2020 Objectives

Today’s the fourth day of the year, its first Saturday. I have spent the first three days thinking thoroughly my plan for the year. Of course, plans are not something we follow religiously but it is nice that we have an overview of the path we want to take for the year.

No one knows how long we are still going to hang here, but it is best to make the most of our time while we still have it. Herein, I wrote down the list (not in a particular order)of what I will do this 2020. I try my very best to achieve these goals, especially now that I am getting older and have paved the 20s goodbye.

1. Read more books – at least 35 to 40 books 
During the past years, I read a lot. I go by a minimum of three books per month. 2019 came, I don’t know, perhaps I have gone extremely busy (or extremely lazy reading) that I haven’t opened yet the books I have subscribed myself to.

I still have hundreds of purchased e-books in my Google Drive that I have yet to sort and pay attention to. For Christmas, my dad gave me a Kindle (too kuripot to buy for myself, maybe he get tired of asking what I want for Christmas and whenever I say I will buy it for myself, I ended up not buying), so it could be easier to carry materials to read around.

Reading is always good therapy. It brings you different worlds, it lets you play different characters, it gives you joy, it makes you sad, it validates your emotion, it teaches you vocabulary, so on and so forth.

I just recently finished my first book this year, Kafka on the Shore, by one of my favorite writers, Haruki Murakami, and on to another book. I am currently reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I have seen the movie several times but the book is always the best. It deserves another separate post then.

2. Write more
I write for a living since the year 2010. It has been a decade of writing and I love it. I have learned a lot in the past years and improved a lot, if I may say. I have this blog since August of 2010 and I am thinking to write more here and do some sort of reviving to the blog- my adventures, my advocacy, or just some random thoughts I want to get out in the open.

This year, I will do my freelance writing submissions that I failed to comply with last year due to a hectic schedule and prior engagements.

3. Start case studies and public policy drafts
Graduating from grad school gave me a sense of confidence to continue and improved what I am doing. To make a further difference for the country, it is an advantage to be a politician with the first-hand exposure to resources and network to push through with public policy. However, as a scholar and an advocate, we can do more.

4. Save more. Spend less
I have always been a kuripot so this should not be difficult. I do not have a penchant for buying signature or designer items. I like locally-made brands and products, though! Practice what you preach. I am quite lucky to be gifted high-end or sosyal items, but not a requirement. I like to invest in experiences more and beautification of the home – I like to stay at home a lot.

5. Travel more
I travel locally in the past year which I like most than traveling abroad. We have a lot of good places in the country we should try to visit and re-visit. This year, I am planning to travel more – maybe abroad or local, I don’t know yet. It will still depend on the schedule 😉

6. Quit more toxic people
I am in that age when I do not tolerate people any longer. I try to be nice to everybody but I do not want to be affiliated with them. I am nice to people who are not nice to me and that is the best I can do. Quitting more toxic people this year could mean a better, peaceful, and happier life.

7. Grow my network
In a business, it always helps to grow a network. I am glad that I grew mine in the past year. I had constant confidants in the grad school who kept me sane during the final stretch of master’s thesis, mentors, professors, and NGO friends. I am also happy to be back in the academe where I keep close relations to intellectual people of all ages.

8. Attend more seminars and conferences
The years 2015 to 2019 were the years of learning for me. I have achieved various certifications and started my graduate studies in 2015. I did not file LOA (leave of absence) but did a lot of extended residencies hahaha until I graduated last year. Woohoo! Finally! Right?!

Since I invested a lot in learning and have gone through a lot doing so, why stop there? Learning should never stop! Whether it is a formal degree, new skills, or vocational programs, do it! It teaches us discipline, mingling with other people, and it keeps us grounded. There is a certain comfort in not knowing things and eventually discovering how to do them.

9. Make a matrix of the best schools for my Aton
I am organized like that and I like it. Being in the academe made me realize how education plays an essential role in honing an individual; being with the marginalized community through NGO projects made me prioritize instilling good values.

This year, I aim to do a matrix of the best schools around Manila and Quezon City for my child. It keeps me pumped up that he will start schooling in the next two years and I’d like to start my search as early as possible. Education is the best investment and the best treasure I can give to my child.

10. Do more, say less
The best thing about me is also the worst thing about me, I don’t shut up. I am not a YES woman, I speak my mind and I am not also afraid to be called out if I did something wrong or unethical to the eyes of others. I say things, but I always mean it. I apologize if I don’t. Not that I hate myself for doing that, but this year I’d like to keep it even more low-key. I’ll do more and say less.

11. Live more sustainably 
I am an advocate of a #SustainablePH (Sustainable Philippines), so it is given that I live a sustainable lifestyle. Nothing really fancy, settling only to what I need or the household need. I love locally-made products and hand-crafted ones – less energy used (no machines), less carbon footprint (transportation wise), less trash, and it helps the marginalized community. This year, I’d like to level up!

12. Invest more
Being kuripot has a lot of advantages. Spending once in a while to reward yourself is also necessary – that is the reason why you work hard. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Invest in something you are quite confident that will grow- whether it is on yourself, business, or property. Investment is also a risk, remember that. If we are always sure about life, how do we learn?

13. Stay fit and healthy
Of course, health is wealth. This 2020, let’s agree to keep our body fit and healthy. I am quite proud that I didn’t gain too much weight in the past years and lose pregnancy weight quickly. There is a dire need to keep our bodies strong because there is a life that is dependent on us.

There are a lot of things I want to add to this list – maybe I could as I go on through the year. I aim to fulfill these objectives and make it a lifetime habit.

Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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