2018 Resolutions

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I love New Year's Eve. There's something beautiful about so many people, all at once, shedding their insecurities & bad habits & negativity, and declaring that this is the year they'll become their best selves; that this is the beginning of an immense transformation in their lives. There's something pure about picking a single day to start over — even when that day isn't all that different from the day before it — and holding firm to that commitment. Pulling sneakers out of the closet, opening unused appliances, dusting off journals, and preparing for the year ahead.

I always come up with New Year's Resolutions, but they rarely stick. I write them out in my journal or on this blog & then only a few months later, they seem like distant memories. The Isabelle that looked toward the new year with excitement is buried beneath old habits that die hard (or refuse to die at all). There's a quote that says, "You are what you do, not what you say you do" & my mind keeps returning to it over and over again. My Mom recently found an old journal of mine while cleaning out my bedroom & the first entry, dated January 2015, said: "I think I'm addicted to food." 3 years later, the struggle continues. It's just one example of the many things I’ve been holding on to that I've yet to make a concerted effort to conquer. I've always been "too busy," which is really code for "completely overwhelmed by the size of the journey ahead."

But this year feels different. This year, I'm determined to unify promise & action. My resolutions aren't lofty — they're achievable, actionable items — and I've spent a lot of time researching & meditating on how to prepare for them. I recently started reading "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life & Business," as well as "You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness & Start Living an Awesome Life" & both books have been immensely inspiring (and are highly recommended!) I've been thinking through my goals since October & with these readings & my family & friends' & fiancé's support, I feel geared up and ready to take on 2018. I'm excited to change old habits, manifest what I want in life & watch my goals come to fruition. Because they will. Because this year is the year that I'm putting shit into action.

New Year's Resolutions

While I have two big overarching themes, this year, I'm breaking up my New Year's Resolutions into quarterly goals. Setting quarterly goals is something that we do at work, and I've noticed that bigger goals are much more digestible when broken down into bite-sized pieces. So I'll tell you my 3 main resolutions & what achieving them looks like, & then provide the quarterly breakdown.

1. Become (Even More) Financially Savvy

In 2018, I want to make a significant dent in my student loans (pay off $5,000.00) and save as much money as I can ($5,000.00 minimum). I'm looking at big numbers (for me) that are going to require a lot of sacrifice, determination & patience, but being debt free is a HUGE goal of mine. When I think of all the things I could do with the $300.00/month I pay to Great Lakes my chest hurts, so it's time to start making moves. Putting $10,000.00 toward savings/student loan debt this year looks like:

  • Not buying a car & instead, walking to and from work (40 minutes). 
  • Canceling my gym membership(s). Walking 80 mins/day should be a good amount of daily exercise.
  • Cooking at home/bringing lunch to work 90% of the time. (That's 27 days of the month, man.)
  • Leaving my debit card at home. I have my debit card information memorized, so if there were an emergency, I'd be okay.
  • Getting a library card. (Because my reading habits are expensive.)

2. Practice Mental, Physical & Spiritual Self Care

In 2014/2015, I went to therapy weekly & was the most healthy version of myself I've ever been. To make a long story short, I'm ready to get back to that person. I'm currently 45 pounds overweight, struggling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder & not working on my relationship with God. Here's what getting my mental, physical & spiritual shit together looks like:

  • Lose 45 pounds. Over the course of an entire year, that's 3.75 pounds/month (although I'm kicking off a more intensive game plan). Jeremiah & I are starting off the year with a round of Whole 30 & I feel really excited to share the experience with him. I'm looking forward to watching us create a healthy lifestyle together. 
  • Start weekly or bi-monthly therapy sessions. Because talking it out and learning best practices for managing stress & anxiety will feel good.
  • Start reading spiritual books again. (I'm starting with "The Four Agreements" & "Living a Life of Awareness," but taking recommendations!)
  • Journal more & especially focus on beginning a gratitude journal.
  • Set a hard bedtime (10:00 PM) and wake up time (6:30 AM). 

A few other things I'd love to do, but that I'm not putting too much pressure on myself to complete:

  • Take more local weekend vacations — Nashville, Miami, Chattanooga & Asheville, I'm lookin' at you.
  • Read 30 books (2-3 books/month)
  • Blog at least 1x/month.
  • Volunteer 1x/quarter.

Quarterly Break Down

Q1 (Jan-Mar.)

  • Walk to work at least 3x/week. (40-minute walk).
  • Start weekly or bi-monthly therapy sessions.
  • Save a minimum of $1,500.00. Pay off a minimum of $1,500.00 on student loans.
  • Lose 25 pounds.

Q2 (Apr.-June)

  • Walk to work at least 4x/week. (40-minute walk).
  • Journal for 10 minutes every morning.
  • Save a minimum of $1,500.00. Pay off a minimum of $1,500.00 on student loans.
  • Lose 10 pounds.

Q3 (July-Sept.)

  • Walk to work 5x/week. (40-minute walk).
  • Save a minimum of $1,500.00. Pay off a minimum of $1,500.00 on student loans.
  • Read 3 books on spirituality.
  • Lose 10 pounds.

Q4 (Oct.-Dec.)

  • Spend 3 weekends completely unplugging. (No cell phone, no email, no phone calls, etc.)
  • Save a minimum of $1,500.00. Pay off a minimum of $1,500.00 on student loans.
  • Maintain my goal weight (especially over the holidays).

And that's that! What are your New Year's Resolutions?