I set myself a lot of intentions/goals for 2018. They’re almost laughably optimistic, if you use every other year of my life as a benchmark for what I can achieve in a single year.
Most of the things on the list are things I typically talk about doing, but bail on last second, or give up after a few tries. Something happens in life and I go down a spiral to drinking too often, staying out too late, eating too much fast food and watching too much Netflix.
I really thought moving to this cabin, out in the woods of Miccosukee, would help me cure those parts of myself that are weak and quick to admit defeat. But, as I’m sure no one is shocked to hear, it didn’t do that.
Do I feel better? Yes.
Am I working more? Yes.
Am I going out less and drinking less? Yes, most weeks.
I’ve learned to cook for myself, without the entire stock of groceries going rotten in the fridge before I can bring myself to finish the leftovers or attempt a recipe. (The secret? Only cook one recipe at a time and stop trying to convince myself that I like kale.)’
My 8 years in Tallahassee and my 6 months in this beautiful little house have helped me a lot, but I realized last month that the only thing that’s going to really get me where I want to be is focusing as much effort as possible on doing the things I want to do.
Some of these are big things, like getting more stories published outside of my regular gig at INweekly. Some of them are small things, like washing my face every night before bed.
But the one thing I want the most is the freedom to seriously take action this year.
Not just talk about trying, not just reading blog articles about what I’d like to try, not just biting my nails over how it seems like it’s SO EASY for everyone else that tries these things.
I had to recognize that this new phase isn’t going to be as luxuriously self-indulgent as most of my time in Tallahassee has been. I’m going to be getting serious about my finances, my business, my bad habits. A lot of it won’t look very cool on the internet and it’s not going to be the same type of creative space I’ve got right now.
But I’m willing to give all of that up so I can get this foundation of who I really am externalized into my day to day life once and for all.
In case you’re curious, here’s a list of things I’m going to accomplish this year:
- Read 36 books.
- Have 10 pieces of writing published. (Not including my work for INweekly.)
- Post 24 essays on my blog.
- Exercise 3 days a week.
- Travel 6 times.
- Journal daily. (I already do this but need to keep going no matter what.)
- Complete “financial rehab.” (I’ve redacted all of my specific financial goals for the time being, but I’m going to tell you more about this soon.)
- Move to a new city. (After Pensacola.)
- Don’t get a pixie cut. (Yes, this needs its own line item.)
- Buy no fast fashion. (Meaning no Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy, etc etc.)
- Complete 100 rejection letters. (A course from Tiffany Han.)
- Memorize my tarot deck.
- Implement a daily skincare regimen.
- Contact my representatives 3 times a month.
- No phone an hour before bed and after waking up.
- Drink 100 ounces of water a day.
- Take December 8 – January 6 off from client work.
- Knit myself a wearable sweater.
- Attend one cultural event a month.
- One community/volunteer event a month.
- Subscribe to an independent publication.
- Donate once a month to a patreon/indiegogo.
- Read 1 long form essay or article each week.
- Watch 2 documentaries each month.
Some of these things I do sporadically already or have been working on, but the key with this list is that I want to hold myself accountable for the big picture of the person I strive to be in the world.
I know if Sarah Von Bargen saw this list she’d throw something at me because the wisdom is “one habit at a time” (it’s good advice) and that’s my plan, but some of these things are what falls through the cracks during bad weeks or bad months.
I’ll get distracted or discouraged if I don’t beat myself over the head with what I want to do and why I want to do it.
The question of why I want to do it is pretty simple. I know what makes me happy, I know what makes me feel proud of myself and I know what leaves me fulfilled and satisfied with a day/week/month.
Things like “go thrifting” and “spend time with my family” aren’t on there because I don’t have to remind myself to do the easy stuff.
Maybe that seems silly to point out, but I know my year has plenty of room for every I already enjoy doing.
This list is the stuff that I had to dig up. The things that aren’t constantly being said to me by strangers on the internet. The things that I tell myself I’ll do but always chicken out of at the last second.
I thought of who I want to be and how I want to be living next year, in five years, in 10 years, in 50 years. I worked backwards from that.
What does that woman do every day, every week, every month? What are the non-negotiables in her life? What are her routines like? What does she talk about? What is she known for?
Feels a little weird to put most of my list up for a bunch of people to see, but this list will shape a lot of what I talk about this year.
I’ll check in here once a month to tell you how things are going and what my plan is for the next month. How’s that sound?
I’m also going to be sharing my list of new things I want to try (inspired as always by Sarah Von Bargen) because that one is just fun.
Normally this is where I would tell you to share with me about your new habits or intentions or plans to take over the world this year, but I’ve had to disable comments because of spam while I work on transferring this blog to a Squarespace site, so holler at me on Instagram if you want to talk about whether I’m totally insane for this list or tell me about your list!
Love y’all, talk soon.