I’ve never been one for making New Year’s Resolutions, but there’s something about turning that page on a brand new year, hanging a new calendar (or two!) in my home office, that gets me thinking about goals I’d like to set in the year ahead.
At the dinner table last night, my family and I talked about our goals, but then I saw this photo about actually writing them down, taking the steps needed to turn Dreams into Reality.
This morning, I put pen to paper, and I noticed a theme emerge: the need to be more selective in how I spend my time. As a freelancer, I set my own schedule, and it’s been a grueling one for the past year. The best thing about working from a home office is also the worst thing: you don’t have to leave the house to get to your job, but you also never get away from your workplace.
In the year ahead, I’d like to do a better job of setting limits on my work hours. There are times when inspiration hits at 11pm, and I just go with it, and that’ll probably never change, but that can lead me to a mindset where I’m never off-duty. I’m going to experiment with picking a specific time window when work tasks are strictly off-limits. On the flip side of that, I’d also like to set aside a specific time and day of the week for pursuing something non-work related that I enjoy.
I’d also like to use my time more wisely. Part of my work entails managing clients’ social media accounts, so logging onto Facebook and Twitter isn’t just fun and games, it’s also a necessary part of the work day. Unfortunately, it can be a bit too easy to get sucked into other pursuits once you start scrolling through, and the number of distractions start adding up. I’ll be more disciplined about staying on task in the months ahead, and not getting lured down the rabbit hole of recipes, political posts, and viral videos.
Another goal: to connect with friends in person more than I do online. There’s no substitute for direct communication with someone, sitting across a table, making eye contact and reading their facial expressions and hearing directly from them how they’re doing, not some filtered online version of real life.
Writing more and getting caught up on my massive “books to be read” pile are perennial goals, so I’m filing those under the same overall category of using my time more efficiently.
Maintaining good health is always a priority, and this year, I’m going to focus more on my overall well-being–not just physical fitness and nutrition, but the mind/body/spirit connection.
The news and unstable political climate can be emotionally draining, and one of the things I know I need to work on is being less reactive to upsetting situations that arise, locally and on the national level. “Choose your battles” is good advice, and something I’m going to do more of in the year ahead. To keep things in perspective, I’m going to try the 10-10-10 method I heard about on TV once: when faced with a tough decision, ask yourself: what will be the consequences of this decision in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years? [I googled–this was based on advice from author Suzy Welch on Oprah.]
I’m also a big believer in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: You Must Be the Change You Wish to See in the World. I have these words plastered on my office wall, as a daily reminder of the importance of making a positive difference in the world. I’m looking forward to further prioritizing my volunteer advocacy, and working for the passage of common-sense legislation that makes our community safer.
I know, it’s quite the list–I’m exhausted just reading it. Here’s to a productive 2019!