I’m really no different than anyone else when it comes to having a, well, not-so-great track record when it comes to sticking to New Years Resolutions. And yet, here we find ourselves, year after year after year after year… making more goals, and not always keeping them. But while I’m definitely one of those people who isn’t good at keeping to the letter of the resolutions, I still see a lot of value in making them anyway. For me, making resolutions provides a concrete goal to aim for. Even if you miss the target, any forward movement towards it is still valuable.
This year, my goals are all about small, but significant habit changes. Ways to refocus my time and energy that will hopefully leave me feeling better both physically and mentally – without really changing anything significant about who I am, what I value, or denying me my own interests the way some of my bigger, more ridiculous goals have in the past.
So what’s on the docket for 2018?
1) Get my pysanky on.
For those of you who are newish around here, you may not know that one of my family traditions is making Pysanky aka Ukrainian Easter Eggs. I haven’t made any in a number of years, mainly because of time, space, and safety constraints (there was just no good way to keep Olive the Cat away from the candle/dyes/drying eggs without locking her up in a bedroom, and I just always felt way too guilty doing that because she’s such a social little thing).
But now that we’re in the house, and I have a space in which to work, I really want to get back to it. In years past, I had never really started early enough or done enough of it to have my lines even out and my designs get properly consistent – but I really want to start treating it like a craft to hone this year. My grandmother is a true artist when it comes to pysanky, and I just really want to keep up the tradition, and be a good keeper of her legacy.
2) Drink more water, more regularly.
I’m really bad at staying hydrated. I don’t know why. I just am. Beyond my coffee, I just don’t often have the urge to drink stuff for some reason. Like, after I finish my daily cuppa(s) joe, the entire day could pass without me taking a sip of water. It’s only after the dehydration headache starts to set in that I realize it, and that’s just gotta stop. It’s not good for my health, being dehydrated makes me feel like crap, and I just don’t bounce back from it the way I used to when I was younger.
3) Establish more routines.
Having a consistent routine is something that is really good for me. It’s good for my skin, good for my hair, and ultimately good for my anxiety. But it’s also something I’m really really bad at sticking to. And the older I get, the harder my schedule during the work season is on me, and the more I really need to be consistent in the routines that keep me feeling good and looking good. So I want to try to really get in the habit of taking care of myself, and I think having a solid morning and bedtime routine would really go a long way towards that.
So no more going to bed with makeup on, no more forgetting to put on moisturizer, no more 8000 snoozes and rushing to get out the door on time in the morning, no more forgetting breakfast… I gotta just accept that I need to commit to it. Because I feel so much better throughout the day when I do.
4) Keep Reading Fiction
It wasn’t even on my 2017 goal list, but last year I really managed to make reading fun fiction a part of my life again. I read constantly for work. But since switching my focus to history, I stopped reading fiction, and eventually, stopped reading for fun. But over the last year I managed to change that. I not only completed my Goodreads challenge of 30 books (I don’t log what I read for work there generally), but I actually exceeded it by seven books.
Honestly, it probably would have been exceeded by more if I hadn’t gotten so bogged down by trying to struggle through Outlander. But one book I that I disliked out of 37 is a pretty decent track record, so, c’est la vie.
But anyway, reading for fun consistently has made such a tremendous difference in my overall wellbeing, I want to keep it up. Having a way to unwind that also manages to make me feel productive has done amazing things in terms of keeping my anxiety problem under control. And quite frankly it’s been fun to dive back into the world of fiction for the first serious way since I left my undergrad program (I majored in English). So I’ve set my Goodreads Challenge at 52 books for this year, and I’m hoping that I can keep the habit up.
5) Run a 5k – For real this time.
Some iteration of this has been on my resolution list every year since college, basically, and I never quite get there. I got to the point of being able to run 5k pretty constantly a few years ago (although never actually ran a race properly), but since then I’ve gained quite a bit of weight, and getting back into running has become more and more difficult with every year.
Now, I try not to stress over my weight and generally really try to be all about body positivity. So my shape/size is not really an issue for me (or at least I try not to let it be), but from a fitness perspective? I’m uhhhh really unhealthy. I huff and puff going up multiple flights of stairs, I can feel the wear and tear on my knees when I have to run or sprint somewhere, I have zero strength or stamina for any sort of exercise anymore, and that’s just all not good.
And so once again, I’m going to try to properly run a 5k. I’m hoping that being in my own house will help me eat better, and thus help me build muscle and gain stamina faster once the winter weather breaks and I start training.
Jim has also committed to his own fitness goals (he does olympic-style weight lifting) that include a generally better diet, so I think having a partner in this journey is also going to help motivate me in terms of cooking, at the very least.
6) Find an archery range, get over my fears and go.
About 2 years ago, I rediscovered by dad’s old recurve bow, and decided that I wanted to take it out again. I was really into it for about 6 months… that is until my parents’ yard started to simply be unfit for target practice. As I got better, I needed to move further and further away from the target, and eventually, I would have needed to move from the side yard into the front to get the kind of distance I needed. Now, my parents’ have a pretty big yard with woods on two sides and a massive raised creek bank in the back that is perfect for creating a safe target space. But it’s still, well, in a neighborhood. And standing in the front yard shooting arrows into the woods is not exactly a great thing to be doing in a neighborhood if you don’t feel like having the cops called on you.
So I sort of put it down, and wasn’t really able to pick it back up. But I miss it. It was a tremendous stress reliever, and was actually really good for my posture because it developed my shoulder, chest, back, and arm muscles. And since starting to have shoulder problems at the start of last year, I need posture support more than ever. So I want to get back into it. But I’ve been avoiding it, because getting back into it would require finding a range and going.
That said, there’s really not any good reason to avoid it. This is an area that’s relatively big on hunting, so there are plenty of options in terms of ranges. Really, the only things keeping me from going are my own fears of not “fitting in” or not “being good enough.” And that’s just silly. So at some point this year, I want to go to a range and start shooting again.
7) Cook more, and try to meal plan better.
This goes along with goal number 5, but it’s also, as always, a financial thing as well. Once the semester starts up and I’m running from 7 am to 10 pm every night except Friday and Saturday, it’s just SO EASY to fall back on take-out. And that’s just really a habit I want to break. It got easier once we moved in October, but already being half-way through a semester like that… Well, old habits die hard. So I’m hoping that once school starts back up, the fresh start can help me establish new habits. Additionally, I’ve been trying to stock the freezer while we’re still on break, so having ready-to-grab meals will hopefully help as well.
8) Stay Positive.
I have a tendency to really fall into pessimism when I’m stressed, and I really want to try hard in 2018 to break that cycle. I know its sort of trendy to be constantly overworked and overwhelmed, but honestly? I’m already always that without my psyche getting involved and making it worse. So I’m going to try to avoid piling on to the already over-crowded strugglebus. If I’ve got to ride it 80% of the year, I might as well try to find the humor and the positive stuff in it.
So, there it is. In writing, documented for the world to see. Let’s see how this goes.
Here’s to a happier and healthier 2018 for all of us!
Are you a resolution maker or do you hate them? How do you usually do with them, and what are your goals for this year? I’d love to hear in the comments!