Hey there! I know it’s been forever and a day since my last post and I’m super sorry about that. Between traveling two weekends in December, the holidays, and feeling “blah” for most of the month, it just got to be a bit much.
Good news though: I got some blood work results back and found out I’m Vitamin D deficient, which can cause the extreme fatigue I’ve been experiencing. I’m starting supplements, so fingers crossed this gives me enough energy to give y’all the fantastic posts you deserve! (P.S. Vitamin D deficiency can also apparently cause anxiety and depression, especially Seasonally Affected Depression, or SAD, so double fingers crossed that these supplements help!)
That being said, I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog, and my career and future and life in general, a lot lately. I realized that ever since I graduated and didn’t have as much pressure to always be busy—what with my full class load, internship, two part-time jobs, and being an officer in a campus organization—I’ve been slacking off. These last few months have been spent trying to find a balance between “surviving” as an adult and “thriving” as one.
I’ve been doing the former pretty well. But now, I’m ready to do more than just get by. I’m ready to buckle down, achieve the success I’ve been dreaming of, and be the best version of myself that I possibly can.
This year, I made 3 New Years resolutions and transformed them into SMART goals, so I can actually achieve them, instead of just wishing and never doing anything about it. I hope that after reading this post, you’ll create some SMART goals of your own, to help you get closer to living your dream life.
Resolution 1: Take Care of My Mind, Body, and Soul
As you know from previous posts, I’m big into self-care. I also have a Type-A, anxious personality and if I’m not being productive 100% of the time, I feel like I’m doing nothing with my life.
This year, I’m going to work on balancing those two halves of me as much as possible. Both my competitive, perfectionist, busy-all-the-time side and my I-just-want-to-take-a-bath-and-drink-a-glass-of-wine side are vital to my long-term happiness. Indulging the former is great for my self-esteem and confidence, but it runs me ragged and eventually, I burn myself out. While the latter side keeps me from having a stroke from stress, too much of it leaves me with feelings of inadequacy and depression.
My SMART goal for this resolution is fairly simple: Buy a personal planner (I already have one at work, because I’m me) and write down a weekly to-do list, including working out, making time for self-care, and tackling one project—like improving my website or purging my pantry—and cross tasks off daily, so I get that feeling of accomplishment that I need to thrive, without over-scheduling myself.
In college, especially the last couple semesters when I was getting seriously busy, my planner was my lifeline. So much so that I literally had to write, “Eat lunch,” “do laundry,” and, “self-care,” in it once a week. Being able to see everything laid out in a neat format and then getting to check it off was a rush that left me feeling like I could do anything.
Here’s hoping I can bring that magic back into my life.
Resolution 2: Do Exciting Things
Let’s face it: my life is pretty boring. I wake up, go to work where I sit in a cubicle and stare at a computer screen for 9 hours, come home, take a nap, eat dinner, take a shower, and go to bed, with some occasional writing when I have both the inspiration and the energy.
Yeah. Not exactly the life that young me dreamed of.
A couple months ago, when I was feeling really confused and unsure about my future career path (spoiler alert: I still am!), I thought about just saving up some money and backpacking around Europe for a few months. I tossed around the idea with my dad while we were driving and at one point, I said something like, “I refuse to spend the rest of my life in a cubicle, starting at a computer, and making somebody else rich.”
Seriously. There has got to be So. Much. More. to life than the humdrum corporate existence. I’m 22 years old. I can’t believe that I’ll spend the next forty or more years doing exactly what I’m doing right now.
So, in 2019, I’m going to do one new thing every month, whether it’s a photography class (which I’ve been dying to do for a while) or go on a random weekend road trip because I can.
Long-term, I’m going to spend the winter thinking long and hard about where I want to be in 5 years (coincidentally about the same time I’ll be paying off my car loan, so one less barrier to moving overseas). Then, by the end of May, I’m going to have a 5-year-plan laid out and several short- and long-term SMART goals to help with achieving it.
I say these time frames, winter and spring, because I know that I need plenty of time to truly reflect on where I am now and where and who I want to be in the future. Then in the spring, I’m usually more pumped and readier to tackle big projects; possibly because there’s more sunlight and hence Vitamin D, so I’m less depressed.
If you’re thinking of tackling a project of this scale, take as much time as you need. Just know that there’s never going to be a “perfect” time, which is why setting a firm deadline for moving from thought to action is so important.
Resolution 3: Start Thinking of Critiques and Failures as Opportunities for Growth
This is one I’ve been trying to work towards for the past several weeks, but it really got hammered into me just this morning. I made a mistake with a social media post—I uploaded it in the wrong format—and my coworker texted me, our other coworker, and our boss at about 11 p.m. to let me know of the error, complete with a screenshot and what I perceived as an aggressive text. It got me super stressed out, to the point where I dreaded going into the office this morning and was so anxious, I couldn’t even eat breakfast because the idea of eating made me want to throw up.
Now, was it right of my coworker to handle the situation like she did? I don’t think so, but that’s not the point. The point is that she chose her actions—which I truly believe didn’t come from a malicious place, since she’s not a malicious person—and then, I chose my reactions. I chose to get super upset and stressed about something that I couldn’t even deal with for several hours, since I obviously didn’t have my laptop with me.
This morning, when I sat down at my desk and tried to keep from either crying or throwing up, I took a deep breath and made the conscious decision to simply apologize for my mistake, fix the issue, and think about how to avoid similar mistakes moving forward. I reminded myself that I can’t change the past, but I can always change the future.
For this resolution, my immediate goal is to schedule some time with my boss to talk about these things, as well as my general anxiety at work, so that A) she knows why I get upset by certain things even when they may seem small and B) I can get the workplace support that I need to thrive. She’s mentioned before that she’s happy to help if I need anything, so there’s truly no reason for me to try to act “tough” and suffer in silence.
Long-term, I am going to set aside an hour on Fridays to reflect on the week and any “mistakes” or “failures” that I feel I’ve made. I will write down what the mistake was, why I see it as an issue, what caused it to happen in the first place, and what steps I will take to avoid making that same mistake again.
I’m an anxious, perfectionist, overachiever with a crippling fear of failure. But, staying stuck in that mindset doesn’t allow for personal or professional growth. More than that, it’s simply not healthy for me.
So, I’m choosing to start my journey on the road of personal growth in 2019, starting with accepting that failure is a natural part of life and perfectly acceptable—as long as you own up to your mistakes, learn from them, and take actions not to repeat them.
These are my resolutions for 2019 and the SMART goals I’ve created to go along with them. What are your New Years resolutions, and how do you plan to track your progress towards them? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!