Happy New Year, everyone!
I try not to make a habit of being sentimental this time of year, as so happens with many people. Especially my parents, hehe. I understand why this season makes everyone a little emotional. After all, the Christmas season just passed and whether that was filled with high notes or low for you, the busyness can all be very emotionally demanding. And now we’re leaving behind another year, and looking at the net. I think the New Year is a time where most people reflect on the past and try to envision the future, and that too can be quite emotionally demanding.
I do think it’s important to reflect and to set goals, especially because at this point in my life, personal growth is becoming more and more of a priority. I just try to do it with a little less attachment to keep me grounded. There was a period a few years back where I would be very disappointed in myself because I didn’t accomplish as much as I wanted the previous year, and I ended up just dumping more goals on myself. Of course, that led to more disappointment the following year.
So I’ve been trying to keep my reflections and goals more reasonable this last couple of years.
I am going over the list of goals I set at the beginning of last year and say how well I did with it. Looking at my list, I realize many of these were ambitious considering I was working through my masters degree in 2017. I think I owe myself some kindness since I was studying full-time until April, and then working full-time in an internship and studying part time until the end of December.
Create at least 1 completely coloured artwork every month
Fail. Completely failed! I started off great, but as the year progressed, I became increasingly unhappy with my sketches. So I didn’t even bother colouring them.
Finish the first draft of my story.
Accomplished! It’s a really crappy first draft, but at least I learned quite a lot about where the story needs to go.
Finish a second draft that involves a complete rewrite of my story.
Half accomplished. NaNoWriMo gave me an opportunity to rewrite my story halfway through, but I’m still working on the second-half of the rewrite.
Possibly send my story to a professional editor.
I haven’t even finished the rewrite, lol. Boy, was I ambitious.
Get As in all of my coursework.
The internship work and the entrepreneurial course are still being graded. Other than that, I got As in the courses I took during the coursework portion of the program. I died a little in my graphics class, but I still got that A. Minus. =P
Land myself in a good research internship in a company I like, doing work I’m passionate about.
Read at least 1 book a month.
Accomplished. I surpassed my Goodreads reading target by 30%.
Be more patient.
Eh… these goals are harder to evaluate. I tried. I don’t think I quite succeeded. I felt quite harried this year, like a flag up on a high pole, under the whim of the wind. I was rushing from one thing to the next, and I don’t think that’s a sign of patience.
Meditate at least 5 minutes a day.
I think the previous goal should shed some light on how well I did with this one. Didn’t even get to do it.
Eat more healthily and exercise.
I think I did a pretty good job at this during the first third of the year. I was at home most of the time studying so I could exercise while I’m resting. When I started my internship, bumping my commute times to 3+ hours a day, my “rest” time has shrunk considerably. I come home and I am tired. What little time I have left went into trying to accomplish the goals I did manage to accomplish above.
If there’s anything 2017 has taught me, it’s that I can accomplish a lot even during demanding times. But something I also learned is that I’m not always in the best state of mind and soul. I’m tired all the time even when I just sit all day at work. I’m impatient and cranky. It takes only a thing or two to get me feeling bummed out and burned out.
I find that my external goals haven’t changed that much. I’m still working on my art skills, I’m making strides in my story, I’m learning and growing in my career. But I think that even my external goals are affected by my internal state. When I’m lethargic and frustrated I just don’t get as much work done. I think everything I do is useless and I run out of energy and passion.
So for this year, I really want to focus on nourishing my internal self. Whether that means eating better, getting more exercise, or even just meditating a few minutes a day. Writing has always been therapeutic for me, but you all probably noticed that I don’t write on my blog very often. It’s because when I’m stressed or feeling bad about myself, I don’t want to share that publicly. Which is actually counter productive because it just makes me feel more alone. Most of my hobbies are solitary and so is my day job. This year I want to write just a little bit more to open up about myself so I don’t feel like I’m doing all of these alone.