At the beginning of the year, I made a blog post sharing some goals I had set for the year ahead. I’m really not much of a resolution person, but having read The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k over Christmas, I was feeling ready for a year of aspirations and improvement. Given the fact that I can’t believe we are a quarter of the way through 2019 already, I figured now would be a good time to have a check-in on the goals I set. Here’s a look at which goals I have stuck to, which ones I’m struggling with, and which ones I had just completely forgotten about.
1. Note the things I am grateful for
I think I’ve talked about this before on this blog, but around November last year when I was having a rough time, one of my friends suggested that I started writing down 3 things that I was grateful for every day. I found it to be so incredibly helpful for my mental health, but also in highlighting what was making my life better on a daily basis (I actually wrote Megan’s name down two days in a row without realising it – you’re a real one, Megan).
I have been so aware of my personal and social growth over the past few months, but haven’t been taking the time to write it down. I have been blogging about some of it (take my post on why March was my best month in years, for example), but I would like to try and write them all down properly, because it’s really nice to look back on.
2. Write at least one song per week
This has actually been going pretty well! I set this goal for myself just so that I could open up my writing a bit more and put less pressure on myself. Last year I was only writing a full song once every couple of months or so, and it meant that I put so much pressure on the song to be amazing. This way, I don’t worry about it so much, just as long as I write the whole song and don’t stop halfway.
Sometimes it’s 3 songs a week, sometimes it’s just one, and there have been a couple of occasions where I haven’t written at all, but on the whole this has proved to be very beneficial to me, and I would recommend it to any creatives out there (I post a lot of the songs I write on my Instagram, give it a follow if ya like!).
3. Get a gig setlist together that I am 100% happy with
Honestly, this hasn’t really applied the past few months as I’ve been avoiding gigging due to having a massive workload at uni, but I did have a really amazing concert in March that I was so happy with. I was told to do originals only, which was pretty nerve-wracking because I used to always throw in at least one cover, but this turned out to be one of the best gigs I’ve done.
4. Watch & make notes from more TED talks
I love a good TED talk. It’s so inspiring to see so many different people using their voice to educate each other. I have been doing this where I can, and I write things down into a little notebook – I hope that it gets filled with new things I learn over the next few years.
5. Write (and stick to) my personal policies
I honestly couldn’t remember some of my personal policies so had to go and look them up in my notes, but it turns out I have been following some of them naturally! This year’s aim was all about doing more things to better myself and my life, and I had been doing it without even thinking.
6. Stop being scared and literally just do things
Yes! I like this! Good job, Thivya from the past. I am such a believer in not being afraid to do things that are scary – I even mentioned it in my last blog post about the mindset shifts that changed my life. Last year I was in some social circles which accentuated nerves and being scared of things, but I know that the people I spend my time with now are not like that. I am no longer being conditioned to be afraid of things, and am instead being rewarded for stepping out of my comfort zone.
7. Read more (at least one book a month would be the DREAM)
Okay, we’re not getting through a book a month here, but I am slowly ploughing through Becoming by Michelle Obama (because Barack Obama is probably my favourite man in the entire world), and I am enjoying it so far. I think Michelle is such an inspiring, driven woman – the kind of woman I would like to be – and reading this book makes me feel like I can achieve anything. Give it a read, if you haven’t already!
8. Remember that old habits don’t open new doors
I have been really good with this, I think. I haven’t wasted time or energy on going back to negative people, and it has resulted in the best social circle I’ve had in years. You can be civil with people, but you aren’t obligated to let them into your sparkly new life 🙂
9. Don’t do things that don’t make me happy
This one didn’t apply to my uni work, obviously, because then I just wouldn’t bother doing any of my coursework. It was more of a social note – not replying to a message until I was in an appropriate situation/mood to reply, or not attending events that I didn’t want to go to. It was about using my time and energy well; now I appreciate every day because I’m not forcing myself to do things or see people I’m not happy with.
10. Take more nice photos
I don’t think there has been a time in my life where I have taken less nice photos. I don’t know why exactly, I think it’s just because it feels like all I do is go to uni and eat (neither of which are particularly glamorous), but it is frustrating because when it comes to things like writing blog posts, I’m limited in the content I can put out. I need to work on this one.
11. Work as hard as I play
I have actually been really happy with my work ethic recently, and it has shown in my grades! It helps having a group of friends who motivate each other through every painful lecture review and coursework deadline, because I wouldn’t be able to get through those things alone.
12. Play more gigs
(see no. 3)
13. Do at least one more radio show
I haven’t done this yet, but there’s still a lot of room for this one – I absolutely loved my interview with Pete Jones last year and would love to do it again; however, with my music taking a bit of a backseat recently, I don’t have anything to promote! I’ll check in on this one at the end of the year.
14. Write more blog posts
I’d like to think I’ve been pretty good with this one. I’m not perfectly consistent, but it’s better than spitting out rubbish for the sake of it. I am proud of the content I am creating and am always so overwhelmed with happiness when people send me lovely messages in response. I actually made an amazing new friend on my course just off of her sending me a message about how much she liked my blog, and I am so thankful that my word-vomiting has resulted in so much positivity.
15. Record more covers for my YouTube channel
I don’t really have an excuse for not being very good with this, other than not putting the time into it, or when I do have the time, I look like an egg and therefore don’t want to film. Sorry, will work on this one (after exams).
16. Write down nice things that happen so I can read over them on New Year’s Eve
I haven’t been doing this at all. But I have been reviewing each month in my blog, which is a somewhat consistent reflection on the happy things that happen. I also have a massive ongoing note on my phone which is full of funny quotes from my friends/lecturers/me, and things that happen that I never want to forget. It’s a funny read, I’d recommend doing it.
17. Reach out to my friends whenever I need them, and encourage them to do the same
I have been quite fortunate in that I haven’t had any major life catastrophes recently *touch wood*, but I would know who to call if I needed it. I would like to think that if I felt rubbish, I wouldn’t be scared to reach out.
18. Don’t worry about maintaining relationships that drain me
I could scream this from the rooftops. Letting negative relationships go was the best thing I could have done for myself, even if it was a little rocky along the way. It’s so hard to let people out of your life – I’m speaking first hand because I’m a sucker for always seeing the good in people and never recognising the bad – but it is so good for your wellbeing to wash out any murky water.
19. Take part in a Race for Life
I honestly have done zero planning for this one, and I will have to look into it. I think this was more of a personal goal to have something to work towards in terms of my general fitness and health, but I’ve been really good with going to the gym etc. regardless of having the race looming above me. If I can fit it in somewhere, I’d still like to take part.
Sorry this has been a long one, congratulations if you made it this far. If you set your own goals or resolutions this year, I would definitely recommend taking some time to look back over them and refocus yourself. This has been really beneficial in helping me recognise what has led to a happier year for me so far, and I hope it would help you too.
I actually didn’t intend for this post’s music recommendation to be so fitting, but this is such a wonderful song. It makes me feel all kinds of emotional and I would love it if you gave it a listen. It’s so calming and beautiful and full of hope – this is ‘Best Year Yet’ by In Paradise.