Even before the clock struck twelve on December 31st my newsfeeds were already dotted with sentimental notes for the year that has passed and some resolutions for the new year to come. Since then, as it typically does every year, posts about new year resolutions have gone viral. What surprises me the most this year is that these types of posts have been made by a great majority of the friends whose lives I get a peek into most frequently online. It seems that when it comes to 2015, I wasn’t alone in experiencing a year chock-full of lessons both good and bad and crazy life experiences (also both good and bad), as indicated by the many testimonials of my friends and acquaintances.
Ever since I graduated from high school, I gave up with the notion of making resolutions because knowing myself, the excitement was more from creating a list and not in actually following through with it. No shocker there. Yet now, for the first time in my “adult life” (I can’t say that without chuckling a little bit – adult!), I find myself swept up in the resolution frenzy and I’m hopping straight to the top of this bandwagon. Of course, in this panda’s typical fashion, I am late to the posting party and the frenzy has died down in the second week of this brand spanking New Year; better late than never though, right?
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the year I’ve had in 2015 and what I’d like to do differently for myself in 2016. Frankly, the list is long – I am after all an expert at criticizing myself and so finding a host of things that I’d like to change was no issue – but I have condensed it down to a few that I’d really like to work on and can (more or less) apply to all aspects of my life. I don’t like using the term ‘resolutions’, as history shows that whenever that word is used there’s not much result to show for it, so I’d like to talk about my list in terms of goals. I know that in the end they’re just words and it doesn’t matter because whichever way I look at it, if I’m not committed shit ain’t gonn’ happen. But ‘goals’ sound more long-term and less full of pressure in comparison.
Below is the abridged version of my list but if you’d like to continue reading my ramblings you can find the unabridged version here.
Goal 1: Read 70 books
I have joined the 2016 Goodreads book challenge and set my goal for 70 books this year. So far I’m down 2&½ and have 67&½ more to go!
Goal 2: Be social
It seems I have retreated so deep into my shell that I now get anxious and easily tire being in social situations. I have so many excuses that keep me in my comfort zone but this year I am determined to push excuses and fear aside and to pull myself out. I’m hoping that being social will help me find my lost confidence and comfort with myself. I think that it could also help me feel less inadequate with my position at work, as this year will involve a lot more out-of-office calls and networking. It’s definitely time for this “new outlook” I’ve developed to change this year!
Goal 3: Be active
It’s not even that I should be more active, it’s more like I need to be more active. In Bali, I spend 80% of my time sitting in the office, 10% sitting in my car and 10% sitting or lying in bed reading books. Sometimes I feel the lethargy flowing off me in waves and I wonder how it is that I could be so tired when I haven’t been physically active at all! Then I realize this is probably my body’s way of rebelling and telling me that I need to get physical. So this means this year will be more about walking, joining (fun) fitness classes and just in general becoming more conscious of the toll inactivity is taking on my being.
Goal 4: Explore my little island home, Bali
It’s been 8 months since I’ve moved to this little (big) island and I still haven’t done much any exploring. It’s shameful – I know – I keep telling myself and others that I live here so I have plenty of time to explore but history also shows that “time” never actually comes. What little I know of this island oftentimes makes me feel like a fish out of water and I feel like I still have such a long way to go before this place could feel like home. I envy those who find immediate kinship with this place and who so easily embrace all it has to offer. I think it’s time for me to learn and see if I can do the same and I think I’m going to start with these: Natural Attractions and maybe some of this: Top Things To Do.
Goal 5: Learn and/or improve three skills
Thanks to globalization and rapid technological developments, the opportunities that are available to us nowadays are boundless. Sometimes when I’m looking online at websites like EdX and Coursera, I get so caught up in all the exciting classes that you can take that I find myself wanting to sign up for 10 courses in one go. I am determined to at least learn or improve three skills this year and I’m going to start with learning a new language (French) and improving my networking skills (by joining a group that focuses on public speaking).
Goal 6 Ultimate Life Goal: Self-love
Ultimately though, whether or not I fulfill these goals I set, what I really want this year is to just be happy – with where I am, who I’m with and what I’ve got. I want to learn to live in the moment and really live it and not just be a complacent bystander watching it all whizz by because lately that’s what I feel like I’ve been doing. I want to take chances and do things because I want to and not because it’s what’s expected of me or because I’m scared of how others will judge me if I don’t or because I want to be more like someone else or because I’m worried of being too different. I want to do things because I enjoy doing them and because it makes me happy.
In many ways I haven’t been very kind to myself (especially) over the last couple of years and that negative energy I’ve been feeding my soul only serves to keep me stuck in a bad state mentally, physically and emotionally. This year, I need to take a conscious step back and remember why it’s important to love and take care of myself because if I can’t do that for myself, no one else will. I don’t want to just learn how to be happy in my own skin, I want to be it. So here’s to 2016 being a year of true happiness and self-love!