Happy new year, friends! I know we’re already a week into 2023 but I wanted to take some time to reflect on last year and write about my intentions and goals for the new year. Because I was out of town most of the last couple of weeks in December, I am finally sitting down to do so.
Last year, I didn’t set specific goals but did choose a word of the year, which was “rest.” For a long time, I couldn’t and wouldn’t let myself rest. I think this had begun in college. I used to literally calculate how much my family was paying every hour for my schooling in order to motivate myself which was super unhealthy (surprisingly I did not develop anxiety from this thought process). I attended school on a full scholarship but even the room and board was a huge burden to my family and I put a lot of pressure on myself and carried guilt for the privilege of going to college (especially because my little siblings were not afforded the same opportunity as me).
Add to that, living in a capitalist society that is always telling people to hustle and be productive, I was feeling burned out but simultaneously could not turn off my brain while trying to rest (likely worsened by the fact that I began making efforts to rest in 2021 when I was already not in a great mental state thanks to and toxic people/incidents from blogging and the lack of my usual support system due to COVID-19).
2022 was a challenging year for me: I experienced a lot of growth, was challenged to change my perspective, and learned to accept life as it unfolded. One of the most exciting things about last year is that I finally am able to find the time and space to rest without guilt.
In 2023, while continuing to prioritize rest, I want to find balance. When I was approaching 30, I found myself going back to how I used to be as a child–reading more, being lazy (which I now call resting), and being more type B. Over the winter break, I met up with a friend from college who has always known me as a type A personality (caused by what I described above). I explained how I have been feeling recently like I’m becoming the complete opposite of the person she has known, feeling so unorganized and a bit out of control. I needed talking through it with my friend to realize I need to find the balance between the two extremes.
(Now I feel like this post is long enough already!)
In other aspects of my life, I want to continue making our house feel more homey. I love how our living room is turning out to be and would like to make some changes to the dining room and my office, where I spend most of my waking hours. We have mad zero plans since getting engaged. We have had some conversations though and would like to make some progress with concrete plans and decisions this year!
At the end of last year, I shared how I want to share authentically on social media. Currently, I feel at peace with how last year went. I no longer plan my IG and blog post schedule which has relieved the pressure to consistently produce content and allows me to share in the moment. I am doing the opposite of taking it seriously, which is what everyone is telling you to do on IG and TikTok. While my growth on different social media platforms may be stunted and I am not posting as much as I used to, I am happier overall, which is a higher priority for me at this point in my life.
On the other hand, I want to do a little bit of planning (again, going back to finding balance). There is a lot of photos and video footage from the last year that I never got around to sharing. Work has become quite busy, especially after a promotion and department transfer halfway through the year, that I often do not have the brain space to think about blogging at the end of a workday like I used to. I am hoping to edit and share some of the old content (i.e. Boston vlogs on TikTok) but would like to create some intentional time for blogging this year.
Last but not least, I want to revamp my website! Since the very beginning, I have been using free WordPress themes because I am a cheap person. I haven finally accepted that it’s okay to spend money on the website because I love writing on here and you can spend money on your hobbies. All of the WordPress themes I’m looking at are under $100 too so it’s not even an outrageous amount. I am currently looking at Empress and 17th Avenue so if you have experience with either or other recommendations, please let me know!
I have a few specific goals when it comes to reading. First, I want to read more slowly. I will likely continue reading every day but I want to process each book I am reading before I move onto the next and certainly before I do my monthly book reviews. During a short period last year, I worked on the review blog posts throughout the month (every week or so), which I really liked and made finalizing the post at the end of month a breeze. I would like to keep up with that all year in 2023.
I want to make effort to read roughly equal amount of physical/eBooks and audiobooks. Last year, I finally became an audiobook person after a few failed attempts previously. While I love listening to audiobooks, I usually listen to them when I’m multi-tasking (driving, doing chores around the house, getting ready for bed). I would love to make more time to sit down and read. Reading physical books or eBooks feels like a more active and intentional activity I am doing for myself.
This is probably on everyone’s reading goals for the new year: I want to prioritize reading books I already own! I am and will forever be a library user but I have accumulated a number of books in my collection last year—from book subscriptions, a library sale, gifts from family and publishers. I am one of those people that get overwhelmed by a physical TBR so I plan to make effort to tackle it each month. This is another reason I want to make effort to read more physical books this year.
You might know already but I’m bilingual. I can read and speak Korean (after all, I only moved to the Sates when I was 13!) but my Korean skills have regressed quite a bit from lack of use. I want to practice Korean more, including reading. I have several books in Korean, and I would like to read all of them by the end of this year. I read one already!
P.S. If you are a person who sets new year’s resolutions or goals, I would love to hear about it!