Happy New Year! Here’s a review of my 2016 resolutions:
- Finish the first draft of my novel
I am definitely not even close to finishing the first draft, but I am working toward finishing the chapter summaries/outline. If I’m reading my productivity report correctly, I wrote for 31 hours this year, which really isn’t a lot. I’m learning a lot more about the techniques of novel writing and I know the outline will be quite useful in giving my story the structure it needs. I hope to finish the outline within a few months, and then I’ll have a much clearer vision for the first draft.
- Make more time for working out (at least 3 times a week)
My workout schedule was terrible (rarely once a week, if at all) until it started picking up in August, near the end of my job contract. I did go to the gym a few times with my boyfriend and tried to get used to working out that way (with mixed results). Who knows what I was doing the rest of those months. I know in the summer months I was definitely outside a lot more, going on walks, doing stuff that didn’t get recorded in my calendar. There was definitely a commitment issue, though.
During my three-month period of unemployment, my workouts multiplied to at least once a week, sometimes as much as four times a week. I’m trying to stay consistent in December, but with a full-time job now, it’s definitely going to be more of a challenge.
- Get my left and right splits
Nope. After completing the Pop Pilates #JourneytoSplits challenge, I realized that getting my splits requires so much daily effort and needs to be a constant commitment. I would rather use that time to work on total body fitness (which didn’t work out so well either! See above). The splits are cool to have, but it’s not really a range of motion I need (to that extent) in my everyday life. I did notice progress in the splits challenge, and by the end of it I almost had my left splits. But it turned out to be too much effort for not enough pay-off.
- Get a permanent position at the library
This was the most challenging goal, because it didn’t rely solely on my will power to achieve it. The library job market is been particularly dismal right now, and ongoing, entry-level positions are scarce. I’ve broadened my job search to other provinces and I finally managed to acquire a short-term contract close to home. Hopefully diversifying my experience will help! This is the one resolution I’m quite motivated to achieve because I don’t have much choice.
- Find new strategies of coping with anxiety and moodiness
I really should have kept better track of this, because I can’t recall all the strategies I’ve used (if I was consciously using any at all) and which ones were effective or ineffective. I still throw tantrums sometimes, but I try to make sure they’re private. I think I’m becoming more aware of whether my mood is caused by some internal hormonal shift or by external circumstances (such as stress or an argument). One thing that definitely heightens my anger is when I know I’m not being listened to, so part of handling this issue is making sure I’m understood by the person I’m fighting with.
I’m more aware now that there are consequences when I don’t keep my mood in check. If I’m frustrated or upset, I have to be careful about how I release it. More often than not, people don’t mean to hurt me, and if it’s not a persistent issue, it’s easier in the long run to just let it go.
- Make more time for self-care
I’m not completely sure what I meant by this, but being unemployed certainly left me with a lot of time to look after myself! I established a loose routine to keep up my good habits. I started volunteering so I could add purpose to my days and get to know the city. This year, I was overall in a good place emotionally and physically.
- Read at least one book every month
I’m not 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t achieve this pathetically easy goal. I wasn’t even keeping track. I’m trying to start reading before bed again, but that involves going to bed early, another good habit I’ve been struggling with. Now that I’ve got a job again, I’m getting a bit better at it, and being around books all the time gives me more incentive to read!
- Be a good neighbour to those around me (which means being patient, friendly, considerate, instead of shy and withdrawn)
I’m trying my best to be more aware of how I come across to people and to reign in my emotions when necessary. I try to catch myself when I’m being anxious about something that’s not a big deal, such as replying to texts or making plans with someone I’m not close to. I’ve learned strategies to suspend judgement of people and expel negative thoughts from me, although I’m still working on becoming a more positive, accepting person.
- Set limits for my time on Facebook and find something more productive to do
I didn’t set a limit for my time on Facebook, but I don’t think it’s as much of a problem as it used to be; I’m finding it less interesting. I go on news sites a lot more now; I hope to increase my political awareness.