The other day, a childhood friend asked me about my resolution for the new year. I was content to let him know I didn’t have one because I was too focused on scheduling plans and setting goals. Until recently, I’ve always set a resolution, theme or word for the year.
For 2015, my resolution was to play with failure. It was so easy to keep. Consequently, it was also easier to allow myself to make mistakes, learn from them, and move on from them. Living this way opened me up to so many experiences and changes, it felt like a complete shift in vision.
Whenever I wanted to change my life or accomplish something, I no longer thought positive thoughts or dreamed sunny dreams, because those methods seldom worked for me. Instead, I zoned in on my purpose and my intention, and then I drew maps to get there.
I went from dreaming to planning. I went from hoping to intending. In 2016, I intend to continue.
Intention: Consume quality over quantity.
Goal: Read fifteen books for the whole year.
Bonus goal: Write a review of each book by the end of the year.
Every year since 2012, I set a high number for reading and pursued it with fluffy fiction books I didn’t end up liking that much. This year, I’m shifting my focus to books I really want to read, so I’m going at an unambitious pace of one book (roughly) every three weeks. This way, I can savor, learn from, and write about the books I’m reading.
Intention: Experiment in quantity.
Goal: Attend at least three workshops for the whole year.
Bonus goal: Attend one art, one lifestyle, and one tech course (ex. coding).
When I did my first life audit in September, skills development turned out to be very important to me. I considered learning a big part of my self-identity and my dreams. This year I’m challenging myself to follow up on those dreams with conviction, but without the commitment of having to apply what I learned anywhere. I’m going to explore, learn and grow just for the sake of exploring, learning and growing. Just to get back in touch with that part of myself.
Intention: Create in quantity.
Goal: Complete at least one major project for the whole year.
Bonus goal: Complete two minor projects (week- to month-long), and at least two collaborations. Keep sketches/plans/ideas for the following year’s projects.
In contrast to my previous intention of releasing myself from results, this goal will be all about results. For years, I’ve written down dreams and ideas of things I wanted to do, like design my own planner, write a book, hold an event, and many other things. This year I’m honoring those ideas and turning them into plans.
Intention: Create with quality over quantity.
Goal: Post once a week.
Bonus goal: Plan a proper branding/marketing effort.
Almost a year after opening up this blog, I still feel like it’s only been on soft opening. Just knowing it exists has been good for my soul, but now I owe it a little more attention than remembering it fondly. Instead of setting hard goals that look good on paper, I intend to focus on building the rhythm and flow that happens behind my space. Build and fix content. Clear up my messaging. Edit out the noise. By the middle of the year, this space will be more consistent, whole, and loved.
Intention: Be mindful and intentional with spending.
Goal: Pay off outstanding debt completely by July 1.
Bonus goal: Maintain debt below 2k monthly.
Ah, money. Impulsive spending buried me in an awful mound of debt and remorse last year. Now, I have two strict financial priorities, and one of them is to be maximally debt-free. A chunk of my income will go straight into paying debt each month until it’s paid off, after which I will never, ever live beyond my income again.
Intention: Begin planning and saving for the future.
Goal: Save at least 6k monthly for allocated funds. (Stick to 2016 savings plan.)
Bonus goal: Start a retirement/emergency fund.
Complementary with my debt-free goal, I’m budgeting a healthy share of my income for savings buckets. Whenever there’s a large expense, planned or otherwise, I will use money I’ve saved instead of money I don’t have yet. I already have a solid savings plan where I predicted some major expenses for the year with a target amount, and I calculated how much I needed to save each month for how many months.
Saving and spending in the same year means 2016 is going to be tight, and I’m preparing myself to pass on a few opportunities already. However, my life will be three times healthier next year because I’ll be debt-free, disciplined, and only partly dependent on my next paycheck.
Intention: Make fitness a part of my lifestyle/identity.
Goal: Exercise once a week.
Bonus goal: Join a fitness class or program by July 1.
I want a fitter lifestyle for all kinds of reasons and maybe that’s why I have a hard time sticking to it. I hope to ingrain fitness so deeply into my lifestyle that it will take more effort to stop doing it. Fitness programs and classes are always an option, and a great way to stay accountable, but they might be too big of a hit on my finances for now. So for the first half I’m going to focus on building my relationship with fitness, and by the second half I should have the money and the motivation to join a class.
Intention: Be mindful with my lifestyle and my health.
Goal: Meditate for ten minutes every day.
This is the only goal where I didn’t give myself a bonus challenge, because with me and my mental health it has never been about achievement. It has always been just about getting better. 2015 has done so much to help me get better, so 2016 is simply going to be about being grateful for and content with that.
Intention: Stay connected with people and be more conscious in relationships.
Goal: Reach out to favorite people at least once a month.
Bonus goal: Keep a list of people to start contact with or to reply to. Keep a list of new acquaintances.
I always considered myself to have a bad track record with relationships, be it romantic, platonic, or familial. Last year, however, made me realize how lucky I was with the people in my life. I began to really appreciate my few circles of friends, how we relate to one another, and how we turn up for each other when it’s most important. In 2016 I want to honor that gratitude I felt by being a better friend and acquaintance to others. Even if it’s as simple as replying to their messages or remembering things about them.
Intention: Make travel a part of my lifestyle/identity.
Goal: Travel at least thrice for the whole year; twice locally and once internationally.
Bonus goal: Find a low-cost, nearby nature spot for go-to getaways.
Last year was an unexpectedly great year for travel, with a total of 4 out-of-town trips. In 2016, I want to travel more intently and intentionally, not for the bandwagon but for what it does for me and my life. Traveling as a way of life, instead of as an escape, has been amazing for my mental health and my outlook on the world. This will be the year I make it an irreversible part of who I am.
I’ll be journaling my progress and productivity on this blog. So soon enough I’ll be writing about:
+ a second life audit
+ my passion planner (!!)
+ other productivity notebooks, if I decide to use them
+ some articles, blogs, or golden excerpts that helped me set my 2016 goals.