Goals for 2018: Creating, Personal Growth, Self-Care, and Mindfulness
I don’t believe in resolutions; those promises to ourselves that we’ll go to the gym every day or completely cut out sugar are often entirely unattainable, and we’re left feeling rotten when we don’t stick to them.
I do, however, believe in making goals for yourself. But these goals have to be things that you think you should be working towards; don’t create goals that reflect someone else’s values. If you want to write poetry this year, or start baking elaborate cakes, or learn photography, do it. If you think you should up your fashion game, but don’t particularly give a crap about labels or fancy clothes, then forget about it.
Below are nine goals I’ve created for myself for the coming year. Though I’m hoping to say at the end of the year that I’ve achieved all of them, I recognize that priorities change, and what’s important to me may not be important to me next December.
I’ve always wanted to make artsy little vids, and there’s no time like the present. They’re going to be really relaxed, no over the top editing or extreme stress about things looking just right, and no panicking about deadlines – these will be just for fun, and I’m not going to make a big deal about them.
I have a couple in mind I want to do, specifically regarding poems I want to perform (and if I ever re-learn how to play piano, expect some of those too), so stay tuned for those! You can expect the first one sometime in January.
Photography has always been something I’ve been interested in, but to be honest, I never really make enough time for it, or if I’m out, I end up leaving my phone or camera in my bag — which is good for being present in the situation, but I also want to take more photos.
In the new year, I’m going to make it a goal to take more photos, get better at photo composition, and take more portraits/candids of friends and family. Although it isn’t something I see myself doing as a career ever, I want to get better regardless.
P.S. Live in the Fraser Valley and like getting your photo taken? Contact me here.
I’ve always wanted to travel, and I have gone a few places: Disneyland, Vegas, The Redwood Forest. But, now that I’ve effectively killed off my social anxiety/general anxiety, I want to travel everywhere.
I can’t really do anything bigger than a short roadtrip until I’m done university this April, but I am planning a one to two week trip down the West coast as soon as exams are done; I’m going to hit up a couple places in Oregon and California, with the final destination being San Francisco. Ever been? I’m looking for recommendations of what to do while I’m there. Give me your suggestions here).
I’m also tentatively going to Europe in August, and I am beyond excited. I’d love to visit Luxembourg City, Paris, Dusseldorf, and Copenhagen, though this may change once I start to do in-depth planning. However, no matter where I end up, Neuschwanstein Castle is at the top of my list. And same as before, I’m open to recommendations, so send me your favourite things to do in Europe.
Publish Poetry Book
This has been a long time coming. I first mentioned my poetry book last summer and had planned to self publish it this past December. However, with everything I was doing, and after learning more about the publishing industry, I decided to wait until I had everything just right before I published it — I didn’t want to rush into it and publish something I wasn’t totally proud of, or that was just “good enough”. And now, I’m hoping to have it traditionally published over self-publishing, something I’ll talk about in a blog post at a future date.
Since I’m graduating university at the end of this April, I’m going to have more time and energy to work on making my poetry book just right: layout, art, and poems included. I also want to add some of the poems I write this semester, and spend a chunk of uninterrupted time editing the poems — something I can’t fully commit to during the semester.
If all goes well, I’ll be sending it out to publishers sometime in late spring or early summer. I’m so anxious for it to be out in the world, but I know the wait will be worth it.
Work on Novel
That’s right, your girl also writes fiction, and finally started her first novel last month.
I’ve wanted to write novels since I was a teenager. I actually remember the book that initially made me want to write a novel: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’ve had countless ideas that haven’t gone to fruition because of lack of time due to university. However, I had a month off over Christmas break and decided “hey, there’s no time like the present” (see what I did there). And even if I won’t have time to work on it during the next semester, I will be done university in April, and can work on it then.. that is, after my poetry book is complete.
And really, my novel isn’t going anywhere. I can work on it whenever I have free time, but the poetry book is top priority right now. Once that’s done with, then I can throw my full attention into my novel (I’m hoping to get the first draft finished by the end of August. Fingers crossed!). I’m just glad I finally started it.
Start Practicing Minimalism (again)
This one is probably the most important goal on my list because I need a clear space to have a clear mind. If there’s clutter anywhere in my space, then there’s clutter in my mind, and the projects get forgotten or done half-baked, and no one benefits from that.
About a year ago, I cleared out my space of anything unnecessary: old receipts, clothes I didn’t wear, knick-knacks that served no purpose. Minimalism became a large part of my life, and I felt at peace. Being so busy over the past year, things began to pile up again, and it’s time to pare down.
Not only will it help me focus and gain peace of mind, but I’ll be moving out by the summer, and I don’t want to cart a bunch of useless items with me. I don’t want to drag over unnecessary clutter from my old space; I want my new home to be a fresh start in more ways than one.
Practice Being Present
Another goal for inner peace: practice being present. This is a continual goal on my list, because I have to keep reminding myself over and over, and I think I’ll always have to. It’s so easy for us to slip into thinking about past and future, and forget about the here and now.
I’m not going to beat myself up if I find myself daydreaming, but I do want to work on being more mindful of the things I do in my everyday life. Eating breakfast, going for walks, writing, and even drinking tea: I want all of them to be things I’m aware of doing, and things I do with intention and purpose.
As a member of the student newspaper, I spent the past semester attending a lot more events, both at university and in the community, than I have in previous years. I went to local shows, art exhibits, and discussion panels, some of which I wrote about, and some of which I attended out of pure enjoyment.
This year, I intend to attend just as many events, and I want to expand the type of events I go to. I’ll still go to art exhibits and music events, but I want to attend talks on subjects I’d never go to by choice (I haven’t figured out what these are yet, but I’ll know when they come).
I also want to go to as many plays as possible, because I’ve discovered that I’m a complete nut for theatre. Have a favourite play or musical? Let me know here and I’ll watch it.
I don’t really have much to say on this other than I want to cover my body in flowers and cute watercolor things. I have a couple ideas for what I could do next, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out what actually goes down (I’ll post pics on my Instagram as soon as I get it).
As I mentioned in my blog post about end of year reflection, I’m really bad at slowing down and taking breaks. However, this year I want to focus on self-care, specifically, practicing taking breathers and being in the moment.
Although I’ve got big plans for this year (as you can see above), I want to make sure I’m taking care of myself so that I don’t inevitably burn out. I’m happiest when I’m busy, but being busy means nothing if stress eats away at your body and mind.
What are your goals for 2018? Let me know!