Tag Archives: Goals

A Note On New Years Resolutions For 2021 (And From 2020)

At the start of every year, I make a brief list of New Years Resolutions that I hope to pursue in the coming months. I know it’s corny, but I believe there’s real value to it. Whether you accomplish them or not, setting goals and trying to improve yourself has real merit. I highly recommend that everyone try it. You don’t even have to call it a New Years Resolution.

In previous years, I’ve mentioned my resolutions. I’ve also talked about why many, including myself, often fail to achieve them. At the beginning of 2020, I went through the same process. I laid out some goals and some general plans I hoped to stick to. I didn’t expect to achieve everything, but I was genuinely hopeful.

Then, 2020 became the 2020 that we all hate and dread.

A once-in-a-generation pandemic hit.

Society and the economy shut down.

People lost friends, loved ones, and their jobs.

On top of that, political rhetoric somehow got worse in an election year.

It was bad. If ever there was a year in which you could be forgiven for overlooking your resolutions, it’s 2020. I think most reasonable people agree. We all need a mulligan on our resolutions from last year. We may even need one for the first part of this year, as the impact of 2020 has already extended into January.

For me, personally, the events of 2020 had a serious impact on the resolutions I laid out. The ones I thought would be simple, such as intensifying my gym workouts, proved to be very difficult when gyms were shut down for four months. While I tried to adapt, running more and doing body weight exercises, I still wouldn’t consider that resolution achieved.

My more ambitious resolutions were a lot harder to adapt. Every year, I make it a point to improve my social skills. That’s one of my major deficiencies and has been since high school. It has been a serious uphill battle over the years, learning to talk to people, make friends, and foster meaningful social connections. I’ve gotten much better since college, but I’m still below average.

Last year set me back again. Naturally, it’s pretty damn hard to work on your social skills when people are social distancing, working from home, or self-isolating due to concerns over illness. It turns out it’s just not easy to be sociable during a global pandemic. Go figure.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t make an effort. I really did try to adapt. Learning how to use Zoom and getting family members to embrace video chatting really helped. I was able to both maintain and even strengthen the connections I had. When it came to making new ones, though, I was very limited.

As a result, my resolution to make a concerted effort to find girlfriend was effectively shunted. There was just no dating scene during a pandemic. It’s hard to embrace romance when so many people are afraid of kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or just going new places with someone. While online dating tried to adapt, I struggled to keep up.

If nothing else, last year made me realize how lucky other couples were to have that connection through the pandemic. You may be stuck at home, but you’re not alone and you have someone who can keep you grounded when you start to go stir crazy.

I needed that in 2020.

I needed that more than I care to admit.

Hopefully, that motivates me even more to put myself out there and find love later this year. I may ultimately have to wait until next year for things to be normal enough to embrace romantic pursuits, once more. I’m still willing to put in the effort in the meantime. If 2020 taught me anything, it’s that a crisis is much easier to endure when you have someone to endure it with.

Other resolutions, like traveling to certain places and taking an exotic vacation, had to be pushed back for purely pragmatic reasons. Missing out on those resolutions wasn’t too jarring. It’s just a matter of finding the time and making arrangements. That’s relatively easy to do once things settle. It’s the harder resolutions that might take longer.

I still want to make those resolutions for 2021. I also encourage others to do so, even if it just means carrying over every resolution they couldn’t achieve in 2020. That’s perfectly fine. I think most people would understand. Last year was a mess. We all deserve a pass.

At the same time, let’s not overlook the fact that a lost year is still a lost year. None of us are getting any younger. I’m getting to an age where I can’t afford to lose too many years, especially if I want to put myself out there, explore new places, and eventually find love.

So, regardless of how you feel about New Years Resolutions and the scars of 2020, I think it’s wise we all pursue our goals in 2021 with greater urgency. We don’t have to completely make up for all the time we lost in 2021. We should just remember how quickly plans can get derailed by forces beyond our control.

We can face some very tough setbacks over the course of our lives, but we should never stop pursuing meaningful goals.

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New Years Eve Reflections (And 2017 Aspirations)

Well, we made it. We made it through 2016. Sure, we lost way too many beloved celebrities along the way and there may have been some massive political upheaval in the western world from which we may not recover, but we still made it through. That counts for something, right?

I tend to be an optimist at heart. Granted, I wasn’t always that way. As a teenager, I would’ve run for school president on a pro-apocalypse, anti-homework candidate. I would’ve lost and probably been suspended, but that shows just how crappy my teen years were. As an adult, I’ve learned to keep looking forward and striving to make the next year better than the last.

So with 2016 drawing to a close, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what I’ve done, what I hope to do, and what I’d like to accomplish moving forward. I won’t say I’ve had the best year. I won’t even say I’ve made a lot of progress, but I do feel like I’ve made some. In the long run, a little progress adds up. Like extended foreplay, it makes the final climax that much more satisfying. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

I’ll try to hold off on the dirty subtext for now, but I won’t make any promises. One of the biggest developments of 2016, by far, was the news I got on my book, “Passion Relapse.” The fact a publisher of any size took a chance on me, an aspiring erotica/romance writer who has received a steady stream of rejection letters for years now, is a pretty big accomplishment.

Now I’m not so delusional to think that this deal will make me the next J. K. Rowling. I’m not expecting to strike it rich or field calls from HBO anytime soon. However, I do hope that this is a stepping stone of sorts, one on which I can create a foundation for a successful future in publishing. I really do want to make a living telling these sexy, romantic stories. This is what I’m passionate about. This is what I want to do.

If 2016 is the first step in a long, arduous process. I’m happy to make it and I hope there’s more to make in 2017. I don’t know what the next step entails, but I will keep working for it. I will keep improving and refining my craft.

The same goes for this blog. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do with this blog for a while. When I first launched “Skin Deep,” I basically abandoned it for a while and by a while, I mean years. I revisited, revamped, and reorganized it with no real goal in mind. It has since become something so much more.

It’s not just a blog in which I can share my thoughts on the joys of sleeping naked or the health benefits of orgasms. It gives me a regular outlet for exploring and refining my writing skills. Spending a little time every day on this blog, talking about the topics that interest me, be they sexy or mundane, is downright therapeutic at times. If I find more success, I want this blog to be an outlet of sorts for my writing and my aspirations.

Again, I don’t necessarily know what that entails. I still intend to write regularly on this blog. I also intend to make it fun and entertaining when I can, like my “Sexy Sunday Thoughts” columns. I also hope to craft other little projects on the side to make this blog worth visiting. I admit it’s small now, but I want to do what I can to help it grow.

In addition, I also want to keep writing more novels. That should be an obvious enough endeavor for 2017. I’ve managed to craft a couple manuscripts in 2016. So far, only “Passion Relapse” has attracted attention. I hope that changes in 2017, but if not, I’ll keep producing more content. I have a fairly good idea of what kind of story I want to tell next. I also have a good idea of the story I want to tell after that. Like I said, I’m proactive.

Beyond writing, I still have my share of personal goals for 2017. Chief among them is to find a romantic partner with which to share this never-ending process. Whether that involves online dating or meeting someone at a dive bar on the Jersey Shore, I’m open to that experience. I want to make that kind of personal progress as well.

There are other goals I hope to make. I feel like I’ve become more balanced as I’ve gotten older, both in terms of my life goals and my approach to achieving them. I’d like to keep working on that balance. I believe it’ll keep me focused, honest, and sincere in my endeavors.

With 2016 drawing to a close, I feel like I can enter 2017 with a healthy bit of confidence. I feel like that’s the best anyone can do, to make the next year better than the last. Sometimes we can only do so much. There are a lot of forces beyond our control, but in our personal lives, I believe we control much more than we think.

So for the rest of 2016, my only remaining goal is to stock up on whiskey, watch college football, read some comics, brainstorm some sexy stories, and watch the ball drop before I get too drunk. If I can do these things while naked, then that’s just a bonus.

Until then, I wish everyone a safe, happy, and sexy New Years Eve!


Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights