2020 please be kind to me

We’re fully into 2020, so here are the things I want to do this year. New year, same me just tryna get a little better to give myself more joy and peace. I really like this Instagram post from @revelatori; it helped me conceptualize goal-setting and New Year’s resolutions not as antidotes to our deficiencies (“I suck and am lazy but this year I’m going to not”) but as exercises in self-compassion and gifts to ourselves to make our lives better, because we deserve to not hate things all the time (“Taking care of my body will bring me physical and mental strength and improve my life, and I want that for myself”). Anyway, we’re like mostly through January already lmao so heeeere are all the things I am hoping to do in the coming days and weeks and months!


  • Be assertive – learn how to set boundaries and respect others’
  • Change my self-talk to be positive and supportive
  • Work on my social anxiety and be more open

2019 was really good for my ~personal growth~* so I hope to really continue that into this year. I still want to do everything I said last year (grow my confidence and self-esteem; do less complaining and more appreciating; be mindful with my time), but I think I’ve tried to get a bit more specific in those. I want to learn how to be assertive and set boundaries, instead of being a complete pushover in the face of making someone else unhappy. This is in the spirit of advocating for myself and goes hand in hand with being more confidence. In a similar vein, I want to change my self-talk to be more supportive – in other words, to do less complaining about me to me. I’m pretty mean to myself, lol. I’d probably cry if someone told me the shit I tell myself, and I’d probably try to fight someone if someone told my friends the shit I tell myself. I’m trying to be a friend to me and be assertive in appreciating myself, you know what I mean? Lastly, I have so much social anxiety and I want to not. It’s pretty tiring. I want to open myself up to experiences and connections and I can’t do that if I’m scared all the time. My therapist has helped me learn a lot, so I think I’m making progress in deciding I want to not be terrified of social situations, it’s just a matter of practice and pushing myself a bit now. Ah, we got so deep here. Welcome to my mushy terrified heart.

Last year I had a “with others” category, but I think it really fits under this one. The work I hope to do with myself will help me be a better person in relation to others. Being open, supportive, assertive, direct – goes outward as well as in, right?


  • Go gym at least twice a week
  • Develop a better connection between my mind and body
  • Figure out the hand thing

I’ve decided health is important, and physical and mental are part of the same parcel. Bit late to the party, I know, but it took me a while to learn lol. So I want to go to the gym at least twice a week and be able to lift things and move around without creaking and cracking like an eighty-year-old. This is not Internet hyperbole for comedy – yesterday my hip cracked and my roommate was like O_O was that your body. Also, I’m going to be traveling this summer to the UK and I bought a non-refundable plane ticket with only a carry-on allowed, so I need to build enough arm muscle to be able to lift my suitcase into the overhead baggage compartment. (Or, I need to make enough progress on the goals from my first section, and be OK with asking the person next to me for help. What is more terrifying?? Overcoming social anxiety and being assertive?? Or going to the stupid gym??? Stay tuned, we will find out together). And uh, I want to be better at potentially fighting or running away from something. Statistically, I’ve gone pretty far in life without being physically/sexually assaulted, so I’m pretty sure it’s downhill from here.

I also want to develop more of a connection between my mind and body, because I have no idea what’s going on with my body most of the time – I totally conceptualize myself as my mind and my body is my container. During doctor appointments this year, I realized I’m awful at describing symptoms. Where do I feel the pain? Who knows! How intense is it? I don’t know that either! When do I feel this problem? You tell me!! I’m not super sure how I’ll go about doing this, but I think exercising will help and maybe meditating too.

And lastly and most specifically, I may have arthritis or tendinitis or some other unspecified problem in my hands/wrists/fingers. It’s a stupid time. I don’t really know what else to say because it’s honestly terrifying to me. I feel so paralyzed and helpless and confused, which is generally the way medical issues go, right? I have, like, no hobbies or skills that don’t involve my hands. And the mess that is health insurance and the reality of life as a student really make it hard to take care of myself here.


  • Finish 2020 strong, on track to graduate in 2021
  • Balance everything well with time management
  • Find an internship/study abroad/next steps

OK, onto a bit more of an uplifting topic. This year I will finish my first year at UCLA and start my ~senior year of college~*, so the big hope is to basically just feel good about the whole thing and be on track to graduate. Next, I want to be efficient with time management and productivity, because I will be doing 4 classes + a job each quarter, + other life things like showering + taking care of Luna + making friends + etc etc. Balance, then, means balancing all my different commitments, but also that work/life balance idea. Taking care of my school/work tasks as well as taking care of me so I don’t feel burned out by everything I want to do. Most terrifyingly, I want to figure out a bit of a plan for my next steps. I don’t want a ten-year career plan or anything that big, but just a little plan about where the hell I’m going next after college. I think that’ll probably come in the form of an internship, and I’m also looking into studying abroad or Washington DC. Wouldn’t it be unreal to be in DC in November 2020?? Either the best or worst time of my life, depending on how that election goes lol. Laughs to mask terrified tears. Anyway, I’m not planning on doing more school (at least not right now), so this will probably be the last yearly goals that involve formal education. Crazy stuff for a nerd who craves validation granted by professors.


  • Less shopping – 12 things this year. 5 get to be new.
  • Learn how to clean and be tidy – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom
  • Save $3000 and invest $1000

(What an unpoetic title, lol).

These are basically the same goals as last year, but more specific and focused. I want to do a lot less shopping of clothes/shoes/that sort of thing, because it is really harmful for the environment. I’ve read enough articles and listened to enough podcast episodes about the fashion industry to be convinced. I’ve also been convinced that there’s not really any such thing as sustainable and ethical consumption under late capitalism, so things like Reformation, Everlane, and H&M’s Conscious line are not a solution to this. Last year I said I wanted to do this but I didn’t really – I just felt kinda shitty about it but did it anyway, so ow I want to actually do better. I’m committing to buying no more than 12 things. If I buy less than 12 things, even better. In 2019, I bought 12 things in the first six months of the year, so I think this is both a challenge and entirely doable. I want most of these things to be secondhand, so thrift stores or Poshmark type deals, and I’m letting 5 be completely new. This is for things like shoes which I’ll wear into the ground (see: Vans I got when I was 18 which are starting to get holes) or replacement items for things I’ve worn so much they’re falling apart (see: Topshop fake leather jacket I got when I was 17 which has polyurethane flaking off). Also because I will be going to London this summer and wouldn’t it be so nice to do a lil shopping there?!

OK, next I want to learn how to clean. I don’t know how to elaborate on this because I don’t know anything about cleaning, lol. I will figure this out though!

For my $ goals, I’m putting $4000 away this year, down from $5000 last year. This is because in 2019 I worked part-time at a restaurant with pretty regular hours and lived at home, but in 2020 I will work a lot less hours at my campus job with no tips in a high cost-of-living area. Not really sure how it’ll pan out but we live in financial hope.


  • Get involved politically – volunteer, canvass, etc
  • Eat less meat – 5 meatless meals a week, flexitarian, beef/lamb only on special occasions
  • Do a sketchbook thing 2x a month
  • Try something new every week – i.e. go somewhere new

Last year this was my “with fun” category, but fun is also a thing I care about and there are other things I care about which don’t really fit in that. I also like neat categories lol, so you can probably guess that I am really quite annoyed that I couldn’t narrow this down to three goals. But I digress! These first two goals are more “things I care about” and the last two are more “things that are fun and I care about enjoying life”.

I want to figure out some sort of way to be involved politically. I care about stuff and I don’t think I do enough (past griping angrily and voting, you know), so I want to change that by volunteering for the causes I care about. I’m not sure I can commit to this regularly just because of school/work and because I’ve never really done anything like it before, but I hope I can maybe volunteer for a candidate or a ballot measure or something like that. In CA we have our primary election in March and, of course, the presidential election in November, so I want to at least try to contribute some efforts to improving society. I also feel like we are often encouraged to “vote with our wallets” instead of actually voting and organizing and making a collective push for change, so this is me trying to do the latter instead of only using a stupid metal straw while mega-corporations continue to kill our planet.

Next, I want to eat way less meat. Again, I’ve read enough articles and watched enough videos and listened to enough podcasts to be convinced that the Earth is dying and reducing my meat and dairy consumption is a way I can sort of help with that. (I’m also coming to grips with the fact that I’m probably lactose intolerant, so my stomach could be better off too with less cheese.) I’m going to eat at least five meatless meals a week. This number is because I eat 2-3 meals every day, so this is like a 50% reduction. I’m going to be a bit flexible about this (i.e. I think it’ll be very hard to do this when I go to China to see family this summer), but I think I can do it in regular American life. I found this NYT article to be educational in how to approach reducing meat intake.

OK, now for the more leisurely goals. I want to commit to doing something in my sketchbook twice a month. This is going to be a big jump from doing zero sketchbook things, very ambitious! I think by doing this I can allow myself to just have fun with art and making something, because I’m committing to the act of doing rather than producing something and then judging the final product as good or bad. I really want to regain some kind of joy in art.

Lastly, I want to try new things and have new experiences! I want to try and do this once a week, so maybe visiting a new restaurant or trying a new activity or going to a new local business. Anything like that. And hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll have 52 new things ~experienced~.

2020, these are my hopes for you. I’m gonna try to make these happen, and if you, the universe, this year, a placebo, whatever, wanna help me along, that would be great. I’ll see you in a few hundred days.


One thought on “2020 please be kind to me

  1. Pingback: this fucking year | 2020 | lobster lobster (+ other stories)

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