New Year Resolutions

Like a lot of people, I have a habit of making lofty and ambitious New Year resolutions every single year and rarely ever keeping those promises. 2021 was a little bit different in that regard for me. I started eating healthier, drinking less soda than before and later on in the year I even started being more critical of my meat intake. We’re not big meat-eaters in general, but I’ve always had a tough time coming to terms with how we treat animals for consumption. I’ve been trying to navigate a middle ground in that, switching out some meats for other products and more often replacing meat with either vegan alternatives or more ethically produced meats. That’s not cheap unfortunately, but I hope that if more people go this route, it will help out in the long run.

Another resolution I had set for 2021 was to read more books. I was vague about this on purpose, because previous years I set goals like “I want to read a book a week” and I’d be behind on schedule by like late January and just give up completely. This time around I just wanted to read more than the previous year, which was a low bar, but that was kind of the point. As I mentioned the other day, I read 31 manga volumes and 5 books in 2021. That’s not a ton, but more than the year before. The 5 books, for reference, were Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which I also wrote about a while ago, you can find that post here. Yet another success, because the bar wasn’t set super high.

The third resolution I had for 2021 was to do more writing. I’ve talked about this many times already, and I wrote almost 3 times as much as in 2020, doing way better than I ever could have hoped. I did put a numeric goal at 300.000 words which I didn’t quite make, but I still think it was a success overall. 

My final goal for 2021 was to buy less games and play some of my older games first. This was not a success. You can’t win them all right?

The moral of the story then becomes a simple one that should be obvious, but is easy to miss when we set goals. Set small goals. Set attainable goals. It’s way better to work out once a week the entire year, than work out 5 times a week for a month and then completely give up again. It’s way better to feel good about reading 5 books than to read 10 and be unhappy with what you did. I spent a lot of 2021 figuring out what I want out of my one lifetime and I don’t believe that a year was nearly enough to figure out anything, but I have learned a few things. To me, stories and art are extremely important. And I consider storytelling an artform, just like I do digital art, movies, music, anything people put their heart and soul into and then share with others.

So instead of lofty goals for the year 2022, that we all know will be pushed to the side by early March, perhaps we should just commit to doing more of the things we enjoy doing. That could be creating something, consuming something, helping someone or just having fun with friends. The saying goes “you can’t take it with you when you’re gone,” so maybe it’s time to focus on the right things.

Now, this could mean a rigorous training regiment to finally get those abs you’ve wanted for a long time, but it doesn’t have to be that. Just don’t be too harsh on yourself. Be as kind to yourself as you would like others to be to you, and be kind to others as much as you can. Somewhere along the way you’ll find that you’ll fulfill some of the resolutions without even realizing you were doing it.

Happy New year everyone, I hope it’s a good one this time! I’ll be doing a weekly (off)topic post from now on. It’ll be on all sorts of topics and things that interest me or come to mind. I hope you enjoy.

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