New Year, New Goals

A new year is like a blank slate. January offers us the chance to shake off the cobwebs of last year and set new goals for ourselves. While roughly half of Americans make new year’s resolutions, at Spark Point, we have our own take on how to do it right. Read this post to learn more about our team members Whitney Brimfield and Calvin Koon-Stack and what they hope to accomplish in 2018.

1. What are your resolutions for 2018?

Whitney: I try not to make resolutions in the formal sense, but I definitely took an inventory at the beginning of the year to see what was important to me and the thing that rose to the top was self care. To me, self care is about setting strong boundaries between work and not work, and about focusing on healthy habits. I’m really bad at moisturizing and wearing sunscreen, and I want to get better at it, so I’m paying more attention to skincare this year. I also want to get back into my meditation practice and move my body more. When you work from home, and when your primary job is to do writing—that’s a lot of sitting. It’s easy to get complacent about moving. So if anybody wants to go on a walking meeting with me, let me know!

Calvin: I’ve never been a fan of making resolutions. You see every year that people resolve to do something big, and they overcommit themselves and can’t keep up. It’s a lot of work to commit to something for a full year, and maybe you find out that the resolution isn’t giving you what you wanted, or that change you planned for really isn’t for you. So, instead of a year-long resolution, I set myself a goal of trying new things. Sort of like Matt Cutts who gave a TED Talk, I want to take a moment each month to think about something I can work on for myself, and then try some habits that might help. At the end of the month, I can look back, evaluate, see if I liked the change, and try to figure out how to keep it going. For January, I really wanted to be more focused and present in my daily life, so I tried meditating every day, cutting out social media use, and doing 100 push-ups each day.

2. How did you choose those things? How do you hope they will impact your life?

Whitney: 2017 was an incredibly successful year for the company, but that success came at the expense of my own self care. So, to ensure that I don’t burn out, self care needs to move to the top of my priorities. Another thing that I have as a goal for 2018 is to take a vacation every quarter. Not necessarily an extravagant trip, but take a week off once a quarter. It’s tricky though when you take a week off in early January and another week in late June—which is technically still once a quarter!

Calvin: Overall, I hope the goal of trying new things, new habits, will make me more open to trying other things, while also helping me learn more about myself and how to be my best self. I’d never tried meditation before, but I knew it was supposed to help focus and mindfulness, so I decided to try it. I’d noticed that with social media, I’d often get distracted from conversations or work by the desire to check notifications, so if I wanted to be focused, cutting out social media helped remove some big distractions. As for the hundred push-ups thing…an overambitious fitness goal is obligatory in January, right?

3. How do you feel about your goals one month into the year?

Whitney: I feel like they’re perfectly imperfect. I’ve been more mindful of the things that I want to happen, and I’m more successful at doing those things than I was before, which I think is enough. That’s also part of self care: Just because you’re not doing a perfect job of self care doesn’t mean you’re not doing it. If you’re putting in the effort, it still counts. People let their resolutions go because they feel it has to be all or nothing, and it’s unreasonable to have that expectation of yourself. You tend to lose perspective when you focus on “all or nothing”, because then you aren’t taking into account what else is going on. Then, if you’re not doing it perfectly, it becomes a failure, which is just setting yourself up to fail..

Calvin: After a few weeks I felt a huge difference in my life by doing those three things. I definitely feel more focused and attentive in my daily life after having meditated and cutting out social media. I’ll keep working on my mindfulness and probably try to keep my social media use pretty low by not having apps on my phone, but Facebook is really important for keeping up with friends. Plus, as a communications professional, I can’t really do my job if I cut it out entirely. I look forward to trying more habits in February, so let me know if there’s something you think I should try!

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