So here comes my cliché list of goals for the start of 2017.
While I don’t believe that you need to wait until a new year to set goals, it’s just an easy round number for me to revisit the things that I thought I would accomplish, and set some new personal expectations for the next 365 days. And plus, I might be addicted to making lists, and checking things off; you should try it, it’s like a nerd’s favorite pass-time.
I’m keeping the list short, because there’s nothing more disappointing than not making your goals, these are realistic, and are genuinely things I’d like to keep in mind for the next 12 months. Feel free to steal some for your own list, and comment below what some of your goals are!
Learn a new skill every two months
Being around New York has reminded me how hard I used to work when I juggled college full-time, my job as an RA, an internship, and part time jobs all at the same damn time. With each of those roles came new skills, new lessons, and I always felt like I was working as hard as I could, at all times. Flash forward, and I haven’t felt that feeling in over a year and a half. And it’s not that I’m lazy (even though I never watched Netflix until I moved to Los Angeles, I blame Cali), I’ve just reached “pilot mode” where I know how to do what I do, and I just keep doing the same thing to get it done. This is NOT ok.
Despite having graduated college three years ago – so dating myself, I have this constant urge to learn. 2017 is the year to take online classes, drop in classes, and to take as many language classes as possible, because why the hell not?
Become a financial smarty-pants
On the subject of learning skills, this is the year I learn how to manage my money, my lack thereof – debt, and when I finally start planting seeds that will make my money work for me in the future. Despite having gone to business school, I learned nothing about stocks, bonds, trading, how to maximize your usage of credit cards, best practices for doing taxes, and honestly, as an entrepreneur, that’s not even an option. I’ve been seeking out information from my financially savvy friends, but it’s time to pick it up a notch and get into some banks for personal one-on-one’s where all my questions about money get answered. Move over Wall Street, I’m about to come through.
Be a better friend
What happened to hand written cards, or keeping your best friends’ addresses to mail them on their birthdays? What happened to small little gestures to remind people we care about them, beyond an Instagram like or a Snapchat video? I used to be the kind of friend who would write four page letters to remind my best friends how much I cared about them on their birthdays, or even just randomly, and now, I think a quick Facebook message is enough; in the words of Donald Trump, unacceptable. Maybe I’ve been emotionally scarred and hesitant because of the friends who took me caring for granted.
Half those people who I spent so much time and energy being a good friend to aren’t in my life anymore. But after reflecting on the past few years of my life, I’ve been able to see how many amazing people I’ve picked up and added to my “life long friend” list. Genuine souls who I’ve met in my travels, or through mutual friends, from college, and I’m not being half as caring as I should be to remind them how important they are to me.
Everyone, expect four page letters coming your way soon.
Finish my fifth journal
I might be reaching my mid twenties, but I only found out this year how important journaling is to me; despite having kept journals since the 8th grade. I’m a certified memory hogger, I want to steal life’s best moments and store them in the pages of many books, and in memory boxes (I have 4+ boxes filled with ticket stubs, cards I’ve received, silly school awards that mean absolutely nothing now, etc.).
I keep journals because I have this theory, 1. life’s too short and goes by too quickly that we forget the little moments that give the greatest meanings, and 2. you can b*tch to other people, who will most likely not care or judge you, or vent in the privacy of pages for your own eyes to read only. With my notebooks, I write completely unfiltered to my future self, or even to my future family members; everything from the loves in my life, to the funny moments that happen on our trips. I even have a page about the first day I met Damon, and how I knew he would be significant in my life, I just didn’t know how – major foreshadowing.
The thing is, I hadn’t read any journals back until this year during the holidays when I was rotting away slowly in my hometown of Bethel, Connecticut. Next thing you know, I’m getting sucked into my own novella of a life that I’ve kept up with for the past 10 years with pen and paper. Now, there’s no stopping me, I’m determined to keep up with it, so I can always revisit and laugh, cry, or even get angry all over again.
Disconnect from technology one day every month
Even if that means timing all of my blogs, videos, social media posts, I really think 2017 is the year where I personally go back in time to spending 24 hours each month completely disconnected. There are so many things that I could be doing, other than skimming through news feeds and expecting texts or emails back; maybe reading a damn book, or writing poetry, having coffee with a stranger, taking a yoga class, biking around the city, listening to records, play my ukulele. The options are limitless, and every time I spend hours binging on TV shows, I know I’m actually letting myself down for all the potential activities I could be doing that stimulate my brain way more than rolling in bed staring at a screen.
Establish some sort of routine
Picture a nomadic soul trapped in a home body: ME. That’s right, I’m proud to admit that I can spend days in my house without leaving, if it’s a space I’ve created and stored all my memories. I’m a Cancer, despite creating a layer of outgoing personality to cover my sensitivity.
Now here’s the conflict, I love to travel, and paying rent simply doesn’t make sense when it literally inhibits my ability to pack up my bags and leave without the massive guilt and debt that comes from paying rent for an empty apartment. So while I’m tempted to sign a lease for my own little oasis somewhere, that might not me the smartest thing. That still doesn’t change the fact that I need some sort of constant to make me feel like there’s order in the midst of all this travel. Any suggestions?
Learn sign language
You’ve been asking what language we’ll each learn next, and while I’ve dabbled in Arabic, and even Thai, I think the best next language for me to tackle is sign language. In fact, the other day, while trying to order drinks at a crowded NYC bar, the bartender thought I was speaking in sign language; probably all that time I spent in Italy. I’ve always loved non-verbal communication *cough body language,* and I’m interested to see if I’ll be able to pick up a non-latin or Germanic language quickly. Wish me luck.
Got goals for 2017? Comment below, I’m curious!