8 Things for 2018

Setting out my goals for 2018

New year, new goals - goals for 2018

And just like that, the world is now a year older.

Firstly, Happy New Year, you all! How was your weekend and are the celebrations still continuing? For the first time in six years, I took the day off from work today. I spent a fun, fun weekend with AT and some of our closest friends, but now I definitely need to gear up to get back into a productive groove, starting tomorrow.

I love this sense of resolve that the new year usually brings. I know it’s arbitrary in so many ways, but there is something to be said for starting off a new year on a clean slate, tempered with the wisdom of the year gone by and bursting with excitement over the endless possibilities lying right ahead.

I’ve never been very good with resolutions – I mostly don’t make any beyond the usual wishing that the new year is happier, healthier and more successful than the year gone by. For this year, while I have a longer list of things I’d like to achieve (and yes, ACHIEVE is my word for 2018), I thought I’ll share a few of them – call them goals for 2018, or maybe, intentions for 2018, if you will – here on the blog.

1 | Be able to run a 5k + do 20 pushups in a row. I don’t like running. I really don’t. Part of it is because of historically weak knees (but after having worked with my trainer over the last 10 months, they are in much better shape now). The other part is sheer laziness. True story. However, with the baby steps that I made in fitness last year, I know that improving your cardio vascular health is one of the key components of a healthy life, and there are definitely lots of benefits to running, if done right. So here I am, committing to run a 5k in 2018. To all your seasoned exercisers and Type-A personalities, a 5k might seem like a peanut goal, but it would be a huge thing for me, so don’t bring me down, okay? Also, is it weird that I am looking forward to the process of improving my cardio abilities even more than I am about the actual goal??!!??

Now about the pushups. My right wrist is a super pain in the ass when I put a lot of weight on it (read: my body weight). I can do 45 degree incline pushups alright, but am still a bust at on-the-floor pushups. Also, poor upper body strength. So, obviously, this is one area I am going to focus on this year and I am going to work hard/smart to improve my upper body strength and at some point in the year, I am going to rock those on-the-floor pushups with proper form and all that.

2 | Connect better with family and friends. In this world of increasing digital distractions and our preoccupation with work + the regular, usual life stuff, it’s easy to get lazy with friends and sometimes even with family. Over the last year or so, in many ways, I found myself withdrawing deeper into my own little world. I want to change that. I am going to change that. I am going to make this year about cultivating and nurturing meaningful relationships.

3 | Be more mindful about my purchases. We’ve all been there – the “standing in front of your closet before a night out and wondering how on earth you have an overflowing closet and yet not be able to find something to wear”. The husband knows that if I’ve spent more than two minutes staring at my closet before we have to head out somewhere, we are positively going to be late.

I have gotten better at this over the years. Especially last year. I was mostly ruthless in culling out things that did not fit well or did not really make me happy when I wore them. And yet, I found myself making irresponsible and expensive mistakes. Ordering clothes online, trying them on to realize that I really don’t love them, and then forgetting to return them. Buying cheap, trendy clothes with the objective to “save” money, but discarding them after approximately 1 wear. And so on and so on. (You know the story, right? You’ve been there too, haven’t you?)

And it’s not just about clothes. I’ve seen myself repeat these (dangerous) patterns with books, food, accessories, shoes. Basically almost everything.

All this to say, I am going to do better in 2018. Now, I am not going to go all minimal warrior (I am not there yet!), but this is really about making more conscious purchases. More meaningful shopping instead of random purchases. More thoughtful buying instead of impulsive decisions. Like I said, just being more mindful of my purchases.

In actionable terms, this means:
– Setting a budget and sticking to it.
– Implementing a one in, one out policy.
– Do a quarterly review of my wardrobe, my books collection, and my memory keeping / journaling supplies.
– No more purchases of online courses unless I have actually gone through the ones that I have already purchased.

4 | Grow this blog and my shop. Le sigh. I’ve spoken about this previously – about the fact that I am not the most regular or disciplined blogger, but it’s a space I love coming back to and sharing bits of my world and life with you all. I am going to keep at it through 2018, and have every intention of making blogging a regular part of my life. No, it won’t mean posts 5 days a week, but I’m going to aim for at least 3 posts a week, and I hope to create a bit of a community around this blog.

Now, the shop. I’ve been pushing back the launch date by a month every month for the last 5 months because I really haven’t done enough of the work required. At this point I should really give a massive shout out to all those people who successfully run their side hustles alongside their day jobs – how do you guys do it? what’s your secret? Anyway, the shop will be launching soon-ish, and I will talk more about it as soon as I have something more concrete.

In terms of specifics, for the blog, I’d want to:
– Increase the number of newsletter subscribers to 1,000.
– Post at least 3x/week.
– Start an interview series on the blog.
– Get smart about using social media and really learn to use scheduling tools. (yeah, I know – this one’s really not all that specific after all. :))

As far as the shop is concerned, I’m going to:
– Launch new products at least once a month.
– Target sales of at least $5,000.
– Post on the shop blog 1x/week.

5 | Sleep better. I am not necessarily talking about the number of hours of sleep here. I mean, not just that. On an average, I think I sleep for about 6.5-7 hours every day, which is not a bad number, but I’d like to consistently make it to 7-7.5 hours.

Well, that’s just one part of the intention. The part that I really want to improve is the hour or so before I go to sleep. I am usually either on my phone or on my laptop. Even when I am reading before sleeping, it’s usually on the phone, which I know is not a good habit. So, in terms of real, concrete steps, I am talking about:
– Sleeping for at least 7 hours every day.
– Getting off blue light devices at least 30 minutes before bed.
– Not using my phone as an alarm clock. Better still, learn to wake up without an alarm clock.

6 | Learn Lightroom. Over the years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve learnt the basics of Photoshop, and while I am miles away from being able to add snazzy effects to photos, I mostly know what I am doing when I fire up the application. Lightroom, not so much. I mean, the few times I have tried to work my way around it, I’ve gotten incredibly confused and just given up. My main reason to learn Lightroom is to be able to organise and label the gazillion photographs I have lying around on my computer and my external hard drives, and maybe even learn to do quick photo edits. I am hoping to teach myself some handy Lightroom skills this year!

7 | Explore Bombay. I’ve lived in Bombay for over 9 years now, but there are still no many facets of the city that I have never really explored. Museums, for example. The bylanes and alleys of South Bombay. The Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Like I said, so many places to go to, so many things to see. So I am going to make 2018 about a little more exploration, a little more documentation of my own city.

8 | Put myself out there. I’ve stepped away from opportunities in the past because of either not wanting to display my vulnerabilities/shortcomings or sheer laziness. Like, a few years ago, an old schoolmate had approached me and asked if I wanted to do some photography work, and I turned it down because I didn’t think I was good enough. Or the times when I’ve shied away from taking more responsibility at work. I want to stop this leaning out before I really need to lean out. 

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So with that, this is me, inviting good health and personal and professional successes in 2018. I’d love to know from you, what are your goals for 2018? What are you most looking forward to this year?