My goals for the year

On the first of January, I set some goals for the new year. I didn’t want to talk about them right away because I wasn’t sure they’d stick. I’d feel kind of silly boldly declaring my strong intentions just to have them fail to last a week.

As someone who has struggled many times in the past to develop the habits I wanted, I find myself hesitant to commit to new habits, out of fear of disappointing myself yet again. Logically, though, I know it’s just a form of self-defeating perfectionism, and what I really need to do is keep trying until something sticks.

Thankfully, as I get older, I seem to be slowly but steadily improving my dependability. For example, when I went back to school to complete my computer science degree, I found it easier to get my homework done than before. I still procrastinated sometimes (and I still do), but in general the experience made me feel like change was possible.

The other thing that inspired me to set some goals for the year was my ongoing success with this writing challenge. It hasn’t been easy to get a post out every weekday, but I feel proud of what I’ve managed to do so far. Looking back on all the writing I’ve managed to do so far is super cool and keeps me motivated to stay with it. Honestly, prior to starting the challenge, I didn’t think I’d be capable of such a commitment, but I’ve proven myself wrong again and again for 33 days and counting.

With all this in mind, I sat down on January 1st to give myself some goals. And I mean “give” in more than one way. I consider each of these goals to be a gift to myself. I won’t list all the goals or the specifics of each goal, but here are the broad categories of what I’m doing:

One important element of my new attempt at building habits is tracking them. Every week, I make a little booklet with my goals printed on it, and I check them off as I complete them. Having something tangible sitting on my desk helps return my focus to my goals on days I would be likely to forget them.

So far, the goals have actually been going really well. Most of my daily goals I’ve stuck with entirely. The ones I tend to struggle with are the quiet time and the journaling. They take the largest chunk of time out of my day, so I end up avoiding them.

I’m not sure I’ll hit all my monthly goals in January, since they’re a little harder to prioritize than the more immediate daily goals. And I have no idea if I’ll hit my year-long goals. But as with the writing challenge, I’m already doing better than I thought I might. Every day I get better at commiting to habits than I was before, and the value I’ve already gotten out of them is worth celebrating.

Did you set any goals for 2023? What were they, and how are they going? Have you noticed yourself improving in dependability with age? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​