How Do You Measure a Year?

I’ve finally emerged from the rock I’ve been living under since October and I would like to say Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and most importantly, Happy New Year. I spent the last few months trying to stay off the grid, but in the spirit of the new year, I want to give this blog a second try. 

By now, you’ve probably read a million 2019 reflections and 2020 resolution posts, so I will try to spare you some of my ramblings.

However, I can’t avoid reflection entirely. 2019 was a year of big changes for me. I graduated from college, started a new job, and moved into my first *adult* apartment. It was was my first year without training wheels, and I am still trying to find my balance. 

Something they don’t tell you about post-grad life is that your relationship to time changes. Without the structure of semesters and classes, the passage of time can get lost in the monotony of the 9-5 schedule. For example, I recently passed the 6-month milestone at work, and I still feel like I started last week. 

I suppose the reason that 2019 sped by so quickly is that a year is no longer measured against my graduation date. When I was in school, a year was a quarter of my degree. It had its own name and rank. It had unique milestones that distinguish one from the other.

But what is the value of a single year when it’s measured against the rest of your life? How do we measure time when a new year is just a new calendar with the same schedule?

For 2020, one of my goals is to find new metrics for measuring this year. I could take a queue from the cast of Rent and measure it in cups of coffee. I could measure it in dollars paid to my student loans. I could measure it in scented candles. The possibilities are endless!

Here are the three metrics I will be using to measure 2020.

1. Books Finished

Like many people in the book blog-o-sphere, I am obsessed with my stats on Goodreads. I started tracking my reading last June, and I definitely regret not doing it earlier. By the end of 2019 I read more than 21,000 pages over 70 different books, and it was so satisfying to look at all the charts Goodreads makes to track your reading habits. This year I am trying to beat last year’s record by at least 10 books.

Not only do I plan to beat my record this year, but I also want to mix up the topics in my reading list. Last year, I mostly read books on American politics and history. This year I am looking to switch things up more. I’ve been obsessed with books about tech startups, social media, and cybersecurity lately, and I would love to see more titles like Bad Blood and Brotopia make it onto my TBR list this year. Additionally, I am planning to read more books on personal finance – in the hopes of getting my financial situation under control. 

2. Time Spent on Social Media

To say that I am an Instagram and YouTube addict would be an understatement. I can get lost down the rabbit hole of the explore page for hours, and it has torpedoed both my self-esteem and my productivity. Considering that a significant portion of my job (and running this blog) require that I use social media, I can’t avoid these sites altogether. I can, however, improve my relationship with the digital world. 

Improving this relationship will require decreasing the quantity of time I spend on sites like Instagram and Twitter while also improving the quality of my experience. In my 2020 news feed, I want to see more books and friends and fewer political rants and Instagram models. 

3. Blog Posts Published

I admit that my uploading record has been spotty since starting Blue Desk Press. In 2020, I want to change that. I made the mistake in 2019 of committing to an overly ambitious publishing schedule. I spent a ton of time in the first few weeks writing posts and taking photos, and by October, I had burnt myself out. I am coming into 2020 with a significantly scaled-back schedule, and I hope this helps me stay on track. 

That is not to say I don’t have big hopes for the future of this blog. With my ambitious reading goals for 2020, I will certainly have a lot to talk about throughout the year.

I am also excited to start adding in new lifestyle segments to Blue Desk Press. In these posts I hope to address the mess of being a young professional. As I begin my own journey learning about personal finance, independent living, and full-time work, I will be sharing my insights (and mistakes) as I learn them. Here’s hoping it makes someone else’s life a little easier!

What are your metrics for 2020? Comment below!

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