Hello! I hope you all have been feeling rested and happy during the Christmas/New Year limbo.
Today I am going to look at 2019 and wrap up the year. At the start of the year, I set myself 19 goals for 2019, and here is how I went with them!…
- Travel to and explore at least two cities/locations that are unfamiliar or new to me. I went to Sydney twice, which was so great. I got to know the city more and it was exciting. I also stayed in Maleny twice (a small town near the Sunshine Coast in Queensland), and had so much fun exploring this beautiful area. It’s not completely new/unfamiliar to me (similar to Sydney). I’ve visited before – but I haven’t stayed there over a few days and really experienced it in detail, so it was enjoyable, nonetheless.
- Spend time out of the house by myself once a fortnight. This one was hard to do regularly due to not being able to get myself from place to place. Also, I like other people’s company, so I’m not going to bypass an opportunity to hang out with someone just so I have time or energy to spend it by myself (or ask someone to drop me off somewhere for time alone and then make them leave)! Independence and solo time are important, but so are family and friends!
- Take a holiday by myself. This one was highly unlikely, and unfortunately, didn’t happen.
- Spend more time outdoors. I try. It’s hard in Australia when it’s so hot a lot of the time and you just need to hide from the sun! And studying also means I am often working in my room. These are definitely reasons that can be worked around though, so this is still a work in progress.
- Learn or do something new. I can’t say I did this, which is sad. This is one of the biggest things that makes me feel frustrated with where I am in life.
- Watch and listen to more educational documentaries, podcasts and the like. I feel like I did this, enjoy this, and need/want to keep at it.
- Work on an extended piece of writing. I have been working on an longer piece, but uni has slowed it down so I’m not as far with it as I’d like to be. Bring on more writing in 2020!!
- Don’t let the fact that I want to write a novel length piece distract me from the fact that I want to write short stories and that this genre suits my writing style. I wrote one and a half short stories in 2019. Not. Good.
- Regularly post on my blog. You can probably answer this one!! Ugh.
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!!! Floss, floss, floss! Not too bad. Could be better.
- Interact more frequently with people in the bookish and spoonie community. Yes, I think I did this, and I love chatting with my online friends. It would be great to do more of this though, and this will definitely come if I work on number 11.
- Volunteer. I did this and loved it!! I volunteered at a local school with the Ready Reading program through Volunteering Queensland. Once a week, I spent 1.5 hours with a group of great kids, individually taking them out of their class and listening to and helping them read. It was great to get to know these five kids and see them work hard. I really enjoyed it and hope to do it again when school starts back!
- Attend as many writer talks, workshops, meet ups and networking opportunities as possible. I’ve attended a weekly writers’ group as regularly as possible all year, and the workshops associated with the group, went to an editing annual meeting to listen to what they do and to listen to a guest author, went to the writers’ group’s Christmas networking party, and as always, attended the Brisbane Writers Festival and listened to guest speakers at uni.
- Work up to doing Pilates classes twice a week, as well as doing more at-home exercises and stretches, tai chi at least once a week, and small walks or swims as regularly as possible. I did Pilates regularly once a week but amped up the level I’m at, which makes me much happier than if I’d done two classes a week at the same level I had been. I went to tai chi as often as I was physically up to it. Home exercises, walks and swims could definitely happen more frequently. My physical stamina is something that I did improve a bit in 2019. Due to some medication changes, I’ve been waking up 2-3 hours earlier than I had been for the years since I’ve had health issues, which is awesome. Also, as a consequence of patience and work, I’ve increased my strength and ability to do a little more. My first year of doing Pilates, 2018, became disheartening because I just wasn’t getting anywhere, but I persevered and I’m slowly, slowly getting there. I’m not going to be running any marathons anytime soon, but a 15 minute walk might not be out of the question soon.
- Submit my short stories to literary prizes, competitions or for publication as frequently as possible. This could absolutely do with some more motivation and dedication.
- Do something fun or challenging that I have not done for a long time. I have been getting back into driving! I had to stop driving seven years ago because of my health, but I am at a stage now where I can do it again. I’m taking it very slowly and sensibly and listening closely to my body, but I’ve made the first step, which has been very exciting.
- Say goodbye to my bellybutton piercing!!! Did it!! Bye bye!!
- Shorter showers! This is not something I’ve done well, and with the state Australia is in at the moment – severe droughts, fires, incredible heat – it is something everyone should work at.
- Begin the day by not reaching for my phone immediately upon waking, and end the day with less/no sugar to promote sleep. I’m doing well with the sugar before bed part, but no so much with the phone part!
At the beginning of the year, I also set myself a word in an effort to have something to remind myself of my goals and drive me. This word was achievement. In my post, I said ‘I want to get to this stage in a year’s time and be more familiar with a sense of accomplishment than I am presently.’ Do I feel that familiarity? Unfortunately, no. I constantly think about how much I haven’t achieved, to be honest! I feel like I’m no further along than I was 5 years ago, in terms of achievements. I am still studying and doing well at it, but that’s nothing new this year. And yes, I’ve ploughed on despite my health, which everyone always assures me is an achievement, but I see so many people doing so much more with so much less, and I can’t help but feel like I’m not doing enough. I’m the first to say don’t compare yourself to others, only to yourself, but either way, I’m not where I want to be!
That said, the only way is up, and I’m ready! I will post my plans for the new year soon. I’m excited to see what’s in store in 2020.
How about you? Do you feel happy with where you are at as we begin a new year? What have you done that you’re proud of, pleased with, excited by? What are you doing to grow further within your goals? I’d love to hear how you are feeling about your year and the one ahead.
Happy New Year!