Happy New Year! It’s New Year’s Eve which means we are about to start a New Year, new decade and some of us might set some new goals.  Where has the time gone?  It feels like yesterday we were celebrating the year 2000 and now we are heading into the year 2020. How have twenty years gone by? Personally, I have never been a fan of News Resolutions because most people set standards too high and never follow through with them but I am a huge advocate of making goals and I think everyone who wants to grow should make them. Regardless of what time of year it is, you can always elevate your life and it is never too late to make a new goal. Goals are year-round not just for January and don’t have to wait until January 1st to set a new goal. There have been a lot of times I have set goals in the middle of the year because I crushed my current goals and why would I wait six months to make a new one when I can start now? I started planning some of the things I wanted to work on in 2020 in August so I had a plan. Some of these things I will not be able to get to in a year but that is not the goal and my goal is to actively work towards something and whether it takes me one year or ten I will eventually get there and there is nothing more satisfying than completing a goal that took you several years to reach.

Learn calligraphy- Creating blog graphics can be a challenge and there is nothing more frustrating when you spend hours creating a graphic and someone tries to steal it and claim it as their own. You can’t prevent people from trying to steal your images or plagiarizing your work but you can make it harder for them to do so. Luckily I have not had people try to plagiarize my work(yet) but I have had people to steal my images so one of my goals this year was to learn calligraphy. Then I will be able to add a personal touch to my images while also making it harder for people to claim work that is not rightfully theirs. When I was learning cursive in third grade my teacher got pregnant halfway through the year and left so I never learned how to right half the alphabet in cursive so I will most likely not get in perfect but that is not the goal! This will definitely be a challenge and my hope isn’t to get it perfect but just good enough that I can use it to add a personal touch to my work.

Learn sign language-  I have always wanted to learn sign language but wasn’t allowed in highschool because teachers thought it was too hard and I wouldn’t be able to learn the alphabet in a day. The alphabet is probably the easiest concept in sign language and I learned it in five minutes and if I would have taken a sign language class and had difficulty it wouldn’t be with a concept as simple as the alphabet. Since I wasn’t allowed to take it I started studying it on my own and got pretty good at it that I could probably have a conversation with you in sign language but stopped for whatever reason. I probably stopped because I got busy but I want to take it up again because for me it’s a fun thing to learn. I probably won’t be fluent by the end of 2020 and I would be impressed if I was but it is something I will actively be working towards!

Get more sleep-  When you have chronic pain you can have a love/hate relationship with sleep. Lately, I have been waking up earlier and earlier sometimes it can be as early as 3 a.m. and unlike some most people who can just fall back asleep, it is not as easy when you have chronic pain. This gets old quickly and makes me even more exhausted than if I were to just have pain because now on top of it I am sleep deprived. My goal this year isn’t to find a cure for my pain but hopefully, find a balanced sleep schedule so I don’t have to take three-hour naps because no one has time for that! Maybe I am doing the best I can or maybe I am not and could do better but I haven’t really explored other options to really know if I could be doing better.

Be a planner- In the past, I have said I am going to write things down and plan my blog post but I have never actually done that and a lot of the time I write posts the day I publish them. Pain is unpredictable and sometimes days you plan on writing posts turn into a high pain which I have no control over but sometimes I just don’t write because I am lazy and just don’t want to. My plan this year is to starting planning more and stop procrastinating because planned posts make for higher engagement and better posts!

Comment on other blogs- Sometimes I get so exhausted from pain or creating blog posts that I forget to comment on other blogs! I do read other bloggers’ work but I don’t generally do a lot of commenting but really want to start because I want to be as supportive for others as they are for me.

Exercise More- When you have chronic pain physical activity can be difficult but I think I could be doing more than once or twice a week. I used to workout out six days a week and very rarely skipped a workout because I prioritized them and treated them like an important meeting but now it is not important at all. Since having chronic pain it has not been as much of a priority but hasn’t really been a priority at all and it really should be. I have spent far too much time making excuses on why I can’t work out and what I plan to do to change that mindset is shorter less intense workouts.  Chronic pain can make working out difficult but it can make you stronger so that some of your daily tasks are easier and avoiding is not the solution to all your problems!

I don’t like the pressure of setting goals in January because someone told me I should and unless I have reached all my other goals I usually don’t set new ones. Set goals not New Years Resolutions because goals should be made year-round not just for January! Be very specific with your goals and write them down because saying I want to lose weight is very generic and doesn’t give you a plan on how you will reach that goal. Have an action plan and write down you’re why! If you don’t know your why goals will not have any purpose and when you hit an obstacle you may wonder why you made that goal and give up when things get difficult. Sometimes we need a visual reminder for days when we aren’t feeling motivated so that we can stay on track. Make goals for you not somebody else and you will succeed. What are your goals for 2020? Do you set New Years Resolutions or are you the type to make goals all year round?