After a year of monthly accountability posts (find them here!), it's time to think about what I want for 2022! I found it really helpful to post them publicly on my blog, even when I wasn't able to check things off. It taught me to show myself grace when my chronic illness or schedule prevented me from reaching my goals, and accept that sometimes you have to adjust.
Certain things, like keeping monthly and weekly spreads in my bullet journal, are so ingrained in me that I don't need to track them anymore -- they are just things I do now. After reviewing last year's goals I have sorted through what doesn't really serve me, what I will keep doing, and what new things I want to add. I also saw just how important it is to have proper rules for the goals, so you can easily say "yes" or "no" if you did it or not. So this is my list of things I will aim to do every month this year to keep working on being who and how I want to be!
Have 1 date with myself
Rules: Go on a non-shopping activity by myself, i.e. visit a museum, read in a cafe, go camping, or try a new activity or class. Since hiking is a separate goal, it does not count as a self-date.
While I love doing things with my partner, I feel like I lost this part of myself a little bit over the years. When I lived in Europe or when my ex-husband was on deployment, I used to push myself to do things all the time to make memories and not just sit around waiting for him. I liken this to gaining weight when you get into a happy relationship -- I got comfortable! (Plus the pandemic didn't exactly help.)
This summer I took a random Tuesday off work and went rapelling in a nearby state park, and it was amazing! I felt so like the younger me, booking adventures just for myself. So I've been doing a few things, like bringing a book to the nearby tacos place when they had live music, and taking the dog day hiking, to recapture this part of who I am. So in 2022 I will make sure I do this at least once every month!
Have 1 therapy session
Rules: Attend 1 therapy session.
A year ago I found a good long-term therapist again, and we have had monthly sessions all year. It's over the phone so I don't have the added stress of having to go somewhere, and I have learned a lot of good techniques and different ways of seeing things. So I will keep doing this!
Read 1 educational/self-improvement book
Rules: Read 1 non-fiction book with an educational or self-improving topic.
I actually already started this in November, and I find it a good way to start my day. I always make a cup of hot water with apple cider vinegar, honey, and a dash of cinnamon and sit at our live-edge bar in the morning. At first I would look at inspirational TikToks, which after a while transitioned into reading. It's a very relaxing practice that allows my body to wake up gently, and it starts me off right knowing that I improved my mind.
Photo by Daniela Constantini
Have 1 proper date together
Rules: Go on 1 date that includes a non-shopping activity. Preferably not just a meal, but if our schedules don't allow for more it counts.
Time can go so fast, and suddenly you wonder where the month went. So having this as a goal this year ensured that we built memories together! Whether it was as simple as trying out a new restaurant, going ziplining or kayaking, or driving down to Nashville, it brought us closer and grew our relationship.
Do 1 hiking trip
Rules: Go on a minimum two-hour hiking trip.
I grew up in the forest, so I really need to get out in nature every once in a while to keep my mental peace. Most of this year I went to the same trail 40 minutes away, because I didn't want to drive further. But in November I told myself "If you actually love hiking and traveling as much as you say you do, then do it! Prove it!" So I did! I loaded the dog in the car and went on three day hikes exploring new state parks. You are what you do, so how can I say I love doing something if I don't actually do it? I will try my best to make time for proper day hikes as much as possible.
This goal can also be substituted for things like kayaking or skiing. The point is to do a proper activity in nature!
Keep my inbox cleared up
Rules: By the end of the month, there are no unread emails in my inbox and unless they need to be acted on all read emails are deleted or sorted into the appropriate folder.
I am definitely the type who will let my inbox clutter up until there are 2,000 unread emails, so this was a REALLY helpful goal to have. I kept it pretty good overall but usually it would be a good push at the end of the month to sort through the last ones to be able to say "check!" So I will keep this one, as I know my tendencies to get overwhelmed if there are too many, even if it's just junk mail to delete.
Do weekly bookkeeping
Rules: Log the week's expenses into the monthly budget sheet and corresponding sink funds.
I have done monthly bookkeeping for over two years now, and it has completely transformed my finances. Having sink funds and knowing exactly how much I have left over to put into different savings account has been such a positive change. But it would feel overwhelming sometimes having to do it all on the first of the month, so a few weeks ago I started doing weekly bookkeeping as well. Just having a week's worth of expenses to log keeps it a fast and efficient habit and shortens the amount of work for the monthly bookkeeping tremendously!
Send 1 newsletter to my subscribers
Rules: Send 1 newsletter containing an intro and links + blurbs to the posts written that month.
Last year I tried to send a newsletter every two weeks (it wasn't an official goal or anything), but if you're one of my subscribers you know that that did not happen... lol. The problem was that I was putting a whole blog post in there, with pictures and everything, so it was a decent amount of work, and sometimes I was struggling just hitting the goal of writing a post every month. So I decided to instead write a monthly newsletter linking to what I wrote or if something older but seasonal is relevant. I think this will make it far more likely that I stay consistent and it's a little extra motivation to write as well so I have something to link to! ;)
Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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