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.)


Adulthood, or, How to enjoy adulthood on planet Earth.

Adulthood is truly enjoyable only when you can engage your brain to further something: when you learn new things, when you do something creative, when you participate in a new game, when you read a book, when you ask questions, when you are not limited by the idea of being an adult.

I have been a profuse believer in not growing up. I avoid it, and have avoided acknowledging it, because it’s neither pleasant nor enjoyable. Ageing is not enjoyable for most. Women especially are taught to fear age. But you do earn that age – you earn it if you do something with it. If you are doing something, you are living.

‘Nothing’ by the way, is also something to do, but don’t make it a negative kind of nothing – the nothing borne of stress and procrastination. The ‘nothing’ you do in order to procrastinate is not very enjoyable. All the more reason to do something. In the words of Bon Jovi, ‘It’s now or never. [You] ain’t gonna live forever.’

Adulthood, despite whatever you see is wrong with it, is what you make of it. Your adulthood should not have to be defined by other people’s conceptions of adulthood. Add your own soul to it. You might have an unfun job, but you can and should seek out new opportunities. Seek opportunities with excitement, not fear.

Or, even better, make opportunities. I watch Mary Kate Wiles’ Craftversations on YouTube (I highly recommend it.), and recently in one of these episodes MK and Curt Mega discussed their change of heart towards self-created projects. There’s often a kind of suspicion and disgrace associated with things like self-publishing a book or self-acting/directing/producing a film. Humans implicitly think, ‘You should be working for the big guys: Penguin Books, The Guardian, Warner Brothers, etc. Then you’ll get somewhere.’ But their revelation was that the big guys are the ones who are making their own stuff. Their own ideas are brought into being (with a lot more money than normal people, but nonetheless) because they were bold enough to make their own stuff to begin with. They are happier people because of it. They aren’t (and no longer have to) wait for people to recognise their talent. They just go for it.

So yes, I say add soul to adulthood. It’s your job to inspire and motivate yourself, and by doing that, you inspire and motivate other people. With your legacy of adulthood, you give the next generation a new way of approaching adulthood. They will know they don’t have to be ‘boring adults’. You have the ability and talent to make adulthood enjoyable. Why was it as a child I loved the idea of writing, or drawing, or teaching? It was because those things seemed inspired. They were all about reaching into the mind, because it is all in the mind: adulthood. Sure, you’re only as young as you feel. More importantly, however, you can only enjoy things as much as you let yourself, so do enjoy it, do love it. Adulthood is waiting.