Saturday, January 3, 2015

For the first time in my life, new year's goals

For the first time in my life, I'm setting goals for the new year.

New Year's was always just another holiday for me: an excuse for a party, with a few traditions. Mostly it meant buying a new planner, and having trouble writing the correct year for a while. Sometimes I tried to make resolutions, halfheartedly, because it was something other people did, but I never really took them seriously.

Looking back now, I see that it was because school/work was always my highest priority, and so I always had a goal in my mind already: get good grades; get into a good university; be a good student; get into a good PhD program; get my PhD; get a postdoc position where I can do my own research; be a good scientist. Everything else was extra, low priority. (None of this was quite conscious - if you had asked me, I would have said something vague about wanting to be happy. But when I made decisions, school and work always won out over other things.) At the end of each year, I knew where I was headed next, I had a goal, and I wasn't really looking to change anything in how I lived my life.

This year is different! For the first time, I don't have much of a plan for what's coming next. I have no idea what I'll be doing in a year, or even where I'll live. It's scary and exciting. It's an actual new beginning. And for the first time, it feels right to me to set goals for the year to come.

So here goes.

Broad aims for this year:

1. Healing. I'm going to continue working on accepting myself, being kind to myself, and giving myself space and time to heal from years of telling myself what I should be and what I should be doing. By the end of the year, I would love to feel like I know and am proud of who I am.

2. Doing. I have a lot of dreams and ideas that have been sitting around and waiting because I've been scared of failure or unable to choose where to start. This year I'm going to stop dithering and do as much trying, failing, and learning as I can.

And some specific goals I'll try to follow:

1. Drawing every day. To improve technically, learn to deal with artistic insecurity, and figure out what my deal is with art (do I want to do it to earn money, be great, get recognition? or just for the pure enjoyment of it?).

2. A blog post every week. To improve technically, stop being scared, figure out if I really want to be a writer, and help myself learn and think.

3. One main project each month, and no more. With all those dreams and ideas, I get overwhelmed easily. I need to focus, but I also need to switch from project to project so I don't get bored. This is just another attempt to organize myself in a long line of (mostly failed) attempts, but I am still hopeful that it will work!

A new year, a new me. I'm looking forward to it.

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