If you set goals in January, how are they progressing now that we’re halfway through the year? We check in our 19 for 2019 goals and share strategies for overcoming obstacles.
For the Record
Melia has a For the Record update from Episode 18: How Our Language Shapes Our Reality. She said before that she was starting to get white hairs, but she’s realized that there’s not much difference between gray and white, and she thinks of “gray” as much more wise and dignified. So gray they are.
KGAlan left us this lovely review on iTunes: “Gill and Melia are entertaining and helpful! It makes me feel much better about life to know that I am not alone in feeling like a disaster some days and that I actually DO have some of it together. Thanks, ladies! Looking forward to the next episode!”
Thank you for the lovely feedback! It’s really important to us that you know that you’re not the only one who has challenges with issues like anxiety and self-doubt. If you haven’t left a review yet, please do! They help other listeners find the show, and there may be someone who really needs to know that they’re not alone, either.
The Year So Far
Back in Episode 7: Tighten Up & Lighten Up, we talked about our list of 19 for 2019 goals for the year, inspired by the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast.
We each came up with a list of 19 goals – some small, some large, some one-offs, some ongoing – that we wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. Now we are halfway through the year, so it’s a good time to see how we’re doing on our lists (you can see our full lists in the Episode 7 show notes).
Keep in mind that this isn’t just about us: we can almost guarantee that you’ll recognize your own goals and obstacles in ours. And we’ll share strategies that you can apply to any goal you’re working on.
In the very little progress category
- Print and hang travel photos in the hallway
- Find a new Spanish tutor or restart lessons with old one
- Renew passport
- Back up the computer
- Print a photo book of recent highlights and one for the kids with pictures of close family members
- Tighten up & lighten up
In the partial credit category
- Schedule 2 medical checkups
- Go to a class at the gym 12x a month
- Journal and/or meditate 3x a week
- Give full attention to the people and task at hand; put down the device
- Make and maintain a budget and bill-paying schedule; no late fees
- De-escalate when angry
- Meditate in some form each day, including micro-meditations
In the gold star category:
- Release a podcast episode every 2 weeks
- Release 12 new Tipsy Per Tutti pins
- Plan a monthly friends get-together in Barcelona
- A roundup of little goals: sign up for a new CSA, plan trips to at least 2 new places, connect with faraway friends and fam once a week via text, make a batch of apple cider I’m happy with
- Choose a primary care doctor
- Warm hellos and goodbyes
- Read or listen to 6 books
Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles
Here are five obstacles we’ve run into and some strategies we can use to move past each of them for the rest of the year. These apply not only to your New Year’s resolutions and 19 for 2019 goals, but to any goals you’re working on.
Obstacle #1: Trying to do too much
- Keep it simple. For the family photo book, Melia decided that even just printing out a few pictures on the color printer at work and adding them to a binder would be a good start.
- Zoom in on one goal at a time. Pick one to work on for the day or the week until you make progress on it.
Obstacle #2: Not having a deadline
- Set an actual deadline. For Gill’s goal of hanging travel photos, she’s going to set a goal of putting them up before family comes to visit in the fall.
- Recruit an accountability buddy who will set a reminder to ask if you’ve met your deadline.
Obstacle #3: Just plain forgetting
- Visible is memorable! Put your goals where you’ll see them every day. Melia posted her 19 for 2019 goals on the fridge, and Gill has hers up on the wall next to her desk.
- Set a time to review your goals. Melia looks at her list every night before she turns out the lights in the kitchen to go to bed. Gill is going to start reviewing hers at night as well.
- Pair a goal with another activity. You could review your goals while you drink your morning coffee, for example.
Obstacle #4: Losing sight of the “why” behind goals
Without the “why,” they just become meaningless to-do list items.
- Tie a goal to your priorities. In Episode 5: Prioritizing What Matters, Part I, we defined our top three priorities. One of Gill’s is “making health and wellness part of my everyday life.” So while scheduling medical appointments isn’t an enjoyable task, it does contribute to this priority and the life she wants to lead.
Envision your “desired future state.” We talked about this in Episode 7. Imagining your future self – improving your Spanish or enjoying an organized house – can help motivate you to do less fun tasks.
Obstacle #5: Some things aren’t fun
- Reward yourself! Melia bought actual gold star stickers (and gave some to Gill), and putting a sticker next to any goal she’s made a bit of progress on gives her a lot of joy. When you pair working on the goal with another habit, you can work on the goal first and then reward yourself with the more pleasant activity.
Our New Year’s Roundup of Steal This Tip
Start by reviewing your previous goals. See how far you’ve come in the past year and where you’d still like to go. For the goals you didn’t get to, do you want to move them to your new list, adjust them or let them go?
Come up with a theme, mantra or word for the new year. Give yourself something that keeps you focused and guides your goals.
As you set new goals, think about the why behind the goal. Envision your “desired future state” to help you get through the hassles along the way.
Say “I want to” or “I’d like to” instead of “I should” or “I need to.” “Should” is the S word and a red flag you’re coming at a goal driven by guilt or shame. It may not be something you want to do, but feel like you should want to do
Find your own balance. You might want to create a list with an equal number of items for each area of your life, or you might be focused more heavily on work, relationships, health, etc. this year. Do what makes sense for you right now.
Incorporate joy, fun and play into your goals. Balance out the things you put on your list because they’re good for you. You can start with a list of things that you need to do to feel like yourself.
Count it! If you find yourself asking, “Does this count?” because you’ve made just a bit of progress toward your goal, yes. It counts. Give yourself credit.
Get It Together / Got It Together
We each share something that’s going well for us at the moment, and something else that we’d like to work on.
Melia Get It Together: Super-gluing her fingers together
Melia Got It Together: Writing grocery items on a fridge list as soon as she notices they’re low
Gill’s Get It Together: Being on her phone right before bed and first thing in the morning
Gill’s Got It Together: Using the You Need a Budget app
Get In Touch
Let us know how you’re doing on your new year’s resolutions and goals! Email us at podcast[at]semitogether.com, leave a comment on our most recent Instagram post (no matter what it’s about) or send us a voice memo. You can also leave a comment on Facebook or Instagram.
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- Hang it Perfect picture hanging tool
- Command picture hanging strips
- Shutterfly photo books
- Mint.com budgeting app
- You Need a Budget app
- Calm meditation app
- Headspace meditation app
- Tipsy Per Tutti cocktail pins
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Sounds Like Me by Sara Bareilles
- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman