Saturday, January 5, 2019

New Year, New Words

In case you haven't noticed, I'm not the greatest at following through on things.

I never got around to writing about the last month or so of my Europe 2016 trip, nor did I ever post about the last few cities I visited on my Italian adventure over the summer. And just two months ago in November, I promised to post twice a month on this here blog.

Yeah...that didn't happen.

This is the part where I say that one of my 2019 New Year's Resolutions™ is to follow through on my promises, to finish what I start, and to fulfill each and every one of my commitments!
(At least not this year.)
For one thing, I've decided that New Year's Resolutions don't work for me. 

Part of the reason is that it's way too much pressure. Every time that I have resolved to do something starting January 1st--whether it's don't eat junk food, exercise 6 days a week, or journal every day--I've fallen off the wagon by Groundhog Day and then written off the rest of the year. ("Oh well. I tried. I'll try again next year.") With New Year's Resolutions, I tend to get into the mindset of "I have to get it perfect from the get-go." There's no room for making mistakes, for starting over, for growing and making progress. It's all or nothing, and that just isn't a sustainable way of thinking.

The other reason is that the whole big, grand "New Year's Resolution" title steals significance from all of the other goals that I've made and achieved in other parts of the year. I don't just make goals in January; I'm constantly striving to become the person that I want to be. 

So this year, I've rebranded, and am working on my Goals for 2019. AKA my 2019 Intentions. AKA, the things that I'm going to make happen this year. (They have many names.)

I'm being more intentional, and defining both the big, overarching themes of things that I want to work on, as well as the smaller things that I can change in order to make that happen. I'm expecting to make mistakes, and I'm also expecting to make growth. Each month, each week, each day is a chance to start working on a new small step that will bring me closer to my overall goals, or to start over, as needed. 

So without further ado, here are Jess's 2019 Intentions: 
  1. Fill my cup. As a teacher, one of the metaphors that you hear a lot is "You can't pour from an empty cup." It basically translates to "Make sure you take care of yourself, so you can take care of the kids." 
    • This year I will try to be more fearless about doing things that fill my cup. I will try not to be intimidated by putting myself out there in the course of trying new things. 
    • Examples of things that make me feel fulfilled: learning (just for the heck of it), climbing (I want to do some outdoor climbing this year), traveling (obviously. But this year, fewer cities and more nature), and reading (instead of mindlessly bingewatching). And more!
  2. Pour from my cup. The whole point of filling your cup is so that you can use what's in you to help fill others' cups. 
    • I'm a selfish person. I know this, and rather than getting defensive and denying it (as I have in the past), I'm accepting it and trying to work on it. 
    • Baby Step #1: Actively trying to think more of others. I tend to be fairly oblivious to anything outside of my own needs and desires. I am going to begin consciously trying to look beyond myself in order to see others' wants and needs. 
    • Baby Step #2: Once my eyes are opened to others and their needs, I can begin "inconveniencing" myself in order to help others. I say "inconvenience" because I need to help others with no expectation of getting anything myself (otherwise, it's still selfish). Instead of thinking "Why should I help them? They haven't done anything for me," I will think "Why should I help them? Because I can see that they could use some help, and because I am capable of offering help," or "Why should I do this for them? Because it will make them happy."
    • Added Bonus: doing things for other human beings will help keep me from getting wrapped up in and swallowed by my own shiznit.
  3. Get on top of my finances. This one is a little more concrete. I have been somewhat negligent with my finances; and while I'm not in a bad position financially, I am finding that I don't have the money to do some of the things that I want to do. This year, I will be more proactive and intentional with my money, which will give me greater freedom to do things that fill my cup, and will prevent my finances from becoming a stressor. 
    • I'd like to start working towards larger, longer-term financial goals, such as buying a new car (since my car's transmission is turning out to be a potentially very expensive and unpredictable hunk of junk). 
    • I've already started working on my financial goal. A high school track teammate recently shared her personal finance blog on social media, and I've found it very helpful. 
So there you have it, folks. New year, same me. And by "same me" I mean "constantly trying to be a better me."

Happy New Year.

(I would say "new post coming soon," but we all know how that'll go. 🤣)


  1. Great job and you can reach all your goals!!

    1. Thanks for reading, and for the encouragement! :)

  2. sound attainable intentions. some will require more effort but worth it!


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