HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! I can’t lie, I absolutely love new year’s resolutions. I love the idea of taking time to focus on what you want and setting goals in order to achieve that. I know you can do this at any point of the year, but I think there’s something special about doing it at the top of the year. It’s a nice reset. From my experience, the trick is to set reasonable goals, which is something humans find very difficult to do. Another trick is to not set too many goals. That’ll just lead to burnout! I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, and I feel more prepared that I ever have to set reasonable goals that I can follow through on. We have a full year to see how right I am about that. Let’s go!
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1. Get healthier and fitter.
Okay, let’s start off with the one that is nearly everybody’s resolution: fitness. I’ve picked up some extra pounds over the past several years. And with frequent 12 hour days (and plenty of work to do once I get home), I have had very little time to exercise. I feel like I’ve learned a fair amount about how to successfully implement a healthy lifestyle over the past year, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running this year. My focus will be on making small, manageable changes to my diet, drinking more water, and hitting the gym 5 times per week. I actually really enjoy working out, and making the time for it should be a little bit easier now that I’ve finished the coursework for my doctoral degree. Diet changes are always a little harder for me . . . Let me know if you have any good, healthy recipe ideas!
2. Read 12 books.
Ah, reading. One of my favorite things to do, and one of the things I always seem to have the least amount of time to do. Like exercise, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make more time for reading now that my coursework is complete. Still, I’m setting a modest reading goal of one book for month. I managed to read 11 books even with my insane schedule this year, so I think it’s doable. I already have 4 books on my immediate “to read” list (and 300+ on my Goodreads “to read” list, whoops . . . ). I know people always say that you shouldn’t read multiple books at once, but I do it anyway. I always read one book on my Nook, which I mostly read while I’m doing cardio at the gym, and I read one “real” book on the train during my commute. Then when I have time to read at home, I just pick up whatever I’m in the mood for. This year, I’m starting off with History Is All You Left Me as my gym read and Turtles All the Way Down as my commute read. Shrill and Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People will be commute reads as soon as I’m done with Turtles. I got History in a Goodreads giveaway and the rest of the books were Christmas presents. I am so pumped to read them all. With so many books that I’m excited for, maybe I’ll even exceed my goal this year, eh? We’ll see.
3. Write 3 short stories.
I love to write, especially short stories. I came 2 classes short of having a Creative Writing minor in college. Womp. Anyway, writing is another love of mine that has fallen by the wayside since I’ve entered graduate school. I miss it, and I want to get back into it this year. I’m setting a super modest goal of 3 short stories for the entire year.
4. Take one photo every day.
Once of my dearest friends took a 10 second video every day last year. We watched all the footage back and it was such a fantastic ride. Rather than one video per day, I’m going to do one photo per day and make a little album at the end of the year. We’re only two days into the new year, and I’m already having so much fun with this. It’s really helping me focus on identifying and capturing the beauty in each day.
5. Focus on self-care.
Self-care. Almost all of us neglect it. And that’s a damn shame. I’m not going to continue to do that this year. Slowly, I will be focusing on getting 7.5 hours of sleep, making time for relaxing mornings, making sure to light a candle, play some relaxing music and read, and take walks. We only have one life to live, and we might as well fill it with all the little pleasures that we can.
Here’s to a wonderful 2018! I hope all of your wildest dreams come true. And if they don’t, I at least hope that you experience some happiness this year. Do you have any resolutions this year? I’d love to hear all about them!