I’m a big “to-do” list maker, and the start of the new year is no exception. My biggest challenge is reining in my long lists, so I’m left with a few realistic goals I can conceivably accomplish. Often my intentions follow some sort of pattern or fit into the same general realm – whether it be mindfulness, taking care of my body, challenging myself to try new things, etc. So even though it can be hard for me to narrow down my resolutions, they usually work toward a few common goals.
Last year (and the year before), along with my standard list of resolutions, I declared one little word to guide me through the year ahead. In 2016, my one little word was DO. And boy, am I happy to report that I actually applied it to so many different areas. I stopped letting fear or excuses get in the way of experiencing life or changing things I wasn’t happy about. I just DID THEM.
I wanted to see more of the world, so I did. I traveled to San Diego, Mammoth, Big Bear, New York City, Copenhagen, Paris, Stockholm, Austin, Tomales Bay, Seattle, Sonoma, San Francisco, Portland, McAllen, and Houston. I am so grateful for these opportunities this year.
I wanted to finally take care of my body. And when I stopped making excuses and just did what I needed to do, I found a fitness routine that worked for me and a better diet. I feel strong (for the first time in my life), healthy, and confident. And all it took was some effort.
I wanted to be an adult and revamp our apartment we’ve lived in for four years. So I threw out the mismatched, hand-me-down furniture and invested in pieces and a space I really love. Now I live in a much calmer space and am happy to invite friends over.
I wanted to meet new people and invest in friendships, so I actually met up for those coffee dates and drinks and group fitness classes. I worked hard to put my nerves and anxiety at bay, so that I could have fulfilling relationships in my life.
I wanted to sign with a theatrical agent and find a coach I trusted and introduce myself to certain casting directors, so I performed in showcases and tried someone new and signed up for workshops. Slow and steady wins the race.
Sometimes I wanted to do really mundane things like stop using sugar or creamer in my coffee. So I did.
Sometimes, like right now, I wanted to nurture my creativity and expand my blog, and for the past few months I’ve been working towards just that.
And often, I just wanted to do what I wanted. I wanted to focus on my personal growth and sometimes that meant doing things on my own. Like traveling to Paris. Or wandering a flea market. Or sitting in a cafe. Or saying “no” to an event I knew my introverted nature couldn’t handle.
It also meant doing things I did not want to do. Because challenge is quite frequently the catalyst for said personal growth.
But this year, my one little word is SLOW. And to me, it means so many things. It means I’ll…
Stop multi-tasking – focus on one thing at a time.
Stop mindlessly scrolling through social media – pick up a book instead.
Stop ordering quick takeout – spend more time in the kitchen.
Stop going to bed late – sleep longer and wake earlier for calmer mornings.
Stop overwhelm from halting my days – make a schedule.
Stop missing and rushing life – treasure that cup of coffee, that home cooked meal, that conversation.
I pre-ordered this book weeks ago and just realized how coincidental the title is for my one little word . I can’t wait to read it and see how it affects my year.
And because I can’t let the new year pass by without at least a few specific resolutions, I will also…
- Stretch every day.
- Wash my face at night.
- Go to bed by 9:30 on week days.
- Walk Kipling in the morning.
- Read at least 12 books.
2016 was a rough year for a lot of people – and really the world in general – so I feel hesitant to admit that personally, it felt good. That it wasn’t all bad. But I’m hoping 2017 will be brighter – that each individual and the world around us will experience growth and change, all in the best possible ways.
I picked up these crowns from Anthropologie for a little Christmas Eve shoot with my sister and my niece. Thank you Anna and Kennedy – I feel like they’re the perfect images to encapsulate the fresh start of the new year.
Do you set resolutions? Choose one little word to guide you? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
I hope y’all have a safe and happy new year!