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New year's non-resolutions: my 2019 mindset

December 31st, 2018 at 03:08 pm

Usually I have goals with measurable results and I achieve maybe half of them? So for 2018 I tried to really analyze why goals succeeded or failed, and come up with ones I was sure to meet, and enjoy meeting.

Well, the results were not what I expected. Over the year I ended up abandoning most of them and doing some other equally awesome things. Basically, my focus and priorities changed. It was still one of my favorite years, but I don’t like the feeling that I didn’t meet my goals.

I won't go into them in detail, but here are the things I achieved in 2018:
Creative - learn guitar.
Vacations: UK family trip after Xmas. Solo trips for adults. CJ family reunion in June/July Niece's wedding in Va. in August.

And things I didn't quite get done in 2018:
Creative - get a novel publishing-ready.
Health - Limit drinking on everyday nights.
Health - limit screen time outside of work.
Health - Try relaxation/destress tactics on nondrinking/no-screen-time days
Pragmatic - emergency preparedness.
Work/professional development: Look for class on Agile; see if work will pay for it.
Work/professional development: Limit social/personal internet at work.
Jan: No personal internet/phone at work one day per Financial: Retirement assets to $475K. Net worth to $650K. Bump NT's 401(k) up 2%.
Financial: Kids' savings up to at least $1K per year of age.
Home: Full kitchen renovation.

So there you go.

I feel like I've entered a new stage of life where I can achieve anything I set my mind to, but can't necessarily map out the exact things that I'll want to do.

So for 2019, I've decided I’ll have less structured “intentions”: a mindset where I try to live a full and successful life and, yes, have ambitions, but I'm not laying out specific ambitions or milestones I'm working toward.

Part of it is my new mindset but also, I realize with family members in all three of our extended families struggling, and also all of us chasing our dreams, which may make our day-to-day schedules and finances less predictable.

So here are my intentions for 2019:

- Make healthy choices (with an eye toward fitness, weight control and general energy and vitality and hopefully longevity). My initial thoughts are getting back into walking and AM exercises and intermittent fasting, and trying to bring more salads and whole foods into my diet. But I'm leaving this open to any other ideas or inspirations I have.

- Deepen friendships. In 2018 I put a lot of effort into widening and deepening my social circle with mixed results. Recently I've been spending less time chasing the people who don't seem to be putting any effort in reciprocating. If they want to hang out, I'm not shutting off any avenues; I'm just going to focus more on the people who have been more responsive, and putting out feelers for other people to focus on.

- Do creative things. Right now I'm feeling very happy learning guitar and working on a new novel with a college friend. I'm also seriously considering finally self-publishing one of my novels as kind of a test run. But we'll see what other creative urges hit me! The point is to do things that aren't just stressing over the news or mindlessly checking my phone or computer.

- Chase pleasure. I don't know how many solo trips we'll get to go on (due to the uncertainties I mentioned) but if I do get to, it'll likely be to see my fave band in other places, meeting up with my Canadian friend I met in January via their concerts. That friendship has been the single biggest social success I had, even though we mainly communicate via computer! I also want to see lots of other live music, which has become one of the biggest pleasures of my life. So has guitar. Maybe it means more date nights with my partners; we didn't get many this year. I also consider reading a creative activity, and I don't read as often as I used to, so I could try to focus on that. And my kids are getting to the ages where we start to have activities we both enjoy, so I hope to hang out with them more and more! This is a wide open field, so hopefully I'll surprise myself pleasantly!

- Build my career. I'm still very happy with my current job and seem to be still making good impressions and doing good work, so right now that's my focus. I don't have any big ambitions about moving up quickly; as long as I get modest raises and the work environment stays supportive and the work interesting, I don't see any need to do anything other than continue to challenge myself and keep growing and deepening my skills in this position. But I realize jobs are a fluid thing, so again, a wide open intention!

- Be flexible when life throws things at me. This is about resilience as well as openness to new ideas and new situations. It's optimistic that amazing new opportunities may present themselves, but also realistic that challenges may arise, and I don't want to be blindsided or feel persecuted, I just want to land on my feet no matter what. I hope I can do that!

So, those are my thoughts. I'm in the UK, so we're about to hit the new year in about an hour. I wish all my SA friends the 2019 they want, and the ability to tackle the year even if it doesn't turn out the way they hope!

2 Responses to “New year's non-resolutions: my 2019 mindset”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Happy New Year!

  2. Homebody Says:

    I can tell you are a writer. Your review was so succinct and well thought out.

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