I hate the traditional new year resolutions… lose five pounds… go to the gym four times a week… eat healthier. I can’t handle that kind of pressure on myself. Up until my graduation, my resolutions were always easy for me; they all revolved around doing well and completing my studies. Then my studies were over and suddenly, I had no idea as to what to set as my resolution for the year. I saw streams of people proclaiming via Facebook or Twitter to ‘get fit’, ‘lose weight’, ‘kick the habit’.
I, however, decided that I didn’t want to chain myself to a huge resolution that I would undoubtedly fail at by February, as the cliché goes. On the other hand, I wanted to set myself a task of some sort, because I know just how quickly and easily 365 days can pass a person by without them stepping up and making the most of them.
In the end, I set on the idea of an annual bucket list of sorts, with 100 things to aim to complete by 1st January 2015. I’ve spoken on my opinions of buckets lists in the past, and I still considering it to be daunting to start at the beginning of a bucket list. January 2014 was a daunting time for me in that sense, and I put myself under a lot of pressure to make the most of the year. Some of the things on my list were pretty huge, such as moving to London and certain career goals, while others were so simple, such as to ‘learn to fold 3 origami animals’ or setting myself a certain number of books to read, movies to watch, plays to attend and galleries to visit.
Now, it’s new year’s day and I can say that I completed almost exactly half of my goals. Therefore, I’m altering my method for 2015. Instead of 100 things, I am settling for 60, and if i complete those before the year is out, well, I can just add a few more, can’t I? My bucket list covers everything from those big career leaps, to cultural aims (visit more exhibitions, plays, watch movies, read books), creative aims (make art, make photographs, write books, write plays, write scripts, experiment), to personal aims, to teeny tiny aims (play monopoly, for example.. seriously, I have been looking for an enthusiastic monopoly competitor for about a decade now..).
Another new addition to 2015’s resolution is a memory jar. Frankly, I struggle with keeping a journal now days. In fact, it’s only when my life is at its most mundane that I have the time to keep it, and then, of course, I have nothing interested to talk about. Instead, I will be keeping a memory jar. I guess it’s my ‘busy bee’ version of a journal, and like an instant sort of satisfaction as I go through the year and see it filling up with memories – I have two in there already!
I want to take note of all sides of keeping bucket lists, goals and resolutions, because it’s not just about striking something off a list and moving on, but about reflecting and laughing at good memories, and seeing progress. It’s about using the past achievements to motivate those steps towards completing future goals and all the messy stuff in the middle where effort is required to actually get it done. So yes, for the next 365 days, my memory jar will sit proudly of my desk, taking note of everything from cinema trips, career baby steps and my social life.
I can’t wait.
Oh, and for anyone wondering as to what those first two memories are…
Meet Monsieur Cat, my flatmate for the week.