As we move into the new year, I have been considering new goals. I sketched new phone wallpapers to keep them in front of me. My goals are to make more mistakes and carry less to give more.
As I wrote about last year, I tried a different approach to my goals. In the past, I have often set a number of goals, as well as rules for myself to try and move myself forward and accomplish more. Last year, my goals were more simple: be intentional, be present, and be curious. After a few weeks, I sketched a wallpaper for my phone to help me remember them.
Overall, these goals were extremely helpful for me in 2019. It was a relief to not have a series of intense goals that encouraged my sense of perfectionism. I would not say that I was perfect at my goals, but as I continued to focus on them, they were helpful to come back to again and again.
I have often enjoyed the changing of the year as a time for reflection and anticipation. I was writing in my journal last week as I considered the question of what my new goals would be.
The one that I know that I would like to embrace this next year is make mistakes. I’ve been thinking that the phone background that I want is a nicely designed sign that says, “Here we make mistakes” so that I can carry that with me all the time.
As I started pondering this question, the other thing that stood out to me is to carry less. I have a tendency to carry the emotional burdens of others, and as an empath, I feel those keenly as well. Especially since I am hoping to start talking more about mental health at work, I think it is crucial that I learn how to connect with someone in their pain and not take it with me.
Having decided on those two goals, I started sketching some wallpapers. As I did that, I thought more about the second goal and what the purpose is. I realized that the key is that I want to be able to direct my emotional energy to my highest priorities. My natural response to someone else’s suffering is to carry the perceived injustice. And because of my OCD, I tend to ruminate on the issue, and it weighs heavily on me.
With that realization, I had my three goals. There is nothing magical about having three, but there is a nice symmetry to it. In many ways, they are pretty focused on my home life with my family. I want to work to make our home a safe place to make mistakes and learn together. And then I want to make sure that I reserve enough energy to devote to my family. Too often, I will come home from work exhausted because something happened that drained me. I want to fully engage at work, but not at the expense of being able to engage at home.
I decided this year to split up the goals between the lock screen and the home screen. As I go to turn on my phone, I will remember each time that I want to make more mistakes and become more comfortable with that. And as I start to engage more with my phone and whatever I’m trying to do with it, I want to see my family and be reminded of my priority.
One last word—the apps in my dock. Last year, I improved my mental state by switching up the apps in my dock to include apps without badges. I changed it further as I took my phone grayscale and tried to focus more on creation than consumption. Going into this year, I made further adjustments. I have the apps Calm, Things, iA Writer, and Day One now in my dock. I’ve adjusted the badges so that I rarely have anything show in my dock in order to pay more attention when I do. All of these apps help to focus me on the actions that I want to be taking with my phone.
I am excited for 2020. I hope to continue the great momentum of the last few months, especially in raising awareness and decreasing stigma around mental health. Hopefully I can leave some of the really hard parts of 2019 behind and just enjoy the lessons learned and the ways in which I have grown. Here’s to a great year! 🎊