Hello, 2018!

 September 2017 - Chicago sunrise on Lake Michigan.

September 2017 - Chicago sunrise on Lake Michigan.

I had been intending when I posted a few weeks back to try to get one blog post written per week. But life's been a little hectic lately - between last minute work trips, the holidays, and packing up to move for the first time in seven years, I've been a little overwhelmed. But rather than feel guilty that it's been nearly a month, I decided to take a few minutes during lunch today to write a little bit about some of my plans for the upcoming year. 

My motto for the year is "Perfect is the enemy of good."

It's an English variant of an old Italian proverb, and it's so applicable to me because I'm a horrible perfectionist. It's a real battle for me not to completely give up on something once I perceive that I've "messed up" somehow. Missed a run on my training plan? Better start over completely. Accidentally skipped a side quest in a video game? I'll have to just replay the whole thing. It's a terrible quality of mine that seeps into just about every aspect of my life, and it's the biggest thing I want to combat this year. To that end, I'm not really making any resolutions officially. 

2017 was also a really positive year for me personally - I feel like in many ways I really "got my shit together". I've started making some loose plans to help me continue improving in some key areas, but per my 2018 motto, I'm not going to stress if I slip up or don't execute these plans flawlessly.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

This is probably the biggest area I struggled with in 2017. It was a very busy year, and while I did manage to get into the gym for workout classes fairly regularly, I also wasn't nearly as active as I was in 2016. I also developed some unhealthy eating habits - getting takeout a lot due to poor time management/sheer laziness, and eating while bored or stressed. 

  • I ran my first half marathon in 2016 with an injured foot, but I came really close to finishing under two hours anyways! This year, I want to run another one and hit that milestone. 
  • I also want to get into a routine with my favorite workout classes 2x a week. 
  • I'm going to be attempting a Whole30 starting the second week of January, after I move. This is definitely my most ambitious undertaking for 2018!
  • My new apartment will have a MUCH better kitchen and I got some good kitchen supplies for Christmas this year - I want to add at least 5 new go-to recipes to my repertoire and I also would like to try to bake 5 different kinds of bread now that I've got a decent oven to work with. 
  • I'm a night owl and I struggle to go to bed with enough time to get a good night's sleep. Definitely something to work on this year.

FINANCIAL

Some poor habits, an extremely tight budget, and a bad relationship left me in a not so great situation a few years back. I've made loads of improvements since then, but it's still one of my weakest areas personally. I want to continue making progress in a few key areas this year.

  • One of my biggest challenges is setting and sticking to a budget. I still have a tendency left over from being broke to spend freely when I have extra money, in case it disappears suddenly.  
  • Reduce reliance on credit card debt - see above point for reasoning why. 
  • Build up my savings - I have had some large unexpected expenses wipe out my savings every time I make some significant progress on them (thanks a lot, unreliable car). 
  • Cut some spending where possible, like eating out too frequently or making impulse purchases. 

PERSONAL

I've found that having consistent routines helps me be more productive both personally and at work. I'd been doing pretty well with this, but really fell off the last few weeks. I need to make sure I can adapt these routines even when I get super busy.

  • Since I'm not at all a morning person, I need to try to get up early enough to set aside a short amount of time to relax with a cup of coffee and a book or some of my favorite blogs. Seems counterintuitive, but those few minutes help me be more productive throughout the day.
  • In the same vein, a regular night routine helps me fall asleep more easily. This includes some self-care type stuff, like taking a few minutes to do a sheet mask.
  • Between my job, normal millennial phone usage and my video game hobby, I spend a lot of time staring at screens. I want to reduce the amount of mindless phone scrolling I do and make sure I stop using electronics right before bed (to help my sleep quality).
  • Another area I really didn't do well in during 2017 was reading. In 2016 I was a part of a few book clubs that have since fallen apart, and I fell out of the habit of reading. I've joined another book club and I want to take a few minutes a day to read before bed at the very least.
  • Writing helps calm my anxiety and brings some order to my chaotic thought processes. Whether it's blogging here or writing in my personal journal, I need to do more of it in 2018. 

A bit of a long entry, but I like writing down these kind of plans! I feel like stating this stuff publicly helps me feel more accountable to my goals. If you've got your own resolutions or plans for 2018, I'd definitely love to hear about them!