As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog for a while, each year I set myself goals. These goals usually relate to my personal life, writing, work, and health, and are usually tied together by a common theme. This year’s theme is exploration.
I spent a lot of last year trying to find my art. I set myself goals to write more, read more, and find my creativity after a bit of a slump. I also unexpectedly spent a lot of my year just trying to find my way out of a rough patch, and working out how I could be happier.
This year, I’m hoping to maintain some of those previous goals and attitudes, and I’m also hoping to find some new hobbies, learn some new skills, and explore things I’ve never tried before. So, I’ve broken this down into areas: art, home life, and personal growth.
Find new ways to make art
Learn to draw
This year, I’m setting myself a goal that I honestly never thought about until around a week ago. I’m going to learn how to draw. Drawing is something I used to do a lot as a child, but as an adult, I’ve resigned drawing to something I wish I could do, but will just never be good at. Now, I’ve decided to give it my best shot and learn to draw. My plan is to spend 5-10 minutes each day practicing drawing and doing tutorials. By the end of the year, my ultimate goal would be to draw some Critical Role fanart and share it online.
Finish my novel
Last year, I started writing a novel. It’s gone through several iterations, and many false starts, so it’s taken me longer than I’d anticipated. It’s been great fun and I’ve loved writing again, but I’ve really struggled to get past the mid-section of the story, each time ending up scrapping my work and starting over. This year, I don’t want to start over. I want to push through, write characters and relationships that bring me joy, and complete the arc of the story. To do that, my goal is to write 2,000 words a week, and most importantly, I’m not allowed to start over.
Find my voice as a blogger and write something unique
This last year hasn’t been a great one for blogging. I think the main reason for this is that I’ve grown bored with the kind of content I was making, and started to feel like it wasn’t very unique, wasn’t that interesting, and didn’t matter. So this year, instead of aiming to write more blog posts, I’m going to aim to write less, but make them matter. My goal is to write one blog post a month, and it has to feel like something different to the content I’ve released before. Maybe I’ll write more critically, or go into more detail in my reviews, or maybe I’ll write different kinds of reviews, or more personal content. We’ll see!
Diversify my reading
Ever creative knows that to make art, you need to consume art. One of my main ways of doing this is by reading. Last year, I challenged myself to read 10 non-fiction books, and just barely managed to achieve this. This year, I’m challenging myself to read a book each month that falls outside of my comfort zone – this could be reading new genres (eg. classics, history, contemporary fiction, mystery) or new authors or themes. I also want to read more books featuring queer main characters, so again, I’m going to set the goal of reading one of these each month.
Take more time for health and home
Learn new recipes
The biggest downside of having a boyfriend who is a wonderful cook is the fact that my own cooking skills are slowly shrinking. My own repertoire of meals is so comparatively small and boring, and I’ve never really enjoyed cooking. This year, I’m going to change that. I want to learn some new recipes and aim to cook at least twice a week.
Take time out to look after myself
This is ironic given the rest of my goals, but I think maybe I can manage it. I have a tendency to get carried away with activities, and last year, I might have burned out. To prevent this from happening again, I’m going to cut down on the number of activities I do on weekdays. I’m going to limit myself to three evenings out at a maximum – this includes going climbing, going to programming meetups, Dungeons and Dragons nights, or meeting friends. The other two weeknights are going to be reserved for date night, and relaxation/yoga night. Hopefully, I can stop myself from burning the candle at both ends.
Give a talk at work and at a meetup
Public speaking has always been a major fear of mine, but giving a talk about something I care about to a room full of people has always been something I’ve wanted to achieve. So I need to conquer this fear. Last year, I gave a very short and impromptu lightning talk at a meetup, and also joined a Q&A panel. This year I want to take it up a notch and talk for longer. So I’m setting myself the goal of giving two talks: one at work, with a small group of coworkers, and one at a larger meetup.
Run a Dungeons and Dragons campaign
You might have noticed I’m into Dungeons and Dragons. This is one of my favourite hobbies, and after playing for a couple of years now, I’m reading to take the plunge and take on the role of Dungeon Master. I’ve already dipped my toes into the world of DMing, but now I want to run an actual campaign for 3-5 people. I’m both nervous and excited – which I think means I’ve set the right kind of goals!
So, that’s it, these are my goals for 2019! It’s definitely not a short list, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t set myself a huge list of tasks for the year ahead. This year is the year of exploration: exploring new art, new skills, and new areas.
Thanks for reading and happy new year!