Boston at night

As another year closes and a new one begins, it's time yet again to reflect on how things went with last year's goals. I had so much going on and would have loved to write about thos experiences. Alas, I actually got so busy that I ran out of lifeforce energy to do so. 2018 was a hell of a year with a lot that happened in so many different ways from social goals to career growth. So let's just jump right in!

Last Year's Goals

1. End the Great Hermitage of 2017 - Critical Success

In 2017, I felt like I did very little. I had a lot of weekends where I had nothing to do and just played video games the whole time. By the end of 2018, I found free weekends hard to come by and very little gaming happening. I'm now to the point where I'm having to plan things months out because my weekends are so full. I got invovled in a number of professional communities including running a meetup organization, myself. This is a wonderful thing, but at the same time, now I feel the opposite stress. My time is so stretched that I am starting to feel like its getting out of my control. I need to start paring back instead. So, yes...resounding success. My social life is more vibrant than I think it ever has been, now.

2. Build some things, dammit! - Fail

I had a lot of good intentions here, but very little got done, and a lot of it is related to how full my social and professional schedule has become. What I did end up doing is a little bit of work on R2's dome. Other than that, nothing else was built or made. I have a few theories as to why this happened, but I'll get to that a bit later in the post.

3. Reprioritize Financial Goals - Critical Success

Of the list of five financial things I wanted to get done in 2018, I accomplished all of them. I've reallocated my savings amounts. I've been spending money on my wardrobe all year, and my options are looking so much better. I spent some money picking up R2's dome. I bought some rugs and some frames for my apartment, and finally, I just opted to do laser on my legs. It was less expensive than I thoiught. So I pretty much crushed it. 

4. Replace my wardrobe - Critical Success

As I mentioned in the previous goal, I've been regularly spending money on clothing, while eliminating my old clothes out of my wardrobe. I now have way more options and look way cuter throughout the year than I used to. I'm very pleased with this and there will be more on this topic later.

5. Make my apartment feel like a home - Success

I didn't fully crush this because there's still more to be done, but I've made a lot of progress. The main things I've done are buy some rugs for a few rooms. I also hung up some of the artwork I had throughout the house and picked up some more frames to hang other stuff up. I still have some bare walls and need to buy some curtains, but it feels much more homey in my place.

6. Keep off the weight - Critical Success

So last year I lost 10 pounds. My goal was to keep that weight off. Not only did I keep that weight off, but I lost an additional 10 pounds. So I blew through what I thought was my goal and set new ones. I now am the lightest I've been since high school, which is crazy. I'm extremely happy with my body right now, and that's wonderful.

7. Learn how to do hair stuff - Critical Fail

I genuinely did nothing on this goal this year. There's not much more to say about it. Fail.

8. Learn three.js - Critical Fail

Samesies with the last goal. I spent no time on this at all.

9. Swording - Success

I left last year wondering if I was even interested in continuing with HEMA and swords in general, and as I wrap up 2018, I have re-joined the fray. I've been slowly working on the Amazon group that I've been interested in starting, and during that time, I discovered a class called "Give a Girl a Sword" put on by the Boston Armizare. I decided to check it out and ended up just joining the club. I've been training a few times now, and this group really seems to fit my needs as a student much better. I'm really enjoying swinging a sword again, and I have a few deep bruises to show for it. I've already started investing in gear again, and hopefully the new stuff I bought will keep those bruises less intense. The Amazon group will still happen, but I also now have this as well. So I'm more involved in HEMA than ever.

10. Dating / Finding Love - Success

This was a rough one. It started strong. I spent the first several months of 2018 going on more first dates than I have in my entire life leading up to that point combined. I met a lot of women and almost gave up a few times. I had several women that I put entirely too much emotional energy into that didn't deserve that energy. I was led on for longer periods of time and ended up getting hurt a couple of times. I took a break for a few months and rejoined the dating fray in the last quarter of the year. Finally in the last week, I met someone that's pretty amazing, and we've spent a lot of time together in that week. Way to end the year with a bang! 

Final Verdict on 2018 Goals

Holy crap! I only had 3 fails this past year! And I had 4 critical successes! That's amazing! This is easily the best year I've ever had in tracking my annual goals. I never expected that. I mean, I know that people were impressed with me jumping into the dating apps and social goals right away at the beginning of 2018, but I didn't think it would end up like this. It'll be hard to compete with the resounding success of 2018 in the coming year, but I'll do my best.

2019 Goals

1. Stop using YouTube as much

I have been a bit annoyed that project ideas haven't moved forward as much as I'd like. I've taken some time to assess why that might be, and I'm pretty sure two things come to the forefront: Social Media and YouTube. I'm specifically calling out YouTube as the focus of this goal because I know my habits of late. I come home from work or get up on a weekend day and plop down on the couch. My first go to is YouTube and then I end up watching hours of short video content. While some of it is fantastic and educational, it's time I could be spending doing really anything else. Yes, everyone needs time to relax and vegitate, but I do it a bit too much, in my opinion. I'm going to cut back my usage to only three days a week.

2. Gain Flexibility

This is something I've thought about for months leading up to this post, but I've never been flexible enough to touch my toes. It's been since grade school that I've been able to sit cross-legged comfortably. I really want to change that. I want to be able to meditate with my legs crossed without pain. I want to get my knees down to the floor in that position. I want to be able to easily touch my toes and hopefully get to flat hands on the floor. And with all of that hopefully comes less risk of injury while fencing. 

3. No-Hands Cartwheel

This one is a bit on the weird side, but now that I'm back into fencing and am looking to start my own group, I want to learn some tumbling techniques that just look damn cool. I might be able to use them in cosplay situations or maybe even in my fencing classes. Who knows! Either way, I want to give it a go. I enjoyed gymnastics in my grade school years, and I think I could do light versions of it now, too.

4. Amazons

I mentioned this group a few times already, but I've actually put work into this over the last year. I started putting together foundational documents for the group. I created a Facebook group to gauge interest with a small group of friends. I even ran a few test classes to see how they would go. I learned that I'm a decent teacher and that there is a lof of interest out there. I know this could be amazing, and in 2019, it will become a real thing.

5. R2 Dome

R2-D2 has been my very slow moving project, and while I made some progress in 2018, it's moving far slower than I'd like. So, this year I will get the dome fully operational. I want all the hinges working, the dome polished, te holoprojectors in, and the logic boards / electronics in place. I think it's very possible. I just need to prioritize it.

6. Balance my life committments

Over the course of the last year, my life got progressively more busy and full. Now it's so full that I need to start thinking about slowing it down a bit. So my goal is to take stock and make sure I'm not stressed and anxious about all of this. I'm not quite sure how I'll measure success, but hopefully it involves saying no a few times to things.

7. Less stuff and things & More Experiences

I took a long, hard look at the last year, and I realized I spent a bunch of money on things. These weren't necessarily things I needed to have. They gave me brief bursts of dopamine filled with "Well that was fun" instead of something more lasting. So this year is intended to cut back on the physical stuff and increase the experiences. I want to have memories that will last a lifetime in 2019.

8. Carry Over: Make My Apartment Feel like a Home - Curtains and more...

The irony of just finishing up talking about how I need to have more experiences and then talking about how I need to spend more on stuff for my apartment. I do though. My house, while it feels better than it did, still needs some attention. I'm going to get curtains for all the windows, get a few more pieces of art to put on the walls, and replace some dead furniture that either broke this past year or is just old enough to need to be replaced entirely.

9. Carry Over: Replace My Wardrobe - Continuing Mission

I've largely been very happy with my wardrobe replacement over the past year, but it needs to continue. I've mostly tossed out my old shoes leaving me with very little to wear with cute dresses and whatnot. I need to replace those. I want to continue to find stuff that just makes me feel good about myself. I need jewelry to wear with all of my outfits. I need shorts, since I haven't had those for about a decade. None of this has to be expensive stuff, but I feel like it'll have to be an ongoing process.

10. Love Myself / Body Positivity

Lastly, and most importantly, I'm very hard on myself. In fact, I can and often am downright mean to myself. This has to change. I tear myself down emotionally, call myself names, and convince myself of all sorts of things that aren't true. I have body image issues that I have been slowly working through. All of this is a lot, and it will probably take longer than one year. Better to start now than to wait. In 2019, I will learn to love myself.

Closing Thoughts

2018 was a whirlwind. I made it through to the other side better than I started. Here's hoping there's some momentum there and that 2019 will see even more successes. You, internet friend that's reading this blog post instead of doing something productive, help me stay accountable. You're a wonderful friend for doing so. Thanks for sticking with me, and here's to a wonderful new year!