Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Resolution Checkpoint

Seven months ago, I wrote a "New Year's resolutions" post about the parts of my life I wanted to work on and the goals to continue pursuing. Since I've been a bit reflective and analytic lately, I thought I'd take a look back and see how far I feel I've come since. Let's count 'em down:

I want to continue to change some of my attitudes. I feel that I've become a much more optimistic, positive person than I used to be, but I still have some ways to go. More than ever I believe that negativity and cynicism are huge roadblocks for personal growth. They're a crutch, one that's held me back for too much of my life, and I can't let myself fall back on that again. I don't even want to be in the frame of mind where it could be an option.
Checkaroonie. Despite a few speed bumps, I feel I've stayed on track here. Moreso, it feels very much like this has become my "default" mindset, and less of something I need to work toward.

Related to the last one: I want to be less judgmental. I have strong opinions about a lot of things. That's fine. That's not changing. But I need to know when to cool off and where to draw the line. I want to become more understanding of others' perspectives, even if I can't agree or personally relate to them. I can have strong opinions and confidence in my beliefs without being arrogant or self-righteous, or potentially alienating others.
Granted, I'm only human (for now), but I think I've made real strides here. I mean, I feel I already had been getting better at this over the years just by experiencing life and challenging my perceptions like most people do (or should do), but lately it feels like a much more conscious effort on my part to remove myself from my own perspective and to try to understand others' situations and viewpoints, even if I don't agree with them. I feel that I have more empathy and understanding than I used to. It's neat.

I really need to read more books. Actual books. Of all kinds. (In fact, please recommend me some.)
This is semi-successful so far. I've read a few books since July, for example, but I haven't had a lot of free time to really invest in heavy reading. But I'm being productive, so I'm fine with that for now.

I need to create more, and possibly consume less. This one's tricky, because pop culture is a huge part of my life, and I don't want that to change. I will always be consuming a lot of comics, movies, television, music, games, etc... But I need to work harder to match my consumption with creation. I'm doing better with this already, I just need to keep at it.
I don't think I'm consuming less, but I'm creating more for sure. I've stayed (mostly) on a regular schedule with Welcome to Hereafter, despite a little hiatus - but during that time I was dealing with personal issues and hitting a turning point and had other things I was prioritizing, so I'm not really counting that against myself. I'm back to it in a big way now, so I think I'm doing well here.

Related to the last one: I want to branch out and connect with other people doing creative, interesting things. I want to meet people with similar interests. I want to collaborate, talk about ideas, influences, and hopefully learn a few things.
Big no on this one. I've been good at keeping on track with my own endeavours, and I feel I've "learned by doing" a fair bit, but I haven't really branched out much at all. Something to keep on the list.

Perhaps most importantly, I need to put more effort into staying involved in the lives of the people I care about. Many/most of them live in different places than I do right now, but that's never an excuse, is it? I go through spurts of sending lots of emails, then I'll get busy and distracted. The former's understandable, the latter isn't.
I was pretty terrible at this for a while there - again, when I was dealing with personal issues and adjusting to several major changes in my life - but I've bounced back lately and am putting in more of an effort. Not all the way there yet, but I'm getting better, I think. Half marks?

All said, not too shabby.

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