New year, new goals. Although one can argue that setting new year's resolutions is just another way of making yourself feel like a miserable failure, since everyone knows new year's resolutions only tend to last for a few weeks, I personally find it quite satisfying to start the new year with some new personal goals. Therefore, I am going to share I did and didn't achieve in 2018, as well as setting 5 goals for 2019. I think setting new goals for yourself is just as important as reflecting on your old ones, so that is why I will be discussing both in this blogpost.
MY GOALS FOR 2018
FIND A BALANCE
No check. If I think about describing my life in 2018, balanced would probably be the last word on the list. 2018 has been such a crazy year for me, I feel like I am still processing everything that happened. From finishing my last semester of law school, to deciding to permanently leave my home country, and apply for a for a US visa: I have made quite of bit of unforeseen decisions in 2018. All these changes the past year, made me feel very unbalanced, despite the fact I am naturally quite an organized person. Finding a balance will remain something I really have to work on in 2019.
PRIORITIZE MY HEALTH
Check. At the beginning of this year, I really hit a low when it came to my health. I haven't really mentioned it on my blog, or anywhere else on my social media, but during the first half of 2018 I was feeling incredibly tired. I am not talking about the tiredness you feel if you pull an all nighter, or even a couple of those in a row; no, I am talking about having such low energy levels, that even the simplest things like getting out of bed, eating a meal, or taking a shower just felt impossible to do. I was keeping up with law school, my webshop & Youtube by stressing myself out, so I would get enough energy due to the adrenaline rush to get sh*t done. After I finished my to dos and my adrenaline levels were back to normal again, my body would go back to an extremely tired state. I had to figure out what the f*ck was going on with my body and why I felt so tired all the time. Quick sidenote: I haven't gone to the doctor or anything like that, since the healthcare system in the US is crazy expensive - if I was still in the Netherlands, I would have definitely consulted with a doctor. However, I am feeling way better now, so I guess what I did helped.
I think the most important factor in me feeling so low all the time was due to the different environment. Washington DC has a completely different climate, rhythm and lifestyle than the Netherlands, and I feel like my body was not adjusting that well to the change. I think the biggest factor was the difference in food between the two countries. Even though I have been vegetarian for a year before I moved to the US and I didn't experience any crazy tiredness back then, I felt like my body started to lack certain nutrions when I left the Netherlands. I am pretty sure this has something to do with the quality of food here in the US, but aside from that, I felt like I never really educated myself about nutrition when I became vegetarian. It sounds a bit silly, but I became vegetarian not for dietary purposes, but for the sake of saving the environment and my love for animals. I never defined vegetarianism as an actual diet. That is why I didn't really know that much about the food I had to eat in order to stay fit and healthy when being a vegetarian. After experiencing the power of food and how much it affected me, I knew I had to change the ways I went about food. I had to put more thought into what I ate to make sure I wasn't feeling tired anymore, which was honestly quite annoying to me. However, I am really happy that I did it. I started eating more consistently and mindfully everyday, as well as ensuring my diet consisted of enough nutritious food and protein. I also made sure I would go to bed between 11:00-1:00 AM, and get in at least 6-7 hours of sleep. So for the second half of 2018, I was feeling energized again. Of course, there is still a lot I can do to improve my health (working out wise, I have been really slacking), but I definitely made a huge improvement and that is what counts!
FOCUS ON KEEPING MY INNER PEACE
Check. 2018 was the year I have grown or matured a lot. I have learned to let go of emotions that tend to get the better of me, and instead maintained my inner peace in many situations. Back in 2017, I realized that being frustrated, disappointed or sad with someone only made me feel hurt - not them. In other words, be the better person and kill them with kindness. Of course, there are still moments when I just have to let my emotions out (which is totally normal and healthy!), but in the few cases of toxic or disappointing people I had to deal with this past year, I was able to not get triggered as much as I normally would by their behaviour. Instead, I wish them the best, and went on with my life without feeling bad or holding a grudge. I learned to set myself free this year.
BE MORE EFFICIENT WITH MY TIME
Half a check. I really feel like I still have tons to improve when it comes to my time efficiency, but I do know I am definitely not the worst out there. I definitely have days when I am super productive and not distracted at all. I am also pretty much always on time with any deadlines as well, but I am aware of the fact that there is still a lot of room for improvement. For example, I check my phone way too often than is necessary, even though I work mostly on my phone. Furthermore, I am also pretty bad when it comes to watching series - sometimes I can bingewatch 3 episodes in a row, when I should be actually working! I definitely have to work on these weaknesses of mine, especially since my schedule can get pretty crazy. No procrastination in 2019!
BE MORE CONSISTENT WITH MY BLOG, YOUTUBE & SOCIAL MEDIA
No check. Although I have definitely put out some content this year, I do feel like I haven't been consistent enough to actually check off this goal. It hurts my heart a bit to acknowledge this, but 2018 hasn't been a great year for me social media wise. I have been a fulltime online influencer - or as I like to say, online inspirer - since June this year, but I have been struggling with being consistent with my blog, Youtube & social media. The most difficult issue I have is finding the right balance between quantity & quality, as well as creative, new content & content I know will always do well. In addition, I thought that after graduating from law school I would be able to stick to a certain schedule for my Youtube channel, blog and other social media, but I really underestimated my US visa application. I have been putting all my time and effort in that, especially since it is so time sensitive. It made it hard to stay consistent with my social media, but I hope 2019 will be the year I can finally put all this behind me and nail that upload schedule.
MY GOALS FOR 2019
STOP BEING SO HARD ON MYSELF
My first, and probably most important goal for 2019 is to stop being so hard on myself. I have always struggled with perfectionism, to the point that I am my own worst critic. I am the type of person who will never give themselves a pat on the back, even in the imaginary scenario of me winning the world cup; I am just never fully satisfied with any of my achievements. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it fuels my motivation to work harder and to become better. However, this mindset also makes me think I am not good enough, or that others are way more successful than me. These thoughts would haunt my mind on a daily basis, which stressed me out a lot. I would be so worried about the amount of Youtube views I was getting, the growth of my Instagram followers, or the amount of money I was earning, I just wanted to quit everything. This year, I want to stop these toxic thoughts, and instead focus on my passions and happiness. The only person I should be comparing myself to is myself. I will not compare myself to others anymore, and start appreciating myself and my successes.
BE MORE INTENTIONAL
Another goal for 2019 I hold close to my heart is to be more intentional. 2018 has definitely been a year filled with adventures, fortunate and more unfortunate events, achievements & obstacles. All these things that happened in my life the past year, made it sometimes difficult for me to focus. I would therefore just switch my mind off, and live in this auto-pilot mode. I don't want to live like that anymore, and instead, focus on being more mindful. Everything I do should be intentional, in the sense that the specific activity I am focused on at a certain time, should be my sole focus. No distractions, no procrastination, and instead, living life in the moment. Sometimes I can be so occupied by thoughts about the past or the future, that I forget to actually think in the now. In 2019, I want to experience things more actively, and not worry so much about things that have crossed or will still possibly cross my path. Intentionality is a very interesting philosophical topic, and I definitely want to explore more of it in an upcoming Phililyphy or Philosophy with Lily.
FIND THE STABILITY I NEED
Another goal I set for myself in 2019 is to find mental, physical & monetary stability. Now that I am entering a different chapter of my life as a fulltime entrepreneur, and ending my chapter as a student, I want to be able to deal with these changes properly. I feel like I am officially entering "adulthood", which brings many new challenges and worries. Establishing a good credit score, making sure I have enough savings to pay my rent in the future years as well, and not forgetting to read enough books to stay intelligent (lol): these things weren't on my mind that much when I was a student, but now that I have graduated, they worry me a lot. Aside from seeking more monetary stability, having enough clients, collabs and jobs, I want to make sure that I also take time out of my day to focus on my mental and physical stability. I want to give my mind enough "brain food" to stay curious, and my body enough healthy food & exercise to stay in shape. In sum, I want to find stability in 2019.
DEVELOP A PRODUCTIVE & ORGANIZED ROUTINE
A goal that goes hand in hand with seeking stability is developing a productive & organized daily routine for myself. Don't take me wrong: I have always had my own personal routine (and I know you guys love them), but since my life has changed so much, I want to ensure that I will create a new daily routine. It can be quite difficult to stay productive everyday if you are self-employed. There is no boss telling you what to do or when to do it - everything depends on you. Since I work from home most days, it's also hard to not spend too much time on daily tasks such as cleaning my studio apartment, doing laundry & shopping for groceries. In addition, I also find myself working at 11 pm, rather than spending time with my friends or doing something for myself. So in 2019, I really want to ensure that I am working from 9-5, and only after that, I can focus on other tasks.
TAKE CARE OF MY MIND & BODY
Last but not least, I want to continue taking care of my mind and body this year. This goal is quite similar to my last year's goal of prioritizing my health, but inn 2019 I want to focus on not only the health of my body, but also the state of my mind. Ever since I graduated, I have noticed that I sometimes find my mind feeling uninspired & bored. Even though the amount of readings I had to do everyday was out of this world, it did feed my mind with enough brain food to stay satisfied. Now that I graduated, the amount of reading I do everyday is quite embarrassing. I want to keep fueling my curiosity by reading new literary books, listening to interesting podcasts, and writing in my diary. I want to read at least 1 book a month, as well as write one diary entry a month.
When it comes to my body, I want to lose a bit more weight in 2019. I lost half of the weight I wanted in 2018 - now there is still 1 half left before I hit my target. Food wise, I want to make sure I cook & eat home cooked meals during the weekdays, and eat out during the weekends (if I want to). My home cooked meals should als contain some forms of greens or salads with every meal I eat. To keep things a bit easier for me, I want to meal prep at least once a week. I also want to focus more on drinking at least 1-2 liters of water a day (I know it's not that much, but I haven't been drinking water at all to be honest), as well as taking my vitamins and probiotics everyday. Last but not least, I want to try to start working out at least once a week. 2019, let's do this!
2018, you were good to me. You have challenged me in ways I have never had to experience before. I have come out on the other end, stronger, wiser, and more compassionate toward myself, and others. I hope 2019 will be even better; I hope it will be the year where my turbulent life will settle down a bit, so I can finally focus on my personal goals, growth and development without being distracted. And for you, yes, you who are reading this - I hope 2019 will be your best year yet. I hope this blogpost has sparked the feeling of motivation or inspiration inside you, so you will set your own goals for the new year and go chase after them.