It’s easy to look back on the last year and realize all the things that never got done… all the habits that were never broken… all the weight that was never lost… the miles never ran… books never read… but what I find truly hard is looking at what the next year should hold and how to keep myself accountable for it all.
Around this time every year I start lofting these wonderful things I want to do high up into the rafters of my brain and telling myself I’ll pull them down when the time is right and it’ll be spectacular. The reality is more along the lines of forgetting half of them and not doing any of them. One of the ways I hope to combat this is paring the list down to known accomplishable goals—things that I’ve probably done in the past that are reusable for this next year.
My list is split up into three categories: writing, personal enrichment, and health. I felt these were the most pertinent for their own reasons and can have the highest overall impact on my wellbeing and course of life in 2018.
I used to write a lot more than I do, and I’m regretful that I let my daily writing activities trail off. The first four months of 2015 were far and away the most active writing months of my life. I would love to return to the wonderful state of mind daily writing put me in. Here’s a few ways I plan on making that happen.
Return to blogging daily. Even if it’s just about small things, or even just mild musings that don’t make it past 140 280 characters, that’s fine by me. This is more about habit building. After 3 months, if I’m successful, I’ll start turning the knob up on what qualifies.
Spend more time writing about things I’ve learned. When coupled with how infrequently I manage to convince myself to write, this type of blogging is so severely neglected. I mentioned these in my last post but I wrote a lot about technical things in 2016. I didn’t do so much in 2017. I need to return to that.
Discuss long and complicated topics I’ve thought about writing for a long time but never have. I’m not sure what this’ll look like, but every once in a while I ponder an opinion-type piece. I’m not sure if there’ll be anything worth sitting down and discussing in 2018, but if something does come up, I need to put more pressure on myself to make those thoughts convert to words on paper.
Specific topics. There are a couple things I’ve wanted to write about specifically that I never got around managed to muster the energy to write. A couple that come to mind are my visiting Antigua last summer and a series of posts on developing themes for the Ghost blogging platform.
I resorted to less useful ways of killing time than I probably should have, so making sure I spend more of my idle cycles on bettering myself is most certainly on the list. Specifically:
Read more. I read a single book, cover-to-cover last year. How terrible is that? I know if I set an overly ambitious goal, I’ll never reach it and feel like I failed in some way, so I’m setting this goal to 6 books, one every two months. It can be about anything, fiction or not. When I’m done with a book, I’ll update my Book List.
Learn something new every three months. I’d like to learn something new every once in a while. I set a large window of time because I wanted this to be outside of everyday discoveries I make during my day job and just living life. This is on top of everything else.
Finish Bachelor’s degree. One thing very few people know is I don’t have a degree. I managed to make my way onto my career path through sheer experience and learning. I’ve bounced around from school to school, never finding a program that I truly enjoyed. In 2013, I started at WGU and am finishing in the first half of 2018. It’ll be a momentous occasion in my world and I’m looking forward to talking about it some more when the time is right.
When it comes to self-improvement, this is the category I’ve spent the least amount of time and energy building up. In the spirt of small, achievable goals, I’m keeping these small for 2018:
Drink more water. This one is a bit misleading at first because it’s not as if I don’t drink any water. I do, I just feel I could replace some of the other beverages of choice with more water.
Lose 10 pounds. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. I know what the scale says now and I need it to be a number that’s 10 less. It’s totally achievable, in my opinion. I don’t have a reason an excuse why I can’t make this happen.
As 2018 starts to unfold, I’m sure things will come up and I’ll make tweaks here and there. Life changes constantly and it’s important to realize that flexibility is key. I look forward to seeing how this all pans out. If all goes according to plan, these goals will intertwine with each other and there’ll be a lot to share.
Even if there isn’t, I look forward to the improvement of self and all that brings.