Posted in Of Psyche

Of Goals and Challenges

blank list of resolutions on blackboard

It’s that time of the year again. That time of the year, when we celebrate that it is about to go. Good riddance I say, because it was crap anyway. The next one is going to be good, I know it. I am going to grow a whole new personality. No, I’m not pregnant. A whole new personality is not about to grow out of me.

Laugh, people, that was a joke. I’ve been thinking about babies lately. And not just because everyone and their mother has been having babies lately. Even I became an aunt, and someone on Twitter congratulated me on the baby. Because you can’t edit it, anyone who reads it will think I’ve had one. Just the other day I was casually browsing a clothing store when I ended up in the mom and baby section. No, I was not looking for maternity trousers, despite it being the most comfortable item of clothing in the history of female apparel. Usually, I walk past the section unless there is something interesting involved (like a psychedelic toy caterpillar), but I was captivated by all the baby clothes. I was awwing and oohing at all the Christmas prints, foxes and reindeers and polar bears – oh, I love a polar bear. The shop assistant smiled her warmest smile at me – here was somebody who wanted their baby to look cute, and not grudge that they paid that much to buy clothes she or he could vomit on.

Until I asked for the polar bear sweater in my size. What? It cost as much as an adult one. Can I get it in a size Medium please?

I could make having a baby a goal for 2018. Heck, I could write a novel about a woman listing ‘Have a Baby’ as one of her New Year Resolutions, and kill two goals off my list. But, I’m not going to do that. You know I’m not going to do that.

What should I do, now that before it is mid-2018 I will stop pushing 30 and be 30? Is pushing 30 better than pushing a baby? I guess, after all the horror stories I’ve heard of pushing babies lately. Even if I don’t feel any different from now to when the time comes (I feel 19 or 90 at any given moment. Sometimes both together), I know the world will promptly take off their glasses and put on those plastic year ones that you get this time of the year. Except they won’t read 2018. They’ll read “30, and why aren’t you dead yet?”

I should make goals. And plans. Challenge myself. Anything to not think about what people will think, and then find out that most don’t give a damn. They’re too busy thinking about themselves.

To Do List (Courtesy: Pixabay)

I did have resolutions at the start of this year. I even managed to meet them a bit. On most days I managed about 1.5 litres of water, when I wanted to drink 2 – something I never managed even once. I lost upto 7 kg of weight at one point, three less than the 10 I’d been aiming for, which I’ve all gained, and perhaps added to since. I didn’t improve my musical instrument playing skills, but I did practise everyday in May. I self-published a book, which a handful of people read. That wasn’t part of the plan, but I did it. I learned a bit of Spanish on the Duolingo app, though I didn’t complete the course, or “tree” as they like to call it. It also wasn’t part of the plan, but all these almost-accomplishments taught me something overall about the nature of accomplishments. About goals and challenges.

I’ve heard, watched and read hundreds of people talk about their goals and challenges on social media this year. I know, I should reach for the more interesting part of social media (where are all the cats? Cats don’t have goals.), but I learnt something about people. Those who talk about goals and challenges a lot of the time, are those who have the ability to meet them. It’s not for people like me, who run away the moment something competitive comes up.

Competition is everywhere. Competition has always been at the heart of advertising – collect these coupons, and you may no longer have to live in this godforsaken place anymore. Trashy reality shows, where you compete on the basis of who’s more obnoxious than whom. I wouldn’t even win in the laziness challenge, because I want to be better.


There used to be some fashionable Psychology lingo – you’re a Type A or a Type B. Nowadays, people prefer to go by more letters – INFP, EN….whatnot – but the idea was, there was a type of person who simply thrived on getting things done. Believe it or not, I tested Type A in college. And sure I used to make lists all the time (I came across some a while back. They were ridiculous.) and I guess I was sharper than I am now, but I’m a case in point for why that bifurcated system did not work. Though, according to the four-letter system, I’m Barrack Obama. Which is also something that is never going to happen.

I wanted to look at these goal-driven people as inspiration for my own self-improvement. But, as the year went on, I realised two things – you actually have to have meaningful goals (meaningful to you) to begin with, and that getting some of the way is fine too. That it does not have to be something you can count (clearly I can’t, given that I’m listing three realizations), but something that matters to you.

Therefore, my goals/challenges for 2018 are these:

  • Become more socially responsible. It is not enough to complain about the corruption in charitable organizations/endeavours and be cynical about the whole altruism thing, or worse, patronizing. Be the change.
  • Get started. Get doing. Don’t wait around. Nobody is waiting around for the budding writer/somecreativepersonthing to bloom into a flower. Nobody cares, until you’ve got something to offer.
  • Exercise everyday, if possible, and don’t think about the kilos.
  • Learn things.

Yup. That’s it. Keeping it at that. Will chop and change, depending on how things go. Also hope to be a better blogger and less of a whiner next year, though those two seem co-dependent at this point. Also hope to get a polar bear sweater. If you spot one with a 36 inch chest, send it my way, please? I’ll mail you the address.

What are your goals for next year? What were they this year?



Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

17 thoughts on “Of Goals and Challenges

  1. I had a resolution once (2002): to learn to drive. By February I had my provisional license and started lessons. I passed my test in April 2003!!! More than a year after I made my resolution – and the last one I made. 🙂

    1. Congratulations, belatedly! Yours is a great example about making a resolution and sticking to it, even if it is not accomplished that same year. I find it really hard to stay motivated, and so stories like yours help a lot in reminding me that anything worth doing takes time and dedication. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for reading! With lists I find it is better to make them as short as possible. Think of what you really want done, as opposed to things you’d like to do. I try and keep any to-do list within five. That seems to work ☺.

  2. I like that 3rd goal especially – I think the virtuous cycle that comes out of more exercise (exercise more – feel better – have more energy – accomplish more – want to keep exercising to keep momentum going…) is so much more important than focusing on ‘kilos’
    And I’ll join you on learning new things in 2018 too!

    1. What would you like to learn Geoff? I’m planning to start learning French again, and I might practise it on all the French speakers I know. I apologise for my bad French in advance!

      1. Fantastique!
        I’m not sure what specifically I’d like to learn next year, I suppose maybe continuing to get better at current hobbies/skills might be a good place for me to start.

  3. I had a friend who actually could shop in the kids sections. Teeny tiny elderly lady. She always preferred the jammies with feet.
    Resolutions? Nope. To keep on keeping on is more than enough at this time. Although, learning to believe in myself has managed to sneak itself into things I’ve done this year.

    1. That’s great Kris! I need some of that self-belief thing too, though I don’t know how it will happen. Realistically, I just want to be really busy doing things I believe in, and maybe that will lead to believing in myself!

      1. Am reading a great book by Mercedes Lackey about writing. I can’t recall her exact words, but when she gets a block in her craft, she does something else. Either another story or walks and lets that one alone.
        You are a great person and author. You have every right to believe in yourself and what you do. Looking forward to what happens in this new year.

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