It’s that time of year again – when you look over last years resolutions and sigh and hope that the new year bodes better than the last. My first post on this blog was about my resolutions for 2018, and, needless to say, I didn’t completely deliver.
These were my goals for 2018, readily copied and pasted:
- Stay healthy and exercise (half done)
- Finish editing my first novel, and start researching publishing agencies (for the most part)
- Call my parents more often (half again)
- Start a research project on air pollution (half)
- Read a book every month (yes!)
(To be fair, if I were to add up all the halves, I technically finished three of my resolutions, which, isn’t that bad really.)
I used to beat myself up for not meeting my deadlines, not finishing projects on time, not checking off every single thing on my planner – and it’s tiring, to chide yourself and punish yourself by setting even more deadlines, even more tasks to do. Sometimes I think that checklists and goals are harming me more than being beneficial, but then again, I simply can’t resist buying a colorful planner at the end of the year. My best friend knows it, my last planner she got me for Christmas last year.
I think reducing a year into simple goals by judging the success or failure of the year on whether one has finished those goals is extremely harmful; instead, I think one should use one’s resolutions as a framework for one’s habits.
On the last day of 2018, I bought bullet journals for myself and one of my best friends. I am already picturing the colorful pages and the monthly goals and my awful caligraphy (which, hopefully will improve with help from a friend). This year is going to be the busiest year of all, with the second semester of my junior year and the first of my senior year; at the end of 2019, I will be finding out about colleges I’ve applied to. It’s kind of terrifying to fast-forward a year like that. But like 2017, 2018 passed without me noticing much of it. I wonder why that is, whether it was natural for time to pass faster the older you get, or whether it is today’s technological world that’s changing our lifestyles, making us not notice the days, the weeks, the months, the years. I am already anticipating this year to past so much faster because I’ll be so much busier, and with this thought in mind, these are my goals for 2019:
- Spend less on social media (a.k.a. mindlessly scrolling on Instagram).
- Call my parents at least two times a week (or rather, wake up early on weekends to call).
- Read a book every week (or, leave 30 minutes on each weekday to read).
- Go to the gym at least three times a week (running outside counts too).
- Continue my project on air pollution.
I don’t know what is so magical about the number 5 and the multiples of 5, but we seem to want to stop whenever we reach it. So in that spirit, here are my 5 writing related goals:
- Self-publish Harbinger.
- Set aside time to write at least an hour every weekday.
- Finish a short story every week.
- Dabble in poetry.
- Write one blog post per month.
This seems daunting when I’m staring at this list on the screen, starting to already beat myself up over setting such high goals. But as I’ve said before, your success isn’t defined by whether you’ve checked your way down to the bottom of a list (We are not Cybermen).
However, I do want to complete my checklist and finish my goals, because I know that having this list works best for me, and with some discipline, I think I just might be able to leave little to no regrets for 2019.
Happy New Year everyone!