2020 Goals (and so on)

Prior to turning 32, a year of no particular consequence by any means, I decided my thirty-second year of life would be one of reinvention, reinvigoration, and rebirth. In short, I would rise from the ashes of 31 and the trials it entailed.

I had a post in mind for this. I stashed it neatly in my thoughts, where it waited. And waited. And then quietly packed its things before leaving. So it goes.

Instead, let me backpedal and restart. Happy New Year! I hope you all are well. I have started 2020, the year of both hindsight and Critical Success (nat 20s all year) with my entire family battling a lingering funk. Mucinex and tissues galore. I have considered, with care, and compiled the following goals. I choose these instead of resolutions because I am many things – not always resolute.

Write more (for me). I am very much of the opinion I need to get back to basics, when I was more focused on writing for the sheer joy of it. I have been so tangled up in the idea of making my way to the New York Times Bestseller List I’ve lost sight of what matters. I’m back to focusing on Amira’s Quest, being somewhat slow and deliberate with approaching it as I want to get it right. It’s a fun story, and I look forward to sharing it some day. I’ve also taken up daily journaling. Just quick blurbs to clear my head at night. It’s pleasant, and also ensures I’m actually using some of the notebooks I hoard like the stationary dragon I am.

Immerse myself in more music. Instead of changing stations during my commute, I am allowing myself to experience more music I normally wouldn’t. If I don’t like it after giving it a chance or two, that’s one thing, but I’ve outright ignored music for too long. What makes a song gain traction? Linger at the top of the charts so long? Seems worth checking out more. It’s certainly an adventure.

Get back to exercising. This one should be easier with me working from home two months at a time before being in the office, but I tend to get in my own way on this (as I often do). Exercising for half an hour after work or before work on my late shift days should be easy enough, and it’s a small step towards offsetting how sedentary I am otherwise (working an office job and all).

Less social media time. Easier said than done, as mindlessly scrolling on Twitter is far too easy for me. I already deleted Facebook from my phone, though, so that’s a step in the right direction. This will free up time I otherwise believed I didn’t have and reclaim focus I need to navigate my days. This is especially applicable given the breakneck, horrific speed of modern news cycles.

Read so much more. My backlog of books I’ve bought and not read, or started only to stop partway through due to distractions, is colossal. I’m working to correct that, at least partially, this year. Time to read more books. Enjoy more audio books while I’m working but can also listen. Soak up all of the magic I’ve been missing out on. I am also eager to get back to reading a broader variety of books – there’s more to life than scifi and fantasy, though I’ve got a few books in those genres that I’m clearing swathes of my schedule to focus on.

Ending days with a clear head, starting days with focus. I’m journaling in part to let go of the day and any burdens of stress or emotional malaise that it brought, as well as to celebrate the victories as they are plentiful if I look closely enough. Even on the bad days, I still make it. I am also trying to face each day ahead with clarity of mind and focus on the tasks ahead, not because they are chores but because I need to hold myself accountable to accomplish things. Keep moving forward. Keep on keeping on. No more living for the weekend, but for each day.

Experience happiness in the moment. Kurt Vonnegut suggested to take pause and observe “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is”. I have been slowly working to do the same. It’s easy to appreciate moments past in Facebook memories, in photo albums (physical or digital), or think fondly back. I need to focus more on enjoying moments as they happen, instead.

There are more things I want to do this year, but these sum up much of it nicely. They are but goals, not absolute markers of success or failure, and so I will enjoy the journey as I can and when I look back I will be able to do so with a sense of happiness and victory. Good things all around. I hope you all can do the same, and that come December of 2020 your accomplishments will give you warmth of heart and spirit going into 2021. Until then, there is much work to be done.

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