2018 Goals

We are hours away from 2018 and the feeling of newness and hope is electric to me in ways it hasn’t been for a long time. The past few years I’ve been gunged in university deadlines and the gunge was quite distracting. I felt I had no time to pause and consider what I want aside from the very potent desire for the deadlines to be gone. This December I’m freer. I have (for the large part) only my own deadlines to consider, my own wants, ambitions and goals. But I have to remember something I didn’t know in 2014 (the last time I made real goals). I have to remember that many great things happen by accident. Everything I want to achieve isn’t necessarily what I need to achieve. And, even more than that, I cannot be overwhelmed by inevitable disappointments whatever happens. Almost everything is temporary.


My friend suggested I break my goals down into daily, weekly and monthly goals but this post is a general and abridged list of what I want to be, to do and to accomplish. The specifics will come later when I stop abandoning my laptop to consume books.


Abridged goals for 2018


  1. Write a draft of a novel
  2. Write a collection of poetry
  3. Write and submit a PhD application
  4. Be unafraid (of continuing to be frank and of trying things)
  5. Read 20 new books
  6. Launch first issue of Lucent Dreaming
  7. Establish Lucent Dreaming as a business
  8. Visit new places
  9. Only buy things you actually *love*
  10. Give everything you don’t actually use/love/require to charity


I think these are plenty to start with. I’ll go into detail about sections of my goals as they become relevant. My general plan is to write a poem every day, about 3 pages or 1000 words of any sort of prose a day, to read for half an hour on the train and/or before bed, and to spend about 3 hours every weekday on promoting and creating promotional content for Lucent Dreaming (and learning how to use photoshop and suchlike).


Although I wanted to say something insightful about goal-making and resolutions, everyone feels their own way about things like this. For some people, new year’s day is just another day and the new year is just another year, but I think ignoring markers of change and milestones gives little time for reflection. It’s only from reflection you can assess change and as much as I hate change, it’s valuable (and none of the above are particularly dramatic). This is all growth, growth I’ve keenly awaited. I hope I continue to find these goals meaningful, and if not, that they are replaced with things that will benefit the world as much as they might benefit me. (To love and to look after things are probably amongst the most meaningful things you can do.)


Competition, or, A unique look at the nature of competitiveness in respect to human success.

I occasionally watch People Be Like on YouTube. Two days ago I saw PBL’s video on how to stop caring what people think of you. It advocates uniqueness as the thing that makes you able to do exciting things, meaningful things and generally great things. That slight difference between you and your peers as a child goes a long way in changing your life’s trajectory (for the better, I hope). You come to accept different things. You see people and opportunities differently. They make you stand out from the crowd.

But, life is not just a competition, although that is what capitalism wants you to think. Instead life should be a movement towards improvement, for yourself and everyone around you. Life is a composition of your feelings, your ambitions, your ideas, your friendships, your experiences and your accomplishments. I think seeing life primarily as a competition is detrimental to your wellbeing. If you are “losing” it is making you unhappy. If you are “winning” it can get to your head until you feel extremely entitled and eventually patronising. These are extremes I place in the realm of being constantly and unnecessarily competitive.

Here are two important things I have heard this year: someone else’s success is not your failure and that even if we had wings to fly, we would not use them. We have legs to take us places, and we are still too lazy. Of course, if you are in direct competition with someone for the same job, then success and failure are inevitably the two outcomes. If you do not get that job, know that outcome means you are open to so many opportunities for far better-suited jobs that may lead to an entirely different future.

In other cases, like if someone you know has managed to publish a novel and you have not even finished writing one, that success is truly not your failure. They have made their mark now, but you will make it in the future. There is still time. It takes too much mental energy to feel sorry for yourself. Your energy is better used moving towards your ambitions, rather than feeling you have failed. Feel instead you have moved forward on a snakes and ladders board. With enough rolling of the dice, eventually, you will always reach the top.