Why is it that a new year always makes us hopeful that things will be different, better, this year? The older I get the more 1 January just feels like any other day, but there’s still something about the calendar ticking over another year that makes just a small part of me feel that maybe something new is coming.
It could be that I’ve recently moved states or that my new baby niece was born one week into the year, but 2019 does have a tinge of new and different about it. I guess that’s why I’m persisting with setting new goals in the new year.
Why I’m setting goals not resolutions
I used to get really into new year’s resolutions. I’d sit down with my journal on the evening of each 31 December and write down five or six things I wanted to do that year. The issue I’ve found though, is that when I set resolutions they tended to be huge, vague, sweeping statements that were entirely unrealistic and unmeasurable. Things like ‘read more’, ‘travel to different places’ and ‘be more organised’. I also persisted with things that were just never going to happen – I think ‘get a tan’ was on my new year’s resolutions for five or six years running.
That’s why for the last couple of years I’ve been thinking of the things I want to focus on each year as goals rather than resolutions. Goals are more specific and better thought out than resolutions, focusing on a few specific things I can do rather than vague ways I think I could improve my life.
This year I’ve really put time into thinking about what I want to do, and what’s feasible, and come up with just a few things I’d like to do this year.
Read 30 books
Last year I re-discovered Goodreads and got so into the Reading Challenge. I wanted to read 15 books and I ended up reading 21! So this year I’m upping my goal a little to 30. It’s not a huge leap, but I’d also like to be reading consistently throughout the year. Last year, I read a third of the 21 books in December while I was on holidays. This year I’d like to be reading two or three books every month so I’m getting a healthy dose of the joy of reading all year long.
Back myself at work
It’s taken 30 years, but I’ve finally started to realise that I’m capable of more than I give myself credit for. The last few months I’ve been getting a little disheartened at work, feeling like I don’t work on anything that’s really making a difference to the company or making me excited to tackle and conquer it. Then I realised, I work for a company that’s really open to people taking on whatever they want (within reason). I should just start taking on the big projects I want.
This year I’d like to take on four big projects and really drive them myself. I’ve already started on a couple and it’s made work more enjoyable and satisfying already. I need to remember that I have the skills and knowledge to do my job well, and not shy away from taking on more.
Embrace the quiet life
One thing I’ve really enjoyed since moving to Sydney is being less busy. In Melbourne, I had something on nearly every night of the week, and while I enjoyed it all, it was exhausting. Now my calendar is clear and I’m loving just being at home in the evening. I do want to start up ballet classes again, but apart from that I’m going to enjoy quiet evenings at home. I’d like to have at least three evenings every week to stay in and relax.
Reduce my meat consumption
I’ve been trying to live more sustainably recently and I know that the single biggest way you can reduce your impact on the planet is to give up meat. I’m not sure that I could ever go entirely vegetarian (maybe one day!), but I would really like to try at least reducing how much meat I consume. I’m aiming for at least one meat-free meal a week. I generally cook about three meals a week so making one of them vegetarian seems achievable. I don’t have a lot of experience cooking vegetarian meals that are still hearty enough to be filling, so it’s going to be an educational ride. Tofu may be the key?