2015 is finished and now it's time to start looking forward into 2016. I have a good feeling about this year and I have some decent hopes for it as well. Here are some goals that I would like to accomplish over the course of this year:
- Read/Listen to 60 Books. I have accomplished reading over 50 books in a year before, so now it's time to up the ante a little. At the time I am writing this, I have about 250 written reviews. My goal this year is to, at the very least, break 300 reviews written and published on this blog.
- Blog Regularly (Have a Schedule). This has been my greatest weakness on this blog. I kind of blog whenever I please, but I think I'm realizing that I do better when I have a deadline. So for 2016, I am going to do my best to stick to posting at 3pm my time on Wednesdays. I am going to mark this on my calendar so that I know. Occasionally I will have a cool thing going on in my life, so those posts will come up as the events happen and every once in a while, there will be more than one book review in a week. I can't say right now when those times will be, so you'll be just as surprised as I am.
- Watch 20 New Movies. Maybe it's because I recently saw Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens in theaters for the second time and had such a strong reaction to it, but I want to start writing about movies again. I did this a while ago, but it petered out rather quickly. I'd like to give this a try again. Because this is my second attempt doing this, I will not have a specific schedule for writing about movies.
- Keep Blogging About Life. I was scrolling through my previous posts and I really liked being able to look back at my study abroad adventures and things that I did this summer and during the school year. I feel like there's more of myself in this blog than there ever has been. I kind of like that. So I'm going to keep it up.
- Get Serious About Food. I've been learning something about myself lately. Food is kind of important to me. I like eating food, but it's also largely the source of how I feel about myself. If I feel like I've eaten too much unhealthy food in a day, my mood tends to suffer. This isn't going to be a diet-- I'm not going to adopt the paleo diet or drop carbs altogether or anything extreme like that, but I want to make better choices and do it for the sake of my own happiness.
- Develop An Exercise Routine and Stick To It. How many years have I (and everyone else on the planet) posted something like this? It's ridiculous that I always find an excuse for not exercising or doing it for a while and then stopping for no reason. I want to get serious about making this a thing in my life. I like to bike, walk, and do yoga among other things. Now I just need to make them routine.
- Be Cleaner. Another thing that I've learned about myself is that my mood really improves when I'm living in a clean and calm environment. The problem is, I'm not very good about keeping my environment clean. So I want to develop a list that I must look at right before bed and I'm not allowed to go to sleep until that list is complete. Something I learned from reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is that once the deep cleaning is done, as long as I keep up with the daily mess, I'll only spend 5-10 minutes cleaning every day as opposed to several hours every few months. It worked for her, so I really want to try this.
- Take Care Of Your Brain. My professor for one of my capstone classes introduced us to meditation. One of the extra credit assignments was to try and develop a meditation practice. Since there was nothing to lose, I decided to give it a try. And I felt a lot better doing it. It helped with anxiety and my head felt clearer somehow, even though work didn't go away. I want that feeling back. I'm going to try and take care of my brain better by giving it time.
- Get Married. Can you believe it, we've been engaged for a little over a year now! Now it's time to do something about it. Winter break is probably going to be the time to figure out what is going on with this whole wedding thing.
- Graduate. Right now, I'm slated to graduate in December (one more year!) after I finish student teaching. I don't anticipate that this will change, but it is getting to be that time when I am feeling more burned out than ever about school. I put this goal here to remind myself just how important this is to me and also to remind myself just how close I am to being finished with my undergraduate career.
- Apply for Teach for America. I have been talking about this with friends and family and I really think that this is my natural next step. It will help me get the certification that I want (ESL certification) and help me forgive some of my debt because I'll be placed in a Title I school somewhere. Again, I have some work to do with this, but I want for this to work out really badly.
- Find a Way to Travel. I kept returning to my study abroad posts throughout this year and I wanted so badly to experience that feeling of having the world open to me the way I did when I lived in the Netherlands. I don't know if international travel is in my immediate future (as in this year... probably not with a wedding in the works), but I would like to visit places outside of Minnesota at least. Even if that means going for a long weekend in Chicago by MegaBus.
- Get Published. There are many opportunities to show off writing and art at my school. I have one more year to take advantage of these opportunities. If nothing else, I want to at least send in work to be considered. There are a number of deadlines coming up in early January, so I'm going to have to get busy.
This is going to be a big year and a great one as well. I can feel it and I will make it so.