2017 Here We Come!
It has been one heck of a year for us... a year we will never forget. 2016 was in many ways an "unbeatable" year. Our Wedding. Our Honeymoon. A variety of both long-expected and unexpected travel. Job Changes. The start of Everyday Urban. The start of our life together! It was a beautiful and epic year.
And though nearly all farewells ring somewhat bittersweet (much like the NYE classic "Auld Lang Syne"), we are ready to bid adieu to 2016 and thrilled to ring in 2017! One reason we are eager to embrace the new year is that we have been thoughtfully setting out our resolutions, and are already working on several of our goals. We've never been ones to believe this is the only time that you get to start new goals and resolutions, but we do see this turning of the calendar as a moment that is often marked with reflection. And with reflection come insight, clarity, and vision. When that sense of vision is strong it makes sense that we would set our sights on it in the form of goals and resolutions.
Rather than dismissing New Years Resolutions as a stupid cultural phenomenon that reflects the simultaneous ambition and laziness of our world and is marked by a brief window of time in which every treadmill at the gym is permanently occupied ;) we determined to clearly identify our vision for 2017 and out of that to create goals and resolutions that we could sustain through the end of the year. Through the subsequent conversation, we identified a few key enablers that have helped us achieve previous goals that we've set and seen through to the end.
Today we want to share with you a few of the principles we're planning to implement this year to help us see our resolutions through to 2018!
Since we are planning to say farewell to 2016 with gusto at a small party we're hosting, we also wanted to sprinkle in a couple of last minute NYE party wear ideas for anyone else who's planning to ring in the new year in style! We hope that by sharing some of our goals with you, as well as the ideas we are implementing to help us sustains those goals, we can inspire you to embrace and celebrate the year to come!
So, you might be wondering about our earlier comment - the one about being ready to bid adieu to 2016 and embrace 2017 despite the fact that this year seemed unbeatable... but it's absolutely true. We've realized that due to a flurry of activities, travel, wedding planning, moving, job changes, adjusting to married life, etc. we didn't live with the same level of intentionality that we normally would. Many of our ideas, dreams, and even concrete plans seemed to get pushed aside for other major priorities. Now we honestly wouldn't trade these things for the world, yet we're excited to take back some control of our calendars and lives this year. We divided our goals into a few categories based on what we want to prioritize this year: Cultivating our personal walks with Jesus, investing in our family and friends, developing Everyday Urban into an established resource for everyday lifestyle inspiration, and achieving our athletic goals. We'll share a couple of specific goals to illustrate our ideas for how to sustain your goals throughout the upcoming year.
Ways to Sustain Your New Years Resolutions:
1) Quit Something:
Seriously- think about it for a minute. Picture a typical day in your workweek. Do you find yourself having free time on your hands? No? I thought as much... same here... that means you're going to have to eliminate something in order to replace it with something else. Before you can even write a resolution on your list you need to identify what lifestyle change you'll need to make in order to make room for this new activity. If it means quitting your phone in the mornings so you can read instead - then quit your phone! If it means quitting your nightly TV show so you can workout - quit your TV show! If it means quitting a social club or online shopping or whatever else, by all means quit it so you can start working towards your goal! For us, as it relates to Everyday Urban, this has meant a notable decline in our Netflix time. Don't pity us too much, we still are working our way methodically through The Man in the High Castle over on Amazon Prime. However, if it wasn't for our goal to grow the blog, we'd be probably already be done with Season 2 and halfway through OA (Netflix's latest original)...
2) Team Up:
In so many facets of life, we have found accountability to be a very effective tool to remain disciplined towards a desired goal. Sharing your goals with a friend or group of friends and checking in on each other's progress can provide just enough encouragement to power you through when the going gets tough. Change is never easy, so we don't want to do it alone! Shortly, we will be adding a new section to Everyday Urban where we will be sharing some of our goals with you and our progress towards those goals. The new section will be updated periodically and you can join into the conversation at any time.
3) Envision The Desired Result:
Ask yourself why you want to keep your resolution and then picture yourself achieving the goal every time you are working towards it.
As we were sitting in the car talking about our goals during a mini road trip over the holidays, I shared with Daniel that the one time I truly carried out my New Years resolutions consistently from the day I made them was as a junior in high school. My 4X800 relay team had narrowly missed qualifying for state the year before, and there was a fire in my belly to qualify the next season. So I set very specific athletic goals for myself and details around how regularly and how much I would do various types of workouts. I didn't miss a single one of my workouts (except due to being quite sick for a few days) throughout the entire year. When I thought about how I was able to do that it all boiled down to the fact that I NEVER lost sight of the goal itself. Each time I was out hitting the pavement on a long winter run or a deathly hot morning run in the summer before heading to work, I would picture myself racing against specific competitors who I hoped to beat, or I would envision myself coming around for the bell lap of my 1600 and then crossing the finish line in pure joy and pain and relief. This clear and persistent visualization of the desired goal kept me laser focused on what I needed to do in order to achieve that goal.
It made each run feel important and meaningful and the difference between being qualifying for state or going home after sectionals with nothing more than a calf cramp. As you work towards your goals, continue to visualize yourself achieving them. There is no substitute for passion.
FUN SIDENOTE: My athletic goal for 2017 is to beat Daniel in a half marathon this fall and his is to beat me. STAY TUNED PEOPLE!!! (I love a little public smack talk... what can I say?)
4) Be Realistic and Celebrate Progress:
Discouragement can sink in quickly when striving after new endeavors, even when you've set aside space and time to pursue your new goals, you've got accountability, and you're passionate about achieving your goals. Lofty goals can wear us down to the point of exhaustion. In our short time here with Everyday Urban, we've wrestled with disappointment when we put forth time and effort to the blog, but it doesn't gain the level of traction we hoped for. We do have high goals for Everyday Urban, but we can lose sight of the daily progress we continue to make when all we do is focus on the end result. We are working on tracking more short term goals, that lead to loftier, long term goals, to help us celebrate the little victories along the way. Be sure to remember where you started from when you embarked on keeping your 2017 resolutions and celebrate each step along your journey to achieving them.
We hope you have a blast (and look bomb!) on NYE 2017 and find our tips for sustaining your 2017 resolutions helpful! Comment below with your new year resolutions and any tips you've found to be effective in seeing them through!
With Love From Chicago,
Jennifer & Daniel