I received a new calendar in the mail, and I’m very excited about it. It’s huge, shows the whole year, and I slapped it up on the giant corkboard right next to my kitchen.
2016 had its ups and downs for many people, including me, and while 2017 will be spent cleaning up some of 2016, it still smells like promise. Which maybe smells like new shoes.
In 2015 and 2016, I set one goal for each year. In 2015 I met it, and, as someone who likes to reward myself a little too much, I celebrated with tapas and (two of) my favorite drink at a restaurant downtown.
In 2016, my goal was simply to pay a little more attention to my health. In retrospect, I failed to use easy-to-breakdown goals which might have made this more meaningful, but since the goal was fairly arbitrary, I’d say I met this one as well. I worked out way more in 2016 than in 2015 (although the last two months of the year, I didn’t work out at all, per doctor’s orders), saw a doctor or two, sorted some things out, and my eating habits nominally improved. I mean, reeeally nominally.
This year is tricky, because I can’t decide on just one goal.
I lamented to Sunnie when she came over. I cooked a Whole-30-friendly dinner (her commitment, not mine), and after dinner we sat on the couch with herbal tea instead of with drinks and dessert (Whole 30 rules, certainly not mine).
“I really want this to be the year we stick to a budget and hit some financial goals. But I also need to pay more attention to my health. But committing to one goal a year has really worked for me.”
“What if,” Sunnie said conspiratorially, feet up on my coffee table, “you made your broad goal to be healthy. But that means physically healthy, emotionally healthy, and financially healthy?”
“Like go to the gym, then get a massage, but use a coupon? Hmm.”
It’s cheating, right?
I don’t know.
I don’t do well with lofty and abstract. I like tangible, to-do list sort of goals.
For example, in the spirit of financial health, I decided to figure out a couple ways to slash line items on the budget. I logged into YNAB and made some updates (because it had been awhile), then I called and canceled my cable company. Then I logged into my bank account and signed up for automated weekly deposits into my savings account.
Yes, quantifiable things. Those I can do.
I texted a friend who, like me, enjoys challenges and goals. We previously did a month-long challenge, and that was fun. (Not a resolution, but a challenge. Semantics.) I ended up taking 12 yoga classes and finding out that I now like yoga. I raised my hand on one of his suggestions and I decided to commit to it.
“Advise x number of people each month and expect nothing back.”
Which is compelling and now I’m all in. So now, lookit, I have a specific — and limited — set of skills, like a really, really low-rent Liam Neeson. In lieu of a resume…
I’ve been working for myself — successfully! some years more than others — for the past seven years. Most of my work is surrounding writing. I’ve written for brands, secretly for celebrities, for Adweek, and on here. I like Twitter. Sometimes people invite me to speak at different events. I’ve spoken about branding, women in business, parenting, and social justice. I’ve consulted with businesses, I can hold my own with graphic design, and I’ve hit inbox zero almost every day for three months. I have three daughters (the eldest is 8), and I make my own laundry detergent.
So if you’re an accountant with teenage sons, yes, chances are I am of no use to you. It’s very possible that I am of no use to most of you. But if you could use a monthly brainstorming session or weekly texts or even just someone to send you emojis and remind you about your New Year’s Resolutions, I’m happy to help.
If you’re interested, click here to punch in your info and leave a comment below (so I can contact you and put a face to a name … so to speak). I’m still ironing out the details (time, people, etc), but there are zero strings attached. Keep your money in your Venmo account, don’t donate to the charity of my choice, and no need to buy me pizza.
As a caveat, this is not a promise to write pro bono or tweet about your cool Etsy shop. It’s me and you getting chatty via Google Hangouts or text or the Voxer app (TBD! TBD!). And it’s definitely a “you’re doing this at your own risk” and a “there’s no way I can make all your dreams come true” kind of deal.
While I sort out who I’m going to be bothering regularly and what my resolution this year will be, are you a resolution maker? What are your plans for 2017?