Hello everyone and welcome back! I thought I would do a more personal post today and hope you will find it helpful as you set your own spring goals.
If you didn’t see the note on my homepage, I will now be posting every Monday and Friday! Over the last few months, I have gotten more serious about my blog. I am spending many hours each week working on posts and learning more about the blogging process.
This has been a long time coming as the pandemic has left me feeling pretty stuck in general lately. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean. To get out of this funk, I am trying to push myself towards improving my blog as a part of my own spring goals list.
Simply wishing things can be different without taking concrete actions to make positive changes only sets yourself up for failure. Everyone is capable of change and personal growth if they set their minds to it.
How to set goals:
Spring is the season of growth and renewal. So let’s talk about how to get into the goal setting mindset. Personally, I’m a bit old school in the digital era and like to write down my goals in a journal.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to write your goals down in a place that you can revisit to note your progress. Now while you may have huge goals, it’s best to break them down into smaller stepping stones. That way you will remain continuously motivated as you accomplish each step in your journey.
While we are chatting about motivation, I want to provide some necessary words of caution. Sometimes people in your life will observe the positive changes you are making and may interject some unwanted negative remarks. I’m sure you have either witnessed or experienced this before.
Susie wants to change her life and make healthier choices. She starts working out, eating healthy, and practicing self-love. After a few weeks, Susie starts to notice a difference in how she feels. Feeling happier and healthier, Susie confides in her friend Julie about her goals and progress. Julie replies in one of the following ways: “You’ll probably quit after a few weeks. That self-love stuff in nonsense.” Of course, Julie could also go in a different direction and start giving Susie unsolicited advice regarding Susie’s eating habits or workout habits. After so much negative feedback, the negativity starts to sink in and Susie is filled with self-doubt and ditches her goals. She ultimately is bullied into returning to the unhappy state she was originally in.
Does Susie need a better friend? Um, yes! However, these situations happen all the time. It’s awful and I have seen so many people in my life ditch goals because of how others made them feel about their progress and choices. Know that people like Julie in this example ooze negativity and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. This is all about them feeling insecure as they compare themselves to your progress in your own personal journey.
You have every right to make positive changes in your life. Your journey is not anyone else’s journey. I know it’s hard but don’t let anyone get into your head. We are all in different places and there is nothing wrong with that. Also, if you aren’t comfortable then you don’t even have to share your goals with others. Feel free to do your own thing to avoid unwanted input if that works best for you.
If you are comfortable, then share your goals only with people that you trust to hype you up. If you don’t have someone like that, then at least know that I want you to succeed! As long as your goals are healthy and positive then go for them! I mean why not?
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What’s on my spring goals list?
1. Workout 30 minutes a day:
According to federal guidelines, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, is what’s required for good health. Living in a COVID hot spot like Boston during winter doesn’t make it easy to get out and be as active as I normally am.
However, that doesn’t mean I can’t spare 30 minutes a day for myself to be active. My typical workout of choice is my fold up exercise bike. I love to fire up Netflix and bike my way through a good show. The bike I have may not be fancy like a Peloton or a NordicTrack session, but it works for me!
Other than that, I like to turn on some of my go-to YouTube workouts that I have highlighted in my previous post. Be sure to check it out by clicking here! Finally, I love hiking outdoors. Once spring is in full bloom, I will definitely be outside for daily walks again.
2. Continue learning new skills:
At the start of the pandemic, I started to teach myself embroidery. It takes practice to get it right but so far my projects haven’t been too shabby. I really find the process relaxing and it’s a great activity to de-stress from pandemic life. Other skills I am interested in learning are painting, coding, and graphic design. I suppose we will see what progress I make in this regard in a few months!
3. Post blog posts twice a week:
As I mentioned earlier, I am working on posting on my blog twice a week. I want to feel more engaged with my blog and of course the people who actually read it. It’s my goal to increase engagement, outreach, and the quality of my posts. I know it will take time, but I am willing to put in the work.
My professional career in higher education is all about helping faculty and students. However, when I’m not at work, I truly enjoy writing about travel and lifestyle topics. It’s my own creative outlet with the added bonus of helping others. I would call myself an extroverted introvert, so putting my life out there is a bit outside of my comfort zone but it’s always good to take on challenges.
4. Read every night before bed:
Instead of being on technology before bed, I am trying to stick to reading. I’m completely guilty of scrolling on social media which only makes me feel more awake. Then I’m left tossing and turning all night. Not the best! Lately my sleep habits are slowly improving. I think reading is a big part of that. I really enjoy books. Especially non-fiction books on topics like female entrepreneurs and personal development. Currently, I am reading Everybody (Else) Is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes by Gabrielle Korn.
Check out a list of current favorite over at Bookshop. If you aren’t familiar with Bookshop, they are a website dedicated to supporting local independent bookstores instead of huge retailers like Amazon. 75 percent of all profits go towards this mission which is incredible. So if you do find yourself debating a book purchase, give their site a try. You can even look up local bookstores on their map feature.
5. Grow something:
Spring is coming so why not set a goal to grow something? I would love to have an outdoor space to plant a garden, but the city lifestyle doesn’t often allow for that. Fingers crossed my roomie and I get some outdoor space in September! We are hoping for a small patio at the very least.
For now, I will have to make do with a little windowsill garden. Over the holidays my boyfriend gifted me some cute new planters and some seeds for chives since I have a bit of an obsession with adding chives to all of the savory dishes that I prepare. My plant is still in its infancy unlike the picture above. According to Google it will take roughly three months for the chives to grow completely. Looking forward to it!
6. Don’t stress over things I can’t control:
During this pandemic so many things seem up in the air. It’s easy to start to stress out over our careers, finances, or even relationships. As for myself, I have been feeling stress regarding the direction of my career. Before the pandemic, I was up for a promotion, but unfortunately all promotions were cancelled as a cost saving measure. It’s disappointing, but everything happens for a reason. I believe I will find the right next step for me or perhaps I will even create it myself one day.
7. Learn to meditate:
I’ve always wanted to learn how to meditate properly. Yes, I’ve dabbled over the years but this spring I want to improve. I’ve always found quieting my mind challenging. Typically I have a million mental tabs open at any given time.
In this stressful time, I plan to try to meditate daily. Even if it’s just a few minutes of guided meditation. I truly believe that meditation has the potential to ease anxiety and improve mental clarity. All of which sounds perfect for this period of uncertainty for so many. Want to know more about the benefits of meditation? The Mayo Clinic has an interesting post on the subject if you would like to learn more.
8. Listen to my body and eat healthy:
A few months ago I took a food intolerance test at the request of my doctor. While these tests aren’t full proof, it did confirm a few of the intolerances I have long suspected. My main problems are my reactions to dairy and gluten. It has been a big challenge changing my diet, but it has been going decently so far. Going forward I am going to continue to listen to my body this spring.
9. Practice a foreign language:
These apps are free without upgrades and make it fun to learn. I want to increase my retention of foreign languages since you typically lose it if you don’t use it!
These apps break language learning down into manageable increments lasting just a few minutes each day. While this approach may not be for everyone, I think it is practical for most schedules.
10. Take the path less travelled
Finally, I want to promise myself to ditch society’s expectations and always take the road less travelled. I’ve never been one for the typical life found in my hometown in rural Pennsylvania. I’m a 32 year old woman that has never been married and have no children and don’t expect to any time soon. Now I am living in the bustling city of Boston which I moved to on a whim without a job lined up. I found my home by taking the unusual path. I want a life of adventure and fun opportunities. It is my goal this spring to remind myself to never fear taking the trickier path. It has never served me wrong in the long run.