A few entries ago, I wrote about how I think New Years Resolutions are kind of funny, and how last year I decided to keep it simple and make three goals that used only eight words: Wear sunscreen. Drink more water. Stand up straighter. That was 2009. Back to basics. Living in Africa. My entire life drastically changing.
Anyways, I feel like 2010 is a bit different… I feel myself a bit more focused, a bit older, a bit wiser. And I wanted to set some goals for this year, before January escapes us. And I am posting them on the blog not because I think the world really cares much about what I want to accomplish this year, but also because it makes them more real to me. This list is far from exhaustive, but includes most of the puntos chaves (key points). Some are measurable, some are far from it. But that’s okay. Here they are.
1. Reprioritize my life by putting God back at the center. I claim to try to live a God-centered life but so often, it is anything but. I know that nothing in this life is certain and that the best is yet to come, so I want to get back to a good place where I am making decisions for Him and not just for myself. If there’s anything I have learned it is that God’s plan is perfect (whether or not we can see that from our human perspective) and that my plan, more often than not, sucks. Well, I tend to think it’s pretty good but… you know.
2. Straighten up! AKA, stand up straighter (no more slouching!) and swear less. I would like to make these habits now to follow me for the rest of my life.
3. Rock the GRE (which is six days away and I should be studying for it right now instead of doing this); do a more profound research of graduate programs (do I want to do ID, an international MPA, or international comm.?); apply for graduate schools and scholarships/fellowships. Phew. This one exhausts me just writing it. Goal plan B: if said planning for future exhausts me and I feel like I have more to offer here in Moz, wait on the whole grad thing and extend a third year here instead.
4. Succeed in integrating HIV/AIDS/health, gender, and group training into every sector of the SEED project before I leave, as well as bring more health information to colleagues and participants, and provide English and IT help at my office throughout the next ten months.
5. Continue to commit to a healthy lifestyle, including drinking lots of water, exercising six times a week, eating as healthy as possible given my limitations here, minimizing alcohol and other things that kill you slowly (or quickly). If possible, lose a few pounds to get back to my “happy” weight BUT if that is not possible and I am healthy in every other possible way, that is fine for me. Moderation is key.
6. Travel! I am here in Africa, I want to take full advantage of it. Plans that are pretty strongly etched in my brain currently are Swaziland (for a music festival), South Africa (for this thing what’s it called I forget… oh yeah, the World Cup!), and Tanzania (Zanzibar? Kilimanjaro? Serengeti?). Included in this “travel” goal: see animals. I have lived for 16 months in Africa and have not seen a lion yet. Fail.
7. Develop an awesome blog with my writing, random musings on African life, and pictures, instead of settling for an okay but overly verbose and not that interesting one. Post at least once a week.
8. Stop selling myself short.
9. Own my time here in Vilanculos. It seemed never-ending at the outset; now it seems as if it is going by too fast. I am already at nine months and change til my COS (Close-of-Service) date, and the last thing I want is to look back on this time I spent in the Peace Corps and have any regrets. I have it figured it out now, now it’s time to dive in headfirst (not that I didn’t dive in already, but still) and make sure to get everything I can (and give everything I can) throughout this year.
10. Practice living in the moment. I know that may seem ironic as number 10 on a list of goals, many long term, but goals and plans should be markers, guidelines to spur us through the uncertainty, rather than unyielding obstacles that must be overcome. I want to practice looking to the future yet allowing myself to experience the beauty and wonder of each moment instead of rushing towards the next thing. As it has been said, living in the moment may very well just be the key to the meaning of life.
So there we go… 10 for 2010. Bring it on.