On the one hand, 2011 was a great success. I did great in school, had lots of fun writing, finished my sixth consecutive year of NaNoWriMo, and became GTCC’s Student Government Association president. Not to mention I got to see the President of the Unites States speak in person, attend a conference on campus activities in Myrtle Beach and a conference on Jewish education in Jackson, Mississippi, and received nominations for multiple scholarships and awards.
On the other hand, after looking forward to 2011 this time last year, looking back at 2011 only shows a picture of failure.
When the year began, I set before myself five goals. Over the summer, I set for myself three additional ones. Then, when school got out, I made a few more personal goals I hadn’t mentioned here. Now it’s time to reflect on all of these–the successes and the failures–and see how strong my year has really been.
Goal #1: Become a Better Friend
Overall, I’d give myself a high C. Things began well. They just didn’t stay that way. I’ve been active on Facebook and have stayed in touch with most of my friends that I’ve met at Guilford Tech, but some of my most valued friends whom I’ve only known over the internet I still struggle to keep in touch with. Lately, once school got out, I’ve been able to talk with them more often, but given my goal’s intent, I’ve really let them down. These people–these five in particular–have been cornerstones of my personal history, but I don’t want them to be history–I want them to remain a part of my life forever.
What I’ve Learned: I’ve learned that friendship is strong enough that it can’t easily be broken, but that it takes a lot more effort than I’ve given it to keep it growing. That said, I need to devise new ways of handling my time to make sure I can keep in touch with those friends who matter instead of wasting time elsewhere.
Goal #2: Continue to Do My Best in School
This is one of the few goals I’ve truly succeeded at. With one of my busiest semesters yet (if not quite the most challenging academically), I still managed to maintain my 4.0 with a handsome list of extracurriculars. However, I’m beginning to grow lax about academia: I know it matters, and it will always matter to me, but sometimes I worry if all the stress and sleep deprivation I put myself through to get it all done is really worth it. I still revert to my teenage credo: When can I stop preparing for tomorrow and live for today? Eventually, eventually this must all pay off, but will the profits outweigh the costs?
Goal #3: Learn to Drive
I plead the fifth.
Goal #4: Actively Stay in Shape
For the first half of the year, I was great! However, when the fall came about, I let my summer habits slip and have since fallen far out of the shape I want to be in. I’ve fostered poor eating habits, nonexistent exercise habits, and personal sleep habits more similar to a nocturnal creature’s than a mammal’s. It’s upsetting. I feel like I’ve let myself go, and not only is that depressing because I’ve let myself down, it also physically sucks. I feel drained for energy, perpetually tired, and just plain lousy most of the time.
What I’ve Learned: Staying in shape is about more than looks, but it takes just as much dedication and willpower–if not more–than anything else I care about. I need to actively carry around a water bottle to make sure I’m staying hydrated, and I have to make sure I’m not overloading myself at school so I still have the strength to exercise at home. The benefits of positive habits will help me for years to come, but only if I can put myself into keeping them without letting them slip as much as I have this year.
Goal #5: Make More Time to Do What I Love Most
I think I’ve been fairly good with this one, too. Although I haven’t read much for pleasure, I have read a lot this year and I’m glad for that. I also played a tremendous amount of video games, went out with friends, and watched many new movies. It’s been a delightful year and I’m thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had to have fun. There really isn’t anything quite like the relaxation that comes from simply enjoying yourself without any preconditions. That being said, I can still do better finding a balance between myself and my responsibilities.
Summer Goal I: Complete My College Search
Here I excelled. I researched dozens of schools (and I have the charts in Excel comparing them with detailed rubrics to prove it) and I had the chance to visit four over the summer. By summer’s end, I had made my decision: I’ll be finishing my bachelor’s degree at NC State University. It’s lovely. It’s awesome. It’s amazing. And my application is almost complete, so all that’s left now is the final word from admissions. I’ve been told there’s no way they won’t take me, but since I’m not applying anywhere else, I’ll be nervous until I’m in.
Summer Goal II: Clean My Room
Not only did I clean my room over the summer, but I also kept it clean throughout the semester! Yes, piles of clutter did seem to migrate, and sometimes the mess built up excessively, but every so often I did tidy things up and vacuum. My room’s far from pristine and immaculate, but it’s comfortable and except for a bit of clutter in some designated areas (the top of my dresser, my desk, etc.), it’s been clean ever since.
Summer Goal III: Have a Good Time
See above, Goal #5.
Some of my recent goals have been to complete a set of posters for the SGA and our Food Pantry, host a Chanukah series on my blog, complete my application for State, design a graphic to put on a schoolbag to encourage people to vote in the upcoming primary, to play video games until school begins again, and to catch up on my journalling. In most of these endeavors, I’ve been fully successful! However, I still have one chapter to finish reading and I haven’t touched my journal. These goals I will carry over the next week until the spring semester begins, and I’m thoroughly confident I’ll be successful in these remaining endeavors.
A New Year Awaits…
Tomorrow, my slate is clean. Failure? Expunged. Dissatisfaction? Obliterated. Bad habits? Dropped for good… I hope. I’ll look over these goals, determine what worked and what didn’t, and read a few things about making lasting “resolutions” (remember, I much prefer making goals) and keeping to them, and then I’ll post again with my outline for productivity and personal growth year 2012.
Until then, I want to thank all of you–my readers faithful and new alike–for all the support and encouragement you have given me these first two years of my blog. I’m honored that you would give me your time and I hope that you’ll continue to do so in the years ahead.
And with that said…
HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2012, here I come.