I have always been a goal-setting type of person. When I was 11-years old, I made a chart for how many seconds I would need to drop per year in my best swimming events to get Olympic trials cuts. And though my Olympic swimming career did not quite pan out, I've still always believed in marking those specific things that I want to achieve.
But, as we make our way well into the second month of the new year (I wonder, is it new anymore?), I'm feeling overwhelmed. I think this is largely in part to some of the goals and resolutions I set out for myself. Back when I was a swimmer, my goals were always time-boxed, mostly because of the nature of the swimming season. I had to achieve my goal by a specific time — and if I didn't it was, in short, a failure. So, setting timeline-based goals became a habit.
While having an earmarked deadline is hardly a bad thing, it can also lead to doing something for the sake of doing something or, like in the case of swimming, a complete sense of failure if that goal isn't completed by the set time. Quite a few of my goals for 2018 had a numeric value attached, whether it was a per-week minimum, or an end-date. And I believe it is this rigidity that is making me anxious about already failing what I set out to achieve for the year.
So, I'm taking a moment to reconsider my 2018 goals and resolutions. I don't want to be less ambitious, nor do I want to forgo setting intentions — but I do want to find a way to lessen some of the pressure I've been putting on myself. And as I evaluate my list now, this has a lot more to do with the goals section than the resolutions. In fact, I believe making these changes will better affect how I approach my resolutions.
a new-ish list of goals for 2018:
read 50 books -> Ok, this one can stay. It has yet to cause me stress, I'm just about on track and I tend to be a happier person when reading.
declutter: physically, mentally, & digitally -> pick up the clothes in my room on a semi-regular basis, and realize that I'm not just a Marie Kondo kinda gal when it comes to my wardrobe.
journal 3x a week -> journal when I'm anxious and want to move on, or when I'm happy and want to remember. journal when I hear a snippet on the subway, or have a thought I don't want to forget.
stick to my budget -> this one needs to stay as is, but on a month by month basis. Things fluctuate, and that's ok.
cook more & eat healthier -> 80/20 rule it is for me! And also...I just don't really cook.
practice French 4x a week -> Practice French more and maybe try and finish Le Petit Prince.
find a consistent fitness routine -> find a fitness routine that I actually love, one where I don't dread waking up in the morning to get after it, and one where I can love my body for what it's capable of, and what it can be capable of.
blog 2x a week -> Blog as often as I want, and blog for me. It's why I started blogging again last August, and it's why I continue to blog today. Similarly, shamelessly post on Instagram if it's what I want to do — even if others find the platform frivolous.
finish writing & editing my first novel -> I still would love to achieve this goal but I think seeing just the end, as opposed to creating smaller deadlines, has halted me before I gave myself the chance to start.
and a new goal...enjoy New York!
Maybe those changes seem insignificant. But even a small shift can affect great change, as I hope these will for me.
My resolutions will stay as I wrote them leading into 2018, with an added one at the end:
ABOVE ALL, ENJOY WHAT MATTERS & FORGET WHAT DOESN'T.
BE KIND, TO MYSELF AND OTHERS.
BE GRATEFUL AND RECOGNIZE WHAT I HAVE.
KEEP LEARNING, ALWAYS.
*PUT MYSELF OUT THERE.
I've actively been putting myself out there, as they say, more than ever before, and this somehow came about completely naturally. (You might call my last sentence a paradox: how could someone actively put themselves out there naturally? But, my choice to do so came about from my larger blogging goals which led me to putting myself out there as a kind of lovely side effect. And for an introvert like me, I am definitely going to keep up with this as much as possible). Sometimes the act pays off — and sometimes it doesn't. But either way, each time I put myself out there I learn more and more not to give a fuck and in the end, that's worth it for me.
This is the first time I've ever actively reevaluated my resolutions and new year goals. Before, I would immediately see a few mishaps as a failure, instead of trying to learn and move forward with what I've learned. In a way, some of these goals have transformed more into intentions. The main distinction for me is a timeline — or, as with intentions, a lack thereof.
It's a little scary to let go of some of those markers. And maybe in a few months, I'll realize I do need to implement a few more. But for now I'll look at this revamp as freeing. I don't know if I'm on that anti-resolution train yet but, to be completely honest, I can't wait to see where this freedom takes me.