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2018 Goals and Resolutions

I bet you weren’t expecting a new year’s resolutions blog post 4 weeks into the new year! I feel like I’m running behind on pretty much everything in my life at the moment, but I really wanted to get this post up anyway. Better late than never!

I didn’t feel like making resolutions at all this year because I don’t have a clear idea of what the year is going to look like yet. The plan is to start therapy again (mental health waiting lists are my mortal enemy) and get my service puppy, but I don’t know when each thing is going to happen. When the schedule is vague like this, I find it difficult to set any goals. I’m afraid that I won’t achieve them if I’m focusing on therapy or dog training… so I’ve set some very specific, measurable goals that are a bit more manageable than previous years’ goals.

Read 50 books

Last year, I challenged myself to read 52 books: one for each week of the year. That was a perfect amount considering I had lots of other intense stuff planned (service dog, therapy). I have the exact same stuff planned this year (it would be nice if it actually happened this time), so I decided to set a similar goal, but just 50 to give myself some extra space.

I want to pay more attention to what I’m reading rather than just reading to fulfill a challenge. The Goodreads reading challenge has ruined me.

I also want to re-read more. I’m already re-reading at least one Harry Potter book each year with the yearly releases of the illustrated editions, but I want to feel free enough to look at my shelf and think: “Hey, I remember that being good. I think I’ll just read it again, right now.”

Some books that I really want to get to this year are The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Goodbye Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki.

Watch 80 movies

ln 2017, I almost made it to my goal, having watched 89 movies out of the 100 movies I was planning to watch. 100 might be a bit too much, especially if I also want to watch TV shows and have time for reading, so I’ve made my goal for this year 80 movies.
Probably still too much, but I get phases throughout the year where I just watch movies, no reading, no TV. I’m hoping these “Letterboxd phases”, as I call them, will help me through this challenge. At the time of writing this (26-01), I’ve already watched 15 movies so far so I’m well on my way, thanks to the Harry Potter and Saw marathons I had with friends.

Some movies that I really want to get to this year are It Follows (2014), Amélie (2001), and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011). New releases I’m excited about are Please Stand By (2018), about an autistic girl; Love, Simon (2018), based on the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli; and Ready Player One (2018), based on the book by Ernest Cline.

Visit Groningen

A tropical vacation isn’t gonna happen for me anytime soon, but I still want to visit someplace new. There are some cities in the Netherlands that I’ve never been to, which is crazy because it’s such a small country. I picked Groningen as a must-visit because that’s the biggest city from my list, so there should be lots to do there. I definitely want to check out one of their two (!) cat cafés, have a good pizza, and take pretty pictures.

Post to my blog at least once a week

Since I now pay for my blog and I don’t earn enough from affiliate links to pay for hosting, I want to get as much out of my blog as I can. Weekly posts should be doable with my current schedule. Although I haven’t managed to keep up with this goal so far (only posted once this year, when I should have three posts up already), I think I can do it.

Visit Safari Park Beekse Bergen

Zoos can be pretty depressing, but I love seeing animals in real life, so I figured a safari park would be the least depressing. My mom and I have wanted to go here for years.

Get a puppy

It was supposed to be happening last year, but you can’t always get what you want. I’m now in contact with a service dog organization that works with autism service dogs and they’re looking for a golden retriever puppy for me. Fingers crossed!

Get back into climbing, go at least once every two weeks

Since the Great Service Dog Disaster of Late 2016 – Early 2017, I haven’t really been rock climbing much.

There was a time when I was doing very well with managing my mental health and I went to the climbing gym twice a week and felt at home there. I no longer feel that way, with three possible causes: I’d been lowering my antidepressants, I was going through a depressive episode, and my autism diagnosis made me sort of question who I was for a while.

I know climbing is good for me mentally and physically, and I know I was once able to travel to the climbing gym by train and function in a group, so I should be able to do it again. That doesn’t mean I’m not terrified, though. I’m expecting this one to be the hardest of all my goals this year.

Left: my TBR shelf in March 2017, right: my TBR shelf now.

 

Get my physical To Be Read pile down to zero

I know this has been a resolution of mine for the past two years or so, but I REALLY WANT THIS TO HAPPEN. I’ve already made quite a lot of progress in reducing my TBR, but I still have my nightstand filled with books that have been in my possession for over two years, and that’s not okay. I want to read at least a chapter or so of all the books on my nightstand. If I don’t like it, I am allowing myself to get rid of it. But only after having read at least a chapter!

When my TBR has reached zero, I want to keep it under 10 books at all times. I’m very much a mood reader so I like having a variety of books to choose from.

At the beginning of 2018, my TBR pile was at roughly 20 books.

Connect with fellow autistic people

Having had over 6 months to accept my official autism diagnosis, I feel ready to start connecting with fellow autistics. I don’t expect anything from it and I’m not going into this planning to make lifelong friends, but I just want to be around people who wholeheartedly understand my struggle.

I’m also hoping to connect with people who have the same special interests as me, especially Harry Potter and horror movies.

Catch up on my Document Your Life videos

When I got depressed again in the first quarter of 2017, I lost all motivation for working on my videos. I still filmed (although not as much as before), but editing was no longer the relaxing & fun activity it used to be. I’m trying to climb out of this hole and get back into video making, but it’s a slow process. Luckily I haven’t completely lost my love for the project, just my motivation.

I’m hoping that as I increase the dosage of my antidepressants, I will magically enjoy editing again. I knew this moment was going to come at some point, but I don’t want to throw away over 5 years of consecutive monthly documentation for one particularly bad depressive episode. This too shall pass.

Have you made any new year’s resolutions? How many books are you planning on reading? Let me know!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Kylie Andrade
    January 27, 2018 at 15:52

    Great blog post. I enjoyed your resolutions particularly over reading and putting more into your blog. I also think it’s great that you’re realistically approaching them. For myself, I had set out to make a plan of improving different areas of my life instead of resolutions- which has been slow to figure out but I’m continuing to work on it and make small steps to keep moving forward. As examples: I want to stay better connected to offline friends; continue to grow my blog and establish a good night time routine. P.S. My To Be Read list is only at 20 for now, with also the hope of finding inspiration to read my own shelf full of books yet to be read.

    • Reply
      Lauren
      January 29, 2018 at 11:21

      Thanks! Your goals sound good as well, but maybe a bit vague? I don’t know, whatever works for you! I like to add smaller steps to my goals, like in order to connect more with fellow autistic people I would for example go to a local autistic young adults meeting, and read more blogs by autistic people! These smaller goals make it so I don’t feel too overwhelmed and can work on one step at a time.

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