My Goals for 2018.
So we are already into 2018, how crazy is that?! It seems only five minutes since the end of the summer so it is very strange to find myself sat in a coffee shop on a cold January afternoon writing my annual reflective post.
2017 was the best year of my life. By a mile. I started saying yes to opportunities that were presented to me and went and achieved things off of my own back.
Before starting University I had four of the worst years of my life. I left one college for a following two colleges, had a lot of personal/friendship/family crises and really struggled to find a passion for anything in my life. But I worked hard to get into the course I am now studying and started University praying everything would fit into place for once, and in my second semester everything finally started to.
It’s not been all rainbows and roses but I have had some serious pinch me moments this year and I have found myself feeling real pride through doing things all by myself. My highlights include having my photographs published, interning twice, photographing and meeting people to create work who inspire me, living in London for two months and visiting New York!
Honestly I think I was over writing down resolutions by this time last year. I can only recall writing down the words ‘say yes more’. And I do really think I achieved that in 2017 and I feel pretty good for doing so. However I know that my lifestyle needs to be altered in order for me to stay afloat as I execute my plans for this coming year. So here are my goals for 2018!
Work hard, but responsibly
When I said my lifestyle needs to be altered this is why. In the past year I have let my workaholic trait take over and it has led to me burning out and having to get deadlines extended and take time off for my mental health. I am extremely ambitious and a massive perfectionist and this means I never feel that what I am doing to contribute to my work goals is ever enough. Which can be extremely self destructive.
My late arrival compared to some of my friends in starting University also means that I have felt that I am behind in some way which is why I have been working so hard in so many different areas in the past year. Interning twice was amazing but living and working in London whilst doing my University work was a lot to take on and in the future I need to find more focus in what I am doing and not spread myself too thin in order to prove to other people that I can handle all these things at once.
In short I plan to be happier with making progress rather then being perfect all the time. I plan to take breaks when I need them and ask for help when I need it.
When I really hit a brick wall trying to handle stress in November I was fortunate enough to attend a creative writing course with some course mates in Falmouth. I signed up thinking it would be very academic, however to my surprise it was about the benefits of using free-flow and expressive writing in order to tackle problems as a creative. It became more of a therapy session using writing for me personally but since then I have been writing a lot more on paper, which has really helped me with written and visual work such as an essay and I have also been using prompts to talk through problems I have had.
In 2018 I plan on continuing to use my journal for free flow writing and to talk through any problems I am facing, both personal and academic. It’s great to talk to other people as well but sometimes you need to talk through problems with yourself because only you have the answers. I am heading to Poland for four months on my own in February and during that period especially I plan on writing in my journal everyday. Which I think will be especially useful.
Believe in myself more
The route to much of the unhappiness I have felt in 2017 was the result of comparison and not feeling good enough despite my accomplishments. In 2018 in order to keep being ambitious and take on new challenges I plan on rewarding myself more and being kinder to myself. I will do this through sharing more with friends and online what I have been doing instead of being too shy, and also writing down my accomplishments to remind myself that I’m doing well and making progress.
Give and network more, but positively!
One thing that has made me do more on my own this year has been the realisation that some of my friendships and other relationships have been more negative then positive. I am also on an incredibly competitive degree course where people don’t massively support each other and often massage their own egos in a less then positive manner. Which is natural when you are doing something so specific with people who are naturally talented artists and storytellers. However in having low self confidence and trying to do more with course mates in 2017 I have often been left feeling worse about myself.
Therefore in 2018 I will speak up more when people are being unhelpfully negative, talk to more people in person and be more positive in having meaningful conversations and relationships with people.
Be more organised
Finally I want to be more organised! I was on a roll with making checklists everyday and using my calendar up until November in 2017. So in 2018 I want to bring those positive habits back by using my new Productivity Planner that I got for Christmas and my calendar more. This was one of the first things I asked my parents to get me for Christmas and I have been so excited to use it.