2021 New Year’s Resolution – How Did It Go?
New year’s resolutions tend to be rather empty, don’t they? I am under the impression that they are generally something that someone says they’re going to do, but will inevitably fail to follow through come mid- to end-January. No more alcohol? That’ll go as far as a fortnight at best. Exercise more? Yeah, right. The point of this blog is not to dissect the reasons why people break their new year’s resolutions; there are plenty of articles online that have certainly given me a better understanding of why that may and does happen.
As we near the end of 2021, I want to look back at the resolutions that I made and look at whether I achieved them and if not, why. There are only three weeks left of the year and I have a few other things I want to cram in before we end it, so I’d better get started! While I will be going through each of my resolutions one-by-one here, feel free to have a read of last year’s blog as well.
- Stop Buying and Save More – Mostly Achieved
I have made efforts this year to try and track my spending a bit more through various apps, with moderate success. There were three main areas where I wanted to curb my spending: books, games and alcohol (see number 2). I would say that overall I’ve been successful, but I could have done a little better. I can say that I did not buy a single video game in 2021, despite there being a number of titles I would like to get. I was gifted one or two that I feel like I spent more time on having not added another to the pile before completing the ones I have. I think just out of habit I have come to play games less and less, which I am not saying is necessarily a good or bad thing, but something I have just observed and something that undoubtedly must help with spending less.
Books, on the other hand, was not quite as successful. I certainly spent less – only sticking to second-hand books or those on sale – but the number of books has just gone up. I guess that’ll just give me plenty of books to read through next year!
When it comes to actual savings, there were a number of unfortunate and unpredictable things that happened this year which were rather expensive and as a result I was not able to save anywhere near as much as I would have liked, but that’s life. And this year I think I realised that more than ever and will take that into account for 2022 with a clearer goal of how much I want to save.
- Drink Less – Mostly Achieved
Other than around new year’s day this year, I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol until my birthday in May. This was helped partly by my time in hospital, but overall that was only part of my abstinence. Even after I got out, I was good at keeping off the booze and actually had very little desire to drink. It was a rather odd sensation and one that unfortunately now I have already forgotten. I found that writing about it really helped a lot and when people knew my intentions, I would say that they were very supportive and helpful for the most part.
Here we are now in the second half of the year and I’d say that I very nearly have returned to my old habits but thankfully I’m not quite there yet. I have had a few heavy nights with some lovely brown booze, whether through a work event or with friends, but I do feel it’s not as frequent as it once was. My intention was never to completely cut it out, although it did feel like it was going that way until I sipped some of that sauce on my birthday. It’s a slippery slope, and I learnt that it’s so easy to fall off the wagon. Anyone who has managed to cut out alcohol completely from their lives deserves a medal! The sheer will power it takes is beyond me.
- Write More – Achieved
I suppose the bar was pretty low considering I just started this site towards the end of last year and I didn’t have many posts up to compare with. I also hadn’t really written anything substantial either. This year I was able to up my game a bit, but never did get into the habit of writing often. All the advice out there is to write every day until it becomes habitual, even if it’s just a couple of hundred words, the important thing is to sit down and write, write, write. It might be shit, but apparently that’s fine. As with everything, it just takes practice.
However, I have to be honest with myself that although I started off really well, I did go a few months without writing anything at all, which is not good! Thankfully the Nagoya Writer’s Collective group I joined through Meetup has kept me interested, and has allowed me to meet others who are interested in writing, whether they write professionally or just want to get better at writing their Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, being able to talk about writing itself has been a great help in keeping me going.
- Start a Podcast – Not Achieved
Failed would be too harsh a word. I don’t feel any sense of failure in this one really. Time is so restricting and unfortunately a podcast just wasn’t going to happen. I had a few ideas that I threw around with a friend or two, but nothing ever materialised. I had a go at recording me reading one of my posts that I thought might be a means to at least get something up and running but that didn’t get too far either. I won’t say the interest is gone and while I may pick it up again should the opportunity arise, it’s not something very high on my agenda and I am fine with that.
- Try to be More Positive – Achieved
“Try” being the operative word here. I certainly tried to be more positive, but am I? That’s even more difficult to measure. I can’t say I am any more or less positive than I was this time last year. I think I am, I suppose, but looking back at this resolution, the cynic in me says it’s a pretty stupid one. I think the idea behind this one was that there are a lot of shit things in life that happen to everyone and in many cases there is little that one can do about it, so why fret? Try and find the little golden nuggets in the turds that life throws at you sometimes. 2021 threw a lot at me, but I think I tried my best to keep my head high.
- Keep in Touch (Don’t be a Stranger!) – Not Achieved
Similar to a lot of these resolutions, this one was really just too vague to act on. Months can sometimes go by in the blink of an eye and then I realise that I haven’t even messaged my mum let alone called her! It certainly goes both ways, and it’s not like many of my old friends have tried to contact me really. I did have an opportunity to reconnect with a very old friend but I think I missed that window… I should really look into how I can create something more concrete with this one as I will carry it over into 2022 for sure.
- Try Harder with Other Languages – Achieved
Ah, another “try”. I will not use this word for any of my 2022 resolutions. It doesn’t work! As with number 5, I did try. I bought a book on the Welsh language (which was very interesting!), I downloaded Duo Lingo and was regularly using it to study Welsh and even wrote up a blog post on it as well. Yes, try I did. Will next year’s resolution be ‘Try Even Harder with Other Languages’? No! I will
try and be more specific this time with set goals and routines that I can really stick to. I also wrote a little piece on my shortcomings with the Japanese language as well, which I think highlights some of the reason why this resolution was added to my list last year and why it will continue into next year too.
- Focus and Relax – Not Achieved.
Nope. I thought about leaving it there, but that wouldn’t be very constructive, would it? Alas, I don’t feel like I was able to relax much this year. It was a tough one and when I wrote my new year’s resolutions then, how could I have known what 2021 had in store for me? It turns out 2021 had quite a lot waiting for me. I think had I put together a more structured resolution together for this as well, I think it could have been achievable. I am not sure how I can adapt this one for 2022, but I’ll give it a go.
Going Into 2022
I am looking forward to writing up my resolutions for this year. Reading back my post from 2020, I could tell straight away that a lot of them were either too vague or just didn’t make much sense. ‘Save more’ for example, doesn’t really mean anything unless you put a number to it or know how much you saved the year before. Even ‘drink less’ doesn’t mean anything without knowing properly what was before. At least this year having these resolutions in the back of my mind has allowed me to at least keep an eye on what I’m doing and accurately self-reflect and I think I’ve been able to create a benchmark this year by which I can create something more meaningful.
Yes, I failed a few. But that doesn’t mean that I should discard them completely or consider myself a failure. One of the worst things that can come out of new year’s resolutions can be that one can feel that one is a failure, which I try not to think of myself. I think I set myself up to fall from the very beginning because I didn’t really focus on what it was I wanted. I had some murky goals for this year that I think now have cleared and that I can restructure for the next as I dig into why I want to make them in the first place. Settings those clearer goals with reasons and achievable milestones will help me a lot better in achieving what it is that I want. Had one of my new year’s resolutions been to watch all of the James Bond films then I could consider myself a top achiever.