As a chronic over-achiever, I am terrible at setting myself goals. I have attempted it more than once, making multi-coloured lists as long as my arm of the things I was going to achieve that month. I expect a lot from myself (aren't we all our own harshest critics?) so I would envisage a world where I was entirely fabulous and organised, super-fit and successful at work and school. In short, I imagined I was a cross between Jessica Ennis and Tavi Gevinson. It was always unrealistic, and inevitably led to failure.
Despite my inability to set them, goals are potentially a great way to motivate and inspire you; keeping you focused on the things which are important. So I am going to attempt to be better at it in 2013, if the world doesn't end in a few days time. I have chosen to stay away from specifics, as that way failure lies, and stick to more general, over-arching goals and focuses for the year ahead at this point. I will supplement these goals with smaller, achievable goals and focuses at the beginning of each month, being mindful of my own time constraints and actual abilities.
So without much further ado, here they are!
1. Make Fitness and Health a Priority
I have never been a sporty person, I have always eschewed exercise with a firm hand and found every excuse I can to avoid it. Although I have become better in the last year, fitness has never been top of my priority list. This year, I want to make it something which is non-optional, which I I can't get out of and which (hopefully) I don't want to.
Similarly, although I am better at eating healthily than I am at exercising (I cook everything from scratch and aim for at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day), I do 'treat' myself too often and let myself fall into bad habits. So, again, this is going to become a priority so that I have the energy and good skin to do everything else on the list!
2. Spend Time on Creative Projects
A wanky way of saying that I will do something that isn't working, studying or blogging. These projects have no shape as yet, and may just be something as simple as reading a book, but I want to make time for past times which are enjoyable and fulfilling. This blog is a creative project, but it is more a record of other creative projects - photography, cooking, reading and the like. Both the content and the inspiration comes from living life and being creative outside of the Internet, so this goal will hopefully mean good things for the blog.
3. Be Present
I forever have my head stuck in the Internet, or am pre-occupied by everything else that needs to be done, so I will focus this year on being more present in social situations. Turn my phone off when I'm with friends, not spend the whole evening on the computer and actually do the things that need doing, rather than putting them off and allowing them to fester at the back of my head. When I am somewhere, I will be there. When I am doing something, I will do it. This is perhaps the hardest one, and is more about setting up habits which will help me accomplish this ready for the years ahead.
4. Focus on Writing
Writing has always been my passion, and although my skills at academic writing have become more than honed in the last few years, every other kind of writing has dropped by the wayside. Where once I had piles of diaries, notepads and Word documents filled with fiction and creative non-fiction, my focus has not been on writing for a long time. So I will find time for this during the coming year.
This is also a sort of career goal as well, as writing is a part of my job. I finally have a job where I not only can progress up some sort of career ladder, but actually want to - so improving my skills will only stand me in a better stead.
What are your goals for 2013? How do you go about setting your goals?