I always have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions. Like, why do I have to wait until 1st January to start improving myself and my life? Shouldn’t I be doing that anyway? Also, if everyone apparently knows that we’ll all have given up by midway through March, is there any point?
So, instead, I’m jumping on a different bandwagon this year. I’m not making resolutions, I’m setting goals. Goals seem more positive somehow. It feels like saying, “I’m not perfect and that’s ok, but here’s what I hope to do.”
It feels like it’s a good thing to aspire to improvement and, while I do tend to succeed with at least some of my resolutions when I make them, that doesn’t mean it’s the best approach. Plus, just by calling them goals and setting them now, I’ll be encouraged to update them at a later date – either because I achieve them or because I discover that they aren’t as realistic as I’d thought at first.
Last year, my resolutions were, approximately: Be healthier, try new things and use my time better. I think my success was fairly mixed. While I was definitely healthier some of the time, I sometimes failed as well. I did a lot of exercise when I had time but when it came to thesis writing and viva preparation that fell down. Actually, my thesis and viva were to blame for a lot of the times when I failed to do other things I’d hoped to. Probably trying to get my PhD is a fair excuse for letting things slide, but I’m still glad it won’t be in the way in 2017.
Trying new things was a great resolution to make and one I managed to stick to, trying at least five new things each month. Part of the reason for the success was how vague “new things” can be; anything from trying a new cereal bar to a new fitness class, from downloading an app to visiting a country I’d never been to before. That’s fine, though, and while I can hardly use it as a resolution this year, I am going to continue to try as many new things as I can in 2017.
I did succeed in using my time better. I had to. When I’m not working I still always have a few social media tabs open, but I don’t feel so compelled to read every single post on every single platform. Rather, I use the time I spend on social media to catch up with friends and to unwind and I’m happy with that, so I’m chalking it up as a success.
I also joked that I’d like to get a six pack, read more books and see the world. Well, no six pack I’m afraid, although I’m about as fit as I was this time last year, which is a lot better than in the years before 2015, so it’s not all bad. Funnily enough, I did read a bunch more books and, while I didn’t exactly see the world, I did manage to leave the country for a brief trip to Belgium. I guess I’ll keep chipping away at that.
So, having learned a little from 2016, here are my 2017 goals:
1. Build more of a fitness routine. I don’t need to lose any weight and, as much as I’d like to, I don’t really need to get a six pack. I would like to maintain my weight and exercise better, signing up for classes seems to work best for me, so that seems a good place to start. Maybe I’ll go back to AG Fitness training or to one of my old classes, although living in Falkirk makes that harder – so looking for something locally might be best.
2. Travel more. Last year I knew I wouldn’t travel much because of constraints on time and money. This year I’m hoping that won’t be quite so much of a problem. I’m going to set a goal of visiting at least two countries.
3.Get my routine back. Since about August my routine has been totally broken and I really value having a good routine. Mostly this involves getting to bed at a decent hour and waking up early enough to take my time over a cup of coffee, so I’ll try to start there.
As before, there are some things that I’d like to aim for that I’m not quite confident enough to put down as actual goals. I’d like to read more books again, but I read over 40 in 2016 and that’s already high for me. I’d also like to learn to drive… maybe this is the year that happens, who knows? I’d also like to try my hand at gardening but given that I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m expecting mixed success on that front.
Do you make resolutions? What were you aiming to do last year? Do you have resolutions for this year? Let me know in the comments!