Hustle for happiness

Goal Digger

Photo by Jordan Whitfield

I know I promised this post last Wednesday, but after an unfortunate incident with spotty internet and losing half of this post twice, I decided to take a beat and step away. Sometimes we have to save ourselves from ourselves!

Have you spent the better part of this month sitting in front of a blank page waiting for inspiration to fill you up with all the ways you’re going to make 2018 the year you finally [travel more] [lose weight] [do yoga] [meditate] [eat clean]? Already feeling overwhelmed because it seems like you’re scrolling through an endless feed of people who appear to be #killingit already? Goal setting can feel stressful. I totally get it. Especially when you’re surrounded by so many people who are showing a perfectly curated list of their goals while rockin’ yoga pants and green juice, while you’re sitting in dirty sweat pants next to a pizza (aka how I spent January 1st, 2018).

When you’re struggling to think through your goals at this time of year I recommend doing two things. First, think about last year – how did it go? Feel? Are you happy with where you’re at one year later? What are some things you want to carry over? What are things you want to change? It doesn’t have to be Dostoevsky-esque in length; check out my quick reflections on 2017 here!

The second is to check out other people’s goals (check out my thoughts on goal setting vs. making resolutions here). Did you hear a friend talking about meditating more and now your interest is piqued? Steal that goal and then let them know. Boom! You now have a new goal and an accountabilibuddy. To help you get started/re-assess or just think about what you might want from this year, I’m sharing some of my current goals below👇🏻

Meditate: I’ve tried meditation on my own in the past but it never quite stuck. Last year I decided to try an app called Headspace and found the guidance I was looking for. However, I was totally lacking when it came to turning it into a habit. When I saw they were having a sale on their yearly membership in December it was exactly the push I needed so I decided to just commit already. It has been great! Not only does Andy have the best voice ever for guiding you through a meditation (seriously as soon as I hear “Hi and welcome back to Headspace” I’m in the zone), the gamification of meditation has really helped me to stay on track. I’ve actually been toying with doing a post on the app and meditation in general – interested?

Scroll less: Anyone else guilty of lying in bed and mindlessly scrolling through their Instagram feed only to realize it’s 30 minutes later and you completely forgot what you were supposed to do (was it sleep? No, it was getting the laundry… or was it)? 🙋🏼🙋🏼🙋🏼 I am trying to be more mindful in situations where I find myself absentmindedly flipping through my phone – whether it’s at dinner or before bed. Since we tend to replace habits with habits, at dinner time Paul and I are trying to focus on putting our phones aside and focus on catching up with one another, discussing world events or just listening to some music. At bedtime I’m trying to replace this habit with meditation and reading, which brings me to my next goal…

Read more: What I’m really working on right now is building more of a routine around reading. I tend to be a little sporadic with my reading habits. Usually as I get ready for a big trip I create a list on my phone and am constantly updating it with books to check out (PSA – the Toronto Public Library’s ebook collection is ev.er.y.thing🔥). So I’ve decided to carry this habit over for the year! I’m also stoked that iPhone now has a checklist in their notes so I can track what I’ve already read 🙌🏻 No joke, I started a book last year and thought “hmmm this reminds me of another book I read recently.” It took me two chapters and a scan of my library account to realize I had in fact read it six months earlier hahaha 🙄 I’m currently reading How to talk to a widower by Jonathan Trooper* and Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans and already have a list of books ready to go, including:

  • Careergasm by Sarah Vermunt
  • Promise Me Dad by Joe Biden (currently stocking up on tissues for the day I finally get off this waitlist)
  • Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett
  • Gone Girl (yes I’m late to the party)
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • The Book of Joe and Everything Changes by Jonathan Trooper – I finished Plan B over the holiday’s, which is my third Jonathan Tropper book and have decided to make this the year I finish reading all of his novels.

Anybody interested in a #hustleforhappiness book club?

Make more time for creative projects: This includes more time for blogging and also knitting! When things get busy I tend to get tunnel vision and forget to carve out some much needed time for fun and creative outlets. Knitting is something I mainly do in the winter, but it gives me all those cozy, hygge feels. Now don’t get excited, I’m a hilariously beginner knitter, but it’s so nice to sit down and make something with your own two hands.

TravelTravel is so important to me and I have a few travel-related goals for 2018, including exploring more of Canada, getting out of the city each quarter and planning a big trip for the year. Our travel plans in 2017 were pretty stacked in the front half of the year. Combined with a cancelled Christmas trip, it has left us with itchy feet. We are currently planning quick trips to explore Washington, DC this winter and Alberta in the summer, with an eye on a bigger trip in the Fall – I’m excited to dive back into some travel books!

Fitness: 2017 showed me time and time again that I’m WAY stronger than I think I am (including setting three PRs on the last day of the year 💪🏻), so I’m looking forward to testing these limits this year. My fitness goals this year are centred around two things: run a sub-2:00 hour half-marathon (1:59:59 totally counts) and do one unassisted pull-up. I’m already workin’ on the pull-up but I’ll be waiting until the ice thaws to get started on the half-marathon goal.

Cook more: I have always found cooking to be a stressful activity, that often results in disappointment (and an inedible dish), so I’ve just avoided it. However, lately I’ve been focused on taking the pressure off myself to perfect a dish and just have fun trying something new – and I’ve been surprised by just how much I’ve enjoyed it! (hmmm maybe all that meditation is helping?) As someone with digestive issues, being in control of my own ingredients is hugely beneficial and I’m hoping to keep trying out this new skill, while really dialling in on my nutrition in 2018.

What are your goals for 2018? Have you already gotten started? Share it in the comments below – let’s help each other make this year the best one yet!

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