Friday, 3 January 2020

Goals (and my word) for 2020!

Happy new Year and new decade! I'm not a resolution-kinda girl, but I do love the fresh start a new year signifies. It's a great time to evaluate where you are in life and where you would like to be, and plan accordingly. Of course you can do that any time, not only on January 1st, but there is a tiny bit of magic in the air this time of year, right? Do you feel it, too?

Before I tell you what my plans for this year are, I want to share this beautiful drawing from Introvert Doodles about New Year's resolutions. I love them! And I have been doing most of them for several years already. In my opinion it's much more fulfilling (and less prone to fail) to focus on something other than diet and exercise. Making goals for your life that bring more joy and fun (instead of making you feel like a failure) have a way higher probability to succeed and make you happier. It's a win/win!
I have one big goal this year. It's something I've been wanting to do for years, but it's scary and difficult and it will be a lot of work, so I needed some extra time to mentally prepare. Can you guess? (You probably can. I've hinted about it before.)

My big goal is ...*drumroll* ...
I'm writing a novel! 
A fictional, nothing-about-my-life story that I'm right now loosely classifying as contemporary fiction/thriller/mystery. I hope to develop it into a psychological thriller, we will see how it goes.
The reason I can somewhat confidently announce that I'm going to do is because I already started! I've been developing the story in my head, and then on paper, and then two weeks ago I started writing. Every day a new little detail pops into my head about my main characters, and it's very exciting! All I'm gonna say about it for now is that it's a story about three women whose lives end up being interwoven with each other, set in a small (fictional) town in Canada.

My original goal was to write 1,000 words every day and then have the first draft ready in roughly 3 months, but I had to adjust this goal to a more realistic 500 words per day. With work and life, reading roughly 2 books a week (I'm on a huge reading roll) and needing both hands for snuggling dogs and petting cats even that will be tricky some days, but it's more doable. And if it takes longer, then it will take longer! Life happens, and the only way to beat it is to join it. 

My other goals are nothing new, just reinforcing habits: moving my body regularly, getting plenty of sunshine and rest, doing yoga and wearing clothes that make me happy. On that note, sometime during the last year I (finally!) stopped wearing stuff that is uncomfortable, which for me meant: bye-bye bra. I barely wear underwire bras anymore, because I hate them. With my small chest I never needed a bra to keep the ladies up, and I mostly wore it
a) because that's what women do, and
b) to make my breasts appear bigger. Well, fuck that. They are what they are, and I love them. No more push-up bras for me!
These days I usually wear a camisole, a bralette or a sports bra, or go without anything. I'm all about being free, and it feels incredible!

The above collage summarizes my intentions for this year: write my heart out,  hang loose, play in the sun and rest lots! 

Which is what leads me to my word for the year. I'm gonna be a bit woo-woo here for a moment by telling you that I usually let a word choose me, and not vice versa. By opening myself up to it and waiting for inspiration to strike, over the course of several days a word will reveal itself to me. I know it sounds bananas, but if you've read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (and if not, what are you doing with your life?), then you know that this sort of magic is real - if you let yourself believe in it. 

The word that chose me this year is balance.  
I've been struggling, as always, with saying no to work. Even though I tell others that they have to make sure to rest enough, to stop feeling guilty about turning down shifts, and to trust that there will be enough work in the next pay period/next month, I'm finding it very difficult to listen to my own words.
But if you overdo it it will catch up with you. It always does. You will get sick, or if you have a mental illness it will hit you extra hard, or you will feel drained and without energy and close to weeping. I've come so close to the edge again, my toes were already hanging over the precipice, and only an extraordinary amount of sleep (and finishing the second season of You) saved me. This time.
My goal is to get a little bit smarter/realistic about my limitations this year. Even though I'd like to be, I'm not superwoman.    
Dogs know the importance of rest. We should all be more like dogs. 


I also need to keep balance in mind with my Big Goal (remember the 1,000 words/day goal? Not balanced whatsoever), with being social/antisocial, and with my moving-my-body goal. So yes, balance is just what I need, and it will also come in handy in yoga! Yoga is ALL about keeping your balance and not falling over - and getting up again when you inevitably will fall over. Many times. 

So, 2020, here's to you: to working and writing and resting and enjoying, to some adventuring, to socializing and hermiting, to choosing joy over perfection and to still chase our dreams, but gently.  

Let's do this!



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4 comments

  1. I will be first in line when your novel goes on sale. I look forward to seeing your process unfold.
    My two words that came to me were ease and grace. This is how I am approaching 2020. Last year was a lot of hard work. Now is the time to take it easy and give myself grace when I feel the ease getting away from me.
    I also want to carry on my stepfather's legacy by finding joy in the little things. With Harry, there was always a reason for celebration. I want to find that feeling in everything we do.

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    1. Finding joy in ordinary, everyday moments is the secret to happiness, I think. If we're only feeling fulfilled on special occasions like vacations, pay rises or holidays then we will be unsatisfied for the majority of our life. It's a great gift to have people be living examples of how to find joy every day, like you did with your stepfather! I hope you will find plenty of ease and grace and joy this year!

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  2. I'm excited to see how your novel comes along! That is fun. I wish I could get myself back to writing and actually create something I'm proud of this year. I still need to get my hands on your second book! I totally missed so many things last year.

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    1. That's okay! It was your first full year with Des, and from all I'm told babies take up a LOT of time and attention. But the older the gets, the more time you'll (hopefully) have to yourself again!

      Writing a book is a lot like I imagine growing a baby inside you must be:
      all-consuming, a mix between agony and joy, sometimes nausea-inducing, and body-changing (I get a sore back and headaches when I spend too much time in front of the computer, not to mention the toll all that snack-eating is taking).
      But in the end: totally worth it.

      Have a wonderful 2020, Emily!

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