Monday, January 3, 2022

A(nother) Mostly Goal-Free Year

Happy New Year! I know the start of the year is completely arbitrary and nothing really changes, but I do appreciate the clean slate that comes with a new year. It's full of promise and possibility and you can metaphorically close the door on the past year. 

I was not the least bit sad to say goodbye to 2020 and I'm not exactly sad that 2021 is over either. It was better than 2020 since I wasn't pregnant, I had far fewer RA flares, and I got 3 Covid vaccines, but the first year of a child's life is extremely taxing - especially for mom and extra especially when you are pumping and/or breastfeeding! Add in all the illness that comes with having 2 kids in daycare and it just makes for a challenging season of life. But - it was also really good. I soaked up lots of snuggles with Will, especially during my maternity leave when he would only nap while being held! I enjoyed watching his personality emerge. And I love watching his admiration for his big brother develop. 

But now we have the fresh start of 2022 which is a time when many will be sharing their goals for the year to come. I used to LOVE sketching out my goals and sharing them here. Before digging through my archives, I had guessed that I haven't set goals since becoming a parent, but it turns out I did a 19 for 19 challenge in 2019 and I set 2 goals for myself in 2020. I knew I didn't set any goals for myself in 2021 since I had a fresh newborn at the start of 2021! 

I achieved a lot in 2021 between balancing work and parenting, running a 10 mile race and reading over 120 books (!!!). So I've come to realize that I don't necessarily need to establish goals at the start of a new year to accomplish things. In a couple of years, I might feel different about creating a list of goals, but right now, I'm leaning into my feeling of exhaustion and will be cutting myself some slack in the year to come. 

One monthly task I set for myself last year was to cull my google photos. Each month, I would review all the photos taken that month of previous years - so in December, I went through photos taken in all previous Decembers, so 2013-2020 photos. When you have young kids, you end up taking a bajillion photos to get one good one, so there were hundreds to delete each month once we had Paul! I would also go through the previous month's photos and delete duplicates/blurry photos/etc. So going forward, I will only have to go through the previous month's photos. But something I'm adding in for 2022 is to go through all the videos I've taken over the years, which again is A LOT since having kids. I would often try to catch something specific on video but it might take 4 attempts or more to get that specific thing so there is a lot of footage that can be deleted! It was really fun to go through previous years' photos so I think the video culling challenge will be equally fun. I guess you could consider this a goal, but it doesn't really feel like one for me. 

The only other big project I'm striving to take on is reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" using the serial reader ap. Stephany raved about this book and also read it using the serial ap. We have similar tastes and both tend to not like classics, but if she liked this classic book, chances are that I will, too! 

And that's it, folks! A video project and conquering a classic. Seems pretty doable to me! I'm looking forward to using the gantt chart (basically a habit tracker) in my Wonderland 222 planner to stay on top of these challenges. 

Do you have any goals/projects for 2022? 


Jeanie said...

I like your reading project. I continually cull photos. It's a painstaking job -- pulling, discarding, getting the saved ones on an external drive as well as filing them in some searchable order in my computer, but probably one of the most worthwhile things I do all year. (Which is pretty pathetic!)

Elisabeth said...

I have quite a few goals, but realize that almost none of them relate to health/fitness (no food/weight goals and no exercise goals).
But I think you make a great point: "So I've come to realize that I don't necessarily need to establish goals at the start of a new year to accomplish things."

This is why I keep a running "Ta-da" list during the year; things that I'm proud to have completed, but that don't necessarily tie in with any specific goals I may have made.

Another thing I haven't done: set a daily goal. I realize that some of my drive to stay on top of self-imposed goals (like running every day in September, or reaching my highest monthly mileage in June) were likely the reason I found myself in a state of complete burn-out over the summer. They stopped being "fun" and I think this year I need to see as a recovery year. Recovering from some major life stressors, recovering from being on hyper-alert from COVID. Basically I just need to cut myself some slack.

I know others feel the opposite - like during COVID they showed themselves "too much grace?" but I think I did the opposite for myself. I'm going to blog about this later in the week but though I don't normally do the "word-of-the-year" thing, this year I'm embracing the motto to Be Kind, and this includes to myself. As cliche as that might sound.

I'm totally rambling here, but I really appreciate you highlighting the fact that goals don't have to define us.

And on the video front - I have an appaling heap to go through. They are organized by year...but wow. To be fair, I make enormous photo books and that is where I spend my time in organizing; we basically never watch the videos, but I know the kids would love to see them and I just have ZERO desire to organize and/or compile them into a coherent family movie. I need to find someway to outsource this...

Happy New Year! I've so enjoyed following along in 2021, and can't wait to read about your adventures in 2022.

Grateful Kae said...

I know I wasn't into "setting goals" back when the boys were little, exactly... I wasn't as into all the time management/ productivity stuff exactly back then. I WAS really into running though (I started after they were born, having never done long distance running before, when Asher was a baby.) I think I was craving a goal of sorts/ something that was just for me besides being a nurse (caring for others) and a mom (caring for others). So I decided to do a spring half marathon and LOVED the training process- though difficult, with little ones. Then I got the bug, and ended up doing another half a couple months later, followed by full marathon in the fall! I continued for another year or two with some races/ a few more halfs before sort of petering out on the running spark and shifting to weight training eventually.

All this to say, I think my running = my goals back then. I don't recall writing out any other goals or worrying much about accomplishing other things besides the usual of work, cleaning the house, the kids, etc.

I think you're doing awesome and I don't think you need to set any goals right now, either. The fact that you ran that race and lost some weight is awesome in and of itself. Down the road when the boys are both in school will likely be "your time" to focus more on other random goals. So much of the whole goal setting arena is kind of just arbitrary/ for fun anyway, so don't stress about it!! You're doing great.

Carolina John said...

I'm with you there. I didn't set a mantra, any goals, or even do any of the good luck stuff that we normally do to ring in the new year. I'm just trying to take it one day/week at a time and trying to avoid anything that led to any of the outcomes we got in 2020/21. that way of thinking apparently isn't working.

Stephany said...

I'm excited that you're going to read The Count of Monte Cristo. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! There are a ton of characters to keep track of, but it's a really compelling story and the way Serial Reader breaks it up makes it feel a lot more manageable.

I have loooots of goals for 2022, haha, but my main one is to cut back on my sugar so that my gluce/cholesterol/triglycerides numbers fall back into a normal range. And to start saving for a house!

katielookingforward said...

Last year I tried to go through my photos but I seemed to get in a circle with what was on my phone vs what was on my computer. I'd think I'd delete the duplicates, and then they would show up again. I think I need to start using something other than apple, but haven't decided what/where to store them.

San said...

I realize that more often than not "goals" often come up for me during the year, so coming up with a set list at the beginning of a year seems a bit "counterintuitive" because I know I'll be adding to it (most likely) along the way.

I have written "things I want to do lists" in the last few years and these seem to work for me, as they're usually not necessarily quantifiable, but just guiding ideas for the year ahead. Some of them are also out of my control to some extend (like last year, I said I wanted to visit my family and then that wasn't really possible)....

I think your reading and photo organizing goals and yes, they seem doable. Good luck!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Man I just wrote a long comment and it got deleted! The jist was (1) love the photo project so much that I started to do the same (2) I'm also unsubscribing and culling emails as another clean up "goal" (3) The Three Musketeers was a favorite of mine when I was young even though I'm not a huge fan of the classics, but I never read The Count! (3) tell me more about this Wonderland planner!

Anne said...

Your progress on your photos goal makes me optimistic that I will, eventually, clean up my horrendous digital clutter. I don't know if I'll ever truly get there with my work-related clutter (ooof, don't ask about my downloads folder) but my personal files should be much easier to organize and clean up. Thanks for the inspiration!

I think your flexibility at this stage of life is the best gift you can give yourself. You all have been so sick, so frequently, that it seems like it would be tempting fate to set up a huge list of time-sensitive goals!