Hello! It’s me again! Another year has passed in which I’ve been terrible at blogging, but I’ve still been writing, and this blog is mainly for myself anyway. 🙂
Anyway, I’ve found that blogging annual resolutions has actually been a helpful guide for me going into the upcoming year. This is something I’m going to continue doing, since it also allows me the headspace for self-reflection, which I’m trying to do more of.
With that in mind, here’s a recap of my 2017 resolutions:
1. Floss daily.
DONE. It’s often been a pain, and means I’ve gone to bed a lot later than I could’ve, but there have only been a handful of days when I haven’t flossed. I think that was because I had run out of floss. The dentist told me that not flossing led to the development of cavities between my teeth that required fillings, so that’s reason enough for me to continue with it. I really wish flossing made my teeth look better, but having healthy gums is cool too, I guess. Next year’s resolution: STILL FLOSS EVERY DAY.
2. Be more assertive.
This goal took a lot of effort, in terms of self-awareness and venturing outside my comfort zone. I added some suggestions in my original resolution about ways I could tackle this, and I discovered that they’re still quite relevant in terms of habits I have to break.
Starting a new job in a new community was a difficult transition, and I felt very isolated. I even had my probation extended because I was so unconfident in myself and uncertain about whether the job was something I could handle. However, over the last couple months, I’ve found myself becoming a lot more comfortable with my coworkers, and I’ve noticed that they’ve been chatting a bit more with me beyond the usual small talk. I’ve had to push myself to be friendly and social, to trust myself rather than constantly ask for reassurance.
Although I’ve been improving, I know I’ll continually struggle to express myself confidently and have to push myself to be more social. I think the key is to maintain a positive attitude, be grateful for the friends I have, and never give up trying to connect with people.
3. Finish the first draft of my novel.
So, obviously this didn’t happen this year (again). Working a full-time job has made me quite time-poor, and even though I built in an hour for writing during my 9-5 weekday, more often than not, I didn’t meet this target.
According to my work timer, I worked for 185 intervals, for a total of 92 hours and 30 minutes. May was my most productive month; I wrote for 10 hours and 30 minutes. My lowest month (unsurprisingly) is this December; I’ve been making cards, shopping, and generally doing fun/stressful Christmas-related things. Generally, when I do write, I’ve been quite productive, not worrying so much about writing beautifully, but concentrating more on building a solid structure. I would say I’m almost halfway through the first draft, with a clearer plan in place regarding how it’s going to end. Here’s a full breakdown:
March 7 hours
April 7 h 30 min
May 10 h 30 min
June 9 h
July 8 h 30 min
August 9 h
September 10 h
October 7 h
November 9 h
December 4 h 30 min.
4. Exercise at least three times a week.
I accomplished this goal (3 days/week) for 21 weeks out of the year. I know that is far from adequate, but I have made other strides in terms of exercise. Towards the end of the year, I bought 8 pound dumbbells and have been using them for some strength exercises. I’ve been aiming to do an arm workout every Sunday and have mostly been sticking to that. The back exercises and leg exercises (back bows, swimmers, etc.) have also been getting easier. Some routines I’ve struggled through before are now a breeze for me. It’s tough to balance the need to exercise with the need to write — often exercise wins out, because I feel the need to move around/calm down/ be healthy. I think I’m still going to aim for 3 times a week next year, and hopefully I’ll be able to manage my time better.
5. Read and watch more non-fiction.
I’ve made some small strides: I’ve read Thanks for the Money (Joel MacHale memoir), Looks Like Daylight (interviews with indigenous youth), I’m also partway through Sapiens and Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic. In terms of TV, I’ve continued watching Cosmos and added a few documentaries to my list. Nothing super educational, though. I’ll have to work on finding where my interests lie.
6. Try to read or watch the news every day.
I’ve done my best. It’s certainly been a more…….interesting year for news, although sometimes I have to check out of the continuous catastrophe in the United States and focus more on what’s going on here, or stay updated on the crises happening around the world. I did try to get informed enough to vote in the local election, so I’m pleased that it’s become more of a habit (for better or worse).
7. Take a refresher driving course.
DONE! I was scared and somewhat embarrassed to take (another) driving course, and although my final score wasn’t as high as I would’ve liked, it gave me the skills and confidence to practice driving more often — even venture into the busy city! Not being limited to the town I work in has given me so much freedom and peace of mind, so I am quite proud of myself. I’ve had to trust myself to see improvement, but the risk paid off. Driving is sometimes essential for my job, so I needed to improve anyway.
8. Do better at managing my temper.
Headspace, the meditation app, has helped make me more mindful of myself. My sudden flares in temper may also be related to low blood sugar, so I’m going to the naturopath tomorrow to get this all sorted out. In January, I’m going to get officially tested for hypoglycemia. Hopefully, the results will better explain my mood swings!
9. Try even harder to stay informed, to show kindness and generosity, to be an example of forgiveness and understanding. To not be complacent, to distinguish myself.
I’ve donated to charities throughout the year, close to home and abroad. I also donated winter gear to the youth shelter in the city. I keep coming back to this Metric lyric that goes, “Have I ever really helped / Anybody but myself?”. Part of my job is to help people, and it’s important work, but I don’t just want to do it when I’m getting paid for it. I want to be part of something for the greater good, not merely live my life only helping people when it’s convenient for me.
There have been a few situations this year when I’ve struggled to show forgiveness, mainly because my pride was hurt and I felt people were being unfair to me. It’s easy for me to wind myself up in frustration or annoyance and question whether or not it’s rational for me to be upset. It’s a difficult realization to discover that you can’t trust certain people as much as you thought you could. I know, in the end, it’s better to let things go and either start fresh or move forward without them. I’ve grown a lot this year, but I always want to be a better person.
That’s it for now! Hope you’re having a safe and happy holiday! 😀