While we’re already a week into 2022, I don’t think it’s too late for me to declare my new year’s resolutions. (Someone, please agree with me.) So, without further ado and fanfare, let’s dive in.
Reflecting On 2021
Truth be told, the majority of my resolutions for 2021 were ungracefully yeeted into the void. In simpler words, I crashed and burned.
Without disclosing too many personal details, last year was a very bizarre time for me. In an effort to heal (in more ways than one), I became more withdrawn, disconnecting myself from things I enjoy doing and people I care about. And in doing so, I felt frustratingly aimless. Mentally okay and stable, but aimless (if that makes any sense).
Don’t get me wrong. It was necessary for me to step back, and I don’t regret it. But you know what they say about choices and opportunity costs. And although I was willing to pay the toll last year, I can’t say the same about this year.
Intention For 2022
As explained in my latest newsletter, I’ve adopted the practice of having a one-word mantra to serve as my guiding philosophy for the year. It’s a nifty little trick that I use to help ensure that my decisions are aligned with my intention.
What I also find great about having a one-word mantra is that there is room for openness and flexibility. I personally find hyperspecific goals to be quite intimidating sometimes. Or even limiting in some situations. In contrast, declaring my intention as a word or as a short phrase invites introspection and habitual self-reflection.
For instance, my selected word for 2020 was “essential” — with the intention of focusing on what truly mattered to me. However, what I deemed “essential” at the start of the year began to shift as time passed, resulting in a different set of priorities by the end of 2020. And that’s okay! Great, even. Because people evolve. Especially as they learn more about themselves.
With all that said, my intention for this year is to reconnect. As mentioned earlier, creating distance was necessary for me to refocus on myself last year. It gave me the peace of mind that I needed at the time. However, I can’t hide in a carefully constructed vacuum forever. And moreover, I no longer want to.
I truly hope that 2022 will be a year of reconnecting and rekindling. Of new first loves and liberally given second chances. Of breathing new flames into past passions. Of revisiting and reinventing the past into something better and more durable.newsletter #3, a letter of sunflowers & thunderstorms
Resolutions For 2022
In carrying out my intention for the year, I’ve thought long and hard about my 2022 resolutions. I also had to ask myself some tough questions: What does reconnection look and feel like to me? In which areas of my life do I feel disconnected from? What can I do to bridge that gap?
2022 Resolutions for the Heart
Matters of the heart usually involve personal feelings and connections with other people. And I think that’s where I need to concentrate the most. But reconnection should start from within, first and foremost. Before I can rekindle connections with others, I must first improve the relationship that I have with myself.
I feel like ever since the coronavirus outbreak sidetracked my life plans, I’ve lost my sense of self. And quite frankly, I have yet to find her. Thus, I hope to reconnect with my old self in 2022. But at the same time, I also want to take the time to listen to my present self.
- Start and maintain a daily journal for self-reflection.
- Improve life outlook through daily manifestation (keeping a manifestation journal, saying affirmations, etc).
- Make an effort to reach out to friends.
- Make the time to meet new people.
2022 Resolutions for the Mind
I’ve always prided myself on being naturally curious and inquisitive. Unfortunately, having a full-time job means having less energy and fewer brain cells to work with (😭). With that, I hope to reconnect with my love for learning this year.
- Take and finish one online course/certification every other month.
- Relearn Spanish. (God forbid that I waste those 6 college credits for nothing.)
- Learn to speak conversational Kapampangan. (Mekeni, mekeni. 🤡)
2022 Resolutions for the Soul
I think that every soul has a hunger for a rich, fulfilling life. Feeding the soul can range from engaging in meaningful spiritual practice to participating in enjoyable activities. In my case, my soul food of choice are my passions, hobbies, and interests.
Blogging and Content Creation
2022 will be my blog’s renaissance year, and no one can tell me otherwise! For what felt like the longest time, I had suffered from a creative drought. And I had generally felt too exhausted to even attempt writing. But no more! In fact, I’ve been coasting on a surge of inspiration lately — and I plan on nurturing this little spark throughout the year.
🌻 Create content with intention. // I am a huge advocate for doing things consciously and intentionally, and I hope to reflect this in my own work. I want to constantly strive for a balance between content that is personally meaningful to me and still valuable to my audience. I think by asking myself the right questions and carefully curating what I create, my return to blogging will be a lot more sustainable.
🌻 Step up my Pinterest game. // Pinterest has always interested me because it can function as a search engine. A quick glance at my blog’s stats tells me that the platform is slowly becoming one of my top referral sites, which means that my intended audience is present there. And of course, that’s a prime opportunity that the media practitioner in me absolutely cannot ignore. 😅
🌻 Revive my newsletter. // It might be a little too ambitious to work on both my blog and newsletter after a very long hiatus. But upon further reflection, I’ve realized that I do want to write stuff for a smaller, more intimate audience. Particularly for bite-sized musings that I can’t transform into a cohesive, SEO-friendly blog post. If that sounds appealing to you, then you’re more than welcome to subscribe to a letter of sunflowers & thunderstorms. 🌻⛈
🌻 Diversify content on my blog. // Every year I make this resolution. And like clockwork, every year I fail spectacularly. 😬 But I truly, wholeheartedly do not have the energy to constantly churn out bookish content. Especially now that my relationship with reading has drastically changed. It is my hope to finally, finally branch out to discuss other topics. Fingers crossed!
🌻 Increase and diversify the blogs that I’m supporting. // Aside from creating content, blog-hopping is something that I want to throw myself back into. There’s a lot to gain from blog-hopping, which Kate thoughtfully enumerates in her blog post. But more than that, I think it’s a great avenue for me to reconnect with the blogging community. I miss catching up on my friends’ content. In addition, I am eager to find more bloggers to support — not just within the book blogging, but hopefully in other niches as well. (Kal’s informative guide on using Feedly will definitely come in handy for 2022.)
🌻 Do not set numeric goals for my blog and social platforms. // Not to toot my own horn, but I think part of my brand is being a data-driven blogger. I love, love, love statistics! And I enjoy seeing tangible measures of my blog’s growth. So, this particular commitment may come as a shock to some. However, since my foremost priority is to ease myself back into blogging, it does not make sense for me to put much weight in numeric goals. 😊
Books & Media
The way I consume books and any form of media content has changed a lot. For better or for worse, who can say? Maybe I’ll write a separate blog post about it. But for now, here are my goals for reading books and consuming media content. 😊
🌻 Read 99 books with at least 80% diverse books. // I read 98 books in 2021, and for one reason or another, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to set a small or big goal for this year. With that, I asked my friends to provide a number between 0 and 150, calculated the average of their answers, and set the resulting value as my reading goal for 2022. Yay, math! And speaking of math, I’m hoping to maintain my 80/20 ratio in terms of reading diversely.
🌻 Consume more nonfiction and documentaries. // This was a resolution that I made in 2021 but unfortunately never got around to doing. I’m particularly keen on trying self-help and self-improvement books this year.
🌻 Complete the “12 books from 12 friends” challenge. // If you’re active on Book Twitter, you may have seen a peculiar green template being passed around. Essentially, it’s a fun challenge where you have 12 months to read 12 books that were recommended by 12 friends. I think doing this hits two birds with one stone: reconnecting with my bookish friends and allowing me to read more widely. I received more recommendations than I expected, so I had a difficult time in narrowing my 12 picks, but here they are!
12 Books, 12 Friends Challenge
- The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter (from Nicole)
- The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (from Kate)
- Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher (from Kam)
- The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid (from Fadwa)
- The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow (from Julie)
- Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour (from Breana)
- Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (from Riv)
- For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten (from Kal)
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (from Jami)
- In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (from May)
- The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez (from Rain)
- Questions for Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo (from Karina)
🌻 Participate in buddy reads and book club discussions. // What better way to reconnect with the online book community than by discussing books? Most of my buddy reading attempts in 2021 spectacularly fell apart. Simply because I turned into the moodiest reader and my brain could only process smut (😜). But I digress. I’m a member of several discord book clubs, but I’m mainly active in Sunnybook Farm and Tara Basa, which are both Filipino-exclusive reading groups. I’m hoping to be more active in Subtle Asian Book Club and find more friends to buddy read with. 💛
2022 Resolutions for Growth
🌻 Do five things that I’ve never done before. // I am definitely not the most adventurous person. Like, at all. But I try to go out of my comfort zone every now and then, and this annual resolution does help somewhat. 🥰
🌻 Exercise, meditate, and drink more water. // I started exercising semi-regularly last year! As someone who loathes moving around too much, this is a huge win for me. But there’s still plenty of room for improvement. And in a surprising turn of events, I’m actually pretty excited to lean into my ✨ health and wellness ✨ era. Meditation is also an activity that I’ve been meaning to try!
🌻 Start keeping track of my career growth and milestones. // Having been in my job for more than a year (and counting), I can confidently say that I’ve fully acclimated to the role. With that, there’s now an opportunity for me to proactively seek ways to expand my knowledge and skillset. I’m lucky to be in a company that provides its employees with many learning avenues, and I definitely do not want to waste them. Professional growth is important too!
🌻 Learn how to drive (for real). // Do I have my driver’s license? Yes, since 2020. But do I actually use it? Not at all. Quite frankly, I am terrified of driving a car. However, practically speaking, this is a fear that I have to overcome someday — and I guess there’s no better time than the present… year. (Although to be honest, I’m setting a very low bar for myself. I just want to drive well enough to go to a McDonalds drive-through on my own. 😬)
🌻 Improve my finances and financial habits. // My 2021 resolution was to start tracking my finances, particularly my expenses. And so, the next logical step is to work on my financial habits. What with me being a responsible adult now and all that. (Yuck.)
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I’d love to hear from you!
🌻 What are your thoughts on new year resolutions? Do you find them helpful or counterproductive?
🌻 What’s your intention for 2022? Is there anything that you’re hoping to manifest?
🌻 For my fellow bloggers, have you posted your 2022 goals and resolutions? Drop down the link in the comments so that I can check them out!