It's a new year! At this time, I always think of Ms. Stacey saying, "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it." from Anne of Green Gables. Which lets one forget that yesterday and today are rife with mistakes of all kinds. So let's revisit those from the last 365 yesterdays!
(Also, goals for 2018 are on the way!)
My overarching resoution for 2017 was to live mindfully. As I said in June, I’ve really embraced this idea. Now at the end of the year, I can say it’s been true to an even stronger degree than before. My stress levels are lower, I’m accomplishing more, and my energy is directed to good places - I credit a posture of mindfulness with all of that.
1. Engage in community, spiritual and otherwise - after the mid-year check in, I continued to be heavily involved in Haven. I’m looking forward to continuing to grow and support others in that space next year. In June, I mentioned wanting to join the community league, which hasn’t yet happened. I’m not sure that’s a priority anymore - will probably revisit once spring comes. ;)
2. Blog regularly - lol. As mentioned before, a dead laptop hindered me for a while, and after that I think I just struggled with balancing ambitious posts and regular updates. I am proud of what I wrote this year, especially the vegan/CF info and poetry. But I do recognize the inconsistency in posting and will work on remedying this in 2018.
3. Exercise/get outside every day - This was going well at the mid-year check in, and elevator repairs from September to mid November meant I also got to take 6 floors’ worth of stairs every day, sometimes more than once! It’s since been fixed, but my aerobic capacity did increase significantly in that time, and I’m eager to find more ways to challenge myself physically in 2018.
4. Examine spending and focus on finances - This goal feels "accomplished", but it also made lots of little goal sprouts happen in the process. I’ve really become excited and interested in my financial present and future this year (sort of a reverse Scrooge). And it all started with a book and a Youtube channel. ;) I spent 2017 really focused on spending habits; I’m excited to shift to savings/debt repayment in 2018.
5. Work in ways that better me and are authentic - I’m still in my casual-but-full-time-hours position and loving it. I was able (financially and logistically) to take the entirety of December off for travel. I also had my first proper performance review, and I was thrilled to get the feedback of “...so you got full marks in every category.” Later in the year we had a meeting informing us that a new comprehensive system is coming which will likely impact the extent/need for our role. This is about 3-5 years away. I had a feeling that this job might not be around forever (and have been planning accordingly as far as further education goes), but it was a good/necessary kick in the pants to actually start mapping out concrete deadlines.
6. Eat vegan/vegetarian a majority of the time - Yes! I can say I kept on track from where I was in June. The only missteps I’ve had have been during this last vacation, and mostly due to access to foods/power outages/bigger priorities (relatives in the hospital being one). But I’m at an all time low as far as consumption of animal products, and my parents and I had an INCREDIBLE vegan Christmas dinner this year. I’m now planning to expand my vegan home cooking repertoire in 2018.
7. Complete reading challenge - SIGH. I managed somewhere between 12-15 books, which is considerably less than 40. I also almost immediately hated being restricted to the framework of each book having a theme/specific trait. On the upside, part of my slowness was due to the fact that the books I did read this year were all SO DANG GOOD. Like, I’m pretty sure 4 stars was the lowest Goodreads rating I gave. I will be posting a recommendations list soon if you’re starting another reading challenge and want ideas. I am going to attempt another, 27 books this time (because it’s my age, why not), with zero themes/restrictions.
8. Learn to drive - Hmm. I got partway through studying the manual, but as I said in June, finances are a thing. I don’t know that it makes sense for me to learn just for the sake of learning at this point, where I don’t have access to a car and transit is super accessible. As I said, I want to focus on debt repayment/saving this year, and again, this seems like maybe not the best investment at this time.
9. Use as many cruelty-free things as possible - Heck yes. My personal care products, makeup, and majority of my clothing continue to be cruelty-free. I've also cut back majorly on fast-fashion/fashion for consumption's sake. For next year, finances permitting, I’d love to introduce more vegan cleaning products, shoes, and winter gear into my life.
10. Take vitamins/minerals and drink water - I’ll give myself an A- here. With water I’ve been very consistent, but I’ve definitely forgotten vitamins here and there. I’m eating a lot of nutritional yeast for B12 and ground flaxseed for Omega-3s, so that does help. Still on the hunt for comprehensive vegan vitamins/pain relief that won't break the bank.
11. [Insert creative goal here] - This was kind of a cop out because I changed it in June, but it was basically a general desire to pursue creativity in a concrete way. Again, due to finances, I didn’t get into proper classes or anything, but I have practiced guitar a lot when preparing for Haven. I’m also recognizing meal preparation/cooking as a creative outlet in my life.
12. Regularly assess goals - Check! I wrote my resolutions, did a 6-month check in, and now I’m doing so again as the year closes. Because I’m changing the structure of my goals for 2018, you will actually also be getting a 3 month check in on those. Also, keep in mind that these were broad goals and that I'm the sort of person who had mini-goals/tracking methods under each "heading", if you will. Again, I'll try to explain that more in the next set of goals.