Ah, New Year’s Resolutions.
We love to make them; we struggle to keep them.
As 2017 transitioned without fail into 2018, I was once again prompted to set some goals — both attainable and not-so-attainable — to guide (or at least try to guide) my actions and decision-making throughout the new year.
Scattered among the more tangible resolutions (such as saving up to buy a new car, traveling more, and moving to a new state) were less measurable intentions . . . things like creating a better version of myself, and seeking out inspiration in places I might not otherwise look.
Unlike previous years, I took it upon myself to actually take time to write them down. And more than that, I made sure to write them in a place I was likely to stumble upon every now and then . . . aka my daily planner.
Each Christmas, Santa (yes, Santa) brings me my most-anticipated gift of a new Erin Condren Life Planner. The layout is a little different from year-to-year, and this year’s layout conveniently included two sectioned pages at the beginning. They were appropriately titled “Don’t Call It A Dream” (where I was able to write out my bigger ideas) and “Call It A Plan” (where I laid out how I was going to achieve those goals from the page before).
[P.S. I wrote a little more in-depth about what this year meant to me here.]
In the last week, one of my most frequented websites, The Everygirl, wrote up this post on the importance of taking another look at your New Year’s Resolutions. The timeliness of this post and my newfangled desire to take a look back at how far I’d come was serendipitous almost. It’s what inspired me to write on this topic.
With all the change and growth I’ve experienced over these past two-and-a-half months, it seemed only natural for me to recall and reexamine those intentions I had set for myself way back in January. In doing so, I realized (with much satisfaction, might I add) that it was one of the first times I was able to measure my accomplishments and see my success so plainly discernible.
Though I won’t actually do it (it just looks so pretty), I could cross out almost all of those great big dreams I wrote out on the left-hand side of my planner like I would items on a to-do list. And even those intentions that I can’t just yet, that Everygirl post I mentioned above reminded me that I have plenty of year still left to attain them . . . I just might need to change my trajectory.
Let’s dive in.
Yes, this particular goal was reached solely because I had no other choice than to invest in it. When my car died a week before I was set to fly out to Nashville, I had to move, and I had to move fast if I wanted to navigate (literally) my new city with ease.
Though technically it wasn’t something that I actively worked toward, it is still something that happened and was realized, so I’m counting it!
The city may be different, but the notion behind the goal is entirely the same. My dream was to simply move . . . to leave California and shake things up a bit in my life. Austin was, at the time, the only destination in my line of sight. I hadn’t even considered Nashville as being a viable option.
I’m not sure I’ll ever cross this off any list, anywhere — simply because I can’t imagine a time or place where I’m not inspired. Whether it’s reading a good book, seeing a gorgeous image on Pinterest, or being out in nature, I am somehow able to find stimulus in all facets of life.
Because I was lost and uninspired more these last two years than ever before, I felt the need to set this intention as a little reminder of the wonderful things that exist if I take the time to seek them out.
Create a Better Me
Another thing I will never be able to cross off. I will never be my best version, and I’m perfectly okay with that. I’m a firm believer that everyone should always strive to be better. Kinder. Healthier. More perceptive. More tolerant.
I’ve definitely felt shifts in my human foundation. I am more observant; more curious. I am more gentle and aware of others’ temperaments. I have definitely felt happier and more full, but I also know there’s much more of that to come. I will not allow myself to become stagnant. I must always be willing to grow.
In reigniting this desire to improve myself, I’ve begun documenting in The Five-Minute Journal which was gifted to me from a friend right before my move to Nashville. I’ve committed to writing in it every morning and night for the next 20 days in hopes that it becomes seamlessly integrated into my daily rituals. I’ll definitely write up a post on my experiences in doing so, and will surely make note of any differences/improvements I may feel in my psyche.
Take More Risks
It’s a safe bet to say that this has been my riskiest year to date. Moving halfway across the country has only been the catalyst for taking more risks and forcing myself out of those zones of ease and comfort I have designated. Each day I have put myself “out there” in one way or another — be that making friends at work, reaching out to old friends in the area, saying yes to happy hour on a weeknight (gasp), or even initiating a conversation on Bumble (double gasp).
I’m so glad for this experience, as it’s forced me to uncover a small arsenal of confidence that’s been lying dormant for some time . . . though I know I’m nowhere close to being all there (“there” being my most confident, self-assured version) just yet.
I knew that travel this year wasn’t going to come close to rivaling travel in 2017 (read those posts here, here, here, and here), but I still wanted to get out and see things I hadn’t before. I was lucky enough to start off 2018 with a trip to Chicago, and before even then I had tickets booked for a bachelorette party in Cabo and 4th of July in Vermont.
Now that I’m in Nashville, my upcoming “trips” are a little less novel (back to California twice — once to the north and once to the south), but I’d still say they count as some type of travel.
For anyone who reads this and feels prompted to check up on the resolutions that were set back in January, I strongly encourage you to do so. Celebrate your successes! And if you realize that maybe you’ve strayed off course a bit, there’s still so much time left to reroute.
Looking back myself, it’s wonderful to realize that I’ve accomplished so much this year. I’m truly not afraid to admit how proud I am of that fact. But I also realize that just because I’ve knocked off a few of those big intentions, I shouldn’t stop there. I should continue to set goals and move toward them.
Looking forward, I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year (and life in general) reveals.