I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve. I don’t enjoy getting drunk or loud music – in fact I get told often I am an old lady at heart. And I honestly don’t believe your whole life can change – you can change – just because it’s another day. Dates are a human construction, and our particular Western calendar is very recent, but I won’t go on about this. What I mean to say is, I don’t believe in the ‘new year, fresh start’ philosophy, but I do believe in resolutions. I am a goal-driven person at heart and what are New Year’s resolutions if not life goals with an expiration date?
A lot has happened in 2016. I never thought one year could go so wrong. But I am someone who looks to the future – sometimes too far into it – and I like to live my life day-by-day, one decision at a time. Sometimes I taught myself not that long ago is that most of my anxiety comes from setting impossible goals, either because you cannot achieve them in the amount of time you allotted for them (say, a year) or they are not in your control. I have trained myself recently to make smaller goals, achievable things that may not sound that impressive but make for an amazing end result that can change your life in the long run.
Here are my goals for 2017 (and beyond, but hopefully I’ll get them done in a year):
This is not a superficial kind of ‘post Christmas hit the gym’ weight. I barely ate during Christmas! I struggled with anxiety and bouts of depression my entire life but this year it became crippling and life-threatening. I tried to and actively wanted to kill myself, and when I wasn’t being self-destructive I was apathetic. For weeks on end I did not leave the house, get out of bed or even shower. I did not even go out for groceries, cook or clean the house. Because of this I ended up gaining a lot of weight since I didn’t move at all and all I ate was delivery food – not because I craved it, but because I genuinely did not care about myself. I ended up gaining 15kg. That is a LOT of weight. I went up two sizes without even noticing or enjoying the food I ate. I am dieting now – in a healthy way, with a proper diet plan – and I’m going to start working out. I want to go back to when I liked what I saw in the mirror (to a degree, at least), if only just to be in a healthier mindset.
Brush up on Languages
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I spoke rudimentary French and Spanish. Granted, I was 12, and then Italian replaced them, but now I feel like I am in a place where I can go back to learning. Languages are useful and they give me pleasure. I feel more useful and more knowledgeable when I can speak to more people and consume media from other countries, especially books and foreign films. This will take a while, but with apps and books I’m sure I’ll get there.
Finish School / Find a Job
Seems basic, actually very hard and scary. I’m still not sure what to do for my dissertation. But because of my mental health I had to put my MA on hold and I feel terrible about still being in University at 25. I need to have this done by the Summer so I can become an Actual Adult by September. This then leads to Part Two of this goal. Any job is a good job as long as it’s in my (very wide and vague) field and I’m sure I will find a decent entry-level position if I persevere.
Be Kind to Myself
This is the hardest of my resolutions and the most important. You can’t get anywhere in life if you don’t treat yourself properly. All my life I have hated on myself, yelled at myself internally for my shortcomings, told myself I was never enough. I can’t even blame my low self-esteem on others because I know very well I do this to myself, I always have. I don’t expect I’ll suddenly have a huge ego and love myself to the moon and back, but the last I can do is try to be half as kind to myself as I am to my friends and family.
Go the U.S.A.
This is more like a treat to myself, a reward more so than an actual goal. I promised myself I would finally go on my two-month cross-country trip if I (scratch that, when I) finish my Masters degree. The plan is to spend one month hopping around and then one month volunteering with children in New York.
Vague as hell. But very important. I decided to never back away from a challenge or opportunity if I know it can better me or move me forward in some way. Fear should not hold me back, not anymore. I want to travel more, work more, learn more, do as much as I can with the time I was given because we are only on this wonderful planet for so long!
These are all of my pretty basic goals for 2017. A bit straightforward and relatively uninteresting but, hey, at least now I have a post on the Internet holding me accountable to my decisions. Do you have anything that you set yourself out to do this year? Tell me about it! I want to know what everyone will be working towards in 2017. You can do anything you set your heart on as long as you never give up.
Luck is bullshit. Life is not the hand you are dealt, but what you do with it.