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Odd Rhetoric

love, growth, and the pursuit of happiness

New Year, Same Goals

January 2, 2017

– (This will be a rather long post, but I feel that I couldn’t capture the truth of my goals without explaining them in depth. I believe this method I’ve created will change the way anyone reading creates any goal.)

On New Years Eve as I sat in the guest bedroom of the family in which I babysit for, I compiled a list of my priorities, wrote down my S.M.A.R.T. goals, and went to sleep creating schedules in my mind as usual. As everyday, the plans I made in my head the night before never came to fruition on January first, and all my planning meant nothing.

The concept of New Years Resolutions never meant much to me, if anything at all. There is no such thing as a New Year, as time continues linearly with no connection to our concepts of months, hours, or even seconds. Human fascination with time has always puzzled me, but I won’t get into that since I don’t want to a) bore you and b) give myself a migraine. I’ve never given my resolutions any weight. One year it was to stop using curse words (if you know me, you know how that went), the next to lose x pounds, to workout more, to be happier, and so on. However, each year we make goals that are not only hard to follow, they are IMPOSSIBLE. That’s right, you aren’t “failing” your new years resolution, you made it impossible to begin in the first place.

By creating generalized goals, we set ourselves up for failure every time. Do yourself a favor and do a google search for S.M.A.R.T. goals right now, and create at least one for yourself instead of a general resolution. Don’t relate it to the fact that it’s a new year which gives you an obligation to change, you have to truly want to complete this goal regardless of the time of the year.

I realized this year that I don’t need a New Years resolution, because I have been creating the same impossible goals for myself each week. It’s not time to meet my goals because of the new year; its time to meet them because I have written them down for two years and never followed through with the plan. I admit to taking advantage of the holiday, though, because what better time to follow long-awaited goals than when everyone else is trying to meet theirs and can lend support.

To begin, I made a very general list of my priorities. Here’s a look at what I’ve got:

  1. My dogs
  2. My grades
  3. Personal Health & Wellness
  4. Work/ Paying Bills
  5. Relationships
  6. Recruitment Vice President
  7. Future Career
  8. Cleanliness
  9. Personal Creativity

I took each of these priorities and broke them down into SMART goals. I won’t list them all out, because we’d be here all day, but for example my SMART goal for improving my grades is something like: “spend 30 minutes planning my week in my planner every Sunday, spend four hours a week at a study location i.e. library, Starbucks, Market Street”. These are specific, measurable goals that I can sit at the end of the week and know for a fact whether or not I met my goal for the week.

I believe that this way of thinking can positively impact my life for the better. I’ve always struggled with depression, and many of these goals relate to things that increase my depression such as being overweight, not having enough money, and having poor grades. I know that I am extremely capable. I am very intelligent, have a strong support system, and have the entire world at my fingertips. I know that I can give myself success, but the depression mutes this and makes me believe otherwise.

I am determined to improve my well-being as I have been planning without execution for years. I truly believe that I can completely rid myself of the doubt that feeds into my depression. I created this blog as a public record to myself to improve my accountability. Hopefully, six months from now I can look at this post feel happier, more successful, and proud of myself for reaching my goals.

Please, take this journey with me. We can do this!

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Re-Focusing

This year has already hit me like a truck. It’s already had both terrible and excellent events. As January flew by at the speed of light, I’m taking this cold, lazy morning to refocus my goals since my priorities have already shifted since I created them.

If you’re like me and are already looking back at your New Years’ Resolutions with disdain, let’s talk about getting back “on track”. First, there is no set “track” for everyone to follow their goals, but instead a bumpy, curvy, and at times painful, road of progress. This will look different for every single person, and that is OKAY. Yes, even your Fitspo struggles to meet their goals, and if they don’t openly talk about shortcomings, then you should probably find a new role model in your goals (ahem, go follow Iskra Lawrence). Second, if you don’t meet your goals within your ridiculously unrealistically time-frame (@myself), that doesn’t mean you failed. Pick yourself back up and keep going. Even harder than working towards your goals and failing to meet them, is starting completely over. Stop telling yourself that you have to restart. You’re just refocusing yourself to your priorities, and continuing your journey.

Here’s a list of my updated specific goals (mostly to keep myself accountable), but also to help anyone reading if they’re stumped as well.

  • Workout 3x a week (HIIT cardio/ dance cardio @ home)
  • Attend 1 fitness class a week (HipHop or Core at the rec center)
  • Only eat out once a week.
  • Work at least 25 hours a week.
  • Go to Starbucks/Market Street/Library for 4 hours a week to focus on school.
  • Join one more organization
  • Practice guitar at least one hour a week.

I hope you can join me in re-focusing your goals for the year, and we can catch up on our progress soon!

 

 

300 words on productivity

Our generation has become willingly blinded by social media images that feature the highlight reels of our “friends” lives. We’ve begun to believe productivity and success is the image of a clean desk with a succulent plant, a journal with calligraphy, and a cup of coffee. A well put together woman walking into an office with a pencil skirt, top knot and heels with her nails freshly painted. The person who jogs past your house every morning and doesn’t even look sweaty (seriously, how??). These are images we correlate with a person being “put together” and successful. These are the images we see everyday on blogs, social media, and advertisements. But don’t you know that these were all lies?

Okay, maybe not total lies. I’m sure that person truly did clean off that desk, but when we correlate that image with success and productivity we cultivate a false comparison to our own lives. We can’t compare our low points in life to other people’s highest points (which are edited and carefully selected for public view).

As a college student, I constantly feel the pressure to be productive and to secure a successful future for myself. I’ve heard many of my peers (including myself) call themselves failures due to minor setbacks all related to productivity. When we take time for ourselves it feels wasteful since it doesn’t check off the to-do list. We have disillusioned ourselves to believe that if a task doesn’t explicitly accomplish something that it is completely worthless.

It is perfectly healthy to experience feelings. Close the e-mail tab, put your phone on do-not-disturb for an hour and a half and watch a movie. Draw. Eat. Write. Exercise. Call a friend. Do two things each day that contribute to ONLY YOUR OWN happiness. You will thank me later.

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