Thursday, 10 January 2019

A few goals for a new year

Remember whenI used to publish a full list of the resolutions that I'd made on my blog?

I think there's been a lot of backlash towards New Year's Resolutions growing for a while now, and I see this reflected in the people that I follow and am friends with on social media. Most people are actively rejecting resolutions, seeing them as naive and often too lofty to be achievable. Also, there's this recognition that you shouldn't have to wait until January 1st to start making positive changes in your life. People are constantly growing and changing, so it's a little naive to think that January is the only time when you can reflect on the active changes that you want to make. But, it's a good time to hit reset, and to think about the habits you've gotten into and maybe some of the new habits that you would like to form, so with that in mind, I just wanted to say a few words about a couple of goals that I am working towards at the moment. They're largely not writing related, but I still think they'll be interesting.

The first one, and this is the biggest one, is that I am wanting to change my attitude towards money-- towards saving it, and towards spending it. In the first half of 2018, I was very stressed. I reached a peak in my anxiety and I was unhappy a lot of the time. There were various reasons for this and I won't go into them, but I had been avoiding thinking about a few changes that I really needed to make in order to make that stress go away, and instead, I had been doing other things to relax. One of those things was shopping.

Had a bad day? Buy something. Feeling stressed? Buy something. Bored? Buy something.

This all sort of culminated in me realising, when I changed jobs and had to look at my finances, that I was living in a way that was unsustainable, and it meant that when I had bills that I wasn't prepared for or if something happened to my car (i.e. the flat battery I got one week before Christmas, thanks Santa), I just panicked. I loved spending money when it was for something I could enjoy, but when I had to spend it on bills and other 'necessary' items, I was a real Scrooge. My progress towards this goal already began in 2018, when I started using a budget, and when I shopped around for better deals on things like my phone plan, but in 2019, I am going to look at being more mindful about what I buy, and try to reset my attitude towards shopping. Shopping is NOT a recreational activity anymore.



I think the area that this is going to be hardest in will be with regard to books.

Most of you know that I was a bookseller for about six years, so I feel very strongly about supporting bookshops. I have a habit of walking into any bookshop I pass, and I feel guilty if I leave without purchasing something-- so often I have bought something on every trip.

Books are something that bring me joy and I won't apologise for this. But I have been acquiring books at a faster rate than I can read them, so my second goal for the year is to participate in The Unread Shelf Project challenge. I counted how many unread books were in my apartment (it was a lot) and I have committed myself to reading at least 45 of those before the end of this year. My Goodreads goal is to read 105 books this year overall, so that gives me lots of wiggle room to read new books... but I am going to be making use of my library in order to do this wherever possible.

That's not to say that I won't be buying ANY books at all. I'm still me. But again, I am going to be mindful about the ones I bring home.

I do have other goals, like riding my bike to work more, and being disciplined about writing regularly, but these are the main ones, and the ones that I already feel like I am making progress towards.

If you have any tips that might help with either of these, I'd love to hear them.  Or, if you just want to share your own goals.

Happy reading and writing!

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