Happy New Year, friends! During this first week of this new year, I’m adjusting my typical New Year routine. Most years, I sit down with a pad of paper and a fresh pen to write my New Year goals. (In our family, we like to have goals to which we aspire as opposed to resolutions we break.)
These goals are generally variations on a theme:
- Work out three times a week, minimum.
- Eat (and cook) healthy foods.
- Publish a writing piece.
As for everyone, these lists boil down to, “THIS YEAR, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna be perfect.” Then, naturally, I decide I’ll cut back on wine after I finish this one bottle (it’s open, after all), pack a gym bag that ends up on the floor of my closet, donate $50 to help kids in Africa and call it a day.
The next January 1, I rummage around for a notebook, and the previous year’s goals rear up like last night’s garlic. My failure is both pungent and stale.
Thankfully, this year, I was saved: pulled off the demented merry-go-round by my Christmas and New Year’s visitors! My mom and step-dad arrived December 23 and stayed with me until January 1, and it was a special and meaningful visit. We attended a candlelight Christmas Eve service at the church around the block, cooked filet mignon for Christmas dinner, and watched the whole first season of The Crown. We took Bella girl on walks around the neighborhood and a hike near Red Rocks. They led the charge as we worked together to transform my house into a home: a place I’m proud to live.
Most importantly, we talked for hours over home-cooked meals and re-heated tea about our histories, our fears, and our dreams.
One transformational tidbit they shared was that before they write their New Year’s goals, they write a reflection of the previous year. This might sound self-explanatory. Perhaps everyone does this and I missed the memo! But this year, after writing for over an hour about all the things that wounded or cheered me, all the personal triumphs and dark, lonely moments, and the many memories created with family and friends, my New Year’s goals are different.
Here are a few of my goals/thoughts/mantras for 2017:
- Think outside the box!
- I forgive myself; I forgive others; others forgive me.
- Spend time being creative, in whatever form it takes.
- More tea.
- Better wine.
- Give myself the gift of taking Bella to the groomer for a real bath more often.
- Remember I can always move things to another shelf.
- Deep breaths.
- Sit with my own feelings.
- Practice feeling my truth and trusting it – so I can speak it.
- Focus on moments of peace, beauty, happiness, and joy.
- I love myself; I love others; others love me.
- Find ways to be a bright spot and have a positive impact.
- More deep breaths.
I’ll still donate money, and I’ll probably pack the occasional forgotten gym bag, but this time around I intend to do it with a grateful heart. I am healthy, relatively wealthy, and very loved. I’m starting this race with the medal already around my neck. Now I just get to run.
Happy New Year. Happy new tune.
Blessings to you all.