2019

Last year I wrote a post on my specific resolutions for 2018, and it was the first time I had made concrete goals in a long time. I always have ideas and goals and lists of personal projects I want to work on, but I used to accomplish these sorts of things more on whims and never really with much planning. Last year, however, my list of resolutions turned out to be fairly effective and now I’m firmly on the bandwagon of detailed goal-setting.

Let’s start with a recap, shall we? In 2018

I did not read more books, and I was online a lot. I listened to a ton of podcasts, watched lots of YouTube, and read a fair bit of online articles, as I like to do. Am I disappointed? Honestly, not terribly. I learned a lot from these resources last year and enjoyed it. I grew up reading a ton of books, and lately I just wasn’t ever in the mood to sit with long-form pieces of written material. I also grew up consuming almost entirely fiction and fantasy, and this past year I consumed almost entirely non-fiction. I do want to get back to reading the occasional book in 2019, but I’m okay with “failing” this resolution because it turned out I had other priorities this past year.

I developed sort of conversational level abilities in French! I spent the first part of the year using my Duolingo app daily, which did a decent job of building up my vocabulary, but then I had the opportunity to take Intermediate French in the fall semester to fulfill my language credit requirements. The classroom environment was exactly what I needed to take my French to the next level, as I was forced to practice conversing and listening comprehension in the oral portion of each exam, as well as in class four days a week. I really enjoyed it and I’m going to miss having that level of practice. I’m starting up daily Duolingo again at least to keep my skills fresh as I prep to go to Paris for a week in March! My abilities are still pretty basic, but we’ll see how much I get to put them to the test…

I went back to ballet class consistently! There were definitely weeks here and there that I missed, but for the most part I tried to get to one to two ballet classes per week all year, and it’s been great! My technique is stronger in some areas than it used to be, and weaker in others, but overall I honestly feel like a better dancer than ever.

I did not declutter my digital life or illustrate a book, though I did start the digital decluttering process and continued practicing and sharing random illustrations all year. Not exactly successes, but those goals are big to begin with, so it’s not a total loss, either.

Lastly, for my bonus goals, I did not practice ukulele hardly at all and I didn’t do any real cooking or recipe testing, but I will say my mom has made some good homemade soups and vegetable roasts this year, hah. As far as buying only 12 or less new clothing items, I ended up somewhat keeping that goal! I did accumulate some new clothing and stopped keeping track, but I think the number is low enough that it could be considered a success, since most of the items were replacing old basics or purchased secondhand. I was way more conscious of things I bought this year overall and extremely thoughtful about each purchase.

Now, my resolutions for 2019! This year, I want to:

1. Go back to pointe class

Now that I’ve gotten my body back into the swing of regular ballet classes, and at the prodding of my classmates and teacher, I’m feeling ready to go back to pointe as well. I’m going to start slow, because I don’t really know how my feet will respond after 4 years out of pointe shoes, but I’m excited. While it can be painful, it can also feel like floating…there’s nothing quite like dancing on your toes.

2. Digital decluttering!

This one is carried over from last year. I did a little bit of photo organizing and purging, and started some folder systems, but this year I want to really get it done. I want to go through all my old digital photos and files, organize them, purge things ruthlessly, back them up properly to my hard drive AND to a good cloud storage option (probably google photos? could use recommendations) and also improve my online security by signing up for a password manager and starting to change all my passwords. It would be ideal to work on this now in the wintertime as well, since it’s a solid curled-up-inside-on-the-couch activity.

3. Try rock climbing

I really think this would be an activity I’d enjoy, good cross training for yoga arm balances, and I have access to a climbing wall through my school. I’m a pretty low-energy person by nature, so I need exercise and activities that are fun and/or group settings for accountability (like yoga and ballet). This fits the bill, plus it wouldn’t hurt if I met some new people at my school as well, so I’m going to try to sign up for a beginner lesson and give climbing a try this year.

4. Less screen time, more creative time

Ok, last year my “read more books, be online less” and “illustrate a picture book” goals (as well as the bonus “improve ukulele skills”) didn’t happen, at all. So, this year I have a better idea. Often it’s more effective to create very specific goals, but in a few cases, I think being more vague can be beneficial. My creativity would benefit from more screen time boundaries, so this year my new goal is to come up with a way to force myself to do something creative every day. For my purposes, maybe an hour a day of no screens allowed, sort of like a pomodoro technique for doing something creative. It’s not like I’m on my phone or computer 24/7, but usually one or both are right next to me while I’m doing something else, and it would help to purposely make those distractions not an option for a bit each day.

I hesitate to schedule when that hour should be, as I feel like it should be somewhat flexible, but I’m going to make a concentrated effort to ban myself from too much mindless scrolling on electronic devices. After spending a couple months rehearsing West Side Story in practically all of my free time, I definitely haven’t had time to fill with pointless activities, and I haven’t missed it. Any time I feel the urge to bounce around between different social media just for something to do is probably a good time to put the hour into effect and try to mindfully switch to something else, whether playing an instrument, drawing, painting, sewing, writing, reading, or even experimenting with something new, like recording a “podcast” just to practice speaking and get some thoughts out.

5. Draw every day

To go with the last one, I really think practicing drawing a little bit every day would be an extremely beneficial and long overdue habit to establish. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just drawing something each day that’s not specifically meant to be shared online or with anyone necessarily, would make me a much better artist by the end of the year.

That’s it! I could probably name another goal or three if I wanted to, but I think these five cover a lot as far as personal motivation goes. I’m anticipating 2019 to be a busy year, so I’d rather keep it clear and simple and see what happens. I had this post mostly written 2 weeks ago but like I mentioned I’ve been in West Side Story rehearsals seemingly nonstop, haha, so it took me a while to actually wrap this up and hit publish. New years resolutions don’t really officially start until February anyway, right?? 😉

Have you thought about what you want to accomplish this year?