Today, as I sit here on the first day of 2016, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past. I started this blog a little over two years ago as a way to bring some joy back into my life after the most challenging year of my life thus far (thanks, 2013). I was stuck in what I perceived as personal and professional failures – which reflected with the gift of perspective turned out to be incredible learning lessons – and I needed a way to get myself out of that funk.
In my 2014 resolutions post, aside from talking about my obvious love for goal setting, I said that, “The new year is the spark I needed to relight the fire within, the passion for life that 2013 stomped out just a bit.” I was clearly at a low, searching for a way to pull myself up and get back on track. My resolutions: Be Happier. Be Healthier. Be More Chic. I made it okay to invest in myself and to admit that I wasn’t happy. That the Facebook-ified version of me wasn’t quite my reality. I went back to my core values and found that with a little effort, I could overcome the sorrow of my circumstances and create my own happiness.
In last year’s resolutions post, I was clearly back on the right track, but still didn’t feel like I fully hit my stride. I was itching to keep pushing forward. My resolutions: Live in the Moment. Get Fit. Get Hobby-ing. Like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I’d finally met my baseline requirements for feeling like a productive, loved human being and was ready to take my self-actualization to the next level. In my quest for happiness I moved from escaping depression to appreciating my blessings. For my health, I moved from healing sickness to improving aesthetics. And as for general self-improvement, I went from the make-over show like basics of wardrobe enhancements to Renaissance (wo)man like skills enhancements. I think maybe that means I’m growing up!
So where does that leave me for this year?
2016. I feel like this year is a major tipping point. From the depths of that pit I climbed out of in 2013, I’ve been making a slow and steady ascent ever since. But I can see the top of the mountain now. I’m heading into the clouds, ready to pop out at the peak at any moment. When I get there, as always, I know there will be a bigger, more challenging mountain in sight, tempting me, but I’m ready for a little rest. In 2016, I want to reach that resting place, and actually sit still for a while. I want to enjoy all of the accomplishments I’ve been working so hard for. I want to be comfortable for just a little, so that I can completely recover. I have a habit of constantly making myself uncomfortable in life – it is great for growing and improving, but not so great for mental rejuvenation. I don’t know how long I’ll want to sit still, but I do know that once I reach that peak, the time has come to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Personally, it’s become pretty clear from my last two year’s of resolution posts that there are two constant goals that I’m continually pushing towards: happiness in my mind and with my body. And I’m this close to hitting milestones I’ve been after for quite some time now, and when I get there, I’m going to enjoy the final results. With the past, present, and future in mind, here are my personal resolutions for 2016.
#1. Be Grateful. Starting my five year daily gratitude journal has truly been life changing (even Oprah agrees, check out the video above). I’m heading in to the third year now, and it is INCREDIBLE how the entries change over time. I know it is a little hippy-dippy, but I genuinely believe that the energy you put out into the universe shapes your life. There is a reason I picked “Gratitude” as my word of the year for 2016. But like I said, this year is about taking things to the next level, and in my reflections on 2015, I’ve noticed that I’ve spent entirely too much energy thinking about negative situations and circumstances that I absolutely cannot change. It’s great that I can find something to be grateful about each day, but it’s time to spread that positivity. I want to be the person who radiates light and love. I want to finally release those demons that I have let haunt me over the past couple of years. It is time to not only be grateful for those things that are good, but to find gratefulness and optimism in those things that aren’t so good too. I am in charge of my happiness. Like Ben Franklin once said, “Joy doesn’t exist in the world, it exists in us.”
#2. Create My Best Body. Last year, if we’re being honest, I failed at my second resolution. I am undoubtedly healthier and more in tune with what my body needs, but I absolutely didn’t prioritize getting in my best shape ever. I said, “I want to eat not only to make my body feel good, but also to achieve that low body weight and svelte aesthetic that I’ve always wanted.” I want flat abs. It’s a goal I’ve had since I was probably 10 years old that I just haven’t had enough willpower (or desire) to achieve. I’m tired of always saying each year that my goal is to see how model-esque I can look. This is absolutely the last time I will set this goal (someone please hold me to that).
#3. Save More Money. While I wouldn’t say that we live an extravagant lifestyle, and we certainly live within our means, we don’t necessarily live on a budget. I mean, one is there, but it’s very comfortable and doesn’t allow for maximum savings. I have some big goals for our student loans, but to meet those we’re going to have to tighten things up a bit. Money has typically been a big cause of anxiety for me – whether we have it or we don’t – and I think feeling like I have a little more control will help alleviate some of that discomfort.
BONUS: In all aspects of my life, and in the pursuit of my goals, I want to be FEARLESS. Maybe this should actually be my word for 2016. Recently I’ve felt some slight hesitation creep into my mind. I’ve always been the person to jump at an opportunity or raise my hand to tackle a new task, but of late I’ve felt myself pulling back just a tiny bit – and I don’t like that. In 2016, I want to move full steam ahead. I want to go to all the events, talk to all the people, take on all the projects. I want to be genuine to who I am and not be afraid to share that with the world. 2016 holds incredible potential, and I want to seize every last bit of it.