When I was ten years old, my teacher set us an exercise: we had to write down all the things we imagined would be possible by 2018, when our class would turn 30 years old. When you’re ten and it’s 1998, this age seemed so very far away and almost impossible to reach. Like most ten year olds, we predicted flying cars, transportation ala Star Trek and optimistically, a sustainable and environmentally friendly planet. Unfortunately, none of these things have come true – rather odd if you think that in 20 years of technology we’ve invented phones with front facing cameras, the iPad, have made worldwide travel accessible to all people, seen modern medicine advance at an incredible and also terrifying rate, and yet we have yet to combat global warming or invent flying cars.
I know I’ve stated in the past I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, and I still don’t. However I’ve been reflecting on the past year and while I have achieved some great things (continuing with my Masters studies, starting a new job in a new industry, seeing one of my besties get married), it hasn’t been a stellar year. I’ve developed some terrible habits (not exercising, watching too much Netflix, utilising Afterpay far more often than necessary) and I want to start 2018 afresh with a new and positive outlook.
So rather than counting these as resolutions, I’d say these are new habits I want to adopt for 2018 which will hopefully lead to a happier me. What are your 2018 goals? Share them in the comments below and let’s see how we can support each other in committing to them!
1. Read more news
My news intake has been abysmal this year, I could barely tell you what happened domestically and internationally. While I catch snippets of news now and then, I don’t really know about anything important. In 2018, I want to spend at least an hour actually reading and absorbing the news, and where possible researching more on the topics that are important to me. This means taking out some subscriptions to newspapers (digital of course) and making the time each day to sit down and focus on the news.
2. Spend less time on social media
This is my worst vice. My job revolves around producing content for social media so I’m constantly on there scouring for images, links and just getting a general pulse on new trends. I’m terrified to know how much time I actually spend on Facebook and Instagram, and this is a bit of a wake-up call. This year, I want to switch off the minute I get home, which means hiding my phone and not responding to any social media notifications and only replying to messages which need replying to.
3. Learn French
I’ve been saying this for a year now and it’s getting ridiculous that I still haven’t gotten round to it. Learning French is important to me as it will give me a second language that i can use to get my foot in the door into international development roles which often require French as a second language. I am determined to start listening to podcasts daily and find a native French speaker to practice with – my goal is to be able to converse and understand French by December 2018.
4. Move more
I used to be quite an active person, always going for walks after work or doing fitness classes in the mornings or afternoons. Even in Vientiane, I rode my bike everywhere and didn’t mind walking to places no matter how far they were. Since I came back to Port Hedland, my motivation to exercise has completely gone while the kilos have slowly been adding up. In 2018, I’m determined to start walking more, and potentially even start running again. I want to do yoga regularly and be able to do a head stand. I will eat less cake and chocolate, and more juices and smoothies. I will be fit, thirty and flirty!
5. Spend less money
Admittedly, I started taking baby steps towards this in 2017. I stopped buying new clothes where possible (I did end up buying some more expensive new pieces this year, which for me are staple investments), shopping second hand online, and also buying second hand books only. I think living out of a suitcase for over a year made this transition easier as I realised that having new clothes all the time didn’t affect my life, so wearing the same thing, or second hand clothes for another 12 months wasn’t a major drama. This year however, I am committed to slashing my spending completely – giving hand-made gifts only, limiting my online spending to the bare minimum, going out for dinners/lunches less, fixing my bike so I can ride to places nearby and save on fuel, cancelling my expensive and useless gym membership and going for walks after work instead, and no more impulse shopping. It will be hard because spending money is my life, but with multiple holidays ahead this will give me focus and determination.
6. Save more money
And with spending less money comes saving more money. This has been harder as I took a massive pay cut this year so my disposable income decreased while my spending hasn’t changed. It’s only been in the past couple of months where I’ve committed to squirreling away small sums each pay cycle which has been great, however this year if I’m spending less money it logically means I can save the money I’d normally spend on crap. My goal is to save at least $3000 in the first six months of 2018, and to save enough money every quarter to keep on top of my HECS debt by paying as much of my uni fees upfront as possible. It also means finding a side hustle that I can manage on top of full-time work and part-time study, so I can keep some money aside for a rainy day.
7. Blog more
One of the things I’ve been disappointed in is my lack of blogging time this year. Admittedly it’s been tough with the amount of time I’ve had to dedicate to studying but it’s no excuse. Even this month alone I wanted to write a blog a day and failed miserably as I was incredibly lazy. I want to change this in 2018 – I am going to commit to writing at least one blog a month which I think is a feasible goal, and if I happen to write more than one it’s a bonus. Hopefully with the increased travel I’ll be doing it will give me more content and see my readership increase.
All images by Nur-Irdah Halik/courtesy of What Nur Wore.