I just re-read my 2016 resolutions and I have to say, I think I did a good job of trying to stick to them (even though it’s probably not good that I just now re-read them). I definitely read more, wrote more (although I may not have much to show for that) and traveled more. Now, for getting off the couch and saving money, those will have to be something I work on in 2017 as well. Or maybe for the rest of my life.
I kind of want to dedicate this year to something deeper. With all the bad news lately, I’ve been feeling, more than ever, that life truly is short and there is only so much time to do what I want and be who I want. Do I want to look back on my life and feel like I didn’t take chances, love completely, take advantage of the world’s beauty and gifts? One day, when I’m too old to do anything about it, do I want to ask myself why I was too afraid to put myself out there, take a chance on something I wasn’t used to doing or was too afraid to try? Do I want to look back on my life and say to myself that I really screwed it up?
The way I see it is, you’re never as young as you are right now. And no matter how much you want to, you can’t keep up with it. When all you want to do is hold on to the moment you’re in, to the subtle smile, laugh or realization that takes you off guard, it’s in those exact moments that you know you can’t. This makes them all the more special.
Maybe these resolutions are my attempt to rectify that, or maybe rectifying is impossible. But, I think it humanizes us to keep trying, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions
Feel more. You cannot will yourself to feel something, but whether we’re cognizant of it or not, we’re almost always feeling. I guess that’s just it… I want to be more cognizant of what I’m feeling and why. To understand myself and know myself more and for me, that has to start in realizing why I feel a certain way and what is motivating that feeling.
See and acknowledge the good in others. People can be really amazing to one another. I’ve noticed the small encouragements and selfless acts from my family and friends and instead of letting them pass by without acknowledgement or thought, I want to more fully understand how powerful those acts really are. When I do, I see the people around me for who they are, which isn’t always reflected in what they say. These moments can sometimes be surprising, but when noticed, they’ll leave a lasting impression.
Do things that scare me. Now, I don’t mean things that will harm me, but I do want to do more things that jolt me a bit, that move me out of my comfort zone and show me things that I would not have realized otherwise. Things about myself, others and the world. I don’t want to get too comfortable because that is the quickest way to complacency, and to me, complacency is the enemy of an adventurous life.
Show others I need them. This one is tricky for me because in my personal life, I like to think that I am completely independent. Sometimes I think I can do anything and that I really don’t need the help of others. I don’t know why, I know that help isn’t a bad thing, that it can make us all feel more unified and like we’re coming together for a common purpose. That sort of unity is really remarkable, as it has a way of proving that we really aren’t that different. It allows walls to crumble and lets people in. I want to let more people in.
Let go. To truly live day-to-day, to think about tomorrow, tomorrow. I want to experience the present while it’s happening and not look back and wonder what I was feeling in that moment. Focusing more on letting life happen and being in each moment completely. To reduce worry so that I can see what is unfolding in front of me more clearly. This one is a big one.
With each year that comes, while we may grow older, we’re still promised a fresh start. One in which we can try again, make a change (or several), or become someone that we can be proud of. I hope this year brings you the courage to make changes, to grow and to evolve. I hope you’re able to see what it is you want for yourself and are empowered to make it happen. And I hope next year, we all can all look back and be proud of the person we shaped into in 2017.