Better Goals

dawn of a new year
cirrus clouds part orange sky
ripple reflection
drifting aimless overhead
waves' perpetual motion

I sincerely have good intentions of creating strong New Year’s resolutions for 2023. Every year, I say this, and every year I have a different idea to try to make this work out perfectly. Last year, I translated my resolutions into the sort of SMART goals we teachers are required to create in the public K-12 environment for growing as an instructor. This year, I’m no longer in the K-12 environment; I’m immersed in the technical college world, a world that brings out my practical side because this learning environment is just that: practical.

With that in mind, and refreshed from reading other bloggers’ inspirational New Year’s post this past week, I’ve been thinking about ways to best reach my goals with a more practical slant. It involves list-making.

I already make to-do lists, and I find them both motivating and necessary to keep me on track. This fall, when I had to drop off three different children at three different schools with three different sets of supplies in the early morning and then drive 25 miles to my own campus in time to teach my 9am class, you can imagine that I had quite the list to check off. And that was all long before noon! (You see why I love coffee.)

January 2023 looks very joyful to me because it is my first January teaching solely at the college level. That means none of the stressful end-of-semester chaos that occurs in January in K-12 education. This year, my semester wrapped up before Christmas, and I now have a month to plan for the next one. Granted, I need a lot of that time to gather materials, learn and prep an entirely new class, and make sure I’ve set up everything properly, but I will also have a lot more downtime than I have had, which translates to more time with my kids, more time writing, and more time for self-care, something that got lost in the dust somewhere around mid-September. I’m psyched!

So, what about those resolutions, Sarah? Yes! They’re going to look different for me this year. Really different. Because I’m no longer conceptualizing them as one or more tasks that I do consistently over the course of the year; I’m forming them into more manageable to-do lists that will evolve as the weeks and months change. Each month will have one or two main goals that are highlighted in my planner, and I will create the monthly breakdown by day and week as I reach that month.

For example, here are my January Resolutions. They are low-key to the point of being almost embarrassingly manageable, but I think that’s what I need right now. I think I’ve been taking it too hard on myself and need to meet some baby-sized goals in January:

  1. Emphasize self-care.
    • Daily Goal: Do my morning stretches
    • Week 1 Goal: Schedule all the healthcare-related appointments I’ve been putting off.
    • Week 2 Goal: Do something active for 15 minutes each day (winter walk, ski, hike, etc.).
    • Week 3 Goal: Do something active for 20 minutes each day.
    • Week 4 Goal: Continue to do something active for 20 minutes each day, plus be more aware of little things that relax me and incorporate those into each day.
    • Bonus Goal: Convince my husband to buy me an elliptical. 🙂
  2. Finish memoir (currently 3/4 finished, needing work).
    • Daily goal: Spend 30 minutes writing and/or revising.
    • Week 1 Goal: Read through memoir to see what I currently have and what needs the most work.
    • Week 2 Goal: Make clear outline for revisions.
    • Week 3 Goal: Find beta readers.
    • Week 4 Goal: Research local or narrow (state or Midwest-focused or AYA Cancer-focused) publishers for memoir.
    • Bonus Goal: Submit some piece of memoir to local lit mags.

In theory, these are my “better goals”. Let’s see how they pan out in practice! Happy New Year!

13 thoughts on “Better Goals

  1. “Words And Coffee” — seems a great blog title.

    And like the title speaks, you’re talking about your daily life events, people and emotions, with a sip of hot coffee.☕

    Cancer has become important part of your life. It reflects in your conversations. But you have learned the lesson.

    And try to cure yourself in many ways.

    My name is Lokesh Sastya. I’m a 21 year old post graduation student.

    I have choosen to study History and it’s approach, as I enjoyed the subject since junior classes.

    Banaras Hindu University is Asia’s largest residential university, founded by Madan Mohan Malviya in 1915.

    Mahatma Gandhi took participation in it’s inaugural program.

    So I’ve started doing regular college classes in December. And returned to blogging after 3 months long break.

    I’m happy to have a new friend on my blog. It would interesting to exchange our thoughts, ideas, and sad and happy moments.

    Stay strong. Take care.
    Have a great day ahead! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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