I like setting goals for myself if for no other reason than the fact that I like the illusion of accomplishment. We can debate whether or not reading a certain number of books is actually making a difference in the grand scheme of things, but hey, at least I actually did something. If nothing else, I think goal-setting helps us prioritize, and they teach us patience and perseverance.
There’s nothing really special about the first day of the year – it’s just another day, so what? But for whatever reason, when humans made calendars, they designated this specific day as the beginning of a “new year.” And we like new things. They’re scary sometimes, sure, but they also feel full of opportunity. So yes, setting goals for a year is somewhat arbitrary, but I think it’s good to capitalize on that optimism and use it to make changes that will go beyond the next twelve months.
All that being said, today I’m going to review my goals from 2019 and rate myself on how well I did, and then look ahead to what I want to do in 2020.
2019 Goals Review
Health Goals: B+
I’m being a little harder on myself with this one, because I know I can do better. There were a lot of external factors that made it challenging for me to take care of my body, especially as I got later in the year, but that doesn’t completely excuse me.
Writing Goals: A-
I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in April 2019 (
nevermind that I’ll probably scrap that draft…), and against all odds, I actually participated in and won NaNoWriMo in Novemeber. Granted, I bent the rules a little bit, but it still counts. I also kept up with my blog better this year. I think I posted fewer times in 2019 than I have in the past, but I’ve felt a lot freer about my blogging process this year than I did in previous years.
Reading Goals: A
One recurring theme each year is that I’ve consistently underestimated my reading ability. This year I met and exceeded my reading goals! I read 60 books, 29 of which were by authors I had never read before. 20 of those books were on my TBR list (thank goodness). I also listened to 14 audiobooks, totaling about 155 hours. You can see the variety of genres I read in the graph below:
Skills & Hobbies: B+
I actually completed my 1 Second Everyday video for the whole year! I’m real proud of how it turned out. I also completed my Breath of the Wild cosplay in time for Comic-Con in September. In terms of everything else though, I didn’t make a single video this year (oops), and I completely fell off the DuoLingo practice halfway through the year. I lost my 100+ day streak, and I just didn’t have the motivation to start again. Still, I kept up with it for six months, which has to be a personal record.
Spiritual Goals: C
I always seem do the worst in this category. I don’t really want to go into details, but suffice it to say that I fell off track much earlier than I usually do, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get back into a routine. I’m hoping to fix that this year.
Financial Goals: A
Overall, the days that I spent money were fewer than the days I didn’t spend money, with the exception of August and September for some reason. I also remembered to save some funds from each paycheck, and I saved up enough to pay for what I wanted on my trip to France. I’m feeling good about where I’m at right now.
Okay, now that I’m done roasting myself, time to be optimistic again! Here are the things I’m hoping to accomplish in 2020.
- Exercise 4 days/week
- Walk 10k steps each day
- Keep up good daily habits
- Drink more water & eat better food
- Get more sleep
You’ve seen this list before. Nothing has really changed, but I’m going to push myself to do better in keeping up with everything.
- Take time to rest
- Limit social media use
I also want to just be more conscious of my mental health in general, so I’m going to be tracking a few particular emotions/states of being each day to see if I notice any patterns.
- Write a short story for publication
- Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo (April and/or July)
- Maintain this blog
- Complete a draft of my first “Quest” book
I want to push myself to actually finish more this year instead of leaving my work in a half-finished drafting stage. I’ve spent the last few weeks rethinking a few things, and I’m excited to see what happens next.
- Read 65 books
- Listen to 5 audiobooks
- Read 7 new authors
- Read 15 TBR books
- Read 2 short story collections/anthologies
- Read 5 nonfiction books
- Read 7 fantasy novels
- Read 10 graphic novels/manga volumes
This is almost identical to last year’s list, just slightly turned up. This is the year I stop underestimating myself.
- Complete my 2020 1 Second Everyday video
- Practice DuoLingo daily
- Make (or at least start) one new cosplay project
- Finish 2 video games
I have this bad habit of buying video games and not finishing the ones I have. I’m going to change that.
- Read the Bible every day
No excuses. I’m going to set reminders to make sure I make the time for this. Time to stop slacking.
- Spend money less often
- Save money from each paycheck
I don’t know what the post-college future is going to hold for me, but I’m going to carry my good financial habits from 2019 into 2020.