DO MORE!, part 1 (or, my resolutions for 2017)

the short storyI vow to do more in 2017.

…after procrastinating thinking really hard about it for the first two weeks. the long story

I wasn’t prepared for 2017. And I know that sounds ridiculous, but really, I wasn’t prepared for what 2017 meant. I’ve never been prepared for what the New Year brings.

January always has this feeling of change in the air, and for the most part, I tended to ignore it, probably because I thought it was dumb to vow change on an arbitrarily picked beginning of the year.

But if the date was what bothered me, I never really made an effort to make changes at other times in the year. I’ve been so…stagnant for so long, in so many ways.

When I thought about what made 2016 really bad was that I was always focused on work or school. While I was at work, I reserved all my energy for work and nothing else. When I got back to school, I reserved all my energy for school and nothing else.

I’ve done this for years, especially after I finished high school. In high school, I was able to balance school work, student council, badminton, countless novels, and play guitar. And somewhere, I fell off the wagon.

This really hit me last term, when I was in a constant state of indifference and stress. I suspect I put so much effort into my final project for my English class because it was a happy change from constant studying. (Fun side note: my project was a series of songs about Game of Thrones, one titled “The North Remembers”, which I made up a demo of, and you can listen to here.)

And so this year, I’ve decided to do more–not necessarily in energy or how much time I spend in my day (I don’t want to wear myself into the ground), but I want to do a greater variety of things.

And I’m going to start small. Proclaiming I’m going to do something for the next 12 months is a large commitment, and that’s kind of scary. I think at the beginning of each month, I’m going to restate my goals for the year, with changes as necessary.

For January (and the two weeks I have left in it) my goals are as follows:

Goodreads reading goal: 30. I can change this number as the year continues, but I think 30 is good number to aim for at the moment–about 2 1/2 books a month.

Try going to a gym. Of all the things I’ve neglected, it’s always been my physical fitness. I was actually a bit better since I started cycling to school, but then it got too cold and icy to cycle. I would prefer to just cycle in the nearby parks, but it still is cold in Vancouver. And the rain is going to settle in soon. I haven’t tried going to a gym before, but I might like it. If not, I’ll look for other avenues of exercise.

Write 400 NEW words each week. This isn’t to say blogging isn’t writing, but I read somewhere (I think this is Terry Pratchett’s writing advice) that 400 words is the minimum for a scene. Committing to 400 words means getting to the cusp of a scene and therefore likely writing over that to finish and flush out the scene. I also tend to be circular in my writing by editing instead of writing new material.

Write a new post every week. (Not including this one.) When I first started blogging, I was so enthusiastic about it. I would post several times a week. It enhanced my reading experience, it made me self reflect and think. I want to be able to do that again, without feeling like I’m dragging myself through a post.

Pick a song to cover, and practice once a week. Something simple. Something I know. It doesn’t have to be fancy or a special arrangement. But I know I need to start somewhere.

And that’s it for now. Looking at this list makes me feel both over- and underwhelmed.  I’ve very aware that I’m studying to graduate this May, so school might get in the way, but the overall goal is balance. I want to be able to do all these things, eventually, and hopefully at a higher level than described here. But even a little progress is progress.

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