I found it particularly daunting to set intentions for 2014 in late December. When I sat down to write this post Christmas week, I couldn’t even tiptoe into the next year. All I could feel was appreciation for my life and all I could write sounded like fear that 2014 would be status quo. Could it really top getting married, being offered my dream job and finding acceptance with a body that could not run? Now I can believe that it can, and will. The energy of a new year shifted yesterday and, by mid-afternoon, I was motivated to define new challenges. But I’m always careful with how I do so.
I haven’t set a New Year’s Resolution since I started transforming my overall lifestyle. I resolved to Drink less Coke for years. Once I made it two days; other years I just laughed at the thought without actually trying to achieve it. I haven’t had a soda in 2-3 years now. I think that I got it to stick when I stopped thinking of soda as something that I couldn’t have, and instead thought of it as something I didn’t want to put in me. And I reframed it into a positive statement: I want to only drink liquids that contribute to my health (wine is made of grapes, right??). It took me at least three Januarys to shift that hard-to-reach, ok-to-not-achieve goal into a personal statement that I wanted to continuously keep true. And honestly, I don’t know if I put down the can during a January or not. Positive change can happen at any time and even after lots of failures.
I do find beauty in any chance – albeit the start of a year or a season or a random Tuesday – to renew and enhance me. Partway (read: after relaxing on the couch for longer than I could relax for) through January 1, I got antsy with the desire to organize, plan and learn. This year doesn’t need to be status quo! And I don’t need to nail down exactly what I am going to achieve just yet; life changes too much to define what success or failure means for the next 365 days. Instead, I am playing with these themes to guide my lifestyle in 2014. I will return to these in my heart, my decision-making and my blogging in 2014:
I am a full-time writer again. For the second time in my 7 year career, I can say this. I am a writer. The fourth-grader in me has such an ego for knowing what she wanted to be when she grew up and making it happen. But, in all seriousness, that statement is nothing compared with the results of being able to write full-time. How do I embrace this opportunity and take my writing to the next level? More on this soon.
Grow my practice on and off the mat. Lately, I’ve been thanking strangers and just trying to make everyone’s day. Why not? People smile back; the man is happy when he sees this side of me. It’s simple and it makes me feel good. Do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet? How else can I practice seva – or be of service – to the many communities to which I belong? Am I doing the little things to show the man I love him? Am I putting my stress aside when interacting with others? It is h.a.r.d. to do! But time on the mat gives me the energy and mindset to be a better person during the other 23 hours of the day.
Learn something new. I feel an urge to learn right now, so much so that I cannot decide which interest to invest in. Perhaps by 2015, I will be certified in a yoga specialty and reiki level i, as well as take another writing course. But what’s most important to me, for now, is that I commit to one learning opportunity in January.
Add richness to areas of my life that were previously defined in part by running. I unexpectedly stopped running in 2013. Though my knees would appreciate a continued hiatus from the sport, I’m not making that a goal. But I must find replacements for the gaps it created in my cardio/fitness, blogging and as an outlet for my competitive spirit!
I just read an article about an old friend’s dad who recently scaled back his job as a finance exec to pursue photography, open an oil painting studio/gallery and start a stand up paddle board company. All things (well maybe not the SUP part) that had wanted to do in college, but lost track of on the way.
This was front page news.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Just take the steps.
Tell me what your themes are below!