Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Personal Goals List 2016

Once I instituted the Family Fun list idea, I decided I needed something similar, but just about me. I have to admit, though, that the success of my personal goals list is a little more spotty. Last year was a particularly bad year. That is partly because I completely underestimated how much time the home renovations would consume. However, I also just failed to focus on myself much at all.

So, here's how I did:

My personal goals for 2015:

  • Find a yoga class that fits my schedule and make it a weekly habit. I'm missing yoga, both mentally and physically. NOPE.
  • Take a San Diego Beer Tour with Mr. Snarky. Third time's a charm, right? NOPE.
  • Wear my two new dresses at least once each. I've fallen out of the habit of wearing dresses and skirts, and that's silly. Yes, but only because I looked at the list in December and decided I could do this one.
  • Take a bubble bath. Yes.
  • Go kayaking. NOPE. (So sad!)
  • Read three sci-fi books by new-to-me authors. (I'll be doing lots of other reading, too, but I need a nudge to remind myself to make time to read full length books that won't get picked by my book club...) NOPE. I read one: Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. I loved it, and recently finished the second in the series. Now to make time for the third... 
  • Learn how to make a second type of New Zealand pie. I'll do it this year, I swear! NOPE. (Sigh.)
  • Go rollerblading. Yes.
  • Play my violin and viola at least once each. I miss making music, and maybe this will lead me back to it. NOPE.

My writing goals:

  • Complete three kids books. Yes, and one of them might even get published. The other two are stuck, for varying reasons.
  • Write twelve columns for Chronicle Vitae. I've a good 6 or 7 ideas for columns, so this should be doable. Sort of. I wrote 11, plus one short book list post (that hasn't been published).
  • Write at least twelve posts for my blog about management and productivity. Yes, easily. I'm averaging two posts per month there now.
  • Submit another column to a publication or a blog post for syndication. NOPE. I kept talking myself out of making the pitch. Oops.

I discussed my performance on my business goals at length in last month's Founding Chaos newsletter, so I won't rehash that here. I did really well on those, I thought, even though I made a couple of substitutions.

When I saw how poorly I'd done on my non-professional 2015 goals, I almost decided not to write any personal goals for 2016. I thought I might just write professional goals and stop there. But after thinking about it a little more, I decided that would be taking the wrong lesson from last year. 2015 was a rough year for me. Or, more accurately, 2015 felt like a rough year for me. Judged by my accomplishments and other concrete things, 2015 was actually a pretty good year. I brought in enough income to keep my business afloat. We remodeled. We went to France. Petunia transitioned into Kindergarten well. Pumpkin continued to excel at school. Nothing bad happened at all.

And yet, I ended the year feeling depleted. Rather than not write personal goals, I think I need to go back to their original intent. Last year, I mixed personal and professional in my goals, and ended up heavily prioritizing the professional. This year, I think I need to have a strictly personal list. I'm hoping that will help me remember that I get more done and just feel better overall when I allow myself some space to focus on things that are just for me, whether they are fun things, "personal maintenance," or just chores that I want to do because something is bothering me, even if it isn't bothering anyone else.

I decided to put 12 things on my list, not because I will do one each month, but because that just felt right for a year long list of goals.

So here's the list:

  • Revive my yoga practice. Seriously. I have the space in my living room now (!!!!) so I need to just do this. I'll feel so much better if I do.
  • Crochet something useful. I'm really enjoying crocheting! But I don't think my current project, which morphed from a robot blanket to a cape for Petunia's Elsa doll thanks to my confusion about how to turn direction without dropping a stitch, counts as "useful." I think I'll get there by the end of the year, though, unless the kids stop going to gymnastics. (I crochet while they do their lessons.)
  • Finish the Ancillary series. I loved Ancillary Justice so much, and really enjoyed Ancillary Sword... so Ancillary Mercy, here I come!
  • Learn how to make another type of New Zealand meat pie. Yeah, I'm going to try again on this one.
  • Play my violin and viola at least once each. I'm trying again on this one, too. I miss making music. I probably won't get to it until a little later in the year, when our music/guest room is in better shape. I got a new music stand for Christmas, though, so once we get the toys all stored properly, it will be much easier to start playing. (I used to have to unfold a stand I've had since I was a kid, which was held together with twisty ties and paper clips. That stand is in the landfill now.)
  • Develop an exercise routine. I really need to do this! I feel better when I am exercising regularly.
  • Organize my closet. This is one of those chores that is bothering me and only me. But it is really bothering me.
  • Finish setting up the office. We're soooo close. We just need blinds. We must not stall out on this.
  • Get new curtains for the living room/dining room. We have had curtains that we're meh on since we moved in to our house in 2008. And curtain rods we actively hate. We are refusing to put all of the meh curtains back up, hoping this will incentivize us to finally get some new ones.
  • Invent a signature cocktail. Because as much as I love the margaritas I perfected in 2014, squeezing all that lime juice takes a lot of time, and the secret turns out to be expensive tequila. Surely I can come up with something more efficient... which would be an appropriate signature cocktail, right?
  • Organize the tea cupboard. Another thing that is bothering me and mostly only me. Every once and awhile, Mr. Snarky is annoyed when he goes to put something away in that cupboard. But I'm annoyed almost every day.
  • Do one Spanish-learning activity every day. Otherwise, my kids are going to have a secret language soon.
I started with the Spanish goal: I'm on a 15 day Duolingo streak! Next up, either yoga or exercise. I'm allowing myself to focus on getting caught up on my work stuff, first. I know from experience that I need to get that overwhelmed feeling taken care of before I can focus on anything else.

Do you have any goals for 2015 that you feel like sharing? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!


  1. I'm so glad you posted this. I was stumped on coming up with new financial goals for 2016 and didn't even try to come up with new personal ones because I felt like 2015 was a bust on the personal and personal project front. It's hard to remember that there was a huge unwritten project of keeping a new kid alive and healthy which was a pretty big (and good) deal.

    So maybe I will, before January's over, come up with new quarterly goals too. :)

    That writing project has been limping along, not in small part due to feeling like my writing stride took off without me, and besides, the quarterly goals need to include more rejuvenating things that aren't just about getting things done. *goes off to ponder*

  2. I have been thinking over my personal goals for the year, too, hesitant to post them... but I think you've inspired me. Even when we don't fulfill them all, I think writing goals down helps us to reach and fulfill at least some.

    (And kudos on meeting almost all of your writing goals for 2015! That's awesome!)

    Also, I loved Ancillary Justice, too, but haven't gotten around to the sequels. And if you like hard sci-fi, I thought Cixin Liu's Three Body Problem from last year was fantastic.

  3. I'm focusing on work this year, but I always have a few personal goals that relate to exercise, family, friendships, etc...

    I finished organizing a few closets and it makes me so happy, so I definitely support that goal!

  4. Good luck! As per usual, my only goals are work goals. Though I'm thinking that the February challenge is going to have to be a fitness one. I'm falling apart!

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  6. Good luck with your goals! I like that you're putting a couple on from last year as well.

    My biggest goal this year is to get more stable employment, but in the education sector here, that's a big challenge.

  7. Thanks for the good wishes, everyone! I've now started easing back into running. Still not my favorite form of exercise, but still the form of exercise I am most able to fit into my life. And my crocheting is getting better!


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