Hello everyone ^^
The first month of 2018 is gone. Or will be, in a few hours. And it feels strange! This passing month was probably more productive than the entirety of 2017 for me, but on the other hand I still feel like Christmas was literally yesterday, not… 5 weeks ago? Am I the only one feeling like this?
Getting onto the point. This time, like never before, I actually made a long list of New Year’s resolutions. A month has passed, so it’s a good chance to check how I’ve been doing so far – mainly to fuel my motivation (I’ve actually been very successful and I believe realizing that should work as a nice incentive to keep working).
Work out every day
Success! Well, almost. I did skip one day, but besides that – 35+ minutes of workout done every day. My primary goal of exercising was having that one strong point of my daily routine that would keep me disciplined – and that’s working really well. I’m slightly disappointed with the lack of extra benefits from it though – I hoped to fall asleep quicker and earlier and that’s not the case. Either way, I do feel like my body is a little bit stronger and less of an unruly blob, so that’s nice. And I do love the moment of finishing a workout, being exhausted and congratulating myself on staying motivated for yet another day. Sadly, I’m not one of those fitness freaks who can’t wait to start exercising and get hit with endorphins while drowning in their own sweat – it costs me a lot to start a workout and my favourite exercise is the last one. It’s good for me though and it should be worth even more in the long term, so I’m not giving up! I just can’t wait for spring – rollerblading is a kind of workout I genuinely like doing, as opposed to tedious, repetitive exercises I can do at home.
Improve my English
This is by far the most demanding of my resolutions. I wanted to learn all new words from one page of my old, trusty dictionary every day. I’m still motivated and determined to make it happen – every evening I make a list of words to learn the next day. Do I actually go through those words as often as I’d like to? Hmm… maybe not always – I’m not a robot, I’m a human who can be tired or slightly lazy sometimes, but I usually manage to catch up with my learning later on if I have a weaker moment. January list has 1494 words on it. Looks like a lot, sure. Some of the records are indeed new to me, some are there so I use them more, and some are just less common meanings of common words. Do I know all of the January words? No, definitely not, but I try to go back and revise regularly and I definitely remember a lot – vast majority for sure. I said I wanted to learn one page each day, but I actually do two pages – one from each side of the dictionary. That way I have more to learn now, but as the time goes I’ll start seeing more and more words that I’ve already learnt, so I should have a bit less work in the last months of this resolution. Also, seeing each word for the second time should be a nice extra revision.
Read a book each month
I did. I read not one, but two books and I’m now reading the third one, to finish Philip Pullman’s trilogy – His Dark Materials. I have a few books waiting on my list, not sure which one I’ll pick next.
It turned out that learning words from the dictionary and reading books (in English but without paying attention to words I don’t know if I understand the context) work great together – I actually see a lot of the newly learnt words in use in books, much more often than I anticipated. That makes me think that learning them is actually useful and motivates me to keep studying.
I’ve been a good girl and used creams every morning and every evening. Proud of myself here!
Get more sleep
This is something I’m most disappointed with. Not because I’m not trying – I do make sure to turn off the lights and put away all electronic devices much earlier than I used to for the last couple of years – around 1-1.5h earlier. And… I hardly ever manage to actually fall asleep when I’d like to. It’s certainly not because I’m not tired enough. I get very little actual sleep Monday to Friday – under 6 hours a day. I do my full time job, work out, learn a lot in my spare time – I’m absolutely knackered when I go to bed. And yet I simply can’t fall asleep for ages. It’s extremely frustrating. I’ve always been a night owl, sure, and I’d gladly switch my daily routine so that I can get up and go to bed later than I do – but that’s not an option. On most days I feel like a zombie, in desperate need of sleep, just to find myself unable to sleep when the time for it comes. I’m going to keep trying, in hopes to make my body and brain used to this new, earlier time of going to bed, but it’s really discouraging to see that even after 4 weeks it simply won’t work. Any advice? 😦
Work on potentially starting a side business in my spare time Learn new things and improve career-wise
I noticed that in this case I didn’t put my purpose in words the way I meant it, although I wasn’t far off. I want to move abroad and the main goal here is to be financially secure as well as competitive in the jobs market, able to find something soon after moving. I split this whole resolution into two overlapping parts – creating things that I can sell and working on my portfolio, which won’t get me money but should make it easier to find a job. I’ve been creating some bits and bobs to try and list on Etsy in a few months time (that certainly won’t generate much of an income, but if I can potentially make some pocket money doing something I like to do in my free time anyway, I believe it’s worth a try). I’ve also been learning 3D modelling – something that seems to be a natural course for someone who loves creative arts and crafts and also happens to be a programmer. 3D modelling is something I’d like to focus on this year, mainly cause I can kill two birds with one stone there – do it as a side freelance work in my spare time and also potentially use it in my actual career in the future. The last thing is building my portfolio and learning new stuff from the industry I work in at the moment. I managed to find an extra purpose in it and decided to create an app for my English vocabulary training – I have a basic version of it done and I already use it to revise my words in a much better and more convenient way than just reading the dictionary. I’m going to extend and improve it in the next months, using some of the most commonly used technologies – that way I should be more efficient in my vocabulary learning, and the app itself should serve as a nice proof of me being able to use quite a few programming tools.
Something I haven’t said out loud, but I wanted to do anyway – trying something new, something fun, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time or just indulging myself every now and then, especially with experiences. In all this hectic, filled to the top, ambitious routine, I wanted to stay sane and make it all more of a purposeful pleasure rather than a burden. I found time to cook and bake, I found time for some arts and crafts (whether to potentially monetize it in the future or to simply have fun), I found time to watch sports on TV along with my family and I idled some time away doing nothing, like everyone does sometimes. All in a healthy balance.
Focus on myself
One of my resolutions was to focus on myself and my self-development. If you’ve read previous paragraphs, you can probably tell that I’ve been quite successful. I stepped into 2018 with my heart shattered to a million pieces, so taking a step back and avoiding getting involved in any sort of social relations was a natural move anyway – but I’m glad I managed to turn all the negativity into an insane dose of motivation.
Have you made any resolutions? How are they going so far? 🙂