After spending a few years in the business world, I’ve learned a thing or two about making goals. Starting with the fact that one should always strive to make S.M.A.R.T. goals. Each goal should have all of the following traits: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. With this method, I came up with a list of six resolutions I’d like to make for the upcoming year. Find out what they are and why I chose them after the jump.
- Try at least one new recipe a week
I love to cook. Every little thing about it from arranging the mise en place to the aromas that fill the house (sometimes) to the huge sense of accomplishment when you sink into a warm bowl of pasta or a perfectly baked pastry. Though lately I’ve constantly been telling myself that I’m too busy to go grocery shopping and cook a meal. Time is what you make of it. I vow to cook more and try new recipes to keep things exciting.
- Only go out to eat four times a month (excluding travel)
Budgeting! The trickiest goal of all. Has anyone quite conquered this? Again, my main struggle is that I tell myself I’m too busy to cook and it’d be easier to go out and get something to eat. In reality, this takes more time – and money.
- Go to the gym 2-3 a week
Kate and Chloe are amazing at waking up in the morning. In an ideal world, I would set an alarm, wake up before work, go to the gym, and have a fresh start to the day. Unfortunately it takes a lot more motivation for me to open my eyes and pry myself out of bed. Hence, I need these measurable goals.
- Read a new BOOK every 3 months
This should be the easiest of all my goals. Reading articles is great and they’re very informational, but there’s a certain feeling when you read a book from cover to cover that’s irreplaceable. I miss that.
- Attempt a new activity once a season
For my birthday in April, I took a trapeze class that was so exhilarating and the perfect amount of physical challenge. This past summer I learned how to ride a bike, which was undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments of my life. It had always been a skill I’ve
wantedneeded to learn, so on a perfectly sunny day at the shore, my friend and his family taught me.
In September, I went hiking for the first time in a long time (or possibly ever), and Smoky Mountain National Park was the perfect setting for that. It made me realize I want to take advantage of Fairmount Park in my backyard. Then, I took a trip to the Boston suburbs and went paintballing for the first time. What a rush! All of these activities inspired me to remind myself to get out of my comfort zone.
- Travel to three new places
Not only is traveling wonderful and inspiring and eye-opening, it’s a way to stir up your life when things become overwhelming. Many resolutions fail because they’re bad habits we’re trying to break. In an NPR article, Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit” states, “Changing a habit on a vacation is one of the proven most-successful ways to do it.” It goes on to say studies have shown that people will perform automated behaviors the same way every single time if they’re in the same environment. “But if they take a vacation, it’s likely that the behavior will change.” In case of falling into a rut, sometimes a break from it all is the perfect way to recoup.
For 2014, my three destinations basically fell into place. One of my oldest friends, Ashley, moved to the island of Grenada for school. Kate and I couldn’t be more excited to have an excuse for a tropical vacation (with free rooming)! San Francisco was another obvious choice because… it also include free rooming! My dad plans to travel there on business and it’s been one of my top 3 domestic cities to visit for years. Lastly, my cousin informed me just this weekend that she wants to plan a cousins trip to Vietnam and Thailand. Having family in Vietnam and having never been to Thailand makes this another perfect choice that I am definitely willing to splurge on. The only downside is that I’ll be missing my favorite holiday… Thanksgiving!