The starting chapter of a new year is here, which means a new opportunity to get it right again. Rather than striving for perfect, I try view my goals each year as a step toward a positive change in direction.
Overall issues that plagued the world throughout 2020 may get better in 2021, but I don’t see them disappearing altogether. Not this year anyway. Therefore, rather than create an extensive list of desires that may not be achievable during a global pandemic; I’ve chipped away at anything frivolous, and narrowed down three big goals I intend to work hard to achieve this year.
1. Becoming Mindful of Time
Everyone has the same twenty-four hours in a day, and I have developed an ugly pattern for wasting a lot of my time on electronics. I tend to mindlessly scroll on my phone during every commute; throughout the 5-minute breaks between classes; throughout the day if I’m bored; in the morning when I wake up, and before I fall asleep every night.
Apple’s products come with a screen time tracker that vibrantly displays the amount of time a person spends on their device; which apps were visited; and how long was spent on each app. I have an iPhone. Needless to say, my screen time results were horrifying.
I debated deleting Facebook, Instagram, and all of my other forms of social media; but the direct messenger portions of those platforms are the main link of communication between me and everyone I know; especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the era of social distancing. With that being said, I want to be more mindful of my time on these apps. Rather than mindlessly scroll, I want to use them for sharing updates, searching for creative inspiration or reading an article, and then step away.
With the extra time I should have away from the screen, I would like to read more books, continue bettering my photography skills, explore new locations, and write more often. My goal for writing on my blog is two posts per month, and so far I’ve achieved that in 2021!
Ferris Bueller said it first, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” And with my face buried in an electronic device so often, I’m missing out on further developing my creative passions, and the world around me.
2. Normalize a Healthy Routine
Losing weight continues to be one of my biggest long-term goals; but overall health is a lot more than just weight loss. For example, after hitting a desired goal weight comes living a routine of healthy choices. I’m going to continue trying to lose weight through the Weight Watchers program, and by running with the C210K training app. I would really like to be more than halfway to my goal weight, and possess the ability to run a 5K again by the end of 2021. Along with weight loss, I’d like to develop and normalize an eating routine that is balanced and sustainable. Setting time aside to meal prep one day each week is most likely the best way to create a healthy, consistent food plan.
Health is multi-faceted, and good mental health is just as valid to strive for when working to achieve a better lifestyle. Talking to a counselor is one of my most important health goals for this year. I’ve been virtually speaking with a counselor for around a month already, and she is completely wonderful. As I tackle the physical obstacles in my world of health, I’d like to assess the entanglements that have been embedded in my mental health for far too long. Hopefully by the end of this year I will be a better version of myself in both the present and going forward because of the time I have invested in my mental wellness.
3. Pay Off Debt/Save Money
This goal is fairly straightforward. I’d like to increase my savings by 150%; and pay off the rest of my smaller debts as well as larger chunks of my education loans. The Debt Snowball Method (paying off accounts starting with the smallest balance first while paying the minimum payment on larger debts) is my plan of choice for this goal. I’ve already gotten a nice start so far, because I paid off my Jeep this month!