make eye-contact. Put down the dang phone, turn off the TV, and engage with my husband. Soak in these moments while Claire is a baby. Stop looking forward to "when she's older and can talk", "when we fix the house", "when I lose weight", "when we have enough money to...". Be. Present. 

8. Establish a writing routine.

I want to create a schedule so I can pick up article assignments and get paid regularly. I also want to be more consistent with updating this blog, and I still entertain dreams of writing a novel. None of that is going to happen if I don't prioritize writing and work it into my daily routine. 

9.  Go outside as much as possible.

Quietly connecting to nature is spiritually important to me. That's how I find God. I want to make time to go find some quiet space with trees and green and sky as often as I can. I want to take Claire with me and teach her about the natural world. 

10. Hike monthly.

I love walking in the woods, but I never make time for it. I haven't done it in months. Maybe at all this year. Now that Matt isn't working outdoors, I know he misses it, too, and we really need to make this a monthly thing we can do together. 

11. Support worthy causes and find ways to do good.

These last couple of years have chipped away at my optimism and hope in humanity. There is so much hate, negativity, and ignorance. I see "Christians" adding to the problems, and instead of being offended by their actions (or lack of them), judging them, and complaining about the church, I want to instead spotlight the people who are making a difference in the world. For every upsetting news story I read, I want to find something positive that someone is doing and focus on that. Instead of wallowing in despair, or being selfish and expecting someone else to step up, I want to find ways to add some goodness in the world. I'm not sure what this will look like with limited finances and taking care of a baby full-time, but I want to be more aware of opportunities, and I want to seize them when they arise. 

12. Try more zero waste ideas. 

I've already implemented many frugal, environmentally-friendly ways, but I could do more. I want to be more aware of packaging when I make purchases. I want to work toward composting and completely eliminating single-use disposables. I'd like to attempt a zero-waste challenge for a week. 

13. Make more, buy less.

Why pay $4 for non-recyclable-plastic-wrapped bread when I can make it packaging-free, with three ingredients, for $0.50 at home? Why buy non-recyclable wrapping paper when I can make my own for free by reusing packing paper from Amazon boxes? I want to be more mindful of purchases and reduce consumerism. 

14. Cut money-wasters.

As I've said, finances are tighter than ever, and my biggest goal is to provide one-on-one care for our baby at home. To make that happen, we have to be extra careful with our money. I want to evaluate all areas of spending and eliminate everything we can, from Hulu and Amazon Prime to unplanned dining out. 

15. Schedule budget meetings as a couple.

For us to reach any kind of financial stability, my husband and I have to get on the same page. We share bank accounts. We have to look at things together. We need to get back to making a budget and using the trusty ol' cash envelope method. 

16. Do a thorough decluttering of the entire house again.

I feel like I'm drowning in clutter again. Our house is always a mess, and it's still, somehow, because we have too much stuff for the space we live in. I'm not sure I have enough extraneous junk lying around to do the Minimalism Game again (that'd be another 496 things to get rid of), but I definitely want to do another round of the Kon Mari method

17. Get the house in a decent- or at least safe- condition.

We've begun remodeling projects and stopped them due to lack of money. This has left us with giant holes in the floor, unfinished walls, dangling electrical cables- all very dangerous, especially with a baby who will be crawling before we know it. I don't expect to have my dream house by December, but we have to get this place in better shape soon. 


Jessica said...

Your house has already come a long way since you first bought it! I am excited to watch it transform.

Kate said...

Quibble - you don't supplement with breastmilk until a year, you supplement with food from 6months on. Breastmilk is still the majority of calories (75%+) and still has way more nutritional content, especially good fats for brain development, than any food does. Congrats on reaching your 4 month nursing goal and good luck continuing- it's so rewarding!