They say it takes 21 days to make a habit.
Today is January 22. When you woke up this morning, were your choices informed by those goals you made for yourself on the first day of the New Year? Or have they already fallen by the wayside?
I was genuinely curious about the state of my own goals for this year, and I thought I would do a quick check-up on my progress.
“I will strive for openness and authenticity whenever possible”
- So far, so good! I’ve shared my unconventional Au Pairing plans with pride, I’ve openly discussed writing, I’ve spoken out about my political beliefs. I’m feeling more open than I ever have, and what it took was this deliberate decision to move in this direction.
“I will do something creative every day”
- While I’ve become more open about my creative life, that creative life has been quite stagnant these past few weeks. With just one semester left of my undergraduate degree, I have never felt more focused on school. All of my energy has been funneled into powering through readings about monetary policy and the Ainu period, and when I try to remind myself to make time to write, it feels draining (hence, in desperation to write something, anything, I am writing this reductive listicle. Please cut me some slack).
- This isn’t necessarily bad, of course. Focusing on school while finishing my degree is appropriate and important – but as someone whose new comfort with their identity has been largely based upon this acceptance of my life as Writer, it is a somewhat alarming change from the exhilarating progress made in December (incidentally, when school was not a factor in my life).
“I will take more control of my finances”
- Again, so far, so good! I have created an Excel workbook and am keeping track of all of the money I spend, as any adult should. It has helped me pace myself in terms of activities, contextualizing each expense, and I believe it has helped me to both reduce spending and reduce guilt when I do spend. I have found that the amount of money I set aside per month is exactly on pace with what it should be, allowing me to comfortably live an enjoyable life, while also forcing me to abstain from superfluous things.
“I will map out my deadlines”
- Done this! My deadlines are on a large sticky note on my desktop, greeting me every time I look at my computer, and are also transcribed throughout my planner for a more temporal view of how my work life will shake out over the next few months. Boy, is it a lot. Wish me luck 😬
“I will check my email every day”
- I was doing well at this for the first two weeks, and then I had to send a stressful email. Old habits die hard, and I avoided my inbox for three days. I’m back on track now, but it’s useful to realize what an ingrained impulse it is for me to avoid looking at what the world is trying to communicate with me sometimes.
“I will continue to manage my health and wellness through a functionality approach”
- I have had an absolutely amazing time with cooking these past three weeks. Being back in a place with a functional kitchen has been so fun, and I have kept an exciting rotation of veggies around to experiment with. While in the past I have made the same spiced rice and shredded broccoli meal almost every day, this year I have embraced that variety is truly the spice of life.
“I will vastly improve my comfort with French”
- We’ve enrolled in a weekly French course and I have continued to regularly use Duolingo. Three weeks of progress does not quite fluency make, but I’ve kept on keeping on.