January 1st

Happy 2016!

Many people make resolutions for the new year, swearing to be a diligent gym attendee, a person who has their finances together, and finally has that 6 months emergency fund saved up after going years living paycheck to paycheck.  As someone who had spent a lot of regular time at the gym before I gave birth, I can tell you that the time after the new years was always really frustrating to me.  Yes, I was so happy for everyone finally taking steps in the right direction and ending up in the gym, but what it really meant was about a month of me waiting for the weights and the treadmill, and by the time February rolled back around all was back to normal.  Those New Year's resolutions just didn't cut it for my fellow January 1st proclaimed gym rats.  

The fact that so many people cannot hold onto their resolutions may cause one weary to make a resolution at all.  You think, what the heck is the point? Right? Well, turns out, that if you do set goals, you are more likely to be successful than if you forgo the exercise. 

For New Years, I set intentions for the upcoming year.  I have learned not to make empty goals like "I will work out every day"...which by the way, unless this is already your jam, the working-out-every-single-day as a goal sets you up for failure.  The one Wednesday that something comes up and you don't go, you throw away the whole goal and are much less likely to return Thursday.  Instead of that kind of goal I make a list of what amazing things happened the year before, (reflect) and then also a list of what I will do next year (project).  I do a very similar thing for my birthday as well.  

I find that if you write these goals down, or share them with others, it makes it even more powerful.  So here I am, writing them out in the public.  Mostly for myself, but if you happen to stumble upon anything of use to you, well then that makes me incredibly happy. 

In 2015:

I cultivated some wonderful new relationships with female artists, who I absolutely adore.

I had a healthy, happy pregnancy and an amazing little girl. 

I rode my bike until my knees were hitting my growing belly, then I walked most days to work. 

I travelled to NOLA and tried vegan creole food, I travelled to California and ran on the beach at the very last week of being allowed to fly pregnant. 

I moved from Brooklyn to NJ with my partner. 

I went to many Instameets, and took photos on rooftops, under bridges, in studios, in large boisterous groups, on boats, in solitude, in Jaguars. 

I practiced not complaining for a whole day and realized how much I actually complained prior. It was eye opening. 

I moved full time to teaching at the new High School and focusing on building the program there. 

I was honored to be chosen as the content lead for the talent team at the High School. 

I read books, so so many books. 

I took my passion for veganism into the classroom. 

I sat down and took a look at my school debt, with no blinders on, and made a specific plan with a pay off date. 

I painted, I drew, I sewed, I taught 3D printing, I loved my elementary school kids, I wiped away tears and belly laughed alongside of them, I answered hard questions about pregnancy and love. 

I tried to go camping, and snuck off with my friend to the car to sleep (it was cold and rainy you guys, like...really cold). 

I explored the city, ate brunches with friends, took photos all around Brooklyn and Manhattan, learned every place you can pee for free because straight up-you always have to pee. 

I put myself and my baby first ahead of my job and took time off before labor.  Only about a week, but it was so incredibly important and I was so happy to have the care and support to be able to do so. 

I packed up a full car worth of things to donate to those less fortunate than me, clearing my closet of almost all of my clothing, only leaving what brings me joy. 

I labored for 54 hours and gave birth to a beautiful healthy little girl with my partner and sister by my side and the best midwives anyone could ask for. 

I started an amazing new chapter of my life, and I got a little closer to realizing how incredibly lucky I am. 

 

In 2016:

I launched a new website with a blog section where I happily share my experiences and findings, and help others along the way to a thoughtful compassionate life. 

I travel with frequency, including Chicago, Portland, Canada, and the forests of Washington state. 

I am a leader in my school and help to cultivate a strong arts program, which makes an outstanding contribution not only to the lives of my students, but also contributes to education reform and the arts. 

I proudly display my work in multiple gallery shows throughout the year. 

I am honored to be published by multiple websites, and magazines and have self published my own text. 

I enthusiastically share my cross-curricular work in the arts at NAEA. 

I happily utilize my budgeting software, and through my careful planning prioritize debt reduction and savings over consumerism. 

I have a zero balance on all credit cards, and have paid down my total student loans by 40%. 

My relationships are based on strong communication, respect and care. 

In my family we speak frankly and openly about finances and make joint parenting decisions respectful of each other's ideals and ideas. 

I thoughtfully track and significantly decrease my screen time, allowing for more intentional focused time with my family and friends. 

I am intentional about what new purchases I make, knowledgable about who makes the goods and wares and how their life is directly affected by my purchase. 

I have joyfully decreased my current possessions, allowing more space to create, explore and learn. 

I listen to podcasts and read books which encourage creativity, thoughtful living and share stories of successes and happiness. 

I take risks with my artistic endeavors and pursue new styles of photography which are ignited by my passion for storytelling and spreading educational awareness. 

I enjoy journaling offline each day, and dutifully jot that which I am grateful for each morning. 

I am a positive role model for my daughter in terms what I eat, how I incorporate fitness and movement into my everyday, how I chose to spend my time, and markedly, the ways in which I interact with others. 

Looking forward to an amazing year. 

With love and kindness, 

D

 

A note about goal setting:

I write my goals as if they are currently happening, instead of "I will" use "I am" or "I have."  I also add qualifiers, I find this to be incredibly important). Here is an example of how to change a goal: I am out of debt vs. I happily work my budget each paycheck and easily set aside money.  I have a zero balance on my credit cards, and have paid down my student loan by 40%.