This year I have decided to make some resolutions. As ever, the list is long, unwieldy and unrealistic, so I’ve decided to start with something achievable: a blog post.
As I was discussing with an academic this morning as we queued for an overpriced beverage/snack from a local (chain) outlet, new year resolutions typically fail because people rush to make too many of them in January and then buckle under the burden of expectation.
Therefore, to avoid falling into this trap, I am taking a number of steps:
- I am not writing my list down: I know all the things I want/should/would like to do or achieve, most of them are recurring, I don’t need to commit anything to paper to remember what they are: I have done this in the past and haven’t stuck to it, so why perpetuate a cycle of negativity? Also, this isn’t just a work thing, so I don’t want to get caught up in SMART goals or some such.
- I am not prioritising my list: as I know all the things I want/should/would like to do or achieve, and most of them are recurring, if I do accomplish anything by December 31st it’s better than nothing. Glass half empty.
- I’m not going to rush to do all the things now, this minute, this instance. I have a whole year to achieve things. Relax Chris. Chill.
Of course, none of these steps are being taken in a rigid, co-ordinated, structured way. Oh no. I’m approaching them in a calm, organic, evolutionary manner. Relaxed Chris. Chilled.
It’s amazing how simply writing things down is both cathartic and revealing.
As is perhaps evident, I’m already slightly overwhelmed by 2020 and what things might happen. I’m not entirely sure why either – I feel like this should be a ‘big year’ and yet I’m slightly scared by what a ‘big year’ might mean, conceptually. This is precisely why I stopped making new year resolutions because it just becomes all a bit much. For me, anyway.
I am certain that I need to set myself some aims/goals for the year, mainly because I always fear inertia. I know which things I really want to achieve in the next 12 months. I know areas of my professional and personal lives which I’d like to develop and/or explore. But life sort of gets in the way and it’s a difficult balance to be struck between creating targets for yourself and accepting that things might not work out as planned, and that that can be okay too.
Professional things in 2020 will include giving a conference presentation at LILAC which is both exciting and terrifying. I’d also like to (finally) cement my understanding of the academic calendar so I know, with 100% confidence, exactly which modules are running, who’s running them and when [enter your own laughter here].
Personal things in 2020 will include writing and exercising more and drinking less. I was trying to whinge less, but that went out the window today thanks to a stupid journal and its stupid website with its stupid subscription and stupid stupidness.
Suffice to say, there will undoubtedly be things this year, positive things, inevitably some negative things, but one thing is certain: things ain’t what they used to be; let’s hope that’s a good thing.