As you all know, I'm a pretty goal-oriented person. For the last two months, I've been sharing my monthly goals and updates on this blog to hold myself accountable, because, frankly, nothing gets done without accountability (at least, if you're me — if Ken doesn't ask about my least favorite to-do's, I consider it a free pass).
My January goals turned out great, but I've been lagging this February. Turns out moving abroad slows you down a little; who knew?! While I've been checking off a lot of my administrative tasks (get a bike, find a doctor, register my new address, etc) and I've been working hard on my creative work (blogging five days a week, finishing the Lent study for Seasons Illustrated), my lifestyle goals are not going well.
Like, church. I made it a goal to go to church every week this month. We're two Sundays in and I haven't been yet. I've blamed it on not having my bike (the church I want to go to is about 45 minutes from me on foot), but I could have gone if I'd made it a priority.
And, social things. I'm such a social person, but I'm having a hard time meeting new people in this city. I've made goals for myself (join a book club! Find a group of other creatives!) but I've waved them away with talk of how “busy” I am. Yes, I'm busy. We're all busy. But we're never too busy for friends, and I know that.
I think it honestly comes down to being a little afraid. I have the most wonderful group of friends back home; supportive, loving, and hysterically funny. What if I can't find people like that here? What if my slight clunkiness in Dutch (I'm fluent, but I speak the Dutch my parents taught me, not the way other twenty-somethings speak) makes me seem weird, or makes it harder to make true connections?
And then there's the gym. Oh, exercise: I love you when I love you, and when I hate you, I avoid you like the plague. I've been in Holland for almost a month now, knowing full well exactly which gym I wanted to join, and I haven't. Again, the distance is an excuse; it's also around 40 minutes away, and without a bike that's a lot less doable. I'm hoping that changes now, because I can already tell that I'm losing a lot of the condition I'd built up with my trainer.
There's two more weeks in February and I'm recommitting myself to the goals I've let slide. In the next two weeks, I'm committing to:
- Attending church on Sundays in the hopes of finding the right community for me
- Signing up at the gym and starting with 1-2 work outs per week
- Finishing up my administrative tasks at the doctor, the bank, and city hall
- And, lastly, joining one social group or activity to meet new people
Honestly, I'm a little nervous to put this out there. So often, it's easy to gloss over the difficult stuff and pretend that everything's fine, especially for bloggers. But right now I'm struggling with self-discipline and I'm struggling to make new friends, and there's no shame in that. I'm trying to hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.
How are your February goals going? Any advice for helping me stick to mine? Let me know in the comments!
Read the rest of this series: