“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
― Albert Einstein
It seems a little ostentatious to start my ‘2018 goals’ post with a quote from Albert Einstein, but he’s called a genius for a reason, and I think what he’s said there sums up my intentions for the next year perfectly.
I’m aware that the internet is saturated with so many promises to drop dress sizes / get tattoos / travel to 100 countries in 12 months / buy a house / get married.
I’m not going to not post mine in a bid to be ‘different’ or to rebel against the status quo. I’m partially publishing this post for my own selfish benefit: becoming accountable for my actions seems like a good way to make sure I don’t let myself down. As someone who cares immensely what others think, kidding myself that people might judge me if I fail to keep up with my goals should keep me on my toes.
I’m also not publishing anything super personal; those goals will be kept close to my chest. These are simple the ones I’m happy to share, and be accountable for.
My goals for 2017 kind of fell short. I might go back and review them at some point this month, but I know I didn’t keep many of them up (regular meditation? Pah! Consistent bullet journaling? Dream on!)
Hopefully this year will be different. I’m aiming to be a little easier on myself and actually aim to do things I know I will enjoy doing. There’s no point in spending 12 months trying to force myself to be someone I am unreservedly not.
I shall not be setting goals to lose weight or find love. As with every other year, 2018 will no doubt be full of curveballs and plot twists. I will not focus on things that are harder to change (I don’t have the willpower or inclination to diet) or out of my control (forcing relationships just because I am lonely is NOT my style.)
Einstein summed it up nicely (danke, Albert): I’m going to aim to be motivated by feelings and actions, not objects or possessions. Here’s to a year of being a more driven, focused, independent and peaceful me.
And when things get a bit much, here’s to being easier on myself when I need some time out.
That’s not asking too much, is it?
It’s a long old post, but I do hope you’ll stay with me until the bitter end.
Writing & reading
More poetry: reading, performing and listening
After taking my poetry course at the end of 2017, this year will hopefully see more stanzas being written and read.
One of my biggest goals of the year is to have the guts to perform something of mine at one of my local spoken word events. This is something I have wanted to do for a few years now and I’d like to dive straight out of my comfort zone and do it.
I want to write more poetry too, which leads me nicely onto the next, more specific goal…
Write a poem a week
I can’t take credit for this one. A brilliant poet on my evening course, did this last year and came up with some brilliant stuff simply because she was forced to write regularly, regardless of whether she felt like it.
This year I will be doing the same.
Hopefully this will mean I have at least 52 pieces to show for myself by the time 2019 rolls around.
Get published, somewhere
I don’t care if it’s online, in a magazine, a journal, someone else’s blog (that counts. Yes, it does) or if somehow I get snapped up by a publisher and write a bestseller by the end of the year.
A girl can dream, right?
I’m NOT expecting book deals (obviously..!), but I am expecting myself to pull my finger out and get something published somewhere this year. It’s got to happen at some point.
So, if you’re reading this and want to print / post my words (with my permission)…drop me an email!
Read 25 books (including classics)
I’ve never set myself a reading goal before. Finding time to read, even as a real bookworm, can be tough, and I don’t like to put that pressure on myself and find another way to feel guilty. However, since joining Goodreads I’ve seen a few people hitting their goals and I’d quite like to see how I fare.
I picked 25 because that’s almost two books a month, which I think is do-able. I am hoping I surpass this, but for now I’m just excited to track my reading habits.
Alongside this, I’m asking myself to read more classics. I steer clear of them usually because they remind me of having to read certain texts for school which was a drag. I would like to embrace being able to choose my own ‘must-reads’ and enjoy them.
So, if you have any book recommendations (classics or contemporary) please pop them in the comments below! I’d love to have a little inspiration.
And why not find me on Goodreads to share our bookish experiences? Come and say hello!
Improve my calligraphy
The first thing I bought in 2018 was a new calligraphy kit. I’ve been doing brush lettering for over a year now and I love it; I make a lot of cards for loved ones and have even been paid to create pieces for weddings.
I’ve fallen in love with finer, more classical calligraphy now, so my bid for 2018 is simply to get better at using my new nibs and to create more pretty cards and pieces. It’s a great creative outlet that still involves my love of words and takes me offline for a little while, so this is a hobby that’s staying.
Health (mental and physical)
I’m very lucky to have three yoga classes a week that take place where I work. I don’t go nearly as much as I should, purely because they’re at lunchtime and sometimes I am too busy (or lazy) to go. My goal this year, for as long as I’m working there, is to go to at least one of these classes a week. No ifs, no buts.
Except for last week, when I went to the first class of the year and the instructor never turned up.
I’m hoping that’s not an Omen…
I’m terribly addicted to my phone. My friend and I were recently discussing detoxes from social media and although I understand the benefits (and even took part in one myself last year) I think it’s almost unrealistic and unnecessary.
I just want to switch off more in 2018; stop scrolling in bed (Twitter should not be the first thing I see in the morning or the last thing I see at night), stop scrolling mid conversation, and stop scrolling when I’m watching TV (unless I am providing brilliantly witty twitter commentary on whatever I am watching).
Basically, I want to be more present and stop multitasking with my mobile.
Drink more water
It’s a little sad this is in here but, there you go. I don’t drink nearly enough water. It’s boring. I’d rather have coffee, or squash (or gin).
I’m fully aware drinking more H2O will really fix many ailments and issues, so this year, I’ll do my best. That’s it. Pass me a glass.
Step up my game
Jo Fisher Writes is fun for me, but let’s face it; it’s not the best blog out there. It’s no looker, it’s clunky, and I have no idea how to make it look how I want. I can’t even master a flatlay.
2018 will be the year I improve this blog; I want it to look sleeker, improve photography, group posts better and make it a pleasant experience for my readers (all two of you; hi Mum and Dad! I’m joking. I don’t think they read it.)
Anyway, in all seriousness, I want it to look better and capture your interest too; more personal thought posts, more book reviews, and a little more care and attention.
Life, in general
Do one charitable thing a month
I tend to focus hard on charity at Christmas time, but I’d like to keep this up throughout the year.
In 2018 I’m aiming to do one charitable thing every month; whether that’s sponsoring a friend, volunteering, donating money, buying the Big Issue or raising awareness.
One new dish a fortnight
I really enjoy cooking; it’s basically therapy, and I like to get lost in creating good food every once in a while. I have a nice little stash of recipe books too, so I’m aiming to try to cook (or bake!) something new every fortnight.
I’m not expecting Michelin-style dishes each weekend; even if it’s just a new pasta sauce or brunch plate. However, I like variety in my meals and this is the perfect way to achieve this while learning something and finding some new favourites.
Write more letters
I LOVE post. I love to send postcards from everywhere I go, and I enjoy writing little notelets to surprise friends and family every now and again. I have a friend in Scotland who has been my pen pal since 2002 – but I don’t write nearly as often as I should, and I have relatives who would enjoy post too. I’m going to fix that in 2018.
The time I don’t spend scrolling could be better put to use; I’m thinking more articles, magazines, blog posts and podcasts.
I’m wary of becoming too saturated with other people’s work, however, so I’d like to couple this idea with the opposite; taking time out to not think at all, and to let my mind wander and come up with some new ideas.