2016 Resolutions

Even though it seems contrived to repeat myself year after year after year, my resolutions posts are easily the most important blog posts I write. I could write nothing else but resolution posts and they would validate the existence of my blog, personally. It’s important for me to have them bookmarked so that I can look back on them. Yes, most of the time, most of my resolutions go unkept by December 31, but it’s still important for me to set these goals for myself. I like the promise of a fresh Gregorian calendar year ahead of me to taking more steps towards becoming the person I want to be.

This year, I’m going to do what I’ve been futzing about and not doing in past years: I’m going to schedule time for these resolutions every day, every week, every month. After not achieving certain resolutions year after year after year (see #1 and #2), I really understand the value of me making time for myself and the goals I am setting for myself. Even though my schedule has been — and will remain for some time — painfully uncertain, I can still make sure to make time for goals that are important to me. I’ll denote things I need to schedule with an asterisk(*).

2016 Resolutions
Here we go!

Without further ado, my resolutions for 2016.

Concrete

As in previous years, these are the resolutions that, by December 31, 2016, I will know if I successfully kept them or not.
  1. Read more books (min. 12)*. What happens here every year? I can actually answer this: I don’t set aside reading time that isn’t on my commute, and my commute time often is spent on reading the news instead of the book I’ve brought along. That’s not to mention the large portion of the year I spend, er, not commuting at all, which means I don’t have dedicated reading time at all! I used to just read whatever book I had on my nightstand until I finished it right before bed, but the older I get, the less I want to delay sleep. So, reading is something I will definitely be writing into my schedule for 2016 and beyond.
    *(Min. 20 minutes/day)
  2. Do a full split*. This has been on my resolutions list for the past 2 or 3 years now, I think?? That just means that I do need to put it on my schedule, every day, to stretch until I can do a split. I am closer this year than I have been in past years, but I haven’t been doing the stretches consistently enough. Gun to my head, I could do a split, but I will be in a considerable amount of pain for several days afterwards, so that’s what we’re trying to avoid here.
    *(Min. 5 minutes/day)
  3. Get a job and keep it for more than 6 months. If you’ve been keeping up, I’ve had a lot of job-related resolutions the past few years. The thing with my transition away from medicine when I graduated is that I’ve just not been that happy with the jobs I’ve had since. As a result, I haven’t really stayed anywhere very long. It’s bad for my resume, but more importantly, it’s just bad for my mental health because I don’t have the sense of job security and stability that I really want and need at this stage in my life. Hoping that I am in a better place to achieve this than I have been in the past. This does put some pressure on me for my job search, and I am not trying to just find a dream job immediately upon entering a new field. But I’d like to have some job stability, first and foremost. I want to feel — at the very least — glad to be working somewhere, given my past experiences where I just was not.
  4. Pay back the people who supported me. In between my funemployment and my full-time student-ing, a lot of my loved ones have supported me emotionally and financially. Part of why I want to have some job security is because I want to pay back the people who have made my journey so far possible by helping keep me housed and fed and then some. It feels weird and unsettling to not be quite financially independent right now, after having been independent for while after I graduated, so I want to clear my personal debts and be on my own two feet again.
  5. Complete Whole30. Ben and I are embarking on Whole30 for the month of January in an effort to reset our bodies post-holiday eating and to just work on healthier eating habits. I’m really nervous because while eating simply and for sustenance only comes easily to Ben, it’s very difficult for me to take the joy out of food. Fingers crossed that the sugar withdrawal isn’t too rough on me and that I don’t just end up skipping meals to avoid meal prepping altogether. Because of food poisoning and a surprise visit from my mom this upcoming month, January may not be the month that I complete Whole30, but I may try again sometime later in the year. (In the summer, when I won’t crave hearty noodle soups?) (BUT then I can’t have ice cream???)
  6. Get a regular exercise regimen*. Okay, so the joke I constantly make about people exercising has never really been funny and it’s time I stop dilly-dallying about my fitness and health. This is another thing I need to schedule, even if it’s just using the 7 Minute exercise app on my phone. I know I like group fitness classes, but it’s currently not feasible for me to be doing that, especially knowing that it might be hard for me to just get out the door to the gym. I’ll try out Terry Crews’s tip to just go to the gym, even if I don’t exercise, so that I can build up the habit of just getting to the gym, which is most of the battle. Even some stretching to help me achieve that full split (see #2) would be better than my current exercise regimen of nothing.
    *(Min. 3 times/week)
  7. Stick to a blog schedule*. 2015 has been a pretty bad year as far as blog consistency. Blogging is definitely one of the first things that gets dropped from my life once something full-time happens (i.e. a new job and a new full-time course). This is something I need to be making time for, because it is important to me. I also want to get all the posts that I owe to this blog up by the end of this year.
    *(Min. 1 hour/week)
    In fact, here is a list of specific posts that I want to get up here by the end of 2016:

    • New York trip recap — has been done since a week after I got back but I have been putting off uploading photos for
    • Florida trip recaps —  again, I just have been really lazy about uploading photos from Disney World…
    • Book reviews — Thanks to Christine, I have started doing Blogging for Books, so I need to start getting reviews up for the books I am receiving.
    • Europe trip recaps — ahahahahahahahah I went to Europe in 2013 but I’ll get the posts for Copenhagen, Paris, and London published if it kills me, I really will!
    • Color Run recap — um… this is literally done and has photos up with it, so it’ll just be a randomly belated post really sorry about this one (I think I was waiting for the official photos to come back and they were awful so we’re not going to use them)
    • Eat DC posts — I had one or two more that I planned to have up before Karen and Christine’s visit… and clearly they didn’t make it in time oops.
    • Gift guides?? — I had started planning out gift guides for the holiday season early last year, but it didn’t happen… maybe we’ll try again but I have a lot to catch up on so no holding your breaths for this one! I’m just throwing it out there because it’s an idea that I had in mind but I know that I have a huge backlog…
    • Thoughts and ramblings — I have a lot of drafts backed up that are just my thoughts on some things in life. Not tied to any events, but just things I think about and want to articulate and write about. I get nervous even writing them, because it’s not the kind of content that people really come here for… but it’s stuff I care about and I think if I wanted to make this a travel/movie review blog, I would have rebranded it as such but it’s not so I’m sorry/not that sorry.
  8. Have my personal website up and running. I’ve owned my domain name for about 2 years now, but it’s been blank the whole time. With a new career path unfolding before me, I think it’s high time I had the site working and representing myself professionally on the Internet. (Especially since I’ve been paying for just that for over 2 years.) This is tied with #3 of my abstract goals (below) but also needs to happen pretty immediately as I finish my web development course and enter the job market.

Abstract

Ah… the abstract resolutions. These goals are a lot harder to check off of a list. Some self-betterment ideals that are more difficult for me to pencil into my schedule, but are still really important for me to be mindful of. Here’s a few:
  1. Practice patience. This year, I realized I am a really impatient person. Whether I’ve always been this impatient or if 2015 just shortened my fuse, I’ve become really aware of how quick I am to snap about, well, anything. It’s part of my anxiety, sure, that I hate waiting around and feeling like I’m wasting time. But what worries me is how short-tempered I am with the people in my life. It’s so apparent that I know immediately after snapping that I am being a dick but by then, I have already shown this ugly side of myself. Maybe all the time I spent alone made me forget how to interact with humans, but this is undoubtedly one of my top priorities as far as flaws I need to address and fix.
  2. Make time for friends*. There are friends in my life that I don’t see enough — all of them. I have been so terrible about keeping in regular contact with my friends, and it takes a toll on me. I spread myself very thinly amongst my friends, but I am the kind of person who needs deep, meaningful relationships. To some people, what I’m craving is a higher maintenance friendship, yes, but I have to acknowledge what I want. If this means having a set day to see and/or talk to a friend, then that’s what I’ll have to try. Because the older we all get, the harder it is to make and keep long-lasting friends.
  3. Actively work on my professional skills*. I dedicated the last part of 2015 to developing a completely new set of professional skills. In addition to having my personal domain site running, I want to make sure I keep practicing my new skills and picking up new ones. This is not something I want to be complacent about, and it ties in with how happy I will be at my next job: If I’m happy, I like what I do, and I have good work-life balance, then I’ll have time and motivation to work on my professional development. Tied in with that…
  4. Upload photos for blog posts. If you haven’t noticed the trend of apology posts, I tend to be late with recaps primarily because I don’t want to edit and upload photos. I’m going to make a big effort to be better about this, but I think I’ll also let myself post blogs without photos if I feel the timing is more important. Yes, it’s rough reading my own posts that are just loooooooooong essays about some random event. I know that photos make things more compelling, even for myself to read. In fact, a kind of more concrete goal I have related to this is to fix the broken photos on my old posts, which I previously just had taken from Facebook. (Unreliable hosting, I guess.) I know all-text posts are less fun for you all to read, but is it better or worse than no post at all? Let me know.

I’ve liked the convention of choosing a kind of guiding word for the year, and the idea started to really resonate when I saw Stephanie talk about it on her blog last year. If I could sum up the guiding principle of my resolutions this year, it would be with the word effort.

Word for 2016: EFFORT. Make the time, make the effort.
Make the time. Make the effort.

At some point, between trying as hard as I could at everything I could imagine and now, I became afraid of exerting true effort. The thought of really trying and then failing became so terrifying and paralyzing, and I was just smart enough and just talented enough to do okay-to-well on everything without really trying. If I did well, I chalked it up to luck and that just enough that I contributed. If I didn’t, well, I mean, but imagine if I had really tried, right?

It’s time to do away with that attitude this year. I need to really make an effort in my resolutions, and with most things I do. And in order to do that, I know that I have to make time for that effort as well. This isn’t an exhaustive list of areas of my life that require more effort, but a resolutions list is not an exclusive list of goals, after all. I’ll keep you updated on how these go and if any new big goals come up.

Before we head into 2016 with new goals to fail achieve, I think it’s also important for me to look back on resolutions that I have actually kept, much to my own personal benefit, over the past few years:

  • I am still drinking more water than I used to
  • I SPF (virtually) every morning and moisturize (nearly) every evening, even moreso than I did in 2014
  • I got over 700 on the GMAT after studying for just 2 weeks
  • I did get new jobs (even if I didn’t stay as long as I would have liked)
  • I started learning to code!

Past new year’s resolutions: 2015 (concrete / abstract) | 2014 | 2013

What are your big resolutions this year?
What single word could be used to describe your goals for the year?

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9 thoughts on “2016 Resolutions

  1. I think moving to NYC has helped me in the reading aspect… Now I have at least half an hour (of not walking) transit time to be reading every day. And GoodReads and the yearly reading challenge keep me motivated too, because I love clicking “FINISHED” on my GoodReads app. Haha.
    My word for the year is ME. I need to focus on me, figuring out what I need, what I should do, and how to keep myself healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome word for the year, it’s definitely good to focus on yourself in a positive way for the year! I do like reading on my commute, but a lot of times I end up reading the metro Express paper instead of the giant book I have in my backpack. Actually maybe it’s because I hate taking it out and putting it back in my backpack… (You’ll never get me, eReaders!) But clicking finished does feel really good on GoodReads. I wish I had done it more than 6 times last year, ouch! XD

      Like

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