7 things I want to do more in 2024
It’s a new year, and I’m not going to pretend that makes me a whole new person. But it IS a good time to reflect on life and consider habits I want to build or continue in the future. I spent a bit of time journaling today and came up with 7 things I want to do more in 2024. None of them have any strict goals or deadlines because I don’t want to bum myself out if factors outside of my control prevent me from accomplishing them. Instead, they’re general practices that I want to strive toward that I think, in tandem, will really help improve my physical and mental health — something that has been a struggle within the last few years.
- Write everything down.
Not just my to-dos and important dates, but also my opinions, feelings, ideas, blorbos rotating on a spit, etc. I used to love journaling but fell out of that habit. I want to get back into it, because writing everything down helps me make sense of my brain and focus my thoughts. I don’t have to worry about making it pretty or understandable to others if I’m jotting something down quickly. What’s important is to capture anything that matters to me so that it doesn’t slip away.
- Read books and articles.
I hit a big reading slump during the pandemic. In the last few months of 2023, I made good progress toward exiting that slump and read a couple of books, as well as some articles that had been hanging around in my Pocket for far too long. I want to keep this up and continue making the choice to read instead of browsing Reddit or some other junk when I’m bored. Reading before bed seems like a pretty good habit to pick up again (I used to do this every night) and since I’m inclined to read crap on my phone until I get tired and fall asleep, swapping that out for an eBook seems like an easy and healthy switch.
- Discover new music.
Recently, I’ve been listening to the same old stuff. I want to add more variety to my playlists and branch out into new artists and sounds. I used to rely on Spotify’s Discover Weekly for music recommendations, but ever since I started saving more video game soundtracks to my library, that playlist has been completely ruined. All I get now are recs for OSTs from games I don’t care about, and I rarely get any good non-game music, which is the majority of what I listen to when I’m not working or otherwise trying to focus on something. Instead, I want to use sources such as YouTube mixes, music publications, or just asking my pals what they’ve been enjoying recently.
- Exercise consistently, not sporadically.
Like many people with chronic pain, the thought of exercising when everything hurts is incredibly daunting to me, which is why I haven’t been consistent with this important habit since my diagnosis. But it’s also scientifically proven to improve fibromyalgia symptoms, so I need to suck it up and do it more. A little pain now = less pain in the future. I have found that blasting a few Perfume songs definitely helps! My doctor told me that consistency is far more important than intensity or length. Even if it’s just marching in place or a walk around the block, 10 minutes of light exercise is infinitely better for me than no exercise. So I’m going to keep that in mind and really push myself to just do something. Whatever I can manage is incredible and I will celebrate even if it’s only a little bit!
- Limit time spent rotting in bed.
I used to be really bad about this. I made significant improvement on this bad habit in 2023 by quitting Twitter (best decision I’ve made for my personal wellness in recent memory) since I wasted an insane amount of time scrolling that site every day. But then I got really sick at the end of November and spent about a week doing little else but go on junky apps in bed. I felt horrible, worse than I had in months, and my thoughts went to dark places. I realized that no matter how tempting it may feel, this habit is the absolute worst thing I can do as someone with depression and anxiety. Even at those times when fibro or acute illness leaves me too exhausted to sit anywhere but my bed or the recliner, I can still do things that I don’t think count as rotting. I can choose to read a book or find some new music, thus accomplishing my other goals! Or I can just play a fun game on my Steam Deck. Anything that occupies my mind with something interesting is good. Wallowing in my thoughts while I scroll through pointless bullshit like a zombie, on the other hand, is an excellent way of inviting in The Horrors and demolishing my mental health.
- Use the good stuff.
In 2023 I established a new skincare routine that, while not extravagant, is certainly more expensive than any I’ve had before. But you know what? I can afford it, and it makes me feel like a million bucks. I used to worry about using up my fanciest creams, perfumes, and lip balms...but why did I buy them if not to enjoy them? Using my favourite cosmetics and fragrances makes me feel happy, calm, and confident. So I’m not going to worry about spritzing my Tocca bottles sparingly. I am going to use my fancy lady things to make every day a fancy lady day. Because I’m worth it, or something.
- Keep up my website & blog!
I loved working on these in 2023 and I want to keep that energy going in the year ahead! It’s nice having an online record of my creations and interests, and HTML/CSS are just plain fun. Plus, this blog gives me an excuse to write more, and that’s one of my other goals! So I’d like to keep both going in the new year and continue socializing with the fun and creative folks that inhabit the indie web.
I think these 7 habits are definitely achievable for me and are all things that will improve my overall wellness. When I reflect on the times in my life when I was happiest and most confident, I was journaling consistently, reading often, enjoying new music, going for walks, limiting social media, taking the time to feel pretty...and most of all, being creative through whatever outlets were grabbing me at the moment. So here’s to a 2024 of making deliberate choices that I know will make me feel good inside and out! I wish all of you the best of luck with your goals for 2024, whether big or small.