In August, I wrote a post checking in on the progress of my New Year’s Resolutions of 2017. Having felt like I succeeded fairly well in completing the majority of them, I spent a lot of the past two months considering what I wanted to focus on in the coming year. A lot of my goals for 2018 are framed around the fails and successes of 2017.
Just to recap, my goals of 2017 were:
- Stop apologizing for your existence.
- Treat yourself.
- Reduce your meat consumption.
- Draw more.
- Read a book a week.
- Be less afraid of doing things alone.
- Exercise more.
I think I succeeded in most of them, as detailed in the post linked above. I did not achieve them all, of course, but I think there is value in attempting to reach those goals regardless of falling short. I think a person can learn a lot from their and other people’s failures, so here’s what I failed at:
I failed at reading 52 books.
I track my reading on my Goodreads account, and I’ve only made it to 44. Plus, in all honestly, I cheated. When A Series of Unfortunate Events premiered on Netflix, I wanted to reread the books because I forgot what the ending was, so 13 of my 44 were from that series. Apart from children’s books, I also read quite a variety of rather dense nonfiction books, my favorite of which was Stamped from the Beginning, mostly about social issues in America. I read a beautiful story about a small, magical Parisian bookshop on a barge. I read an incredible YA about Black Lives Matter by a woman of color. I read Hillary’s memoir, which I sobbed through the majority of. I read a really interesting book about American flavors and what made them quintessentially American. The reason I wanted to challenge myself to read 52 books was to force myself to read a wider variety of books instead of focusing on fiction, so even though I did not get to 52, I think I still did pretty darn well.
I failed at being better about doing things alone.
While I do enjoy sketching in peace – which I did a lot on my Thanksgiving trip to Italy while my boyfriend wandered around – I’m still fairly abysmal at doing anything else alone. I did volunteer a few times by myself, so I’ll count those as wins. Otherwise, I don’t really like doing social things by myself, probably because I have a healthy amount of social anxiety and strangers kind of terrify me. But I think that’s okay. While it’s good to step outside of your comfort zone, I think it’s also good to know your limits and understand what is and isn’t plausible for you. Doing social things by myself really often isn’t something that’s very plausible for me.
I failed at exercising more.
I did manage to walk 10k steps on an almost regular basis, and I did do a few more physical activities than I used to this year – hiking, for instance – but I definitely did not create a regular habit for myself. It’s something I’m working on. Exercising isn’t within my grand plans of 2018, but I will still be tracking it in my rather extensive habit tracker every month.
Of course, while I did not complete all of my resolutions, I also had a few big wins:
I managed to go meatless for an entire week every month with my cutie roomie, which means we might have made a (very, very small) impact in the excessive meat consumption in America! Along the way, we discovered a bunch of vegetarian recipes we really like, and I don’t know about her but I will definitely continue making and eating those recipes.
I volunteered a total of 16 hours of my time to New York City. It’s not a lot, but it’s 16 hours more than I’ve ever done, so I think that’s a pretty nice win for myself!
I got a little bit better at treating myself to things that made me happy. My roommate can attest to the last thing I bought myself, which was a Conklin Herringbone fountain pen from The Fountain Pen Hospital in the city. I was literally jumping up and down because I couldn’t contain my excitement.
Most important of them all, I managed to quit apologizing all the time for my existence. I still slip up sometimes, especially when my anxiety is heightened, but the average frequency has definitely been lowered drastically.
Now, without further ado… These are my resolutions for 2018!
Art journal every week.
While I did pretty well at drawing regularly this past year, I want to get into a more proper habit. I already journal in my bullet journal using words and printed photos, but I would like to expand that into little drawings and paintings in my sketchbook. I should end up with 52 pieces in my sketchbook, which will be exciting to flip through at the end of the year.
Read 30 books.
I learned my lesson from 2017 and won’t try to read 52 next year – I’m reducing the amount into something much more reasonable. 30 books still lets me choose a variety of different genres without feeling too rushed about having to finish them, and also gives me more time to pursue other activities. I’ll be tracking my reading as usual on Goodreads – I would love for you to join me, and we can embark on some book-related adventures together!
Post a blog post every other week – 26 total in 2018.
I’m pretty proud of myself for managing to post a blog post once a month in 2017, but I think I can do better – so I’m attempting to create a more regular schedule of every other week. Currently, I’m hoping to publish a post every other Wednesday, so you can look forward to more of my ramblings! This way, I can also expand my writing to include some of the creative projects I’m working on, and you can get a little bit of insight into how my mind works when I’m making pretty things.
Open an Etsy printables shop.
I don’t know why it took me this long to realize that a great way to bypass the headaches of shipping and handling of a potential Etsy shop while working a full-time job is to just make everything printable. My first printable is up before the end of this year, actually, but I’d love to make printables for bullet journals as well as wall art, coloring pages, and greeting cards! I’d love for you to give me feedback and let me know what you’d like to see in the coming year – just head on over to the sidebar and DM me through any of the channels there, or comment below!
Focus on 1-3 projects per month instead of all of them at once.
I’ve realized that I have a tendency to come up with lots of project ideas and then feel overwhelmed with wanting to complete them all at once. I have a running list in my bullet journal, actually, and somehow it just keeps growing – which is definitely a better problem to have than no ideas at all, but I want to be better at zeroing in and prioritizing projects instead of making myself anxious and overwhelmed. I’m planning on breaking down my projects into actionable goals. Then, every month, I’ll pick a maximum of 3 projects to focus on, and pick some of those actionable goals to complete. I’m imposing a role of only being able to move on after those actionable goals have been completed.
Do a technology detox once a month.
These past two months, I’ve realized that I can get pretty caught up in the numbers and statistics of my social media accounts – namely, Instagram. It’s pretty consuming and overwhelming, and it’s probably not very healthy. I’m planning on foregoing social media for one day a month – that’s totally doable, right? – to focus on the real world. I might have to give my phone to the people around me so I don’t cheat!
Be more compassionate to yourself.
Lastly but probably most importantly, I want to be better at being kinder to myself. Usually I’m okay, but when my anxiety flares up, all my insecurities turn into my demons – more than they already are. I am definitely my worst critic, and some of the things I say to myself in my head can be pretty cruel. I’m hoping to get better at recognizing when I’m being cruel to myself, and to learn to talk to myself like how I talk to my friends – with love and kindness, recognizing that I am flawed but that it’s okay and it’s what makes me so perfectly me.
I’m pretty excited for the new year, because I have a lot of projects planned! Do you make resolutions? I’d love to know what yours are!