I always get contemplative on what I’ve achieved when the year has progressed far enough for the ‘months to remember’ to begin. You know those Pinterest quotes – ‘Make it a September/October/November/December to Remember’. Wait, does anyone say ‘Make it an October to Remember’? Anyway, you get my drift.
Obviously, one year is long enough to have numerous small personal achievements here and there. Traveling alone. Not losing your temper in an argument even when you know you’re right. Waking up early every day for a whole week when you’re a night owl. A technology detox. Usually for me, there is one achievement, however, that stands out every year and is reassuring in the sense that I can look back at the year and say to myself, ‘yes, that was the year I did this’. So 2014 was the year I moved to a new city for work. 2015 was the year I got into business school. Technically this year’s ‘accomplishment’ is still pending. And that’s when I thought I’d revisit my New Year resolutions for 2016.
I’m one of those people who never stick to New Year resolutions. Actually you know what? I don’t know anyone who does! If you’re someone who sees their new year resolutions through, let me know what your secret is! I know that I won’t see them through, so most of the time I don’t really bother with a comprehensive list. Something about the New Year promises a fresh start (even though it’s not) so in the spirit of that I make some ad hoc resolutions but that’s about it. My resolutions take a bit more shape in the latter parts of the year, such as now. I don’t want this year to go to waste – I don’t believe it has, but I would like to have something concrete to show for it. So I’m listing down a few small things that I’d like to do in the last four months of 2016. Changes that have been postponed for far too long.
Read more, read often
I hate that I’ve just lost the habit of reading. I have trouble focusing for more than ten minutes unless the book is super fast-paced like ‘The Girl on the Train’ or an Agatha Christie novel. I used to devour books as a child, but now if I have half an hour I’d rather watch a YouTube video or a TV show. Which is great once in a while, but I feel like I’m taking an easy route so I want to branch out. More books this year for sure. I’ve already started reading ‘God’s Debris’ by Scott Adams, and once I finish that I have a couple of others that have been languishing on my bedside table for a while.
Listen to podcasts
I only recently discovered the world of podcasts through Grace Helbig’s Not too Deep and Ingrid Nilsen and Cat Valdes’ Ladies Who Lunch, both of which admittedly are not really among the better podcasts out there. The former is a lighthearted one-on-one interview and the latter is like a chat between friends on a variety of tween topics such as love, friendship and life. However they’re very easy to listen to and made me realize that podcasts can be so calming and a great alternative to visual entertainment and that I’d like to listen to more in my spare time.
Blog more often
I have such a love-hate relationship with blogging. Sometimes I get really overwhelmed because there are so many blogs out there, with fantastic content and lovely writers, and I wonder why anyone would read what I have to say, or come back to my blog. But I think ultimately it has to be something you do for you. Everything else that you get out of it is an added bonus, not the main reward.
Focus less on people who don’t matter
(or better yet, don’t focus on them at all!)
I tend to give undue importance to the opinions and lives of people around me who I know aren’t going to stay in my life. A colleague I’m working closely with won’t be around next year if I switch jobs or move to a new project. And yet a lot of my time is spent worrying about a snide comment she made about my eyeliner being too ‘out there’ or the effort I put into curling my hair. Fretting over these things is, more than anything else, a colossal waste of time. I remember Mark Cuban saying on Shark Tank that his most precious asset is his time. I need to live by that.
I was going to add more stuff to this list like ‘get fit’ and ‘start yoga/meditation’ but I realized that these resolutions are becoming so run of the mill and ‘standard’; I didn’t want my post to become a generic ‘5 new year resolutions you must make!” article. But in all honesty, these are the goals that I’d really like to see through.
You might also ask how I’ll get my big ‘accomplishment’ of 2016 through these smaller everyday targets but I feel like starting with these will help me find it along the way. And if nothing else, actually doing these four things will make me happy and if that’s not an achievement, I don’t know what is!
Do you have any resolutions or goals toward which you’re working at the moment? And also, if you have any book or podcast recommendations, please let me know!