Be Kind: My Plan for Achieving Goals in 2018

Reid got me a book called “FINISH” (and no, it’s not a dirty book) – it’s about the tendency to start a bunch of projects but then never finish any of them, and how you can use simple strategies to plan then actually follow through and complete goals you set for yourself. My mom, Grammie and I were just talking about over Christmas how we’re all similar in this way. Like eyes bigger than my stomach, I have ideals/ideas bigger than my level of commitment and motivation to fully create or realize them.

I’m also infamous (in my own mind) for saying, “Starting TOMORROW I will begin to maintain a perfect record in achieving steps to reach my goals”. But, I need to face my own weaknesses so that I can work to make them better, and in the meantime own the fact that I will never have a perfect or even close to perfect record of an unbroken string of days in a row where I checked everything off of my to-do list. So here you go –

DISCLAIMER: If you’re interested in seeing someone live life to an idealistic vision of perfection, you’re in the wrong place.

However, I am trying to better myself each day and make progress towards goals. But then I come to the question, what are my goals or what should they be? I have no focus! No purpose as of yet that I’ve discovered! So, what if there was something I could be doing NOW to make steps towards being better at what I feel my earthly purpose will be?

2018 Theme – Be Kind, to others and myself

On New Year’s Day, I finished reading Wonder, and a few quotes about kindness really spoke to me. Maybe I’ll look them up again and insert them in here, but for now, just go read Wonder if you haven’t – I loved it.

If everyone made it a priority to have empathy and show kindness to themselves and others, the world would truly be a better place.

I started thinking about how unkind I’ve been to myself as of late. The things I think/say to myself in my head I would NEVER say to a beloved family member or cherished friend. I need to start talking to myself like how I encourage others, and then maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy will take place where I expect better of myself and therefore become better at keeping promises to myself and goals I set.

I’ve never had a certain career goal or specific ambition. The only thing I’ve ever known I wanted to be is a stay-at-home-mom. But that will come eventually, not right this moment, as Reid and I have some travel aspirations to check off our bucket list this year (more on that later). I always felt like, “If I can’t be a mom yet, what am I supposed to do with my life in the meantime?” However, maybe I should focus on things I can go ahead and start doing now to best prepare me to become a mom.

My Plan (Because I’m tired of saying “I don’t even have a pl-“) is Threefold:

  1. Move & Fuel Body to get healthier – prepping for my passion of becoming a mom
    • Exercise
      • Yoga – every day, 20-30 mins
      • Walking Lincoln briskly – 30 mins to an hour, 3-4x/week (M/W/F, then 4th would be if decide to do something like hike/dog beach/dog park with him on weekend)
      • Zumba with free weights – 1-2x/week, 30+ mins (Tue/Thu)
    • Eat & Drink
      • Juices for breakfast, some carbs for lunch + meat/fruit/veggies, dinner meat + veggies w/ sometimes potatoes
      • Only drink alcohol socially, drink mas agua throughout the day!
      • Make the queso, but pair it with healthier dishes rather than just devouring it with tortillas or chips. Share those recommendations and recipes on blog!
  2. Have a regular routine each day – to better care for myself and others
    • Personal (dental/eyes/skin/makeup/nails/hair) care: morning and bedtime routines outlined coming soon
    • Lincoln care:
      • Thing I care about getting better at – Grooming: brush/spray/cut out mats 1x/wk, bath/nails 3x/year, pro groom 1x/yr
      • Just FYI as part of routines – Medical: flea meds 1x/mo, vet 1x/yr for annual + vaccines
      • FYI – Food: 1.5c 2x/day, dental treat 1x/day, bully stick up to 1x/day
    • Household care: Reid and I made a tracker with daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly cleaning to follow
      • 30 mins/day to complete tasks from to-dos: “I don’t wanna” time block
  3. Hobbies – for mental health and individual growth
    • Reading Bible, going to church, praying and giving/volunteering with Reid
    • Read from a book each day
    • Journaling/planning every day
    • Blogging weekly (a kind of accountability ‘buddy’ as I chronicle my attempts at self-growth with friends and family here)
    • Macrame for crafty outlet as desired

**MINDSET: Having a baby will be my reason, NOT an excuse to wait until after I’m a mom!

More Specifically how I will Achieve this plan

Looking at the above, I start doing what I always do with pretty much everything: overthinking things and spiraling into an overwhelming feeling of dread and self-doubt. So for this attempt, I’m not going to go crazy thinking about how much I want to improve all at the same time. I’ll focus on adding just one goal-progress habit and eliminating one bad habit for each 21 days, which is how long it takes to form a habit (if you can actually do it for 21 days).

For the first 21 days, I want to start doing yoga every day just for 20+ minutes, and stop biting the skin around my cuticles. In the words of Lindsay Lohan in the Parent Trap, “It’s a horrid habit, really it is,” and I’ve only been trying to stop since, oh, I don’t know, 22 years ago?! And I feel like yoga will be a great first healthy habit addition to begin with because 1) I did a yoga class at the rec in College Station one semester and loved it, and 2) the benefits and mindset yoga will bring to me can probably ease the transition into the other healthy habits thereafter.

Add Positive Habit: Yoga

For yoga, I will do YouTube videos at home from Yoga with Adriene – picking from her playlist of 20 min yoga practices for the introductory 21 days, then will switch into her “TRUE” 30 days of yoga series for 2018. Can yoga help me to be a become a better mom later on? Maybe so, in terms of being healthier for pregnancy, practicing mindfulness and increasing flexibility, potentially able to get my body back in faster recovery time after birth, and to just be healthier and happier overall and therefore a more well-equipped gift to people around me. Obviously not saying everyone in the world must do yoga to be the best mom by any means, just trying to find something that might work for me personally in motivating myself to be healthier, and as an able-bodied woman I may as well try to be in the best health I can be.

Lincoln can help me achieve my goals too – down dog indeed

Stop Bad Habit: picking

For stopping my finger-biting, I’ll put lotion on before bed and in the morning, then keep lotion at easy access throughout the day, and any time I catch myself about to bite/pick or thinking about it, I’ll put lotion on. So that will actively help the skin/cuticle healing process, and make my fingers taste bad if I do slip up and forget until I’m already doing it! I’ll also force myself to post a weekly picture of my fingers, because…

I mean how embarrassing is this that I’m having to post about cuticle-biting at 26-freakin’-years-old? If this doesn’t force me to improve there’s no hope for me. Also I really do need to get better at photography if I’m going to blog.

But what about the Queso, Danielle?

Don’t worry, it’s still gonna happen, but maybe just not on the strictest timeline. Finish talks about the problem of how once you’ve failed at your commitment one time and gotten behind in the timeline you set, then it’s harder to keep going because you’ve already “ruined” your goal and are facing the “day after perfect”.  I definitely experience that, and without doubt have been feeling it regarding my quest to make all the queso.

“To queso or not to queso” – that is NEVER the question; it’s just “to queso soon or when to queso later”?

I’m still finishing reading “Finish” so if it recommends any other plan strategies I’ll definitely update as needed, but for now my plan is to just say I WILL make all the queso in the cookbook, but at my own pace whenever it feels right – it won’t be every week. Maybe some weeks I’ll make two or three, but there will definitely be weeks I don’t make any, and that’s okay. I’m also still struggling with the best way to share about making the queso, as I feel like written recipe reviews might get tedious or boring and I need to get better at food photography and maybe I need a new iPhone to take better pics and oh maybe it would actually be better to do videos of making the queso instead so then I need to learn editing software and etcetera etcetera etcetera who knows what else! So trust a more well-formulated plan is coming for the queso, and until then I’m focusing on just being the best me I can be.

Danielle con queso literally means Danielle with cheese after all, and I’m as figuratively and emotionally cheesy as they come, so if you’re still reading, then I feel like it remains an accurate description of what you’ll find on my blog regardless.

One thought on “Be Kind: My Plan for Achieving Goals in 2018

  1. Michelle Corbin says:

    I love you and your cheesiness! I love that you chose a theme for your year, and that it is based on being kind to yourself! I can recommend a couple of meditation apps, which have loving-kindness meditations in them. Lastly, if you are looking for another wonderful book to help you with focus and planning, I recommend “The Power of Full Engagement” —

So whaddya think?