For the past 20-plus years, I’ve either not bothered to set New Year Resolutions or I’ve declared them only to drop them a few months later. This might be normal for most people, but something about it still feels… complacent? It sets a precedent for not doing enough to strive for your goals in life. Not striving for my goals in life is actually something I wrestled a lot with two years ago, frequently doubting myself and wallowing in my own self-pity… until I joined Destructoid as a community blogger in August last year. I was starting to realize exactly how vital it was for me to develop the drive, discipline, and confidence to push my own interests forward.
Thus, starting January, I wrote down my resolutions for the upcoming year. Actually, I constantly added poorly organized bullet points to that list all year, so it may not be appropriate to call them proper New Year’s Resolutions, but they were important life goals to meet this year nonetheless. I didn’t completely satisfy all of those goals, but a lot about my lifestyle has successfully changed for the better. I figure it’ll be fun to share what those goals were with the community that helped me find the courage to pursue them and to evaluate how I did on each of them.
Also, my grades will be DMC4 style rankings. Because you can’t stop me from making them so.
SET A TIGHTER ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET -- Smokin’ Style!!
I definitely spent more money than I should have on games and other hobbies one year ago. This goal was simple and easy to quantify, but still rough on me for a while. After the first few months, I actually began to greatly appreciate my limited budget. It helped me think much more carefully about my purchases and to try to get the most value out of my cash, reining in some of my previous impulsive habits. It even helped me appreciate the plethora of stuff I already have and chip away at my backlog!
The sole reason I didn’t give this goal an SSS ranking is that I cheated on my budget for special occasions, like treating myself on Christmas and so on. Despite that, I still saw my savings greatly increase this year, so I think it’s fair to say I still more than succeeded in budgeting myself tighter!
WRITE MORE FICTION -- Deadly!
I love a lot of things about writing and I’ve dabbled in fantasy storytelling as a hobby much longer than I’ve worked on journalism, except I haven’t actually written as much fiction in recent years. This year, I had hoped to get back into this hobby by writing about one short story or something of the sort every month. I wanted to share them in the community blogs since anything I’ve ever shared here has gotten more meaningful reception than everything I’ve ever put on any other website (probably because this was the first site I went to with an actual focus on writing). Needless to say, the lack of such stories indicates that I flopped on this one, but I haven’t completely neglected it either.
Aside from the fact that I did get out a one-off short story blog at the start of the year, one of my other-other hobbies is commissioning artwork. In between much simpler and self-indulgent ideas, I’ve commissioned a few interesting scenes and character designs I hope to toy with in future writings. I’ve also been drafting up a variety of character and worldbuilding concepts in my spare time, though obviously, that doesn’t count for a lot since I haven’t put in the real time and effort of writing those stories yet. This remains my lowest priority because I have many more serious resolutions, but it's an interest I'll keep alive as long as my imagination keeps racing with ridiculous ideas about overpowered insectoid protagonists!
IMPROVE AT WRITING ON DESTRUCTOID -- Smokin’!
In the back of my head, I thought that being Destructoid staff was a far-off fantasy, but one that just might happen years after I started blogging. Little did I expect that an email I sent on a whim around the start of 2018 would make that fantasy a reality much sooner than I dreamed.
To be honest, I was slightly delusional at first. I thought that writing for Destructoid would be more of a substantial source of income. The Discord mods and Niero himself regularly told me that this is not a gig for a living wage, they were extremely transparent and clear about that, I have nobody to blame but myself for overestimating how much it’d help with money. And even though I still wish it helped the bills more, it’s okay that I was wrong about that. I didn’t start writing community blogs thinking I needed to get money quickly, I did it because I needed to work on something I could feel passionate about and be proud of. And the fact that I’m now entertaining and making discussions with so many people has made it all so much more worth it than I thought it would be by this point.
This year has done a lot to challenge my old writing habits, but thanks to that, I've become a much more skilled writer now than I was when I first joined Destructoid. Needless to say, I don’t plan on allowing my skills as a Destructoid contributor to stagnate, and I’m hoping my articles next year will look much better than everything I’ve written thus far. But as far as resolutions are concerned, I think I can confidently say I’ve accomplished a big dream by working with this site as long as I have thus far.
FIND FULFILLING FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT -- Brutal!
You want more money, you want to do something that doesn’t constantly leave you burned out, I assume you already know why I want to get out of my part-time supermarket job and into a full-time industry that uses my Computer Science degree or other skills. Unfortunately, that goal remains unfulfilled as of this moment, but I did hit some meaningful and big benchmarks on the way. My resume’s beefed up a lot and I’ve landed many more interviews than I did last year, partially thanks to writing at Destructoid, but also due to improving many other areas I was lacking in.
I even got hired full-time a couple of times! Neither of which worked out for reasons beyond my control, but they still taught me a lot! This New Year’s, I’m much more confident that I’ll someday stick to the right opportunity compared to last New Year’s. Bring it on, economy!
DO MORE AROUND THE HOUSE -- Carnage!
While I’m still living with my family and am happy with that, we all try to help each other however we can. Hard-working parents are stressed and worried about a lot as we live almost-but-not-quite paycheck to paycheck, you probably know at least one family with a similar story. So as vague and small as this resolution is, I resolved to spend more of my spare time taking care of more chores and other contributions to making life easier and better for all of us.
Even if I could give myself a “passable” grade here, I think I could do still better. I’ve been cleaning much more often, but I can still make things tidier. I’ve improved my cooking skills, but I could make dinner for the whole family once in a while. And so on, so forth.
GET A DRIVER’S LICENSE -- Smokin’ Sick Style!!!
And it only took me one test! One test months after I could legally have done so, but I practiced a ton, I went into that test with confidence, and I pretty much aced it! I could ramble a while about how I regret not having gotten it years ago, but to be frank, this was a huge step forward for myself this year and I intend to celebrate that (while not getting cocky and remaining mindful of how I can improve as a driver, of course). Actually, I already celebrated that over half a year ago. So now I’ll celebrate it again. Right now. With ice cream. I’m eating ice cream as you’re reading this. It’s delicious.
I arguably set more resolutions than I should have last year, but half of them still showed great results. I’m going to carry over every resolution that scored less than an Atomic! and I’ll add a handful of new ones to reflect more recent developments in my life.
Firstly, I want to buy and eat fewer sweets/snacks. It’s an addiction our family shares. For the most part, I’m actually quite okay with it, for I have embraced my chubbiness and I have no body image issues. But thinking in the long run, it may just be a matter of time until it causes more serious problems for us, not to mention we’re spending a lot of money on snacks and desserts we don’t need when we’re thinking about ways to save more money. New Year celebration ice cream doesn't count.
Secondly, I want to release at least one Discord bot, ideally several well-polished ones. I’m trying to put my programming knowledge to better use by pursuing personal projects. Around the end of this year, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d love to develop some increasingly ambitious bots for Discord. I want to make something that can run a variety of interesting PvP mini-games, or a cooperative bot-based RPG system, or something that fills some other niche I rarely see among Discord bots. For now, I’m starting small and building my understanding of the Discord API, but I’m still creating something unique and fun to use all the while. I’ll definitely share my work with Communicord whenever I have something concrete to release!
It might seem a bit hypocritical to add yet another sixth resolution after saying six was too many, but to finish these off, I should use Twitter a lot less. Since this one involves investing less time and energy into something rather than more, it’s just gonna make it easier for me to fulfill all the others. I’ve also become increasingly jaded with Twitter and disapproving of the direction it’s going, so I’m actually considering dropping my account altogether, but I still use it because it’s the best way for me to follow several of my favorite content creators. For now, I want to stick to avoiding it on weekdays and only using it on weekends, barring rare circumstances.
I faced a lot of internal challenges this year, but it also produced the most meaningful fruits of my labor I’ve tasted in a long time. Setting myself resolutions like these helped me towards that end by giving myself at least a bit more focus. I know it’s normal to not commit to New Year’s Resolutions, but I’d like to change that one bit at a time by sharing these thoughts, even if only for myself. I’m gonna make tomorrow’s life better than today’s.