Do you set goals for yourself?
Research suggests that working towards goals can boost happiness and wellbeing. And we don’t have to wait for a new year to roll around to make a new goal and reap the benefits!
Even a goal as “small” as a vacation can provide a huge boost. So much so, that the planning and anticipation are known to increase happiness even more than the actual vacation itself. And don’t think that the vacation has to be exotic or require a lot of money (although, at times it may). A camping trip or weekend away can have the same effect, as long as you are planning and looking forward to it.
Brance and I were talking about this “phenomenon” over dinner tonight and he said something insightful. He thinks that it boils down to hope. When we live setting goals for the future, we are living in a hopeful, instead of pessimistic, way. I think he is right! (Brance embodies this kind of living more than anyone I know and he truly is one of the most optimistic, genuinely upbeat people I know.)
Here are some of the goals I am working towards. I try not to set too many. Otherwise I feel overwhelmed and I am less likely to succeed at any of them.
Recently I decided to increase the number of books I read.
Other than children’s books, which I read a LOT of, the number of books I was completing had really declined since having kids. With a husband who reads incessantly, the measly number of books I read felt rather pathetic.
Did you know that a large percentage of us never pick up and finish another book cover-to-cover once we get out of school? Even those of us who are college educated! We become experts in skimming and discarding or merely scrolling online.
So far, it has went pretty well. Joining a book club at our church has helped. This month we are reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. (If you’re in the Boston/Lynn area and would like to join, let me know! I felt a little intimidated at first, but there was no need to. We’re all mostly new to book clubs and everyone is supportive and encouraging.) I am also trying to replace some tv with books. Although, I still have some room for improvement here (amazon prime you are not helping me!).
I recently set some health goals to work towards as well.
Brance is doing some resistance training and has seen really good results, so I have felt motivated to make some changes too. I can’t do a single pull-up or push-up you guys (although, I can do quite a few girl push-ups). I know. It’s sad. But I am determined to change that with some hard work and determination and a plan (Brance is helping me). We’ll see how it goes.
I have done some sort of cardio on a regular basis all of my adult life. Mostly walking, but more recently I have been using the recumbent bike too. I’d like to continue with that and maybe throw in something a little more challenging occasionally. Perhaps jogging or a class or something. I am still not sure. (If you have any suggestions for cardio you love or have had good success with, please share in the comments.)
I am also tweaking my diet. I can post more about that in the future, if any of you are interested.
Another goal I am working towards has to do with cooking.
I had kind of gotten lazy in the area of meal planning and prep. And while we generally were eating good and healthy meals (generally), there wasn’t much excitement or novelty to what I was making. We had our 10. So, I am trying to plan more and try new things. Which does require extra work, but is paying off with the responses of my little family. They are so cute when they like something I fix by make a big deal when they compliment me.
OK, so I am done going on about my goals.