I’m not the sort of person who makes New Year’s resolutions. They just don’t work for me.
I’ve also never chosen a Word of the Year before. I’ve thought about it, but a word has never come to me before. A word has never resonated with me enough to choose for a year.
But 2019 is different. A month or two ago, three words came to me. They kept coming to me. Not a word of the year, but a mantra. Three words to help me work through my depression, my anxiety, and my Crohn’s Disease this year.
Just breathe. Focus.
I spend so much of my time feeling overwhelmed. My thoughts race uncontrollably. I struggle to complete tasks. It’s hard to find the right words for my writing. What should be simple becomes complicated.
I’m tired of feeling this way. It’s why I finally visited a mental health community center last summer. While I’m not happy with the psychiatrist nor comfortable with the therapist, I do feel better on antidepressants. Just not better enough.
So this year, I have a mantra.
Just breathe. Focus.
I honestly believe God put these words in my heart. I hope these words will help calm me. Help me regain the focus I’ve lost. Regardless, I know that if I follow this mantra, God will change me this year.
In addition to a mantra, I have another plan to help me in the new year. I’m resuming my monthly goals, but in a completely new way.
I started writing out my monthly goals to develop healthy habits and to keep track of what really mattered to me. For awhile, this helped me a great deal. Even now, I can look back on some of my past monthly goals and see how much I’ve grown.
But eventually my monthly goals turned into an obsessive to-do list that I could never complete. Even writing the monthly blog post became a burden to me.
So after three years of writing out goals almost every month, I took a break. For all of 2018, I didn’t record monthly goals. I attempted other ways of keeping track of my life, with some successes and some failures.
Now it’s time to write out monthly goals again, just in a simplified version.
But first, a quick look at my broad intentions for 2019!
Just breathe. Focus.
This mantra guides my intentions for the year.
To improve my health this year, I need to consider my body, mind, and soul. Health isn’t just about good nutrition and exercise. I need to take care of all of me.
- I will establish new self-care routines and follow them consistently.
- Dan and I will build healthy habits together.
- I will see medical professionals as necessary.
Less is More
I want to stop feeling overwhelmed by all the things. To do that, I need to cut back on all the things.
- Each month, Dan and I will clean out a small category of items. This will be a manageable task that shouldn’t take more than two hours.
- Dan and I will do at least three “low-spend” months to minimize unnecessary purchases.
- All of my content creation will prioritize quality over quantity.
My 2019 intentions guide my monthly goals. Like before, I’ll organize my goals by category. However, instead of creating a long to-do list for each category, I’ll just focus on a few things, and sometimes only one thing. Trying to do all the things will hurt both my ability to focus and my overall health.
For my health:
- Find a new psychiatrist and/or therapist to see.
- Create a self-care tracking chart.
For my marriage:
- Plan a date night/day outside the home.
For our household:
- Go through all socks, underwear, bras, and undershirts. Toss anything in bad condition.
- Spend 20 minutes a day, 4 days a week cleaning out my office.
- Figure out and write down a system for maintaining the home.
- Follow “low-spend” guidelines. Overall, only buy necessary items, plus anything needed to complete other goals on this list. Don’t purchase any of the following:
- Alcohol (date night exempted)
- Home goods
- Tools/supplies if they’re not needed for a current, ongoing project
For my career:
- Stay on track with Kappa volunteer position.
- Plan the 2019 Love Blog Challenge.
- Line up all co-hosts.
- Write 4 posts in advance.
- Create a group Pinterest board.
- Create 1 YouTube video.
- Start Blog By Number course.
This is not a long, stressful list. These are minimal goals that I can accomplish this month, goals that align with my overall intentions for the year.
I also hope that my new mantra will calm and steady my mind this year. It’s okay if I don’t do everything I want. I just need to accomplish a few things with a clear, focused mind.
Tell me about you and your goals! Did you choose a word of the year? Do you set monthly goals or New Year’s resolutions? Let me know!