I promised myself I wouldn’t declare any grand resolutions, or sweeping changes to my habits or lifestyle for the new year and though that may appear to be exactly what I am doing here I assure you this is not nearly so rigid or strict a list.
What I set out here are intentions, hopes, and kind works I want to give to myself on this journey into the new decade. This is what I hope for my future self now knowing that she may come to hope for wholly different things when her time comes. I offer her wisdom knowing that her life is one I am ignorant of and that she will come to possess a knowledge beyond my own through her own experiences.
The only habit change I chose to make for 2020 is to decide mindfully how I want to spend my time by scheduling out my hours from day to day. My hope is to get more done by being consistent, by knowing what to do next, and by not allowing myself to get sucked into avoiding progress by mindlessly scrolling, binge-watching, or conveniently forgetting what kind of life it is I want to lead.
To that same effect I thought is only right to make a list not of things I must do, but of things I would like to do, experience, or accomplish in 2020. The list is flexible. I can and will add, delete, alter, and update it throughout 2020 as I complete items or change my mind. If I’m really on top of things each item checked off will have a corresponding post, perhaps each deleted item will too.
I did a lot in 2019 but there were a few weekends that went by and a few opportunities missed simply because I lost track of time and failed to plan ahead. This list is meant to be checked at least weekly and as often as every month. I can edit then and choose one or three things to begin planning for the next month or two to check off. I want to make sure I get the most out of the year and this time next year I will make my final updates, share my thoughts, and post a whole new list.
This year marks the beginning of a new decade and a new journey for all of us together. From here 2020 feels like it’s going to be a big year, or, I want it to be a big year. After getting married, traveling out of state for first time since I was a child, and making so many lovely memories with friends and family, I’m ready to step even further out of my comfort zone.
This year I will:
Create a schedule—for everything, every day!—and stick to it.
Get that promotion at work.
Go camping just the two of us.
Travel to Texas for business and for pleasure
Visit family in California.
Go back to South Carolina.
Hike new trails this summer.
Rent a cabin for Christmas.
Get active. Return to running and basic body weight training.
Achieve remission, again!
Post regularly to Zen and Pi.
Pitch one publication a month. Bonus: Collect 100 rejections in 2020.
Read 30 books.
Complete the big home improvement projects.
Complete 7 massive online open courses.
Complete one lesson on Khan Academy and Duolingo daily.
See another play, a ballet, and an opera.
Pay off half of our debt.
Save a little more every month.
Give back a little of what’s left.
Get my driver’s license.
Buy a new car.
Get my library card again.
Start a private gratitude journal.
Start a sketchbook.
Attend a political protest event.
Volunteer for the Democratic Presidential Campaign.
This year I will do my best to give up control, to let others make mistakes, and to forgive people their weakness as I would want them to forgive me mine.
This year I will demand more from my relationships and give more of myself to my relationships too. I’ll make the time and put in the effort and when others make it clear that they wish to move on, I will let them go even if it hurts.
This year I will stop helping every body so damn much. I will stop helping others in ways that only serve to make me feel better rather than the ways they need me to help.
This year I will say “sorry” less often and I will never apologize for being, loving, and needing help, connection, and understanding. I will accept that not everyone will like me or even hold a positive opinion of me and know that that’s okay and not my fault or a reflection of my value as a person.
This year I will honor others. I will uplift people I see being overlooked. I will speak up for others being held down. I will remember that we go further if we go together.
This year I will get involved. I will become informed about my local politics, environment, and development. I will find a way to help.
This year I will not try to be someone new. I’m already the person I need to be, that I wanted to be but never saw before. I only have to let her be free.
2019 left me feeling supported, encouraged, strong, and full of love for myself. I am ready to work hard, to defend my boundaries, time, and needs, and to take my dreams seriously. I’m ready to go beyond a life that though it is beyond anything I used to think I could have or even deserved is far less than what is possible for me.
Featured image by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash