Over half of this year has already gone by in a very painful flash. So many people I admired, for either their talent, their genius or their kindness, have passed this year leaving me with a growing list of Dead Idols™. A lot of things have happened since January – new friends have come and gone, arguments have blown up and fizzed into thin air, we’ve suffered a major loss in the family – and I feel like I have changed more as a person since 2015 than I had in the past three years. It is true that we grow the most from challenges or difficulties, and with being in an MA where I am not very confident in my skills or knowledge, working a job that pays commission and juggling a long-distance relationship and the company of my family, as well as dealing with more internal and personal struggles, I think 2016 has been my hardest year to date.
This is not including the amount of horrible events taking place all around the world. Starting with the November bombings in Paris last year, to the recent lorry attack again in French lands, daily bombings and scarring tales of violence coming from all over the Middle East, the sudden growth in racially-driven cases of police brutality and murder, now escalating into the death of police officers as well, in the USA… just to name a few events that have taken place in less than a year. Oh, and Brexit. And Donald Trump as Republican GOP. If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, whether you’re from the UK, European or anywhere else in the world, then I don’t know what will.
I can’t fix the world, but I can fix myself. I’ve decided to take inspiration from Kimberly over at Sister Of The Moon and write down my six goals for (the rest of) 2016.
1. Get Healthier & Lose Weight
This is something very close to my heart more so than my body. My appearance is where most of my insecurities, if not all of them, come from. I can overcome any challenge sent my way and I will feel proud of myself and love who I am until I catch my reflection in a mirror. I’m determined to end this decades-long feeling of worthlessness that comes with just being in a body that you’re not happy in. I’m a total advocate for loving yourself the way you are, but I am also a firm believer that if you are not happy with something about yourself, it’s very important that you change it as long as it is for you and not others. I want to learn to love myself, and I will only get to that point when I manage to love my body.
2. Finish my assignments
It’s quite a short-term goal and a very simple one but difficult to achieve. I’m facing two complicated projects that are way out of my comfort zone and I’ve been putting off working on them.
3. Start a “Fuck Off Fund”
Pardon the language. I’m sure by now you’ve seen the article “A Story of a Fuck Off Fund” by Paulette Perhach and if you haven’t I strongly recommend you give it a read. I’m a compulsive shopper. I buy a lot of things that I love but don’t necessarily need. Shopping makes me happy. But now more than ever, with everything that has been going on this year, I realise the need to save up for a rainy day. And if that rainy day never comes, I can use that money to put down a deposit for a house ten years or so from now.
4. Get a Job
Not just any job. I have an ‘any job’ now. I don’t just want something that will give me some extra pocket money at the end of the month. I want something compelling and challenging, something that I love doing or that I would at least like to learn how to do. Something I am already fairly good at but where I can improve and learn more and grow. Something – hopefully, fingers crossed – within my desired career path, related to my skills and that speaks to one or more of my interests as well. I’m not looking for a huge paycheck, but it would help if could start to pay for my own lifestyle (minus rent; thanks Dad), even if only to force myself to be more responsible with the money I have. I am 24, I can’t join the job market at 30!
5. Learn to Live Daily
A lot of my fears, anxieties and general unhappiness comes from looking too far into the future. This is something I’ve always done, since being a child! I’ve always made plans for years and years down the line and even simple things like homework and assignments I always leave everything for the last minute because I see them as simply a hand-in date that is in the future, not something I have to do now. I’ve been working very hard recently, with the help of my wonderful therapist, to focus on the here and the now. To take things one day at a time – whether that is University work, my relationship, my friendships, my job or even keeping track of exercise and eating and house chores. I’ve been able to apply it to some things, but not everything – I still get very anxious and stress a lot about things that are years down the line or that I have no control over. It’s just the way I am. But, again, it is something about me that I dislike and that makes me unhappy, so I am adamant on changing it.
6. Do Something Important
This has different meanings for different people; for me it can be a multitude of things. I would like to achieve something this year that will mark it on the calendar as “the year I did ____”. It can be to have my work published somewhere or to help save lives in some way. I want to come out of 2016 with one or two particular things that I can focus on as positive highlights, whether they are professional achievements or just personal ‘proud moments’. This sounds like a wishy-washy, vague goal but it’s very important to me that this year goes down in my memory book marked by some sort of Great Thing™ with my name on it.
Again, full credit for the amazing idea for this post goes to Kimberly. Do go check out her blog!
What are your goals for the rest of 2016? I’d love to hear what’s going on in your heads and in your lives.