Taking Risks, Dating Myself, and Writing Like a Mofo: Resolutions for 2018
One year ago, I wrote about my intentions for 2017, and why I like to set intentions rather than resolutions. I tend to prefer intentions because they're broader than resolutions, which means that we're both less likely to "fail" and abandon them and less likely to beat ourselves up if we don't fulfill them. This year, I'm committing to a mix of intentions and goals. I still don't like the rigidity of resolutions, but given all the changes I've undergone in the past year and the uncertainty in my future, I want to set some concrete goals to keep me on track for where I want to be at the end of 2018.
It had been a minute since I reviewed my 2017 intentions, but in retrospect I think I fulfilled them quite well. They were:
- Spend more time alone to learn, reflect, and be creative
- Honor my need for more spirituality in my daily life
The beauty of intentions is their breadth, which can shape the course of the entire year if we let them. Although I reread these intentions maybe once or twice after writing them down, they proved to be powerful. Almost every major change in my life last year involved one or both of these intentions. Looking back, I realized that they set the tone for the year, and it's because of them that I was able to make difficult, life-changing decisions.
So, here are my intentions for 2018:
- Date myself: Being single for the first time in nearly a decade, I need to take this opportunity to really get to know myself and care for myself on my own. I've always been highly independent, but this year I'm taking that to a whole new level (hence the solo travel).
- Take risks: I took a lot of risks in 2017, particularly towards the end of it, and they mostly paid off. I'm starting this year more convinced than ever that fear doesn't do me (or anyone else) much good. Most of our calculation of risk is based in fear, and I decided a long time ago that making fear-based decisions is not how I want to live my life. I'd rather try for something and get burned than never try at all. I speak from experience: wounds heal. Regret and "what ifs" do not.
- Write like a motherfucker: Read this and you'll understand.
- Read: All writers must read. A lot. I am pledging to read a book a week, or 52 in the year.
- Embrace growth and change: I've already had to embrace a hell of a lot of change in the past year, whether I liked it or not. But regardless of the growing pains these changes caused, I wouldn't trade that growth for anything. Change is scary (see intention #2) but so necessary. If we're not growing, we're dying.
And here is a sampling of my goals: I wrote one page each in my journal for personal and professional goals. The point of writing these goals down is not to burn myself out or beat myself up in service of them, but rather to give me a way to structure my life so that I'm moving forward. Given that I'm traveling for at least the first three months of the year and don't have much external structure in my life, I want to have these to work on regularly.
- Create and stick to a morning routine
- Run a half-marathon
- Take a dance class
- Experiment more with fashion and beauty
- Protect my energy and set loving boundaries
- Build community IRL and online
- Procure some crystals
- Restart my yoga practice
- Make new friends, especially new vegan and/or activist friends
- Digitize everything (the fire really clarified the importance of this)
- Spend time in nature every day
- Read every day
- Travel solo (already doing this!)
- Go on solo artist dates
- Invest even more in my friendships and family
- Start a YouTube channel and upload videos at least weekly
- Grow The Feminist Vegan (maintain my weekly newsletter and blog 2-3x/week)
- Make a steady income from freelance writing
- Decide about/apply for graduate study
- Get interviewed on a podcast
- Write a long form piece or series of essays on my travels
- Network more and more authentically
- Grow my social media presence on all platforms, and build an authentic, supportive, welcoming community for readers/viewers
- Pitch every day
- Write every day
- Become a regular contributor on a blog or digital publication
- Land my own column in a publication
Finally, last year I started my own tradition of choosing a word for the new year. Choosing a word for the year is somewhat similar to setting an intention, because your word has the power to shape the course of your life. Similarly, relating everything I do to my word of the year helps me to make decisions based on whether they're supporting the life I want. Think of your word as your theme for the year. Last year, my word was GLOW. This year, my word is:
The last few months of 2017 saw a period of intense uncertainty and change for me, and I'm harnessing that energy in the new year. I'm going to make sure that 2018 tops 2017 as the most transformative year of my adult life. Let's go.