2018 Goals, Explained

In 2017, I made a list of resolutions. I then checked in at the 6 month mark and again at the end of the year. Those posts can be found under the Living While Resolved category here. I really loved crafting and reflecting these resolutions, but this year my perspective has changed somewhat. For one, I realized I want more complex, but specific goals, and I don't want them to be pass/fail the way resolutions tend to be. In December, I heard about two methods for creating goals that I decided to combine (and tweak for my needs) in making this year's list.

The first method is called the 5 Steps to Flourish. It involves choosing goals under 5 categories, then defining what success looks like for each of those goals, and finally writing down clear first steps for each one. The categories are as follows:

Relationships (R) - friends, lovers, self
Health & Wellness (HW) - physical, mental, sleep
Finances & Work (FW) - budgeting, savings, career
Higher Purpose (HP) - spirituality, volunteering
Spare Time (ST) - hobbies, skills, languages

The second method is called 3-3-3-1. One chooses 3 short term (1-3 months), 3 midterm (4-6 months), and 3 long term (the entire year) goals. The idea is to choose the first 3 based on things you've somewhat started doing, then the next 3 based on things that seem achievable but you don't have a solid plan for yet. The last 3 are meant to be more difficult or scary, because they will benefit from your previous two cycles of solid goal setting/accomplishment earlier in the year. Finally, the 1 indicates a goal that you won't complete this year. It recognizes that not every goal neatly wraps up in a year's time, but that there are always steps to be made towards them regardless.


I've decided to combine these methods by choosing goals within the 5 categories, using the 3-3-3-1 structure, writing what success looks like/basic strategies, and then adding a *secret goal*, because why not?

Yes, this is maybe a little excessively detailed, but take whatever grains are useful to you. :)

I've also interpreted 3 and 6 month goals as duration, instead of strictly occurring within the first 3 and 6 months of the year.

Yes, I realize that it's the end of January, but I am someone who likes to live with goals for a while before committing to post them.

Due to the structure of this outline, I will be doing 3, 6, and 12 month check ins! Hooray!

Links to both videos discussing the methods I'm using are here and here.

2018 Goals

(3) Short Term Goals - 1-3 months in duration

Reestablish sleep/diet routine after vacation. (HW)

    Success looks like: consistent sleep/wake times, caffeine intake, water intake, balanced and affordable plant-based diet, and necessary supplements.

    To achieve it, I will monitor my sleep schedule, limit screen use before bed, stick to 2 cups of coffee or less per day, aim for 4-8 cups of water/regular vitamin taking as established last year, and also purchase/make foods that adhere to my preferred diet.

Download and organize fanfiction archive. (ST)

    Success looks like: a folder on my Google Drive/external hard drive which has PDFs of all my bookmarked fanfiction, categorized and consistently labelled, as well as a master spreadsheet detailing the titles, authors, series, pairings, length, and brief description of each fic.

    To achieve it, I will… note the number of fics/time each takes to download and log; spend at least a couple hours each week working on it.

Establish Haven small group/attend planning mtgs (HP, R)

    Success looks like: consistent attendance at planning meetings (or provision of thoughts/plans if impossible), establishment of a small group for femmes/nb persons, regular recurrence and increasing clarity of vision for that group.

    To achieve it, I will… ensure meeting dates are known early, structure those days to encourage my attendance; talk to stakeholders for the small group, see if it is still a need, ask for suggestions for day/frequency/focus of group, work with others to plan activities.

(3) Mid Term Goals - 4-6 months in duration

Regularly update the blog. (ST)

    Success looks like: consistent, 1-2 times weekly posts on a variety of topics.

    To achieve it, I will… create a calendar of post dates/topics (some in advance, others as they arise), designate writing days/times, and schedule posts if they’re done ahead.

Regularly track/maintain financial progress. (FC)

    Success looks like: a well-organized, frequently consulted yearly and monthly budget, concrete and well-balanced savings/debt repayment goals, individually tracked transactions in variable spending areas, and an ongoing awareness as to my progress/current state.

    To achieve it, I will… use/edit an excel spreadsheet budget template, calculate where unpaid holidays arise in my pay schedule over the year, adjust monthly savings goals to keep a consistent amount regardless of differing pay sizes, manually track my grocery/food, transportation, and misc spending transactions and review at least once per week. Review each month as it ends and make notes.

Regularly engage in exercise. (HW)

    Success looks like: consistent exercise over the year, well-integrated into my routine.

    To achieve it, I will… continue to walk home from work (~ 30-40 mins), try integrating walking to work on some days and/or taking the stairs (6 floors) when I get home. Continue to make lengthier grocery trips on the weekend (~ 30 mins each way) as well. Ensure proper footwear and clothing are available and in good repair.

(3) Long Term - 6-12 months in duration

Personalize/furnish my apartment (HW, R)

    Success looks like: acquiring needed furniture and desired decor to feel at home and make life run more smoothly.

    To achieve it, I will… search Kijiji, secondhand stores, for the best deal; keep a running list of desired items; budget for extra purchases.

Create a repertoire of homemade vegan meals/meal plan for work (HW)

    Success looks like: a group of at least 5 breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts/potluck food that I can consistently make - should be healthy, not use too many ingredients or take too much time. I should also be able to portion them for leftovers/store for later use. In addition, I should have an easy to follow meal planning system which shows what meals I can make with groceries I buy, and should include various prepared/frozen/snack items that work well in rotation with homemade food.

    To achieve it, I will… learn and try at least 2 new recipes per month, consulting the Internet and Forks Over Knives cookbook; edit my existing meal plan for clarity/new additions; purchase freezer-safe/other containers as needed.

Complete reading challenge of 27 books. (ST)

    Success looks like: READING 27 BOOKS.

    To achieve it, I will… not use a specific set of requirements, but go with what I own and haven’t read yet/what is on my To Read on Goodreads. Read ~ 1 book every 2 weeks. Aim for a bit of a mix of fiction/non. Write mini book reviews on the blog every second week to keep on track.

1 Multiyear Goal - 1+ years in duration

Save towards HIM program (application March, 24, 2019)

    Success looks like: for this year, saving approximately 3,800$ (while also making SL payments, extra credit payments, saving for travel/vacation/retirement). In the remaining 5 months before tuition is due, save another 1250$. First year costs are ~ 4500 and second year + exam is about 3500. I’d like to have over half saved before beginning (I will continue to work while pursuing this program).

    To achieve it, I will… use budget outline to spread savings over the year, use a dedicated TFSA as well as a micro-investment app to save specifically for this program, and track saving monthly.

1 Secret Goal - any duration

Nice try.

2018 Reading Challenge

A Note from Last Year's Me