Most years, I pop out of bed on the first of the year, excited for a clean slate, already writing this blog post in my head. I’m all about the New Year’s Resolutions — always have been — but this year, even though I had ginned up a rough draft, I couldn’t muster up any excitement about them. I’m not entirely sure what I was waiting for, but something inside was resisting. Something inside me knew, I think, that I hadn’t yet figured out the direction I needed to head this year, despite the resolutions already listed in that rough draft.
But with a recent shake-up in my life, I think I’ve finally understood where I’ve needed to go. In my first draft, I had a few quantifiable, trackable resolutions that I had listed out. Normal stuff. At the end I tacked on, almost as an afterthought, a few “be a better person” kind of things. As I sit here typing now, I realize that the first time around I had misplaced the emphasis on what I most need for 2018. Data is good, but heart is better (you heard it here first).
And so without further ado, my second draft of my 2018 New Year’s Resolutions:
Be Kind. The cliche that you never know what someone is going through is a cliche for a reason. Remember that a small, easy-to-do kindness can have a dramatic impact on another person. Really – you never know how much we affect those around us. The 4 seconds I take to give someone a compliment could make the difference in their entire day. You just never know.
Be Generous. Spend my time with the people I love and who want to spend their time with me. Understand that no one is perfect and freely give away goodwill towards all. Donate money and time and effort to those who need it; and remember that no act is selfless because when I make other people feel good, that feeling comes back to me.
Do Not Judge. Oh, this is the tough one. Just because I might think I know what’s best or what’s right for someone else, I certainly do not know. Instead, listen with an open heart. Focus on them, not on what I would do in their position. Be supportive. Offer opinions only when asked. Just because “I would NEVAH do THAT!” doesn’t mean that it can’t be right for someone else. And who the hell am I to know, anyway?
Live Authentically. Be myself at all times. Set boundaries and don’t allow other people to push me into doing things that I wouldn’t otherwise do. Be vulnerable with those people around me who deserve to see that side of me. Remain open to new friends and new ideas and new ways of doing things. Nothing changes if nothing changes, ya know?
Chase Adventures. This might not feel like it’s in the same vein as the others, but for me, it’s the culmination of all of the above. It’s my way of being kind and generous with myself (which is as important as projecting those values outward) and not judging myself for not doing what others think I ought to do. And this is definitely me living authentically — my soul comes alive in nature. And so, I will chase mountains and elevation and lakes and rivers. I’ll explore new places and old places alike. I’ll learn about myself as I take on challenges to push through my comfort zone, whether it’s by backpacking or hiking alone or simply choosing a trail that goes up and will be physically difficult. Time is short and life doesn’t always work out the way we’d like it to, so we need to control what we can and not wait around. Go out and do all the stuff. See all the things. Experience every adventure that’s out there, before it’s too late.
Those are my big five resolutions. I have no way to track or log data points in a spreadsheet (WHICH JUST ABOUT KILLS ME) but if I can remember these over the course of 12 months and put them into practice, not only will I be a better person, but the world around me will be better because of it.
And yes, I do have a few “regular” resolutions:
Half marathon training. My Triumphant Return To Running will be at the end of April in Louisville at the Derby Half Marathon. I’m signed up, the hotel room is reserved and the training program has been printed out (well, not really, but I do have the PDF saved). Official training starts at the beginning of February and I’m totally stoked for this adventure.
More meditation. I’ve got a 250+ day streak of meditation and now I want to increase the time of my sessions. And take it more seriously. Like, I probably shouldn’t do it as a way to fall asleep at night and miss half of the session because I’m already snoring. I’ve seen the fruits of this practice in my daily life — my ability to be mindful, present and accept that which I cannot change has increased many-fold — and can only imagine how many more rewards I would reap if I fully committed to it.
Photo a day. I’m doing the Capture Your 365 photo challenge (follow me @lauraCY365 on Instagram), which is a photo prompt every day. Part of it is to get me in the habit of looking for photos to take, part of it is to start developing my eye. I find that when I’m actively thinking about or looking for a photo to fulfill a prompt that I’m more mindful and observant of the world around me. And being more present is something I strive towards. And I’ll also have pretty pictures. Win-win.
And that’s what’s up for 2018 for me. It’s going to be a good year, I can already tell.