Every year I make grand goals for the next year. Reading-wise I mostly stick to the script. But as a general rule, I usually forget about them 5 minutes after writing them down. However, since I am a lover of compulsive behaviour, I never stopped making these lists. I love everything about lists except following them.
- Publish a book: I want to write. It’s taken me years to say it with such confidence. In 2017, I want to wake up every morning and write. And I want to publish a book of short stories. I might have the beginnings of a novel lurking around my mind too.
- Read 52 books: My big focus is going to be reading a book every week. Considering that I quit my job to pursue writing, the least I can do is read a lot! The caveat here is that I am not going to be buying any books this year. I plan to complete unfinished books (there are many), borrow from friends and join a library.
- Spend less: A natural fallout of not having a salary is to spend less. I just put a bow on it and called it a goal. #howtofoolyourselfintospendingless
- Gardening: I love growing my own vegetables. I currently grow spinach, mint and curry leaves. In the new year I will attempt carrots, beets, moringa, chillies, tomato and pumpkin.
- Meet people: Not with the intention to network but not without it either, I would like to meet people and step out of the house more. These could be people I used to work with or friends from college.
I am notorious for not leaving home for days on end so this is not going to be an easy-peasy one. I am almost always inclined to make an excuse and get out of social commitments.
- Lose weight: I cannot think of a year when I have not had this one on my list. It’s such a staple that it’s become tradition. However, the only difference is that I began Crossfitting in Sept. It changed my life. Though I’ve been on a break since Nov, I am restarting from Tuesday, 3 Jan 2017. (They have stair climbing on Mondays and I hate it!)
- Volunteer time: This year I want to volunteer time. Looks like it’s going to start with CUPA’s Second Chance Adoption Centre. Since getting a pet, I’ve realised how animals bring out the best in me. I am more generous and mindful with Max and also more grateful for all that I have.
- Plan for Africa: My friend Sanju lives in South Africa now. There isn’t a better time to visit Africa than 2017. I still regret the opportunity I missed to visit her in South Korea. Though I visited SK years later, I knew that it would have been even better with Sanju. Step 1 is to save up money. It’s going to be a long and fun trip. And I am going to need upwards of 1.5 lakhs.
- Get a portrait done: For my next birthday I am going to get a photographer to take pictures of me. I am so uncomfortable with the idea that it makes me squirm just writing it down. And that’s the point.
- Blog more: I want to blog once a week through 2017. Let’s hope that’s enough writing practice.
When looking ahead into the unknown future I like to also look back into the lived past to draw inspiration from some of the accomplishments of 2016.
- My body image and body weight issues not withstanding, I joined Crossfit to great benefit. It taught me that though I am superbly unfit I am not going to die from trying too hard. I hiked up four mountains in Korea and even when I felt like I couldn’t take another step, I had the will to give it my maximum effort. I remembered that the same me had done 200 pushups!
- Putting years of indecision aside, I finally went to Korea and it was the best. It was better than everything I had imagined. I was blown away by their technical advancement, their cleanliness, their beaches, their fashion and their food.
- I found a way to stop getting sick in winter. Oilpulling (gargling with oil). Call it a fad or question its effectiveness, but it’s still an accomplishment for me because I taught myself a habit.
- I quit my job. That’s something I didn’t think I would have the guts to do.
- I got Max home before Christmas. Though it’s only been a week I am overwhelmed by how much I love him. All old people deserve a decent life and I am glad I made that happen for my grandfather lab.
Hiking was one of my 2016 goals. And though I didn’t hike in India, I did 4 hikes in Korea in 20 days. And they all but killed me but it was one of the highlights of the year.
- I began cutting my own hair. I’ve been meaning to do this for years. Going to a salon only sets me back by a thousand rupees. Most stylists are clueless what to do with curly hair and I always end up getting layers. And I’ve been bored of layers for years now. Since I am no style diva, I choose to cut my own hair.
- Before my friend Durka left India, we took weekend day trips in and around Bangalore. We drove to see dancers of Nrityagram, sat on the steps of the famous step wells of Melkote and watched Pelicans at Ranganathittu sanctuary. It’s an accomplishment because we talk about these weekend getaways but that was the one time we diligently took action.