Tackling Goals Before 2019

Sunday, November 18, 2018

It finally hit me the other day that 2018 is practically over already. So much has already happened this year that I feel a bit like I've been left to sit in awe of it all as the dust settles, but I don't want to let the last few weeks slip by me. I want to soak up as much as I can of this crazy year and the holiday season to come, but I also want to make sure I'm putting myself in the best position possible for the start of 2019. So even though the timeline is only a few weeks, I'm taking some time to reflect on what life is like now, what I want to focus on and creating a plan of action for the rest of 2018.

In my life, a lot of my time and energy each week is going toward my everyday routine, when in reality it shouldn't be taking up much time at all seeing as how it's, well, a routine. I feel like time is slipping through my fingers each week as I sit around struggling to pick out workouts for my gym sessions, healthy meals for the week, keep our house from becoming a complete mess and trying to make progress on all the improvement projects we have left at John's house. I want to reclaim all these areas of my life, set up a routine I don't need to think about and can pre-plan as much as possible and then focus on things I actually want to do more of, like reading 8 more books to meet my Goodreads reading goal ( 😬) or searching for pieces to finish up my living room redesign.

1. Bring back a cleaning routine...

To tackle my housework, I'm reviving my old cleaning routine. I stuck to it for a long time, but then I started dating John. Just like most things when you first start dating someone, it fell off the radar pretty quickly. Now that we've come back up for air and we're sharing a home, I should be able to squeeze in 15 minutes of cleaning a day pretty easily. Once a week I will take out the trash, vacuum, sweep, clean the bathrooms, dust and clean all the glass and counter surfaces. Dividing those tasks throughout the week means I can accomplish everything with only a few minutes of work a night. I'm adding each task to my weekly bullet journal spread so I can keep myself accountable and make sure I remember to do each task.

2. ... and create a general evening routine

If I want to keep up with the cleaning routine I created, it's just generally easier if I have an all around evening routine. I wrote down everything I want to do on a nightly basis (gym, shower, skin care, read, Duolingo, etc etc etc) and figured out a schedule that gets it all done but still allows some free time. I'm the kind of person that gets really focused on something for awhile until I grow tired of it, so having some room to explore whatever whim I have that night is the only way I can stick to a routine. Must remember: routines are only a means to an end, not the end themselves!

3. Finish home improvement projects

For the mountain of home improvement projects at John's house I created a Trello board to plan everything out. If you're not familiar with Trello, it's a simple productivity tool that lets you create virtual whiteboards that have multiple lists of cards. It's a pretty basic premise but it's flexible enough that you can track things in ways that make sense to you. We added one list with every to-do task we could think of and then made a list for each remaining week of the year. Once I could see the rest of the year all laid out, it was pretty easy to divide all the to-do tasks into the remaining weeks. I like using a digital tool when I'm trying to get a schedule like this laid out because it lets you play around and change things without having to start all over, erase things or constantly be crossing things out. Once we came up with our schedule, I added all the tasks to the monthly views of my bullet journal so that I can easily remember them when I'm planning ahead for the week. Now I know what's getting done when and I'm confident we can complete it all before the end of the year!

4. Refocus at the gym

When I show up to the gym without a plan, I tend to pick an easier workout since I immediately face the consequences. I want to up my game and challenge myself more, so I really need to pre-plan my workouts so I don't take the easy way out. I'm arming myself with both Bikini Body Guides from Kayla Itsines which I've done several times before, workouts from Zanna van Dijk's Instagram posts and YouTube videos, some weight circuits from Jamie Eason Middleton's Live Fit program and yoga from Yoga With Adriene. I've picked out four gym workouts for each week and added some yoga for the weekends, so now I have no excuses when I show up at the gym. Now just give me a high energy playlist and I should be back to hitting it hard.

5. Eat more whole foods

After essentially re-learning how to cook earlier this year when we went vegetarian / almost vegan, I finally feel like we've got a good mix of go-to recipes and we're not floundering in the kitchen. Since we have a good foundation now, I want to pay more attention to the kinds of foods we're eating and how much of it. I found a nice little vegan food pyramid to aspire to from Plant Proof and I'm going to try to hit those targets every day. This means I'm finally going to have to stop finding excuses not to eat salad before I gorge myself on all those delicious carbs...
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