While I was trying to come up with ideas for a blog post today, I thought it would be interesting to re-read my New Year’s resolutions from 2016 that I had shared here on Happy Professor (copied below). So instead of coming up with and sharing new goals for 2017 (honestly, I really just want to continue with my 2016 goals since they’d led to such a good year!), I decided to just take a look at the progress I made with last year’s resolutions:
“1. Spend more time with friends and family on a weekly basis.
2. Workout and run consistently (consider doing another half marathon).
3. Take advantage of working from home by taking as many small and big trips as possible.”
The list might not look all that intimidating, but as someone who found herself buried in work for the last few years (which was fun and satisfying, but didn’t leave room for much else), it was hard to take a step back and start making the above changes, but here’s where I’m at today:
1. I spend quality time with one or two close girlfriends every week for a few hours without fail, and it is beyond amazing.
2. I lift weights at least 3 times a week at the gym or in my home office (I was running regularly, but a recurring foot injuring might be enough to keep me from running in the future- more weights and cycling, here I come!)
3. I work from Panera at least 2 focused days a week (meaning 8-10 hours each day), and deal with other minor work issues for a few hours from home during the rest of the week, which leaves my weekends uninterrupted so I can spend more time with my husband and friends.
3 (part 2!). I made the occasional day trip to see a good college friend who lives a couple of hours away, visited North Carolina (as usual), spent a month exploring Thailand, LA, San Diego, and Arizona, and I already have some upcoming vacations planned for the new year.
As I look at this list today, I can tell you that I once again have my priorities straight and I’ve learned that spending time with loved ones, taking care of yourself, scheduling in some free time, and going on the occasional adventure are good for one’s soul and great for maintaining a healthy balance in one’s life.
I’ve done everything I set out to do and I look forward to more of the same in 2017.
Happy living :).
Original Blog Post:
Getting Back to Basics in 2016
I know it’s not very original to write a blog post about one’s goals during the first week of the new year, but I’m okay with that. I’ve always been a huge fan of setting resolutions just hours before the ball drops on December 31st, mostly because I tend to set goals that I can accomplish and be proud of.
This year my goals involve getting back to basics, to the things that matter.
Somehow during the last year (and I’m not even sure when it happened), I cut out a significant chunk of my social life, sleep, every bit of working out, and any healthy foods that I used to eat because I started working more. What a terrible list of bad habits to accumulate right before someone turns 30. When I read (or, rather, listened to) the book Essentialism a few months ago and this list of my bad habits hit me, that’s when I started making small, positive changes to all of the above.
I’m happy to say I’ve already cut back my workload significantly (which is much harder than it sounds- it’s not the pay cut I mind, I just hate goodbyes to good schools and colleagues!), started spending more time with friends, working out again, eating better food, cutting out caffeine, and sleeping more (something I didn’t realize I’d missed so much).
There’s a semi-depressing list of ‘5 Regrets of the Dying’ that I keep in a box somewhere. I read it in an article years ago, and apparently so did a lot of other people. Every once in a while I’ll see that someone has posted it on social media again.
This year my goals are about not being able to relate to that list, and to be sure I fill my life with the things that will matter in the end. I do a pretty decent job at living without regrets and living life to the fullest, but I want to be sure that by the end of 2016 this list in no way resonates with me.
Without further adieu, the ‘5 Regrets of the Dying’:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so work.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
At this point, I’m very much on track. I already have monthly standing dates set aside to spend time with family, and friends, and a plan to be more honest with people who have expectations of me that don’t match up with my true self.
In our society, it’s not always easy to do what’s best for you, especially when it becomes increasingly harder to determine what that even is. It wasn’t easy realizing that I was working too much (my work is where I hide away- and it’s very cozy there, easier than facing thoughts and feelings that have somehow been buried and need to be dealt with). I wasn’t way off track, but to truly live without regrets and without feeling like time is slipping away from me, it was important to make changes and to vow to the following in 2016:
- Spend more time with friends and family on a weekly basis.
- Workout and run consistently (consider doing another half marathon).
- Take advantage of working from home by taking as many small and big trips as possible.
To most people, this list might not look like much, but it’s my 2016, and I’m excited to see what I can make of it.
Happy living, and Happy New Year!