I love New Year’s Resolutions. And I guess I’m a weirdo but I have a pretty good success rate with mine. The New Year represents a brief pause in our busy culture. We look back at the past year and celebrate the unknown possibilities of a reset. And best of all, we get to imagine a version of our best selves!! I adore thinking about the person I want to be, maybe because I adore that best version of myself.
Just as I enjoy picturing ideal Phyllis, I like the challenge of figuring out how to get there. Like I said, I’m a bit of a weirdo but I like making attainable, measurable goals that I can hold myself accountable for. So at least for me, New Year’s Resolutions are a fun challenge full of possibilities!
So without further ado, my 2018 resolutions:
48 Likes, 2 Comments – Phyllis Goode (郝紫霞) (@phyllismgoode) on Instagram: “Happiness is… 📚”
1. Read 40 books
I love reading but I’ve never given much thought to what I read. Usually, I end up reading whatever’s at my fingertips. However, this past year I’ve thought a lot more about being intentional in what I read and I have a long list of books. So I’m setting up a reading challenge on Goodreads! I want to read 40 books this year. And I have a few more guidelines set in place for myself.
- Read at least 3 books a month
- Read at least one book by an author of color, a woman, and a book from 2018 per month
I think it’s important to read work by diverse authors-I don’t want my literary picks to be whitewashed. Which is why I’ve included POC and women in my goals. Also, I want to be part of the conversation as everyone is reading new books that come out! One of my favorite things is to skim the New York Times for their most recent picks and see which books win the literary prizes. I want to be stay relevant on the newest hits so I’ve included the one book a month from 2018.
2. Eat seafood ethically
Those of you who know me well know I’ve been pescatarian going on 3 years now. When I made the switch to a vegetarian diet, I wanted to leave room to satisfy some meat cravings while learning to get enough protein from plants. Fish is also a healthier meat making it a healthier diet while avoiding deficiencies many vegans have issues with (B12). However, there are lots of unethical fishing practices. Trawling for shrimp for example is horrible for the environment and ends up with lots of bycatch (think whales, dolphins, sea turtles, etc.) that is thrown back into the ocean dead. Other types of fishing practices contribute to over fishing and degradation of reefs. Fish farming ends up adding minerals and toxins to the fish you’re eating and essentially tortures fish. Basically, there are lots of harmful fishing habits that hurts our environment.
I did a lot of flip-flopping on the issue of eating seafood. I strongly considered going full-on vegetarian. However, I think the healthiest diet I can follow does include fish sometimes. That doesn’t mean it has to be my main diet, but I do think I benefit from not cutting it out altogether. I think it is possible to eat seafood ethically however. (Although never octopus because they’re conscious and it’s weird to eat something as intelligent as us. And I love cephlapods!) I have an app called Seafood Watch that I strongly encourage everyone to download. You can look at the type of fish you’re considering eating/shopping for and the app will tell you if it’s ethical to eat (so you’re not contributing to harming the environment). I’ll most likely cut shrimp out of my diet altogether-it’s hard to tell if the shrimp you’re eating hasn’t been caught by trawling and these bottom feeders are the least healthy for you anyway. (As bottom feeders they absorb the most toxins.) I also want to try out Blue Apron this year. Blue Apron partners with Seafood Watch to make sure you’re eating seafood ethically.
3. Take a rock-climbing class
When I was living in Yangshuo I developed into something of a rock-climbing groupie, even attending and doing a wee bit of climbing at the Petzl rock climbing festival. (I appear briefly in their official video here.) I learned a lot of rock-climbing terminology and did a bit of climbing but I would have no idea how to set up a pitch myself. I want to learn and also make a point of really giving the sport a try! I figure the best way to really dig into this sport and make sure I go out climbing more is to take a class. I’ll meet other people interested in climbing too and can learn some of the essentials. And it’ll ensure I actually climb regularly for a period!
4. Complete a dry January
I’ve heard of a few people who do a dry month yearly. And from what they’ve said, it’s wonderful. Alcohol has some serious bad effects on your body and giving up alcohol can be extremely beneficial. I don’t think I particularly abuse alcohol but I know I typically have at least one drink a day. I figured this would be a good experiment to see how I feel at the end of the month and how much alcohol I drink without really even thinking about it. I’ll let you guys know!
5. Complete a sugar detox
Sugar is horrible for your body and our society eats way too much of it. I’ve been wanting to try to complete a sugar challenge for a few years now and I figured this was the year to jump in. I’ve picked a 21-day sugar detox that I’ll be completing in September. More updates on this challenge to come! I think I’ll find it extremely beneficial but I’ve been looking at the list of foods I’m going to have to cut out (another month of no alcohol, no bread, fruits, etc.) and I’m a little nervous. A few people have mentioned that fruits are generally healthy for you and they’re not wrong. The purpose of this challenge is to have a type of detox so that you cut your addiction and realize when you’re eating sugary foods.
6. Set up a budget that turns states blue
Obviously I’m not exactly happy with our current political landscape. I think one of the benefits of being evacuated from Burkina Faso is that I should (hopefully) have a job with a regular paycheck soon. Because I’m a freak, I’m most excited about setting up a brand new budget for myself. And one of my goals is to make sure that every month I’m committing to a campaign or organization that is helping to get Democrats elected.
7. Travel to one new country
As someone who is running a travel blog here, I should definitely have some travel goals on my list! I don’t have a job yet so I don’t want to be too ambitious with my international travel goals. But I do want to at least explore one new country! I’m thinking maybe Canada?
8. Travel to two new states
There’s so many places in the US I want to travel to as well. Since I’m moving to DC I figure I’ll be in a great place to make weekend trips to new areas of the US-especially the South. Specifically, I want to explore Asheville, North Caroline, Savannah, Georgia, and somewhere in Florida. I think two new states are totally doable!
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
What are your New Years Resolutions and what steps are you taking to make sure they happen?