In thinking about my financial goals for 2016 I’ve also been giving some thought to my personal goals. I have a lot of interests and a lot of things that I want to work on at any given point in time. Many of these things are some combination of self-improvement and world-improvement combined with a hefty-dose of self-reliance.
With so many things to do, it’s often a struggle for me to focus. My tendency is to be a Jill-of-all-trades and to try to do it all. This doesn’t usually work so well, particularly when I have a busy full-time work schedule and not a lot of energy left at the end of the day. In fact, if I’m honest, it means that things often don’t get done because I’m so overwhelmed that it’s just easier to turn on Netflix and veg for a bit.
This year, I’m trying to narrow the focus a bit more and to choose the things that are most important to me. For 2016, it’s looking like that’s going to be a combination of working on my health, getting more involved in my community, producing a few more of the things that I need, and reducing my environmental impact.
Health – After a doozy of a flu, a move to a new city, and the start of a new job, 2015 wasn’t off to the healthiest of starts. I actually felt the effects through to the summer. Now that I’m feeling better I’d like to improve on some of the steps that I’ve taken this year. I plan to continue running three times per week but would like to add in three strength training sessions too. On top of that, I’m going to start a daily meditation practice and ensure that I make time for reading a book, drinking some tea, doing yoga, or taking a quiet walk at least once weekly.
Community – I’ve done next to nothing community focused since I moved, but recently I’ve been doing some research on community groups that I could become involved with. Unfortunately, most volunteer opportunities won’t work with my work schedule, but I’m looking into working with Out of the Cold and getting involved with a local environmental group. Beyond that, I’m hoping to join a sewing or knitting group for some more social interactions.
Production – Last year I was good about cooking almost all of my meals and I grew in the same community garden plot that I have reserved for this year, so those things stay. On top of that, I’d like to add to my culturing activities and make some yogurt and cheese. On the non-edible front, I’m going to improve my sewing and knitting skills so I can make more for myself. The initial plan is to knit a hat, vest, and pair of socks and to sew an apron and a dress.
Environment – I’ve been good about buying only secondhand and using my water bottles, but would like to step things up this year. I’m going to work my way towards no waste by buying more locally and in bulk, replacing throw-away items, and using my skills to make some reusable items from secondhand materials. It’s somewhat challenging thanks to the route and no shower facilities at work, but if I can manage a few days of week biking to work I’ll do that too.
It seems like a long list, but it’s nice to have a map of where I want to go this year. I just need to remember that this doesn’t need to happen all at once and that I can do one thing at a time moving forward. Up first? Get meditating, start on the hat, contact the volunteer groups, and dig out some hankies. Let’s get things going…