One of the ways I’m aiming to take care of myself in 2019 is by identifying a few themes for the year and sticking to them. All of my resolutions fall into one of these themes, and I wrote them on my mirror to remind myself every day. I am hoping this will help me keep them top of mind, even when I slip into old patterns or laziness.
So, here’s what I’m committing to in 2019:
My fun goal for the year, which somewhat carries over from last year is to explore. In the literal sense, I want to continue exploring more of California. I plan to visit at least one museum per month, go camping once or twice, and maybe take another long-distance road trip. All of the exploration I did last year made me feel excited about life and the world around me, so I want to keep that going as long as I can.
In January, I kicked off the exploration list by visiting the King Tut exhibit at the California Science Center. I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt since learning about it in elementary school, so it was remarkable to see so many artifacts that have lasted more than 3,000 years. The exhibit told the story of the Egyptians, their gods, and their relationships to magic, all tied together through spells from the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: “Magic was as essential to Egyptian life as air, water, or food.” I’d love to read a copy of this book while the exhibit is fresh in my mind, as the history of magic truly fascinates me.
Theme number two for the year is primarily related to my job, but should ideally carry over into all facets of my life. One of my biggest struggles in my job has always been the ability to project my confidence in my own expertise. I am great at what I do, but I don’t always do a great job of letting others see it. I’ve listened to podcasts and read books and asked for advice, but I know that the only way to get better is practice, so I am working a lot harder this year on demonstrating confidence.
I plan to attend a Toastmasters group this year, to practice speaking off the cuff, since this is the format where I struggle the most. I’ll also rehearse presentations more than I used to, so I can convey my thoughts with conviction. Along the way, I’ll continue to check in with my mentors and peers for specific feedback to help ensure I’m progressing.
I want 2019 to be the year that confidence starts to feel like a natural part of me.
Lastly, in 2019 I plan to seek the financial stability I’ve been lacking since moving across the country last year. Moving was incredibly expensive, but what was even more difficult was adjusting to the cost of living in Los Angeles. I was very aware that the increase in rent and other expenses would impact the way I live my life, but it was much harder than I expected to adjust my lifestyle accordingly. As a result, I have racked up some credit card debt that has hindered my ability to put much into my savings.
I hesitated about sharing this struggle on my blog, but I think it’s important to talk about money. While money is often such a taboo subject, we can’t become more responsible about our finances if we don’t discuss money more openly.
I spent some time in December reevaluating my budget and I created an aggressive plan of action to get out of debt in the first half of this year. To ensure I stay committed to the plan, I’m writing down all of my spending each week in a journal. The journal forces me to be more honest with myself about where my money goes. I’ve got a small weekly budget to keep me on track, and if I over-spend, I’ve got to write it down so I know to work harder the following week.
In addition to the journal, I’ve got a few other changes to keep the goal manageable:
- I’m compiling a list of inexpensive things to do locally, so I can still explore LA while not blowing my budget.
- I’m finally committed to packing a lunch every day for work instead of going to the commissary.
- And I’m cooking dinner for myself, instead of ordering delivery. I’m only allowed to order delivery once per month (because let’s face it, I can’t cut out pizza completely). And as a bonus, it’s forced me to learn to cook.
With these three themes in mind, I believe they will naturally lead to me achieving my goals in 2019. I am looking forward to another year of exciting adventures and lasting memories, as well as bettering my lifestyle so that I can keep up the adventure for years to come.
What are your goals for 2019?