Resolutions for 2018

My practice of writing resolutions (see 20132014, 2016, 2017) has been completely invaluable to me. This past year was incredible and eye-opening in terms of not only learning more about myself and people around me, but how to exist in relation with myself (my many selves), and with other people. Last year, I opened this introduction with saying that I was living with depression and anxiety. I think I’m officially recovered from both depression and generalised anxiety disorder in very marked ways, and I know working within a growth model framework has been so uplifting. 

Body Image/Exercise/Healthy Living
similar goals as last year because they’re good and because I’ve been meeting most of them! A happy face beside each one I achieved, because rereading it this year actually made me smile as it’s something I have “figured out”  🙂

  • Food Goals:
    • Keep track of what foods I eat and eat 3-4 small meals a day.
    • Drink more water! use the Loblaws-glass-bottle as a measure and consume  4 of these per day.
    • Use the 40-30-30 plan with myfitnesspal to help
    • Cut my caffeine intake by sticking to tea and trying to avoid coffee as much as possible
  • Exercise Goals: this is proving difficult to maintain due to the study schedule i developed last year as part of my academic goals. For now, this section is on hiatus due to just not having enough time
    • Incorporate walking into every day –use the gym at work!
    • Work up to running for 30 minutes, 3 times a week
    • (I lost about 10 lbs last year out of my goal of 25. I’d like to continue on that track while putting on muscle): Diabetes, hypertension,  and heart disease run in my family; there is a serious concern of me developing these issues from a genetic perspective.
    • Strength train for arms, core, and sides, using the exercises learned from last year
      • Start with simple stuff, using body weight, at home, work up to more intense exercises
      • use the  “health” goals I came up with this year: feeling better in clothes, sleeping better, feeling stronger, fitter, having more energy, doing more without feeling so tired.
    • Incorporate an evening workout plan of fifteen to twenty minutes of bodyweight strength training for an at-home regimen
  • Writing/Planning Goals:
    • Write 1 articles per week and as many poems as needed (hah, I wasn’t even close with this goal this year, – it was originally 3 but I’ve cut it down to 1 article per week. Hopefully I can maintain that standard)  I learned that this kind of regimented form of writing didn’t work for me as well. What did work for me was the goal below: writing when the mood strikes and committing to it. Writing with support as part of a team (see below) also helped a lot so I want to maintain writing groups, writing circles, writing events (as part of my creative and academic goals)
    • Keep a journal, and a pen, on hand at all times
    • Use my phone calendar/google calendar to continuously plan 🙂 –> I was on top of many things this year such that it’s just a part of my life now I think 🙂
    • Submit articles to online/print publications, maintain my blog 🙂 –> I achieved this goal and actually had the highest ever views and visitors  and actually am working part of a team at at nuance, a digital publication 🙂 🙂
    • Continue my work with nuance and other publications! 🙂
  • Sleeping Goals: (el oh el – well something had to fall by the wayside this year and I guess my sleep had to go! I need to work on all of this; I am noticing my sleep has reduced significantly due to studying and working but i am aiming for a midnight-five am cycle) 
    • Continue to sleep at a regular time; when fluctuations happen, seek to correct them with better sleep hygiene practices like:
      • lights off after 12pm
      • use soothing music if I have to
      • use melatonin if I have to
      • up by 6am
  • Body Loving Goals:
    • Relax my jaw more🙂
    • Try to love my body more, whatever weight I happen to be at, and accept it. I find this super hard to do and I need to think harder about my fatphobia. It was particularly negative this year…. 😦 I am not sure why and will work on this goal.
    • Work on corporal flexibility to strengthen mental flexibility – incorporate fluidity in how I live because water can’t break🙂
    • De-stress every night through conscious loosening of tense muscles; identify and work on specific muscles that are tense
    • Continue to be aware of who affects my body and in which ways; listen to my body about how to respond to people – Remember that the words are already on my tongue – I just have to read them out loud without muddling from my brain or my ~feelfeels~🙂 🙂 🙂 – This year, I finally learned how to say “no” to things that harm me, to people that cross boundaries, to firmly and compassionately say no to things that I do not want or need, and to still maintain relationships, friendships, and work through issues. Not always, and not perfectly, but with a greater sense of who I am, and I want to continue saying no to things that I do not want, because these “NO”s are actually yesses to other things. 
    • work on seeing what I’m saying “yes” to 🙂 
    • I learned a lot about my spiritual goals this year and how I exist in relation with people – and it’s tied to a lot of how I feel in my body but also how I feel in my…sense of Self  – I hope to continue a body loving practice that maintains this spiritual sense
    • Continue to be conscious of my posture🙂
      • go for massages
  • Hair Goals:
    • be more diligent about oiling my hair at night -2-3 times a week 🙂 move to incorporate castor oil in addition to coconut
    • do not wash hair more than 2-3 times a week (this strips it and kills it) :)*smiling as I read this because my hair is bomb this year* – hair was *amazing* this year
  • Build a self care regime that is not based on material rewards, such as: hair care, doing groceries, cuddling my cats

Relationships/Self ImageI am truly stunned at how many of these I’ve met, excelled at, and really improved on this past year! A happy face beside each one I achieved, and am continuing to achieve! (two happy faces indicates that I’ve been “getting this” since 2014) 

  • Trust/love/accept myself more – trust others will too🙂🙂 and also push myself in kind, encouraging ways to continue to grow! To be honest, when  I wrote this last year, I was broken up with shortly after these goals were listed so it’s kind of interesting reading them now. I do trust, love, and accept myself more – including my flaws, without enabling them. I want to continue accepting myself from a growth model framework where I can improve on my flaws and understand that others are also in the process of doing that
  • Be hopeful rather than skeptical🙂🙂 (I am actually so proud of achieving this goal – it has helped me tremendously in addressing my depression and anxiety. See:
  • is always interesting to see what worked in the past and what did not. Hope like this does not serve me anymore, but neither does skepticism. What I learned last year was that you neither need to hope for a high or be skeptical of a high, or be wary or afraid of a low. I refuse to live my life like a sine curve; there will be no peaks and troughs anymore. What I want instead, and what I work for instead, is meeting people exactly where they are at. My goal for this year is to see people clearly, see myself clearly, work through the fog of intention (good or bad), fear, anger, and other masks people have to see clearly what people have the capacity to offer, and what I have the capacity to offer. I am interested in bridging work, and boundary work: walls and bridges are made of the same thing – the red brick of my heart, and I finally understand how to do this work better.
  • Value myself more – trust others will too  This goal has changed. A lot. Valuing myself means not only what I wrote below from last year, but also: knowing innately that I am no better and no worse than anyone I encounter, that we all echo a sense of the same spirit. Valuing myself has a process now, and it looks like this: Respect, for myself and for others – which is that deep knowledge and sense of everyone as worthy of everything good. Then, not to trust that others will offer me this but to see clearly if they do 🙂 And to move to people who do and to move away from people who do not.
    • From last year: What does valuing myself  look like? It looks like listening to my own body about situations – unease in my belly or tears in my throat – or warm feelings of affection and wanting to reach out in my fingers
    • Valuing also means prioritising my own sense of who I am
  • Express hurt before it’s too late…and value my own hurt for what it is rather than thinking I ‘shouldn’t’ be or don’t ‘deserve’ to feel the way I do.🙂 I have a different goal in place of this one now: I have achieved the goal of accepting my feelings, but I also learned that I don’t need to express my hurt every time. Sometimes, it’s clear where people stand.
  • Be open to resolving conflict in a way that works with everyone involved; meet people where they are at!
  • Continue deprioritising/decentering romantic love.🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 while also valuing other forms of love more
    • Once I gave up the “quest” to be seen as romantically loveable, I stopped struggling with extreme bouts of loneliness.  But I think I was confusing loneliness with some sense of lack of self worth which is thankfully being fixed, because instead of looking to be seen as loveable, I no longer see it as a measure of my self worth. ––> holy shit, so, at the time I wrote this, I had *some* idea of how I was feeling, but not a very clear idea of how deeply rooted the notion of loveability and self worth are. Going forward, I have realised decentering romantic love has been useful not because I am NOT loveable (as my earlier article states), but because so many different forms of love are accessible to me, and for all forms of love to work, that feeling should not slip into attachment
      🙂 see:
      And this way of approaching loveability has been better for me and has actually made me cherish  good friendships, my own alone time, a lot more
    • enjoy and cherish my own time, and the time I invest in myself🙂 🙂 🙂
    • if the situation arises, learn to accept small moments of affection without freaking out, and without necessarily seeking them out – this has been a concern this year so that’s something I may need to work on too. This was a huge concern last year, because of how I was approaching this idea. The truth is, when people say “go slow in relationships” they mean “go small” in relationships at the start. Small moments of trust building, and seeing if trust can be built, is what creates a safe emotional foundation for romantic love to blossom and be really held. I have felt love before, but that love quickly slipped into attachment
  • Continue trusting my knowledge, abilities, capabilities more – and invest in these more!🙂🙂
  • Feel deeper
    • No. Horrible goal. REMOVING THIS GOAL. Emotional feelfeels are not really my key to understanding the world around me – they’re nice, and they’re important, but they’re not my go-to for making my life better. At best, they give me temporary like 4-min anxiety laced cuddly feels, and at worst, they give me straight on panic attacks. No thanks. (2014)
    • update: yeah this goal sucks forever. Feelings aren’t the miracle path for everyone – but I’m leaving it here because of the ways in which people are pressured into “valuing” their feelings all the time. No. This doesn’t work for everyone!  Leaving it in to remind myself to NOT DO THIS
    • update: yeah this goal STILL sucks FOREVER. feelings are fickle and honestly, advice telling you to feel deeper probably focuses on attachment rather than observation of feelings (Dec 2017)
  • Continue appreciating good friends more – and more often.🙂 I want to do this more this year, and I think I’m getting slowly better at it!
    • this includes showing care in the way they would like to receive care! 🙂
    • Continue maintaining ties with friends.🙂
    • Build a “present” practice – be present for friends  in ways that show care, especially for those more marginalized than myself:
      • material support: cooking meals for them, helping them clean up their place, cash
      • emotional support: being there for them when they’d like some company, recognizing that they also have a lot to offer and may be shy so open that door more
      • crisis support:
      • presents. literally. around holiday times, if I can afford it, to show my love and appreciation for having them in my life and for existing.
  • Give people as many chances as feels “natural” or which meets my own internal equilibrium for an ‘even’ relationship so long as there is commitment for growth and better from both parties and so long as there appears to be something both people are bringing to the table
    • this used to be: “give people a second chance and no more” but I’m at a point where I can invest more in some people, gauge a situation better and with more nuance!
  • Approach people, life, and events from a “growth” model perspective🙂
    • I am focusing so much on growth these days, of my self, of relationships.

Spiritual Goals – this is a  category I decided to add last year  based on my growth from last year, and practices I’ve started to adopt. Last year came with a lot of spiritual awakenings that have bled into other areas of my life in positive ways, and I now have some clarity with how I want to pursue these goals.

  • Prioritise an attitude that centers equanimity when it comes to feelings: Value joy as much as sadness. And in so doing, recognize that feelings are fickle but not without value in telling us what our boundaries for good treatment feel like. I don’t ever have to settle for less than I deserve. 
  • Resist attachment, and focus on love. What do I mean by this? I experienced a life-changing heartbreak last year. Something in me truly died but it was a necessary death. Something in me knew that something had to change, something had to give way, something had to be burned away, and something new: stronger, fiercer, prouder, nobler had to rise from the ashes. My depression and my anxiety existed in a framework of worldly attachments to ideas of success, capability, competence. These external attachments drove a sense of self worth or lack thereof. An “A” meant I was doing well, and was worthy. Romantic love meant I was doing well and was worthy. The lack of these things meant I was not doing well, and was unworthy. All attachments are rooted in this simple idea: that what is outside you should necessarily have an impact on what is inside you. Love doesn’t do this. Love is the opposite: what is inside you will always have an impact on what is outside you. Often, after heartbreak, we feel our soft and vulnerable parts spilling out. We create an armour to hold that all in. And with each heartbreak, and blow to our self esteem, we build a stronger armour while staying wounded inside. And it’s a vicious cycle: people cannot let people in, they become guarded, more hurt, more prone to attachment than love – usually the idea that someone else can save us from ourselves. But I read something which I can unfortunately not find again (please let me know if you find it), that made a lot of sense to me: the armour should be inside. The flesh and softness should be outside. And that way, we present authenticity, love, kindness to the world, and we keep our boundaries close. Keep your “yes” close, and your “no” closer. You cannot build bridges without boundaries; bridges without boundaries are cities collapsing in on themselves. Boundaries define not just what you keep out, but what you let in. This year, I don’t want to be attached to anything. But I want to love myself and others as best as I can. With this idea, it’s easy to see that love is in a sense, attachment to a higher Self, a deeper Self, leading to deeper peace and attachment to worldly markers of prestige is always going to be dependent on the outside world.
  • Recognise that the movement of events, feelings, people is part of the flow and balance of life. Reflect on why people leave from  a non-traumatised place, and instead from a place that seeks to understand each person as moving in their own journey and through their own needs.
  • Seek to appreciate the balance; do not cling to individual feelings or people, but take note of what I am committing to, and to make it clear that that for people to stay in my life, they must also show commitment. Seeking commitment and security is not clinginess, it is kindness for everyone involved. Seeking commitment from a place of self worth rather than fear of abandonment is also not clinginess, it is a desire to foster security and love in relationships. And if that commitment to kindness and being there and growing together is there whether in relationships or friendships, then open up to vulnerability, love, trust, and friendship with equal appreciation for what all of these can bring.🙂
  • Move forward without looking back; accept the present (this goal was so important for two years running; I need to focus now on HOW to move forward in productive ways.)
  • Remember why tamasic actions, beliefs, and intent rank ignorance and indifference as much as ill-will; there is a spiritual cost to inertia
    • Do not fetishise pain, my own or others 🙂 –> I finally stopped doing this this year, after a lot of hurdles.
    • Love myself from a place of deep compassion that expects the best from myself and forgives myself when that is also not met – and love others from this place as well. 🙂
  • Sit with feelings and accept them as simply an internal storm that will pass.
    • This approach to feelings has been much more calming for me. My feelings do not define my reality any more than anything else. Feelings are fickle and do not define my core.
    • Pain can end just as quickly as joy if I let it, but peace is a more eternal joy that is accessible. If depression is eternal numbness, attachment to the world as a marker of who I should be, and an unhealthy navel gazing, serenity and joy is eternal joy of a softer kind, an appreciation of balance, and attachment to a Self that is constantly learning, growing, and Becoming
  • Work with the universe more
    • Continue being more giving, working harder, and being kinder, and receiving more 
      • Give in ways that draws on the same Source when I give to myself and which does not deplete myself; Give to myself first 
      • Focus on “L”ove and “S”elf more so than love and self.
  • Adopt a “gratitude” model 🙂
    • this prevents chasing after new experiences/goals in a way that disregards the present
    • being grateful for what I have allows me to envision a future where I will be grateful for what I have then; it is a model that respects the present
    • meet people where they are at and also take joy in the small moments of connection without expecting more while still having standards for good treatment. Take note when people suddenly shift in communication, behaviour, capacity. Check in. But there is no need for unconditional gratitude to a single person, or a single act; what is necessary is unconditional gratitude as a way of existing in relation with the world
  • Start a meditation routine
    • revisit and incorporate visualisation techniques
    • Develop a way to welcome mornings, and to invite night as a way of accepting the day and its events at the end of every night
  • Begin a spell-book/ritual book to develop routines that structure the day

Personal and Professional Development Goals: Work/School/Volunteering/

  • Continue excelling at work
    • revamp my program 🙂 –> continue to do this
    • meet and excel at work-related targets 🙂
    • build community contacts and network efficiently and strategically :)Volunteer with organizations that have similar political/social aims! (I find I do a lot more things for money tbh, and I’m ambivalent about volunteering when I have so little time – still I’ll leave these open)
    • Canadian Blood Services
    • St Michael’s Research
    • Women’s Shelters
  • Study for the MCAT (I did this, but my concussion really interfered with studying last year) – aiming to write in July
  • Apply to MPH 🙂 Done! Hopefully I get in… but who knows 🙂 And it’s ok if I don’t. The goal was to apply, so it’s met
  • save $$! – see personal budget plan, maintain budget plan from last year/improve upon it
  • Tutor anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, basic health sciences to students 🙂 (this was an unexpected goal that I just kind of did last year that I want to continue)
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