I love new beginnings.
Usually, we only view the big pivotal moments as our “new chapters” in life, like moving, getting married, ending a relationship, earning a degree, starting a new job, going back to school, and of course, celebrating the start of a new year every January 1st.
These “new chapters” represent a clean slate and fresh start to be whoever we want to be, the chance to become a better version of ourselves.
Do we have to wait for that big, once-a-year moment to make a drastic change? Of course not. Does it help? Sure.
A lot of personal development gurus make comments along the lines of, “Why wait to transform your life and become the person you’ve always dreamt of being? Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
And they’re right, every single morning is indeed a new beginning. While you sleep, your brain processes the events of the past day and “takes out the trash” so-to-speak, your hormones balance out, and your body recharges it’s batteries to 100% so you wake up with a clean slate and fresh start to take on the new day.
It’s a sentiment I regularly live by myself and am certain I’ve mentioned a time or two in previous posts.
Having said that, I won’t deny the inspiring symbolism of the first day of a new year and the motivation it brings to make major life changes.
After a stressful and chaotic couple of weeks (or months) during the holidays, your healthy habits and motivation most likely went straight out the window sometime in November. Mine sure did.
So when all the madness finally comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the one ahead.
I had planned on skipping the whole “resolution” thing this year, but when I woke up on New Year’s Day without writing my intentions and goals for the year, I felt incredibly unmotivated. So I immediately grabbed my notebook and got to work.
Tonight, I reread that post and realized that all of my resolutions from the past 4 years were about my inner growth. Which makes sense – it’s a huge focus in my life and the reason I transformed into the person I am today. But then I read over the resolutions I wrote 2 days ago and realized they were different than the rest.
This time, they were all real, measurable goals.
I didn’t do that intentionally, so I thought for a bit about why I changed the “theme” of my resolutions if you will, and came to the conclusion that for the first time, I feel really good about where I’m at in my inner-life. To the point where nothing immediately comes to mind when I think about changes I want to make to my mental/emotional state or who I am as a person.
*Self-five for that.*
2017 was a big year for me – I spent four months of the year living in California, four months traveling around 5 new countries in Europe, and four months in the PNW. I watched the Northern Lights in Iceland, celebrated my best friend’s birthday in London and Paris, and lived in the Canary Islands. I went from spending every day at the beach to every weekend in the mountains. I was the ‘best man’ in my brother’s wedding, moved into a lake house, and started a new job.
My biggest inner-struggle over the past year was finding a sense of belonging. I moved around a lot looking for it, but couldn’t find the connection I was looking for. Much to my surprise, I ended up finding it back in my home state of Washington – where I swore up and down I would never return to. I’m still unsure where my sudden change of heart came from, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Life has a funny way of working out.
Now that I’m satisfied with my inner-being, I can focus more on my outer growth and checking-off my more tangible goals.
I’m going to share my 10 New Year Resolutions for 2018 – partially for my own accountability but also in hopes of inspiring you to get a little more bold and specific with your own resolutions (it’s OK to write a new list and get started now).
- Go on a new hike every weekend, and at least 3 out-of-state hikes (i.e. Tahoe, Oneonta Falls – Oregon, Grand Canyon)
- Read at least 5 books FOR FUN – not for learning & growth – meaning they must be fiction or autobiography/memoir.
- Spend at least one hour each day alone – read, journal, meditate, gratitude, goal-setting, etc.
- Spend some time EVERY weekend (any amount of time counts) writing – a little bit of progress every weekend will add up a lot faster than continuing to push it off and never making the time at all.
- Finish my first manuscript and submit it to publishers.
- Do a 2-week digital detox from social media every 4 months.
- Master the art of photography – buy a DSLR camera, read blog articles from experts, take courses, and practice as much as possible on weekend hikes.
- Find joy and gratitude in simple day-to-day things like waking up every morning to lake views, drinking coffee on my dock, cooking healthy dinners, getting trained by my roommate in our home gym, reading for pleasure, puppy cuddles, game nights with friends, having a good job with work-life balance, singing in the car, long hot showers, and having two awesome roommates who share my love for adventure and the outdoors.
- Take an epic 30th birthday trip to a new country.
- Develop a routine for consistency, but leave room for spontaneity and experimenting with new ways of doing things.
Alright, I’m going to end with a quote from my favorite book “The Alchemist”:
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Now it’s your turn to share – what are your top resolutions to focus on for 2018?