Start Your 2019 Over, With Better Goals

Start Your 2019 Over, With Better Goals

Did you greet 2019 with so much enthusiasm that you set big, audacious New Year’s goals? Maybe you thought: A fresh year to grow (and glow) personally, an exciting new beginning, with endless opportunity to slay professional goals!

So, what happened to those goals?

If you’re anything like most of us, they were ditched (long-forgotten, even) way before Valentine’s Day rolled around. That feeling of inspiration that struck on January 1st, which is symbolic of unlimited potential, turned into discouragement, apathy, and dismay.

So, what can you do now if you still really want to do and be your best self this year? You can still look forward to making the most of the coming months, even if that means starting over again with resolutions and goal setting.

In fact, you may have seen the meme taking over social streams that says: “I’ve decided 2019 doesn’t start until February 1st. January was just a free trial.”

Consider mid-February your chance for a do-over. Only this time, go with something other than the traditional goal-setting systems, which may work for productivity gurus, but don’t for the majority of us regular folks.

One offbeat method you may want to try that is to choose one word for the coming year, to represent what you want versus listing specific actions or results. That single word will guide you and help you focus, so you live more intentionally day to day, month to month.

Here’s how to choose your word for the year.

First, brainstorm a long list of words that feel meaningful to you and “hang out” with them for a while. You’ll find that some relate more closely to goals you’ve had in the back of your mind for a while. They may even suggest some action steps that you can do in the coming months that will bring you closer to your dreams. Soon, one will present itself as the clear winner.

Some examples of word of the year, culled from recent conversations about this “right-brained” goal setting method: Positivity, Intention, Simplify, Pause, Restore, Build, and Believe. Other popular choices that show up year after year include: Balance, Focus, Organize, Grow, Gratitude, Grace, and Finish.

Okay, now that you’ve picked a word for the year, write it down wherever you will refer to it often during the day. A good place to add it is on the front of your paper planner (or write it out in fancy lettering, with doodles even, at the top of every page, to really drive the message home). Type it up, print out, and slap it up on the wall above your desk, or on the fridge, or your bathroom mirror. Use it as part of your login password, like L1Ve_L0Ve<3, so that you’re reminded of your focus word everyday.

You’ll be amazed at how your subconscious mind gets to work, suggesting actions to further your intention. For example, say you chose the word “Build” as your focus word for 2019. You’d like to build community, build connections, and build trust. You find yourself inspired to join a local nursing organization and regularly attend their meetings. At the end of the year, you might be surprised at how you have indeed built strong, trusting relationships.  And that it happened without setting specific, quantifiable, time-sensitive, or sensible goals.

If You Can Dream It, You Can Achieve It

If You Can Dream It, You Can Achieve It

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day we naturally remember Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech, delivered in 1963 at the March on Washington, where he called for an end to racism. That stirring address is ranked by scholars as the top American speech in U.S. 20th century history, and it still lives on for everyone moved by his dream of equality. Click here for 9 things you didn’t know about the dream.

A man of action as a civil rights activist, Dr. King was also a minister and a dreamer. Some of us are loathe to be called dreamers because it suggests we aren’t also doers. But most nurses are practical, ingenious workers and their patients and communities value them highly for their hands-on care.

Still, there is a way to call on your intuition to “dream” your way to your best and truest life. It’s called treasure mapping, and it’s a fun way to clarify your vision for yourself at home and at work.

Instead of using your left brain and writing a list of resolutions, say, you can shift to your right brain, which favors images, and make a collage based on how your heart inspires and guides you.

Here’s the how-to of treasure-mapping:

1. Gather up some of your favorite magazines (or saved greeting cards, photos, or stickers).

2. Get a large sheet of paper or cardboard, scissors, glue, and colored pens or paints.

3. What dream do you want to depict?: Your best life or your strongest self or your ideal year, etc.

4. Without thinking about it too much, cut out images that appeal to you and that seem to relate to your dream.

5. Dreamily, shift the images around in whatever pattern is most pleasing to you. Once you’ve got it, glue images in place.

6. Decorate the images so that the whole collage speaks to you more clearly. For instance, if you see a theme in the images, write a phrase across the top as a title. Or highlight certain sections with a bright  glitter pen. Let loose and have fun.

7. Hang up your image map where you can see it often – each time you look at it you’ll see something different. Plus, you’ll be reinforcing in your conscious mind whatever your subconscious shared in this treasure map.

8. If you enjoyed this project, make treasure maps for your close friends or family.  At the top of this blog is a treasure map that my sister made for me years ago. She wishes for me a room with a view, which is something that I highly value. You know what? Every place I’ve lived in since has had vast, sweeping, monster views of cityspaces and leafy parks. Coincidence? I think not.

How do you dream your best life? Do you have a creative method that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it.

Jebra Turner is a freelance health and business writer in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at