On January 4, I posted an article titled 5 Tips To Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions. As promised, I offered five pieces of advice to make your 2021 goals come to fruition. I, too, listed my ten New Year's Resolutions at the end of the post. For a quick reminder, they were:
Read 40 new books
Watch (and finish) five new television series
Get in touch with my soul and spirituality
Drink 32 oz of water every day
Fine-tune and establish my writing persona
Strengthen my poetry skills by examining different poets
Finish 100 movies list!
Invest in self-care products
Listen to 20 new music albums
Collage and journal more often
Since we are only a couple of weeks from the official half-point of the year (July 2, 2021), I thought it would be the perfect time to update you on my progress (or lack thereof) on each resolution! Let's say that I even needed to re-read my tips to motivate me to complete my goals.
#1 Read 40 new books
At the beginning of the year, I was like a WARRIOR when it came to reading books. I downloaded this excellent app called Bookly to help me track my reads. I was going to Barnes and Noble every two weeks with my mom and saved book recommendations from Tik Tok left and right. In January, I read six books alone! Then mid-February came, and I officially entered a book slump. The last book I read before my slump was Beautiful Boy by David Sheff (10/10 would recommend), but after that, nothing stuck! I went to Barnes and Noble and got five new books, but none of them could capture my interest long enough. Besides my required readings for school, I let books drift out of my hands and out of my mind.
That is until last week! My parents got me many new books for my birthday, and I took this as a sign to start reading again. I read Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay last weekend, and it was so lovely to read a collection of personal essays. Then I went to Barnes and Noble on Wednesday and got four new books. I devoured This is How You Lose Her by Junor Diaz in two days, and finished Black Girl Call Home by Jasmine Mans in one night. I feel inspired to keep this momentum up throughout the summer because, oh how I have missed books.
So far, I have read 11 books. I might not reach 40 novels by December 31, but I will never forget the stories I read along the way.
#2 Watch (and finish) five new television series
I started the year off by watching Arrested Development on Netflix. It is one of the best shows I have ever watched. The writing is genius. The comedic timing is impeccable. The cast is the definition of chemistry. I watched all three seasons (there are technically two more, but most fans don’t even consider it a part of the show) with glee.
I tried watching Bojack Horseman, but that bored me. I couldn’t muster up the strength to finish Gossip Girl. New Girl was heartwarming as always but didn’t have the right punch. However, recently I started watching Jane the Virgin, and it is SO good. I am only ten episodes in, but I love the storytelling! I’m obviously #Team Michael (for now.)
I honestly don’t know why I wrote this resolution since I am not a big television fan. What happens, happens.
#3 Get in touch with my soul and spirituality
I’ve done well with this resolution! These last few months have been an excellent time for learning about all aspects of “the self” and the different sectors of spirituality you can use to enhance your life. I’ve gotten into crystals and astrology a lot. I always loved astrology as a kid, and now I’m always asking everyone what time they were born so I can figure out their birth chart. To get me more familiar with crystals, my grandfather, Baba, gave me a book called The Crystal Bible: A Definitive Guide to Crystals, a fantastic resource. I would recommend it to anyone trying to get into the crystal world!
Now, I want to learn more about the seven chakras of the body, the proper uses of manifestation, and yoga again. I’m also going to spend time learning about other religions such as Buddhism! Even if you don’t practice a religion, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from their teachings.
#4 Drink 32 oz of water every day
I do drink a decent amount of water every day, though I’ve given up on counting how many ounces. As the summer goes on, I know I’ll be drinking plenty of water. I need to start filling up my 32 oz Hydroflask every morning like I used to do for school. That will certainly keep me on track.
#5 Fine-tune and establish my writing persona
Read my most recent work on Unpublished Zine here!
I did not listen to #1 of my five tips, which was, "Create Specific Goals!" This resolution is very vague, but I know my writing has gotten better since the year began. I've learned to be more assertive with my writing, and because of that, each of my pieces — whether it's a blog post, opinion piece, personal essay, etc. have a unique splash of Sanai in them. Since I write so often, I often experiment with known styles and have gotten comfortable preaching my ideas.
In the future, I want to write articles on topics I typically shy away from and get into writing short stories again :)
#5 Strengthen my poetry skills by examining different poets
The last book I read was a collection of poetry, so I am on the right track! I do read a lot of poetry nowadays, and that inspires me to get writing too. I’ll be honest. I always feel insecure about my poetry in general. Poetry is just so personal and raw. I wish I did not care about how people received my poems, but I do because you have to as a poet. If not, you might as well write in your diary where you are the only judge.
I am proud of myself for submitting my poetry to new places (check out two of my poems on Girlhood Mag!) and experimenting with new layouts, but I have a long way to go.
#7 Finish 100 movies list!
I haven't looked at my 100 movies bucket list in months. I only have 20 movies left to watch before I finish the entire poster, but they all seem so meh. But this summer, I am committed to view them all. I must, or it will always haunt me.
#8 Invest in self-care products
I did start seeing a new dermatologist in February and got new products for my acne. I haven't seen that much of a difference, but we'll see. Besides that, I haven't bought that many new skincare products, but you will see me in the self-care aisle at Target during the back-to-school season.
#9 Listen to 20 new music albums
I’ve listened to 18 new music albums this year! When I say “new,” I don’t necessarily mean albums that came out in 2021, just albums I’ve never listened to before. So far (in no particular order), these are my top five new albums I’ve heard this year:
Harry Styles - Harry Styles
Punisher - Phoebe Bridgers
MOTM 3 - Kid Cudi
MOMTM - Kid Kudi
Up All Night - One Direction
I’ve listened to music so much more than I did in 2020. That Apple Replay at the end of last year gave me a wake-up call that I need to listen to some new artists! I know the next seven months of the year will be filled with even greater tunes.
#10 Collage and journal more often
I have been journaling every single night! My blue journal is my baby. It is so refreshing to get all of your thoughts out on paper and decompress about everything in the world.
I have not been collaging as much in my typical art journal — but for my best friend’s birthday, I made her this giant collage book of all our memories, so I would still say my collage skills are good to go! Over the summer, I plan to use the dozens of New Yorker magazines I have to make some dope artwork.
Overall, I’m thrilled with the progress I’ve made on every one of these goals! Sometimes you forget the hard work you do throughout life. It’s always nice to be reminded of it :)