When I started my 2019 with a list of intentions (some of them are comprised by projects) I knew I wanted to assess and write down my progress some time along the way (quarterly was ideal but here I am mid year). These first months of the year have been all about learning, unlearning and exploration. Assessing my intentions and projects has helped me to see how far I’ve come and how I feel towards the things I committed to by the end of 2018.
I must admit that I made plans that don’t fit in the life I have now (and zero guilt here) because I made them based on the life I had before (in terms of responsibilities and time management). That’s why (among other factors) I can’t see the progress I pictured. Instead, I have learned that working at my own pace and just doing what I feel like doing every day has been the only way to get me to do, at least, something (which is better than nothing).
Here’s where I am in each one of the 10 intentions I chose for 2019:
1. Learn and improve new and existing skills throughout the year– About the new skills, I completed the Mobile Photography course from The Sweet Setup (not recommended), and started the Ali Edward’s Lens of Joy class (still in (a very slow) progress). I still want to learn to use InDesign and image vectorization in Illustrator but I don’t know if I’ll do it this year. About improving “old” skills- I’ve watched videos about Procreate basics and digital illustration on YouTube and Skillshare and listened to a French podcast (which I love and recommend) here and there but haven’t established a regular practice in both things.
Français Authentique- my favorite podcast
2. Finish my 2018 reading list by June– I have completed four books from a list of 15. I wanted to complete at least two per month but this isn’t happening. I have purchased a couple of new books (which wasn’t supposed to happen until I finished 2018 list). I can’t concentrate in reading as I used to do and honestly, I’m not making time for reading as I thought I would.
Completed books so far.
3. Pay off my Master Card by June– I started 2019 with a $900 balance and my current balance is $400. Not happy about this but life happens and I hope to keep working toward this goal in the upcoming months.
4. Complete at least 2-4 creative projects– I was committed to work on my Life Book, One Little Word, a commonplace book, a travel album and a “draw your week” project. I let go off the commonplace book because, although I love the idea and concept, I was not inspired to do it and was getting anxious to see the pages empty. The rest of the projects are up to date.
5. Complete at least 2-4 home projects– Home projects are for the second half of the year. I have planned so far to finish painting and to organize my kitchen cabinets and drawers.
6. Walk for 20 minutes at least three times per week– “Failed” is an understatement. This one has material enough for an independent blog post. But this month my boyfriend and I subscribed to a gym and I hope that the investment serves as a motivation to go 3-4 times per week.
7. Spend only 30 minutes on social media per day– As little as 30 minutes has been a target hard (so very hard) to meet. I have been tracking social media usage and have reduced it from 6 hours to 1.5 hours a day which is not bad.
8. Write at least 300 words 4-5 days per week– After establishing this goal and being honest with myself I decided I would write at least fifteen 300 words journal entries per month. Although I haven’t met the original goal (I’ve been writing and average of 10 entries per month), I am enjoying so much the writing process. During day where it’s hard to reach 300 words I just write something which is better that nothing.
9. Establish morning/evening routines when possible and while embracing plan changes– This have been particularly hard. Waking up earlier to make more time in the morning has been a nightmare because I can’t find a motivation to get up early. My evenings have also been very irregular with of plan changes.
10. Keep in touch more with my loved ones– I have been spending more time with my older brother and his family which makes me immensely happy. I am trying to connect more with friends through text by doing more than send memes and funny things but by asking them how they are and showing genuine interest on their well being. I haven’t hosted a get together as I wanted (still want to make this happen before the year ends).
After writing this I have noticed (maybe I have known this all the way) the lack of discipline and commitment that I have been showing (a bit less than in 2018, but it is still very present in my life). I won’t punish myself for it because this is part of who I am and who I am becoming. This is part of the learning, of the embracing, of the getting to know me. Acknowledging it and trying to be better little by little is huge for me. Change takes time.
I can recognize now that I started this year with unrealistic expectations about my intentions although I tried to simplify and choose doable stuff. I also acknowledge that there are other factors (such as life itself, lack of commitment, depression, anxiety and unhealthy habits regarding Internet and social media use) that have affected the way I have been approaching these intentions and projects. And honestly, I don’t feel guilty or defeated. I feel happy to be getting to know myself more every day and that I am embracing and acknowledging my feelings more before anything else.
I am learning to enjoy the process instead of obsessing over the possible outcomes. I am okay with this because these projects are supposed to be for fun, to encourage learning and to make me happy, not to put additional pressure. I feel grateful that all this process has helped me to shape my workflow, look for improvement opportunities and establish a balance between my hobbies, personal life and home life.