It’s that time of year when everyone is setting out their big goals for the months ahead. The indulgence of the festive season has given way to the punishment of January, when everyone seems to feel the need to make the most miserable month of the year even more miserable through a regime of living off lettuce leaves and treating exercise as some kind of penance for the “sins” of Christmas, ably aided and abetted by the media switching seamlessly from “buy this mountain of food” to “here’s how you can be the slimmest/most toned/best version of yourself” overnight. Funnily enough, this is never a recipe for success!
I just can’t buy into all that “New Year, New You” stuff and don’t set resolutions as largely they are doomed to failure. Frankly if I think I need to make a change in my life, the best thing to do is make that change immediately rather than wait for some arbitrary date to make sweeping and unsustainable changes. I do, however, like to set myself goals that build on the things I do anyway: I run, so I set a mileage goal to see how my year measures up; I read, so I join the annual Goodreads reading challenge and set myself a reading target so I can see how different years compare by tracking my reading; and I look to other regular habits in my life and try to renew my commitment to them and/or refresh my approach. In 2019 I didn’t write a post about my goals as I had no intention of writing about my progress and just wasn’t in that kind of headspace, but this year I have decided to come back to writing a post setting out my goals as there will be elements of this I refer to in my regular posts throughout the year.
So this, dear reader, is my 2020 vision:
1. Having reached the 1000 mile mark for the first time EVER in my running in 2019, I have set my running goal as 1000 miles (or more) for 2020. I’ve been running really consistently since the summer and really hope this will continue into 2020.
2. I read 36 books in 2019, so have set this as my 2020 target. I actually read much more than this in 2018 so it will be interesting to see how this year compares to previous challenges, especially if I make some other slight alterations in my day, like trying to pick up my book for a few minutes rather than mindlessly scrolling through random rubbish on my phone.
Which brings me to…
3. Rather than getting caught up in “stuff” on my phone, I’m setting an intention of being much more purposeful in my phone use. Cutting off my phone use or setting limits doesn’t seem realistic right now, so instead my intention is to use social media to genuinely engage. If I’m on Facebook, I want it to be for active engagement in groups or actually posting rather than lurking or scrolling through mindlessly. If I visit Instagram, it should be to share a moment, catch up with a story or react to posts. If I can eliminate the real time-suck of scrolling for no purpose, maybe I’ll read more books!
4. Another way I intend to use my phone more purposefully is to to use an app to record moments each day that bring me joy or simply make me smile. My thinking is that I take pictures most days, so why not develop this habit to have a more concrete reminder of something that made me happy. I’ve already downloaded a journaling app and have been choosing a picture every day (and hopefully I can mix these up a bit so it’s not too repetitive) to save alongside a short summary of what I found joyful or enjoyable in that day. It’s something I’ve meant to do before but never really sorted out, so it will be interesting to see how this one goes. I’m thinking of it as my way of practising gratitude each day, and since I find it hard to commit to a daily written journal, hopefully this approach will suit me better and I’ve set the app to give me a reminder every evening to complete my entry. Watch this space!
5. Finally, I’m taking the opportunity presented by the annual Yoga With Adriene 30 day yoga journey to refresh my home yoga practice. Although I go to two yoga classes most weeks throughout the year, my home practice has rather dwindled of late and committing to this 30 day series is an ideal way to bring my focus back to it. I won’t actually complete the series in 30 days as I will carry forward the videos published on days I have a yoga class anyway, but on the days when there is no class it will make committing to a home practice much easier as there will be no decision-making as to what video or sequence I will complete. Hopefully by the time I reach the end, my home practice will have been re-established and I will be able to continue with the positive habit I build. I know I run better and feel better when yoga is a more prominent part of my day, so this will be part of my self-care routine (alongside reading, watching Disney vlogs and having relaxing baths) throughout the year. To help keep me accountable, you will notice that “home yoga” will now be listed as part of my roundup in my Week In Review posts so you will see if I’m actually keeping up with this one or not!
So that’s it. Five goals for 2020 which draw on the habits and activities that are part of my life anyway. No sweeping changes or unsustainable new habits, just achievable goals within established parts of my life. None of these are designed to be onerous, simply to help focus me on the things that are important to me and avoid distractions that may fill an idle moment, but don’t really bring any joy or fulfilment to my life. I will try to check in with these later in the year to see how I’m getting on.
What are your goals or intentions for the year?
How do you decide what those goals/intentions will be?