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  • Writer's pictureLaura Brzyski

19 for 2019

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

With a little over a week of 2019 under my belt, I've been actively thinking about concrete goals and plans I'd like to accomplish and execute. My last post highlighted some general ambitions, but after reading a post written by my friend Natalie (who was inspired by Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast, and who inspired my cousin Meg), I felt compelled to create my own "19 for 2019" list. I will also be printing this list and hanging it somewhere I look daily (fridge, mirror, office).

This list consists of 19 intentions I'm setting for and aiming to fulfill this year. Creating this was a practice in and act of mindfulness, which is why I compiled it over the course of this week and waited to post. I think about something Tony Robbins said last year about setting and achieving goals: "There has to be a larger motivating drive underpinning the goal." This means that you must be clear in why you wish to accomplish that specific thing. What really drives your desires? To help me answer that question, I made it a point to be more mindful about what tasks were in my typical, daily routine. Then, I'd ask myself, "Is there anything about this task I wish I were doing differently?" or "What do I wish I could change about this?" Being more introspective and reflective, even regarding what may seem mundane or trivial, just might be where your why resides.

With that, I present my 19 for 2019 (in no particular order, either!):

1. Be more mindful about what I'm consuming (part A). Last year (especially the end), I was sloppy with my eating and drinking. I consumed too many sweets and bread products (mainly bagels) and enjoyed "social beverages" frequently throughout the week. That didn't make me feel good. I ended up bloated and regretful. I also noticed that my GI issues became that much more volatile. This year, I aim to be more mindful about what I'm putting into my body. I don't want to treat my body like it's a trashcan, a receptacle for my hedonism. I plan on eliminating as many grain products and sweets as I can (bye bye cinnamon raisin bagels & chocolate every day) and limiting the amount of alcohol I consume (I would like to limit my drinking to 2 drinks on Fridays &/or Saturdays; no alcohol at all Sun-Thurs).

2. Be more mindful about what I'm consuming (part B). Breaking up the same goal into two separate numbers might be cheating, but oh well. Part A has to do with actual consumption. Part B has to do with tracking that consumption. To help me monitor my food and drink choices, I am keeping a running document (via Google docs) of everything I've put into my stomach. I've already started logging! I sit down at the end of every day and record what exactly I ate (& drank, if I had alcohol). At the end of each log, I reflect on how I physically and mentally felt during the course of the day. The blurb about my overall physical health is mainly to help me track my GI issues, especially in relation to different food items I eat. Overall, my food journal has been an awesome way for me to commit to this goal (because there is something about writing down and seeing what I've consumed that makes me want to choose healthier options).

3. Take my vitamin every day. Years and years ago, I took a vitamin every day. For some reason, I stopped. I didn't think stopping was a big deal. But then I worked for three years straight in a building that was likely festering with mold and asbestos, and I got extremely sick multiple times a year. I mean, really, I was sick ALL THE TIME. In the midst of all that, Christian, my fiancé, asked me if I take vitamins, to which I told him no. So he bought me a container of vitamins! I let the bottle sit on my kitchen counter for months, and very rarely did I remember to take one. This past December, I decided I wanted to change that because I was afraid I'd get sick (even though I left that job, I can't afford to get sick and miss days of my new job). Taking a vitamin is so simple; I just have to remember to do it. That's why it's on this list - so I can commit to it.

4. Call my parents more frequently. In an age where texting is preferred, I don't want to continue forgoing phone calls with my parents. I call them maybe once a week, not because I don't want to talk to them, but because sometimes I'm so tired that I don't feel like using my voice. They rarely call me because they know I'm super busy and they don't want to interfere. But I need to change that. I love them, I miss them. They deserve more from me, even if just a phone call.

5. Carve out more time for drafting/developing/revising my creative work. I am in a program for writing and I rarely ever write. How can this be?! Deem me naive, but I didn't realize how much self-discipline is required in an MFA program. I plan on using my Thursdays and Fridays (my days off) to work on my pieces.

6. Get at least three pieces published. Along with goal #5, I'd like to make an effort submitting my pieces to lit mags, journals, contests, etc. I revamped my website earlier and realized how embarrassingly scant my publication list is. I want to build up my portfolio, and I think three is a doable number for this publishing goal.

7. Move my muscles every day. Similar to my eating habits, my fitness was placed on the ultimate back burner last year. Not working out made me feel so shitty. My muscles felt heavy, my body was sluggish. I aim to move my muscles in some way every day. This doesn't mean I need to go to a fitness class every day. Ideally, I'd like to either practice yoga, spin, attend barre, quiver on a reformer, or lift; however, that isn't always going to be feasible. A walk around the neighborhood might suffice for one day. Regardless, I need to move my body this year!

8. Plan our dream wedding without having a mental & financial breakdown. We are engaged! How wild is that. When it comes to planning a wedding, I have no idea what I'm doing haha! With that said, I've already taken steps to plan so that we have a clear timeline and don't go over budget (apps and spreadsheets are lifesavers). Christian has already been so supportive in this endeavor, and we both keep reminding each other that this is supposed to be one of the best times of our lives. If anyone has tips for helping me achieve this goal, my ears are open!

9. Be frugal. I am extremely impulsive with my money. I buy flights when tickets are inexpensive and worry about the rest later. I see a cute dress online and immediately purchase it. With my stipend and our wedding, though, I can't afford to do that. Which honestly really sucks! But I have to keep in mind that not spending money on travel or extraneous items for a year is doable and worthwhile. Any time I feel the urge to charge something to my credit card, I'm going to ask myself if I really need whatever it is I'm about to buy. I'd also like to make a tracking document so that I can better visualize my spending.

10. Find and use skincare products that work for me. Over the past year, the skin on my face (especially my forehead) has gotten so dry. I plan on researching and trying out some different face creams. I want to find one that doesn't make me break out!

11. Learn how to do a smokey eye. I'm 28. I need to learn this by now. For Christmas, my mom bought me the original Naked palette, so I'm going to YouTube some tutorials and try!

12. Ask, "What can I do to help?" more often. We all need help sometimes. I want the people I love to know I'm never too busy to help.

13. Transition from & beyond past hurts. If you know me well, you know that I am very sensitive. I take a lot of things to heart. I am hypersensitive to the way people speak to, behave around, and treat other people. Because of this, I do everything I can to make those people feel welcome and included. I've learned, especially the past two years, that not everyone communicates the same way as I do. I spent a good amount of time upset, hurt, and disheartened over moments, situations, and individuals that/who I didn't perceive reciprocating effort I thought I was putting in. At this point, I am learning to be okay with that. I am learning to let go of how I want or envision individuals and situations to be and accept them as they are. The past is the past. I can and will only go forward from here.

14. Read at least 31 books. In 2018, I ended up reading 30 books. Reading for leisure comforted and relaxed me. I'd like to try to read at least 31 books (but more is ideal!).

15. Figure out the cause of my GI issues. This has gone on too long and is now interfering with my normal, every day life. Logging my consumption will help me monitor these issues, but I'd like to see a doctor or specialist in order to determine my trigger(s). If anyone has a GI doctor they'd recommend, please let me know!

16. Be more mindful about my posture. In yoga, I am very aware of easing my shoulders, not letting them scrunch to my ears. I'd like to do this outside of my practice (I just pulled my shoulders back to straighten my spine as I type).

17. Attend Philly-based networking events. I have connected with so many interesting and empowering individuals (especially women) via my lifestyle Instagram account. For instance, in November, I connected with Philly-based bloggers Breah, Katie, Elisha, Dy, and Camille for a Bloggers Got Soul ride at SoulCycle! We now try to meet up once a month. This year, I'd like to attend more networking events so I can meet more influencers in real life!

18. Use my phone less when Christian and I are together. Our time together should be our time, and I'd like to be more fully present.

19. Start playing the flute &/or piano again. To put it simply, I miss music in my life.

What's your 19?

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