I’m the kind of person who loves New Year’s Resolutions. After the chaos of the holidays, there’s a much needed opportunity for re-setting things in your life. I think it’s important to be constantly reflecting, but I find that having a new timeline to work on new goals is huge for my personal motivation.
Last year was weird in the sense that I turned twenty three and started the second year of my career. I feel like I’m on the brink, teetering between the just-out-of-college stage and the holy-crap-I’m-an-adult stage. I’m in the middle at the what-the-heck-is-going-on stage and it’s not the most comfortable place to be. However, I also feel like I’m finding a new identity in myself that I want to explore. Things change under pressure. The choices you make shape you. A lot happens in a year.
I’ve decided that 2020 is going to be my year of joy. I read something recently that talked about the difference between joy and happiness. To simplify- happiness is result reliant. It demands a certain outcome and when that outcome is fulfilled, we immediately raise the standard so happiness, in turn, is unattainable. On the other hand, joy is constant, existing in the process of doing something you are meant to do.
This year, I’m making the decision to choose joy.
I can find joy and define success in my life by breaking things down into five specific categories: my relationship, my family, my friends, my health, and my career. In writing my New Year’s Resolutions this year, I focused on these.
My Relationship: A few of my goals for the new year aren’t specific in regards to my relationship, but will certainly benefit my relationship. I’ve been working on (and getting a bit better at!) leaving work at work once school is out for the day. Poor Ryan gets the brunt of my frustrations right when he walks in the door and I really need to stop doing that. I also need to slow down and pay closer attention to the small details of our every day. Not simple fixes, I know. If you live with your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner, they have to deal with your hardest-habits-to-break simply due to proximity. If you’re lucky, they call you out on it (kindly) and assure you that you have the ability to be better. For them, you want to be better.
My Family: I’m incredibly lucky that my family is so close by and I know I have to take advantage of this for as long as it is the case. Even if it’s just dinner during the week, I want to make sure I’m fully present for the time we have together. There are so many distractions that life throws at us and as my dad believes, multitasking just means you’re not doing anything to its full potential. I want to remember the gratitude I should feel that those I love are happy, healthy, and available to me whenever I need them to be.
My Friends: I want to send out birthday cards. I know it seems silly, but I love the idea of it. I also want to be better at keeping in touch with those who are far away. I’m at the point in my life where friends are no longer the center of your everyday. In college, there are people to hangout with 24/7. Now, I’m lucky if I can pull myself off the couch on a Friday night. While this might change how friendships look in my life, I don’t want it to change the effort I put in to letting people know how much they mean to me. The plus side of seeing people less- your time together is that much more valuable when you eventually do get together again.
My Health: 2019 was a game changing year for me in regards to my health. I started running again, which I now enjoy so much more, and added a number of healthy activities to my everyday lifestyle. I do, however, want to get back to a pattern of more consistency when it comes to healthy eating and working out. I try my best to not think too hard on all the indulgences that occurred during the holidays, knowing I have the opportunity to get back on track during this new year.
My Career: I find it humorous that I thought my second year of teaching would be easier than the first. Granted, we had a very unusual start to the year (a hacked computer network.. no schedules.. switched classes a month in..) but we also have a very different group of students this school year with very significant needs. When we come back to school in January, I would like to focus on putting students before curriculum. I would also like to find more of a balance between what I’m involved with outside of the classroom. I’ve thrown my hat in many different rings and I want to focus more on how all these extra supports can help my students and my classroom.
2020 is the beginning of a new decade, a decade which I believe will have the most substantial impact on my life so far. I’m hoping that going into it with a focused perspective will benefit me, but I guess only time will tell.
So, are you for or against writing New Year’s Resolutions? What are your goals for the year?