Monday, January 1, 2018

New Years Resolutions: 2018

Happy New Year!  I hope that you all had good holidays and enjoyed good amounts of family time and personal time.  As I've been on winter break, I've been trying to find that balance and fulfill those needs that, with school, have been really difficult to meet.

But this isn't a post about finding balance, nor is it a post about talking about my progress on the goals I set for myself in 2017.  Those will be separate posts.  Since it is January 1, I want to set my goals for 2018.  I wrote them a couple of weeks ago, so I think these are goals that I can commit to and make steps towards reaching over the next 12 months.  In the past, I have split up my goals by blogging goals and life goals, but because I have a full-time job now and therefore a whole other aspect of my life I have goals for, I've just decided to make one big list that covers each of these areas.  And I have ways of tracking each of these things that I will talk about in my post on bullet journaling, coming up shortly.  So without further ado, here are my goals for 2018:

1. Read More Nonfiction About Race In America.
I realized partway through last year that while I had read some books on race in the U.S. (a mix of nonfiction reads and some fiction), that this would be a lifelong process.  And so even though I had a similar goal last year, that's why I'm essentially giving myself the same goal for this year.  I think one way that would be effective for me is if I find reads related to race and education since, if I am to make a difference, that would likely be the area where I can make the greatest impact.  And because I work mainly with students of color, I think this would be a worthy goal for me to have.

2. Watch 100 Movies.  
I watch so many movies.  I marathon them, I like to put them on when I'm supposed to be doing other work.  But I want to encourage myself to branch out more.  I realized when I made this goal that I tend to re-watch the same several movies, so this would be a good way to watch new and different movies.  I can still re-watch my favorites, but once I exhaust those, I will need to find new ones to watch.  I'd like to focus on award winners and ones with actors of color.  I also want to avoid problematic movies.  So for example, I wanted to see Stonewall, based on the Stonewall riots in New York.  But it was a problematic movie because several of the key people were people of color and yet were played by white actors.  So this will encourage me to not just choose movies and watch them for the sake of reaching 100 movies, but to do my research and seek out that buzz that always follows movies... especially controversial ones.

3. Read 60 Books.
Last year, I set a goal to read 40 books, because I knew that I wanted to find my first full-time teaching position and I didn't want overwhelm myself with such a lofty goal as my usual 50 books when I knew that I would be busy, assuming I was able to meet that goal.  Well, here I stand at the beginning of 2018 and last year I read well over 50 books (and by the way, not all of the reviews are written.  2017 reviews will still be coming out for a lot of this month).  So my thought is, if I can read that many books during a year where there was a lot of change and where I was traveling more than I have in previous years... perhaps 60 books isn't so crazy.  I'm going to give it a try.  There will still be a mix of longer reads, graphic novels, and poetry.  Wish me luck.

4. Read 20 Books Already On My Shelves.
As long as I avoid buying too many books, this will not be a problem.  I already have two giant piles of books that were already sitting on my shelf that I want to read.  Theoretically, I could meet my entire year's goal just reading books that were already on my shelf.  My hidden agenda with this is that I want to pare down the number of things that I have, and that means keeping the reads that I absolutely love and want to keep forever and/or I will read again.  I want to keep my books that have a lasting impact and find a new home for those that I enjoyed but want to pass on and especially those that I didn't like.

5. Participate In And Win NaNoWriMo.
For the first time last year, I won National Novel Writing Month.  I wrote a 50,000+ word novel in the span of 30 days.  Actually a little less than that.  I want to do that again.  I think I might have cracked the code to being successful at completing this outrageous challenge.

6. Write And Edit A Full Story That Could Potentially Be Published.
This is something I want to get serious about.  I know that someday I would like to have my writing published by a legitimate publisher.  I will not be so ambitious as to say that I will have a book deal, however big or small, by the end of 2018.  But by the end of the year, I want to have a product that I feel good about that I would want to share with the world in a formally published way.  This might still be too lofty, but we'll see.

7. Exercise At Least 3 Days A Week.
I had times where I was good about going to the gym and times where I completely fell off the wagon.  I want to make my gym goals more specific.  I want to consistently be going to the gym 3 times a week by the end of the year.  I think that's a good compromise for me.  I hate going to the gym.  I don't like being there and being surrounded by people who are much more fit than me and who also smell funny.  But I know that it's good for me when I do go.  I feel a bit better about myself.  So this is my personal compromise.  We'll see how this goes.

8. Go Full Vegetarian.
This is something that I have attempted before and have been able to do for about a month at a time before falling off and slipping back into my old ways.  I tend to crave meat when I don't have it for a while.  That doesn't make sense to me because I don't tend to like meat very much anyway, but that's how it's happened.  This year is going to be about cutting out meat and finding a way to move past these cravings when I know that I'm craving food that isn't even my favorite.  Wish me luck.

9. Finish Europe Study Abroad Scrapbook.
I studied abroad in 2014 and while I have started this book and gotten a good amount of work done, it's time to be finished with the scrapbook.  I have two more big trips to scrapbook now (California and Arizona), so I should get this part of my life documented and archived before I can move on to those more recent trips.

10. Attend 2 Professional Development Opportunities.
As a young teacher, I want to get better at my job.  With a Bachelor's degree, I am only scratching the surface of education and the art of teaching.  I want to get better and find opportunities that will help me get better.  Especially since I'm not ready to head off to grad school yet, I want to find other ways to keep learning and growing professionally.

11. Cut Down On Sugar Intake.
This has been a real problem lately... and I'm not even talking specifically about the holidays... I'm trying to be honest with myself and recognizing that the sheer amount of sweet things I've been consuming in the last maybe 3 months is no longer acceptable to me.  I want to work on finding alternatives and just generally reworking how I eat.  I want to work on respecting my body and eating in a more healthful way is one way I can do that.

12. Make Self-Care Part Of My Regular Routine.
My theme this year is "balance."  For so long, I have been, frankly, obsessed with work.  Even now, when I have my full-time job, I am still tutoring and babysitting and occasionally pet-sitting.  While I'm not sure how much I am willing to do about all of these extra jobs just yet, there are a number of things I can do to ensure that I'm doing something as part of my self-care every day.  It'll help me bring balance to my work life and to my everyday life.  And right now, that's much-needed.

13. Finish 1 Dutch and 1 French Book.
When I studied abroad, I brought home a set of Harry Potter in Dutch and the remaining copies I still needed in French (and I got a few other Dutch books too).  I got them because I wanted to collect them, but I think it's now time for me to try reading them.  I want to find a way to keep up and recall what I know about both of these languages.  So I will be attempting to read one book in each language.

14. Travel 5 Times This Year.
My husband and I are FINALLY going on our honeymoon this year (when we travel, we'll be married for almost two years... crazy how time flies).  But I also want to make sure I continue to feed my insatiable appetite for exploring.  For the sake of clarity, I will say that travel doesn't mean I have to fly somewhere across the country or to another country, but I suppose "travel" to me means going to a place that is different from home and spending at least one night away from home.  So for example, camping trips would count.  Visiting family several hours away would count.  I just want to make sure I'm not stagnant and that I'm getting away from home every once in a while.

15. Write Something Every Day.
I realized during NaNoWriMo this year that even at the most stressful times when I was struggling to get anything of quality written out on the screen, I was at a really high point, mood-wise.  I want to make sure that I'm writing something every day.  That something could be a diary entry that is personal.  It could be part of a story or a poem.  It could be a blog post like this one.  I will say that that writing CANNOT be something related to school.  That's something I would have to do anyway, so I consider that cheating.

2017 was overall a very good year for me.  I can't wait to see what happens in 2018.  I hope that the goals I have laid out above will help me get a little closer to living a more balanced life.

Thanks for Reading!


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