Happy 2019 everyone!
And with a New Year means New Year Goals. I know this topic can be very polarizing. Some people love them; some people think they are just another way to get your hopes high, only to have to face disappointment.
And while I think there’s definitely a method to goal setting, I think it’s important to also keep setting goals because that’s what keeps us growing. I’m also learning that if you fail at a goal, not to completely give up on it, but ask yourself, why?
Were the stakes not high enough? Did you not put in the effort? Why?
I recently did a recap on my 2018 goals and graded myself on the effort, not the result. It taught me a lot about why I was not achieving my goals I will be sharing more about this in a future post. I’ve taken my 2018 and have now they aren’t goals anymore; I’m incorporating them into my life so they become habits.
But first, let’s get started with my goals for 2019.
As I’ve mentioned before, I try to set 5 goals a year in different areas of my life. I learned this from Lauren Conrad and it works well for me because I’m not tackling too many things at once in a particular area, it’s not overwhelming and allows me to live a well-rounded life.
For instance, I don’t want to only focus on fitness or healthy eating and push my relationships or other goals to the side. And I’m a realistic person, if I spend the whole year solely focusing on one goal, I will inevitably revolve my life around it and lose momentum in other areas in my life. And I’ve worked really hard to ensure I have a well-rounded life where I may not the fittest person you’ve ever met, but I live a healthy lifestyle and have never struggled with my weight. I may not be the smartest person, but I have a great career. And I may not be the most popular person on social media, but I have a list of friends and family I could at a moment’s notice around the world and I never feel unloved.
I know this might be a different approach for some, but it’s what works for me because I have a very addictive personality and can tunnel vision goals very easily. That being said, I have 5 goals and I prioritize them. I find what’s most important to me for that year and focus mainly on that area but I don’t allow my self-image to be engulfed into one goal. And if it doesn’t work out, I’m not shattered by it because I’ve worked really hard in all areas of my life.
However, I do try to prioritize my goals. You can’t be everything all at once. I can’t start a vigorous diet, start a massive business, read 100 books, and go to the gym three times a week, all at once. Those are all goals that require a lot of time and effort and I try to balance my goals in terms of areas but also in terms of commitment.
In addition, I will also end with one impossible goal and will explain more on that later.
So here are my 2019 goals!
My first goal of the year will be to keep a gratitude journal. I think I’ve always been a grateful person, but I’ve never actually written down. Gratitude can change a lot because it makes you thankful for the things you already have, instead of always searching for more.
I think this is an especially important year for me because, at the end of 2018, I actually didn’t feel like I accomplished much. I saw all these people’s Year In Reviews on Instagram and Youtube (my fav is the kickass Karlie Kloss), and I felt a little defeated. A little “less-than.” All of these people had accomplished all of these great big things and there was just me.
Then I took my own advice and took some time to reflect on my 2018 and realized, hey, I actually did a lot. And while the changes weren’t massive like getting married or starting new jobs like some of my friends, they were huge strides in building the life I wanted. I really prioritized my family and friends last year and I started in a new department and even started going back to school. I really focused on building and strengthening relationships last year and while these may not be as “Instagram worthy,” I’m so proud of my relationships and truly believe it’s been the biggest factor in my mental health. I know a lot of people suffer from loneliness and of course, I have those feelings too but having built true friendships and strong family bonds have gotten me through a lot.
Yet, I didn’t feel that way at the end of the year so this year I’ve started a gratitude journal. It’s essentially a day planner but instead of events or meetings, I write the 3 things I’m grateful for every day.
And this is a low effort goal for me this year, but it’s challenging in the consistency. That’s why I’ve made it easier for myself by not starting a bullet journal for it or find the perfect notebook for it.
And it tempts me so hard.
I watching bullet journal spreads on YouTube and Instagram and am a part of some Facebook groups as well.
But I ‘m going to start this year will let go of the “perfect vision” of a goal and focus on the goal itself. Sure, a bullet journal or beautiful notebook will make my gratitude journal more aesthetically pleasing, but I know the perfectionist in me will quit as soon as it’s not perfect.
Instead, I write the 3 things I’m grateful for down in a set planner. And I’ve told myself that I can write them throughout the day. So even if I’m not near my planner, I can write it on my phone and transfer in the things later. And let’s face it, there’s not a day I’m not near my phone.
2. Mandarin and Spanish
Now, you might think learning one language is ambitious, and two must be crazy, especially since I didn’t even do that well on my French goal last year. However, the difference is that I only want to be a beginner at Mandarin and Spanish and have a few big things pushing me to learn this year.
First of all, I want to able to hold conversations in these languages. I don’t really think I’ll ever want or need to reach full fluency. For me, because my career is tied to French, I know that is a language I want to become fluent in. However, for Mandarin and Spanish, I don’t know if the pull will ever be enough to keep me consistently motivated to learn the language.
For Spanish, I will be taking two trips this year to Spanish speaking countries and would like to learn at least the basics to communicate. Unlike French where I’m learning all of the detailed grammatical rules, I really would like to get through the countries. My first test will be in Peru. I will be hiking the Inca trail in April and am super excited! My next trip will hopefully be a trip to Mexico (details not confirmed yet). I’m also going to start studying Spanish in hopes that my French background will help.
For Mandarin, I will like to be more intermediate in conversation, but I know I will never have that time or desire to be completely fluent in writing. Writing Chinese is really difficult for me, but instead of letting the perfectionist desire in me stop me from learning it, I’m going to instead focus solely on conversation. The reason for this is because I’ve always wanted to learn either Cantonese or Mandarin because it’s such a widely popular language (especially where I live) but also because my boyfriend’s family speaks Mandarin. That not only puts it as a goal but also makes it easier for me to learn. My goal at the end of the year will be to get through one family dinner in Mandarin.
While my language skills may not be fluent, the effort I make for these goals will need to be consistent because my first trip is in April and my second trip is in November.
3. Working Out At Least Once A Week
I know this is soooo cliché. But I’d like to say that I have never once put working out on my goals list. The reason I’m doing it this year because of my Inca trail and because of my 30 before 30 list. I’m really dorky, I have a 30 before 30 list that has been living on Google Drive since I was 20.
And every time I feel a bit lost, I go back to it and think about what my grand scheme of things that I want to achieve (learning Spanish and Mandarin are also on the list though).
One of these goals is to consistently go to a dance or fitness class once per week for an entire year. I think I’ve always been lucky in the sense that I’ve never really had to “work” to stay in shape. Exercise has always been incorporated into my life through other means, like I walk (or run) at least 2km a day for work, I love hiking and am lucky enough to live in a mountainous area, and I also just running. But I’ve never consistently worked out which is why I’m still kind of like jello, but I do have endurance.
I want to set a habit of being able to consistently work out in case one day I work or stay at home, and can’t get out as often. I want to be intentional in my fitness which is why my goal for this year will be to work out for at least 15-30 mins at least once a week.
And this may sound super trivial, once a week? That’s not enough!
But for me, because I also live a moderately active lifestyle (I also used to play ultimate Frisbee), I want to approach it with low commitment. The hardest part of working out for me is telling myself to get started. Usually, when I do this, I end up for working out a lot longer but the initial start is always the hardest.
I will also be adjusting my 30 before 30 goal to state dance/fitness class/run/workout program so I don’t make any excuses for myself. Even if I can’t make it to a fitness class or it’s raining outside and I can’t run, I can at least turn to YouTube and do a few fitness videos.
I’ll be logging and tracking my progress in the same planner I use for gratitude. Nothing fancy, just focusing on results.
I think a lot of goals I make are mostly about me, but I also want to be conscious of what kind of difference and impact I’m making. What’s the point of workings so hard on myself if I don’t help make the world better in return.
I love volunteering and it used to be a major part of my life. All through elementary school, high school and even through university I was consistently volunteering and it took up a large part of my schedule. Most recently, in 2016, I actually traveled solo to Tanzania and found a local women’s group to volunteer in coordinating microfinancing project and I loved it. I loved that part of me.
And then my life changed in many ways and I couldn’t make it a priority anymore. My family became my priority and then I bought an apartment and moved out and the days seemed to get busier and busier. But I do want to restart. It’s been on my mind for a while and I have some ideas of what kind of volunteering I want to look into at this stage of my life and with my current skill set, what I believe I can offer.
My goal will be to find one organization that I can consistently volunteer with instead of just one-off opportunities. Wish me luck!
5. Business Blogging
I really, really want to continue blogging and updating Millennial Life Admin. I’ve quit blogging so many times before and yes, these posts are a lot of work. If you go through my posts, you’ll see I average about 1500-2000 words in every post, and that’s basically the length of your average essay.
More than that I want to see explore how I can turn this little blog into a business. Not just to make money, but to bring real value to people. As I explained in my 2018 budget re-cap, I currently have a Creative Spending Fund while I pool all my side hustle money and am only allowed to spend on my blog (or any other creative project) out of that account.
But it’s been hard to keep afloat and I’ll be exploring some other ideas on how I can spend more time on my blog, creating even more and different types of content, and most of all better marketing my blog. This is something I really struggle with because I’ve never been good at being like “look at me!” I’m social but really quite self-conscious and need to work on my confidence when it comes to my blog. I put out a lot of great content that I know is helpful and I don’t want to be my self-doubt and need to constantly play the comparison game be my downfall.
In 2019, my goal will be to make my blog a business instead of a hobby. And that not just means monetary but also in mindset. Therefore my definition of this goal is to make MLA self-sustainable. I have a feeling this is going to be a very interesting personal development journey.
My Impossible Goal
Lastly is my impossible goal for 2019. If you don’t know, what an impossible goal is, it’s an idea I heard from Brooke Castillo through Sam Laura Brown. While all of my 2019 goals so far have been quite realistic so far (and have followed the SMART formula of goal setting which means there are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based), this goal goes completely against all of that. Brooke and Sam can attest to these more as they are personal development coaches but it’s basically when you create a goal that seems so out of reach, but you go for it anyways.
And my impossible goal for 2019 is to make $10,000 in side income.
Now this goal wasn’t made out of a desire to become rich (although $10,000 extra would be nice if anyone’s looking to donate :P). I created it out of a need to be creative and entrepreneurial. I love being creative. I love business and marketing. And I have a million ideas. No, I’m not exaggerating I literally am one of those people who have a million ideas of different projects to start rolling around in my head all at once. And not only is it exciting, but it’s also exhausting, disappointing, and frustrating to have all these ideas but never really put them into full action. So this year, I’m setting myself into action.
And it may incorporate this blog, but I’m also going to be reaching elsewhere to reach this impossible goal. For some, this may not be impossible, but for me, it is. And I don’t mean $10,000 from a side job because I’ve actually worked a second part-time job on top of a 9-5. The worst was when I was working 3 jobs, one of which was 9-5, and two which were mornings, evenings, and weekends. Bad idea.
I want to see if I could make $10,000 from side income out of the passion projects that have been filling up my head. To see them come to life and if I fail miserably, well at least I know I tried and it doesn’t have to stay as an idea in my head. And that way it can leave my head and make way for new and better ideas.
So those are my goals are for 2019. Let me know in the comments what are your goals this year! And I definitely invite you to also think up your own impossible goal.
To the New Year MLAs,