Image by Jess Bailey Designs.
We are only a few weeks into 2022. I do not know about you, but this year feels uncertain to me. With the COVID-19 surge, it sort of seems like we are slipping back into March 2020 vibes. Despite that, all of us have come a long way since then with this pandemic wearing us thin so I hope everything calms down soon and this new year can be a more pleasant one.
I will admit that I have high hopes for 2022. Even with the pandemic chaos and some of the other life issues I dealt with, 2021 was kind to me. After many months of job searching, I finally received an offer for a teaching position and I gladly accepted the role at an educational daycare. Before that, I had been unhappily working the front desk at a sports complex, and I am far from a sporty person so this scene was out of my comfort zone. Not to mention, this job involved working all sorts of shifts and I disliked that. At my current job, I get to do what I love by working with children. I also get to work in my desired classroom most of the time, even though I am a floater teacher, and I work ideal hours. I am mostly with the kindergarten preparation class and I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful group. This was undoubtedly the most significant change for me in 2021, other than graduating from community college and transferring to a four-year university. These events were more life-changing moments for me and I am grateful I have experienced them.
Furthermore, I made several incredible memories in 2021. I saw Harry Styles, the man who has been my idol since I was 11 years old, in concert. Actually, I was fortunate enough to see him live twice. I went once with my best friend and once with my boyfriend, Dan. I easily had the best nights of my life. I went to one other concert as well and saw one of my favorite bands for the third time. Besides that, I went to the county fair, a holiday lights show, a wrestling event, and a boy band dance party. I made new friends and I spent a decent amount of time with them. My relationship continued to grow stronger as my boyfriend and I had a lot of great experiences together. I celebrated my twenty-first birthday (finally!) and I think I have matured since then. Of course, I know I am still young and have ways to go, although I believe that I keep making progress in my self-discovery and personal growth every single year.
I am looking forward to seeing what other experiences I will have and the ways I will change in 2022. As I get older, I see myself turning into the person I want to become, and to ensure that I stay on that path, I have decided to set my annual goals with a few specific areas in mind- my personal life, my professional life, and the people who are in my life. Setting goals with specific areas in mind will help me stay focused on achieving them. People who set many goals tend to get distracted as they are trying to work on too much at the same time. Additionally, some people usually set goals that are too strict and they get discouraged as they are attempting to completely change an area of their life. For example, a person who sets a goal of losing a certain amount of weight might want to start off more general and work their way toward that goal eventually. After all, they say that the turtle wins the race, even though the turtle is making the slowest progress. Most importantly, stay realistic and stay consistent in order to see better overall results.
My Personal Life.
Get a gym membership.
Speaking of fitness, this goal was on my mind in 2021 and I never got around to it. On the second day of January, I accomplished it! Now, I have to keep going and so far, this has been successful. I am trying to get both my body and my mind to be healthier. I am aiming for weight loss, but other than that, they say that exercise is beneficial for mental health. I have noticed that when I am at the gym, working out relieves my stress and makes me feel good- at peace, essentially. I try to go four or five days a week.
Read 15 books.
I set my Goodreads goal to 15 books for 2022. Last year, my goal was 24, but as the year went on, I was not making much progress in reaching that number so I lowered it to 12 instead. Even so, I only read 10 books all year, therefore I did not accomplish my goal for 2021. In 2020, I was reading all the time, which is why I had higher expectations for myself last year. Since then, the world has reopened and I have fallen out of reading because I have so much else going on. This year, I hope to return to it and push myself to read more books.
Start blogging again.
I suppose I have already completed this goal! Blogging was a significant part of my life last year. Due to the pressure I felt while I was trying to monetize my blog, I walked away from it, but now I feel ready to return to this field as a hobby blogger with less pressure. I am going to attempt to return to the mindset that I can write freely out of my love for it, without worrying about how many people are checking out my work. In the blogging world, getting caught up in statistics can occur naturally before you even realize it, and this made me lose sight of why I started blogging in the first place- my love for writing. While I appreciate everyone who reads my work, I am back to writing from the heart from now on.
My Professional Life.
Obtain a substitute teaching license.
In New Jersey, an individual can be certified as a substitute teacher as soon as they complete 60 college credits. In fact, those credits can be completed in any field- not necessarily teaching. I completed 60 credits when I graduated from community college and I know that substitute teaching will be excellent practice for me as a teacher. I intended to get the whole process out of the way during my recent winter break until those few weeks flew by and I found myself running out of time. Instead, I will aim to get it done by this summer. It is quite a process so I am not exactly thrilled to go through it.
Join a National Honor Society.
I was invited to join a national honor society while I was at community college, yet I passed it up because I did not know much about them. Now, I realize that joining a group during college can teach you a lot, impress future employers, and offer you chances to make new friends so I would be happy to get involved with a group during the next two years. In my first semester, I have already achieved the grade point average I need in order to join a national honor society and I received an invitation to join one for transfer students! I happily accepted so now I am a member of a group called Tau Sigma.
The People Who Are in My Life.
Make monthly plans with friends.
I am hoping to make plans with friends at least once or twice a month. During the brunt of the pandemic, I hardly saw any of my friends, and I realized how crucial time with them is. I have a circle of people who I keep close to my heart and I want to make sure I stay connected with them by seeing them every once in a while, even though life gets busy. As an introvert, I shy away from making and committing to plans sometimes so this is a habit I am actively trying to change. I will keep working on finding a balance between my time to myself and my time with other people, which will make my life fuller.
Have a weekly date night.
Once again due to the pandemic, Dan and I stopped going out for the longest time. While it has been kind of nice to have the opportunity to relax at home, it gets boring at times to be restricted like that and I am hoping we can start to do more than lay around watching Netflix shows all the time (as much as I love doing that). I spoke to him and pitched the idea of us making plans at least once a week- a “date night” perhaps, or just something fun in general. It can be as simple and quick as going out to dinner and eating at a restaurant, rather than ordering take-out like we usually do. Sometimes, our work schedules make it a little hard to find the time and energy to go out so this is something I would like to work on.
I think that wraps up my 2022 goals. Overall, I am hoping to have a happy, healthy, and successful year. In terms of success, I want to see my professional AND my personal life flourish; success is nothing if my whole life is about working. I tend to get too caught up in overworking myself so this year, I will continue to develop all of the areas in my life and enjoy this new chapter for myself.
Thank you for reading! What are some of your 2022 goals? Let me know in the comments below!