December 31, 2022

Habit Goals - 2023 - and a small reflection on goals themselves.

I am into goals this year.

I've always loved goals.  And schedules.  I remember making a "summer of fun" binder for myself sometime in primary school, filled with all the things I planned to do - books I planned to read, lists I planned to make... I'm sure it had a "Best Summer Ever" sticker on it.

I also remember something going wrong early in the summer and me getting upset and throwing the binder away.

It turns out, my lack of resilience is not a new phenomenon.

(this post takes a sad turn from here for the next 2 paragraphs:)

I'm also acutely aware how lucky I am with my goal setting.  In December 2017 my friend Amy wrote about how excited she was for the new year - she was almost 5 months pregnant with her rainbow baby.  Leo was stillborn the next day, Amy was diagnosed with cancer in the spring, and she died in April of 2018 at the age of 32.

Amy and I used to joke a lot about diets and health - we both talked about losing five or ten pounds.  We both were pretty good looking (in the way twenty something North Americans living in in the UK are) but I'm sure we spent a long time talking about going to the gym and/or eating more salads.  When Amy got cancer she lost weight quickly.  I remember her writing that she finally had that "dream body" but the dream body was literally killing her.  

When I think about goals I remember to hold them loose and consider how lucky I am to even make goals.  To have the opportunity to enter 2023 generally healthy, and with a healthy family.  To make goals based on "normal", with the limitations of "normal".  My life, even the pre-goal version, is someone else dream.  Not some far away person from another land, or even some person from another century, but someone from down the street or across the road.  I try to be continually in awe of how lucky I am. 

So while I would like to get into better shape (why did I not realize how fit I was in 2013?) And be a better human, I'm starting from a place of pretty huge advantage.

With that long preamble, here are the habit goals I want to try out for at least some of 2023:

  • Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day (incorporate more fruit!)
  • Flossing habit (ie not just the week before the dentist)
  • Continue daily gratitude in evening
  • Get a regular morning routine back (not sleeping till kids get up)
  • Get into a yoga routine (3 times a week is a habit)
  • Get back into strength training - lift heavy things (return of the bench press?)

These are not necessarily everyday goals, maybe trial add-on goals for a month?  I'm sure all of these habits would make me a better person.  But these are the 6 I've picked for 2023, and hopefully fortune will allow me the chance to trial all or most of them, and maybe even keep some as life habits. (FYI gratitude is a learned habit from 2021ish)

If you are a goal setter, I hope you have a healthy list of goals for the new year, and that your goals are built on a foundation of good luck and good opportunity as well. 


  1. I really, really love setting goals...but I think I am good about letting things go if they no longer have a place in my life. Also, I always try to find ways to give myself partial credit. One year I listed a major home improvement as a goal and we didn't even touch it...but we had a very nice front walkway installed, so I gave myself partial credit - ha.

    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Amy. She sounds vibrant and like such a great person in your life. Seeing someone so young pass early in their life can reshape how we view life and priorities.

  2. Thank you for sharing this story about your friend. I'm so sorry she's gone.

    And what a poignant reminder to take stock of what we have and to remember that we cannot plan for every eventuality. That said, your goals sound wonderful. I would also like to get into a better sleep routine. I stay up too late because that's when I get to spend time with my husband, but overall I think life "works" better when I go to bed earlier.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I often think that we are lucky to be healthy and able-bodied and stories like that one just illustrate that. We should never take anything for granted!

    Your goals sound solid and realistic to me - go get 'em! You got this!

  4. That is so sad about your friend. It certainly is a reminder to count each day as precious. Your habit goals seem like they should enrich your life and form a good basis for health.

  5. I am so sorry about your friend, but I understand where you're coming from. I have a dear friend who's been (so far successfully) battling brain cancer for years and she's always my reminder that I should be thankful for my "normal" life and for being able to set goals.