I don’t remember what year this tradition started for me. On one New Year’s day sometime in the 90’s or 2000’s, my childhood bestie and I decided we would set 10 New Year’s Resolutions and write them down. I would keep mine folded up in the small zipper pocket in my purse for the entire year. From time to time, I would take the paper out, review those resolutions, and back into my purse they would go. Nowadays, I have a blog I record them in (at least for the past 4 years), and prior to that, I had recorded them on Facebook. Even though I don’t have those folded up papers anymore, I can go as far back as 2010, and I do, every New Year’s Day to see how life has changed and stayed the same. This is a tradition I’m glad I continue every year. Thankfully for all, the New Year’s Eve party we had where my high school bestie and I watched the Grease sing-a-long while wearing “happy birthday” hats (you know the ones with the elastic strings) while drinking schnapps (darn my old age, I can’t remember the flavor, which is probably the most important detail of this memory) did not become a tradition instead.
Despite the stupid sinus headache and cold I have today, I am pushing myself to carry on with tradition. I felt a bit fearful to read my resolutions from last year, but also super excited to make some new resolutions or reconnect with old ones. What I am learning about myself is that my resolutions really always have the same themes. They focus on areas of physical and mental health, travel, connection, and organization. My values shine through in these themes. Over time, I also see how the resolution I created which didn’t align with my values changed into goals which are more attuned with what I want in my life. So when I don’t meet a resolution, I never see it as a failure because often it’s a misguided goal which I have to not attain in order to find out how to truly move forward in my life. So getting on with it, in the year 2017, I resolve to:
- Write. I enjoy writing, I enjoy putting words together to illustrate meaning. I haven’t been doing it enough this year despite knowing just how helpful writing is for me. My resolution is to write once a week whether it be journaling, writing in my blog, writing a letter to someone, writing something for my private practice website, or for a submission for some sort of publication.
- Simplify and De-clutter. I would never consider myself a hoarder, but I definitely hold onto things for way too long because you never know when you’re going to need something. A good way for me to work towards less clutter is by setting a resolution to clean out one area (room, closet, etc.) each month.
- Be a cheerleader. It’s hard for me to make this a resolution, because I don’t ever want anyone in my life to feel like I support them only because I am trying to fulfill a goal. I really want for the people in my life to feel supported by me. My husband, my children, my family, my friends, my co-workers, even my clients should all know that I think they are doing a great job in life. My resolution, is to see people’s strengths, and to tell at least one person every day exactly how I notice them exhibit this strength.
- Meditate. I’m already incorporating this into my life. I find that meditation is very centering for me, even if it’s just 5 minutes. I would like to set a resolution to meditate daily.
- Road trip and vacation. It’s been difficult to find ways to travel over the past year due to a lack of money and changing jobs. I love to see things though, and I’m good at figuring out how to do things for cheap. I’m setting a resolution to take some sort of trip every other month.
- Simplify in the Kitchen. I am a loner in my family. I dislike foods like hot dogs, Kraft mac n’ cheese, and other foods which come from a box or a can. Unfortunately, catering to my own tastes mean going to lots of trouble, so I just need to simplify by creating a weekly food plan. I’m setting a resolution to plan meals out on a weekly basis. The double bonus is that this also will help save money on groceries.
- Take care of my health. As far as I know, I’m healthy, but there are so many things I know I can start doing to improve my health. Rather than break it down into all kinds of goals, I’d like to meet with a naturopath and set some sort of plan whether it’s eating more vegetables, drinking more water, taking more Vitamin D. However it ends, it begins with setting a resolution to make an appointment with a naturopathic practioner.
- Set a schedule. When I was a little girl, every Saturday was grocery shopping day, and I knew we’d be headed to town once Saturday cartoons ended. Besides going to work and attending classes at the gym, I have no routines for anything. Partly, because I love variety and spontaneity, and partly because my mind is so ADD. I’d like to have a routine for things, like Monday’s are the day I wash towels, or mornings are for folding clothes, or the third Tuesday is happy hour with friends, etc. I have no problem with becoming anal about scheduling, I just have a problem with building routines which stick. I am setting a resolution to consciously add some routine into my life on a monthly basis.
- More yoga. I love yoga. I always feel good after doing yoga and feel stronger the more that I do it. I want to eventually get to the point where I’m able to do those crazy poses and inversions. It’s not realistic for me to think I can get there by the end of the year. However, to get to that point, I’m going to have to start practicing more often. I’m setting a resolution to practice yoga 3x/week. I have a gym membership where I can attend a class 2x/week now, and I have an online subscription, so I don’t have any good excuses to not make this a bigger part of my life.
- Energize. I hate feeling low-energy. I know many of the things which contribute to feeling this way, and some I have control over (like when I go to sleep), and sometimes I don’t have control (like having this stupid cold right now). However, I think there are many things I’m also not entirely conscious of, and ultimately, I want to make choices which support me in feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically energized. I am making a resolution to focus on bringing into my awareness things which effect my energy levels in negative and positive ways.