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New Year Resolutions

December 18, 2018

The new year is nearing, and like every other year, I try set aside some time to come up with resolutions for the upcoming twelve months. One might render it futile, but I somehow always find that it motivates me to hit the ground running – even if I do not always end up following these set goals. This time, I’ve decided to share them on the blog:

Live spontaneously
One of my greatest resolutions for 2018 was the ability to live life more spontaneously, and cease to plan every aspect of my life. After a tumultuous 2017 – a year in which all did not go as planned – I figured it was time to take life as it comes… at least sometimes. And I managed, somewhat. I took up career-related projects with less of a defined plan and my head did not ache with worry, I spent a good chunk of the year choosing to say yes more often and randomly meet up with new people at ungodly hours of the day, sharing a drink or two and lots of laughter – and every spontaneous decision turned out to be rewarding. This goes against my nature. I have always feared not having full control over my life, despite continuously being told that it would be impossible to do so. Yet 2018 has been one of the most enjoyable and productive years thus far, albeit entirely unpredictable. So this coming year, I would like to continue on that route and take things a step further. I want more of these spontaneous and meaningful encounters, last-minute projects and trips overseas. I want to be sure that my life is so free of obligation, that I am able to drop everything and move to a far away place tomorrow. It isn’t as dreamy as it sounds!

Manage my time wisely

Being a perfectionist by nature often dictates just how much time I spend fussing over a piece of work. This might function, at times – yet in the real world, it often fails to. This year, as my deadlines have tightened and workload increased, I found myself struggling to keep up with my need of acquiring perfection and yet hitting all targets. I still very strongly believe in quality over quantity, and I do not normally finalise a creation unless I am convinced that it has reached the desired standard – yet I have found that at times, you will be obliged to work with other non-creatives and compromise is always the solution. Otherwise, you will be ending your days with a daily migraine and very few hours of sleep – and I say this because I know! In 2019, I want to spend less time being finicky over everything I do, stop expecting the impossible out of myself and instead learn to only take on the tasks which are important and possible to achieve in the required timeframe. 

Travel more

I am fortunate enough to say that this year has been the first year in which I have had control over my life – my time and finances – therefore allowing me to take up a couple of trips which have not been related to work or studies. Next year, I intend on doing that far more.

Dedicate more time to illustrating
When you’re juggling a full-time job, freelance work and your own content creation, some things just have to give. Working on my drawings and illustrations has taken the backseat this year, which is something I am rather upset about. As part of my efforts to manage time wisely, I want to set some more hours aside to work on my illustrations and kick off another freelance venture in that field – as nothing frustrates me more than feeling as though I am not reaching my full creative potential.

Transition to a healthier lifestyle
I am guilty of snacking on more fast food than should be permitted and cutting my hours at the gym as work takes its toll. I have seen the repercussions take shape – from falling ill more frequently and feeling physically weaker, to just feeling somewhat drained towards the end of the year. Again, this certainly has a lot to do with managing my time efficiently. I swear, 2019 will be the year I set aside hours to discover new recipes and schedule gym as though it were a part of my job – as self-care is fundamental to working productively anyway. Coming up with new ideas is near impossible when you aren’t mentally energised!

Learn to let go

Of people, of places, of failed plans. Letting go is a skill I have not yet mastered, but one I intend to in the coming year. For those who think over their words and those of others a million times, to an extent which can sometimes feel obsessive – I know your struggles. I think this ties in to living more spontaneously, worrying less about the outcome of things and choosing to focus on the present as opposed to what could be or what could have been.

Spend more mornings by the sea

Nothing inspires me more than the sound of gentle waves crashing against the shore, or the salty smell in the early hours of the morning. Now do understand, I am far from a morning person. I avoid waking up early at all costs (which is, admittedly, almost impossible considering I have not yet transitioned to a career life in which I manage my own hours entirely) and stay up late every night – simply because that is when I create best. Yet a refreshing and relaxed start to the day always fills me with inspiration. A year ago, I devoted several mornings to waking up early, heading for a stroll and sitting on the rocks with a sketchpad in hand, and it always proved to be rewarding. Although I have done so far less this year, I want to be able to balance the late nights and early mornings – both of which are my favourite times of the day.

Read more

Lastly, I want to read more. Despite the fact that nothing brings me more joy than shopping for books, I often tend to start a story and not complete it – as is the case with movies – and my resolution for the new year is putting an end to this. I am uncertain of whether I am easily distracted or simply bored, but I’ve decided to prioritise this goal. Any interesting crime/detective books, biographies or philosophical books you know of, please do recommend!

…And that is all! I will probably end up conjuring a couple more by the time the year ends, but I do feel that these are the main resolutions I’ll be following. 2018 has been a splendid year – one packed with new experiences, opportunities and meaningful encounters. I have high hopes for the coming year.

Natalya Vukovic