As we leave another month behind, I’m reminded that my 30 birthday is another month closer. It still isn’t inducing any negative thoughts or freak outs and I don’t really imagine it will even as the months turn into days before I’m blowing out the birthday candles (besides, cake!). I have often said that I’ve felt 50 my whole life, so I’m actually still behind schedule!
The one thing I have been concerned about is whether I set myself up for disappointment when I wrote out my goals list last year. As I talked about in the last blog post, I noticed I had made a lot of classic goal-setting mistakes that I KNOW aren’t helpful in the long run, yet still did them – too many, too broad, and too unnecessary. I’ve spent some time since writing last rethinking my list and making adjustments while keeping my overall intentions in mind. The list is not “complete”, but I thought it may be helpful to others to read about my thought process as I edit what’s left on my original list (which happens to be a lot) and also help me to work through what I want my life to look like over the next 7 months and beyond.
So if you’re curious, keep reading!
The Original Goals List – What’s Left and What’s Next?
- Start and FINISH this project! – This is of course still the top goal! But what does this mean now that I’m not trying to tackle 30 different goals? How will this be measured? At this point, I think it’s important for me to commit to posting weekly and trying to accomplish 1-2 goals per month. If I can do those two things, I think I can cross this one off. It’s not exactly how I planned it, but being OK with making adjustments (or “swerving” as Michelle Obama defines it) is part of why I wanted to do this project in the first place. So with some more details, this one is staying
- Revised goal: Start and FINISH this project by writing a blog post once per week and completing 1-2 goals per month until September 2019.
- Learn how to sew a button – Completely doable! All that’s stopping me is a needle, thread, and some YouTube tutorials.
- Revised goal: Learn how to sew a button by the end of February 2019
- Fix the recalls on my car – Doable (and important for, you know, not-dying reasons), but also requires me to do things I’m anxious about: calling up a stranger and going alone to a mechanics. I have done both of these before, so it’s not like it’s completely out of the question. So this one is staying on with a little rewriting,
- Revised goal: Fix the airbag recall on my car by calling Toyota to make an appointment within the next 1-2 months
See a primary care provider, dentist, and eye doctor – The PCP has been taken care of, now for the other two. Problems? I don’t have dental or vision insurance and it requires calling and making appointments. Again, not impossible and very important to my health. It’s probably a bad thing if you don’t remember when your last teeth cleaning or eye exam was, right? This one will take a little while between finding a good provider, getting in for an appointment, and figuring out insurance/costs.
- Revised goal: See both a dentist and an eye doctor for basic checkups within the next 6 months
- Learn how to refinish/repair large items of furniture (dresser, dining room table and chairs, etc.) – So this is still important to me, but has changed details a bit. As I’ve come to realize, my current living space doesn’t lend itself to large-scale furniture projects. I’ve been able to successfully repaint different pieces and small items, but anything more requires more room and (more importantly) ventilation. So I still want to learn how to do this, but will have to “table” it until circumstances change. This one will be going off the list!
- Complete a behavioral training course with my dog, Rocky – Doable and necessary! While I have tried sporadically over the last 2.5 years to train him on my own, the truth is Rocky’s anxieties are too high to get through most of the time. He may never be a go-with-the-flow guy, but I do think some professional guidance would do him and us some good. It’s also helpful that I now work within a rescue organization, so resources are nearby!
- Revised goal: Complete a behavioral training course with my dog Rocky by summer 2019
- Write an e-Book – Doable…technically this is always doable, but the question is if I really need or want to do this. I originally thought it would be a good addition to a small business or way to get email signups for some sort of online service. I do love to write, but I’m not sure my motivations are enough to follow through with this at this time. Maybe it’s a long term project that I eventually finish, even if just to feel the accomplishment of doing it. In the context of this project, this one is off the list.
- Publicly acknowledge my health issues – I wrote this one when I was feeling much more uncomfortable with being open and vulnerable about the less-fun parts of myself. While I’m no where near 100% OK with that (who is though!), I feel like I’ve done a good job at talking about my anxiety both here on the blog and in person much more than I used to. There’s more to tell, but I’m still figuring out the line that separates what’s truly good for me to share and what is fine to keep close. How to measure “completeness” for this one is also tricky, so may not be an appropriate goal as written. This one needs more thought and revising – stay tuned!
- Earn certification in home safety inspections for seniors – It turns out this doesn’t really exist and if I wanted to start doing this I can basically do it after some studying and free practice inspections. Again, this was written at a time where I was feeling stuck professionally and wanted to try something new. It isn’t off the table, but I don’t think it’s important for the next 7 months. This one is off the list!
- Pay off all credit card debt (for the 3rd time!) – Doable and actually half complete! I just cleared the balance on my smaller card and will have the larger one paid off as of December 2019 (with the current payment plan). So this may not be technically complete by my birthday, but I’m keeping it on because it’s a big overall goal for the year. What has worked for me is taking advantage of balance transfer offers on cards I already have where I can move a balance and then not pay interest for a year or so. I’ll discuss more in a later post!
- Revised goal: Pay off all credit card debt by December 2019
- Meditate daily for 1 year (365 Days Together challenge on Insight Timer App) – So…saying you’re going to do something EVERY DAY for an entire YEAR is basically a recipe for disaster. If you miss even one day, you’ve already made it impossible to complete. I can tell you, I was doing well at daily meditating for about 5 days…and then it was all over with. It’s not that I don’t value it or want to do it, but making that big of a commitment when you aren’t doing the habit at all in the first place is not very realistic. But I’m not giving up because I know it’s helpful for my anxiety and just general being-a-human stuff, so revising it is!
- Revised goal: Meditate for 5 minutes per day for the month of March 2019
- Purge all unworn/unwanted clothing and invest in fewer, higher quality items – So this is technically doable, but maybe not practically. While it’s true that I now dislike most of my clothes (just ask my poor boyfriend), it’s going to be a process dependent on time and money to get where I want to be. I have been starting to separate my clothes over the last week and have plans to try selling some so I can fund my new purchases. Stay tuned for a post/revised goal!
- Volunteer! – With my current schedule, this is pretty challenging if not impossible. I was able to volunteer for a couple of events through a local dog rescue last year, but I ended up getting a job in the field instead I still want to do this, but it may be one of those longer-range life goals that don’t belong on this list. For now, I’m taking it off the goals list.
- Stop watching TV/using phone/searching Internet 1 hour before bed – Mostly doing this since the middle of January! But I guess I would need to wait until September to cross off? This one needs some more thought.
- Get my second tattoo – Doable and still important to me! Will likely be waiting until the summertime so I don’t need to worry about clothing rubbing on freshly inked skin 🙂
- Revised goal: Get my second tattoo in Summer 2019
- Visit a national state park – Might be doable this year, but no set trip is in the works. Keeping it on the list!
- Speak at an industry conference or present a webinar – After thinking about this one, I realized that I don’t actually want to do either of those things. So off the list it goes!
- Go on a cruise! – This was originally an idea being “floated” around (hehe) as a vacation for Brian and I this spring, but we decided it was more important in the long run to use that money to pay down more of our debt. Also, we went on a beach vacation last year, so this year is about saving! Moving this off the list and planning on it next year instead.
- Decide if I truly want to have my own business someday – Again, the me who writes these things is usually in a very desperately-seeking-answers place! There is no reason why this would need to be decided by my 30th birthday…so it’s gone!
- Invest in stocks/mutual fund/ETF – Still important to me, especially as I don’t feel I started saving for retirement as early as I should. I have a small IRA through my employer and savings accounts, but I want to be much more involved in investing.
- Revised goal: Check out Wealthsimple for help with investing by March 2019 and set up investment account in Spring 2019
- Use only cruelty-free beauty and cleaning products – This one is actually about 90% done! I no longer use any personal products (shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, makeup) that are not certified cruelty-free and we are close to eliminating all traditional cleaning products from our house. We are using up what we already had (no use adding to landfills!) and replacing as we go. Currently, our dish soap and laundry detergent pass the test, with just a few more to go!
- Learn a second language – This was put here as a very well-meaningly ambitious goal that seemed like it should be on here…but seeing as I don’t really know a) what I want to learn and 2) why I want to learn it, this one will be getting more thought and revised.
- Learn to play another musical instrument – Again…why?! I think the California drum circle had something to do with it. Taking off the list for this project!
- Visit all 7 parks in Milton, VT – Totally doable and fun – staying as is!
- Start geocaching – Doable and interesting, but when is this “done”? What does it mean to cross this one off? Will need to think about it more and see if it needs to be an actual goal.
- Complete a 30 Day yoga challenge – Probably the one that makes me the most irritated…do you know how many of these I’ve started and not finished?? The furthest I’ve gotten was about 18 days in…and then stopped. This is doable AND GETTING DONE!
So there you have it – a little window into my thinking and some of my planning for the next 7 months until I turn 30. I will be posting a full updated goals list soon, with a couple other new ones thrown in that support my overall intentions.
Do you have tips or advice? Personal experience with goal setting you’d like to add? Feel free to leave me a comment or send me a message, I’d love to hear about it!
Until next time…which will be next Sunday in order to meet my revised goal! 🙂