Every year around this time, my social media feeds are clogged with 2 types of people:
1. The excited sharers of big news (engagements, pregnancies, and new year resolutions)
2. Grinches and Scrooges who complain about the overwhelming amount of ‘sharing’ from the previous group
Now, I can be a bit of a Grinch at times – even though in all seriousness, I’m over the moon for my friends and their great news. But when it comes to resolutions? I am 100% an excited sharer. I LOVE the idea of a fresh start, a blank slate, and setting goals.
Let’s be honest: While we’re all in very different places in our individual journeys, many of us share one thing in common: accountability. It’s so easy to make a ‘resolution’ …. and then forget it 3 weeks from now. I have found, however, that sharing my resolutions publicly has helped me hold myself to them. Plus, it gives me a concrete list that is easily revisited!
Last year, I shared my (rather unorthodox) resolution, which was a word of the year. I chose the word, “intentional.”
intentional : (adj.) done on purpose, deliberate
You can read about why I chose intentional here, but I’m happy to report that by resolving to be more intentional in 2017 – I was. I made forward-thinking decisions regarding my career, my relationships, and daily life. I made conscious decisions to live a healthier lifestyle, I took charge of my mental health, I trained for and ran my very first 5K, and moved in with the love of my life. I also have a few more projects and changes up my sleeve that I’m bursting at the seams to share in the months to come.
In 2018, in addition to my long-term goal of 101 in 1001, which is full of “SMART” (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals – I’ve decided to put a few, more vague, resolutions out into the world. To set some intentions, if you will.
Leave the FOMO in 2017
Living halfway across the country through some of my closest friends can be a challenge on the best days, and downright hell on the worst. It can be hard to see photos and videos of my friends getting together for a wine night on Tuesday, or for the big events that I miss out on due to scheduling (and travel time). So in 2018, I intend to focus on not only really grabbing life by the horns – but also rejoicing in the sweet gift of friendship and our time together (even when I don’t see them nearly as much as I’d like.)
Practice gratitude daily
I haven’t entirely decided how I want to accomplish this – whether it be a daily affirmation of the things I am grateful for, praying on them, physically recording them in a journal – or all of the above! 2016 was a tough year, and while 2017 was better, I’d like to head into 2018 keeping things in perspective. I have been so abundantly blessed, and I want to focus more closely on that.
Start replacing “I’m sorry” with “thank you” where I can
Of course, there is a time and place for an apology and the words, “I’m sorry,” But in 2018, I intend to stop apologizing when it is unwarranted. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry I’m late,” say instead, “Thank you for waiting for me.” Instead of, “I’m sorry I’m such mess,” say instead, “Thank you for being patient and understanding with me. I intend to be more gentle with myself, and changing the narrative is a big part of that. It’s time to appreciate others, instead of apologizing for being human.
Get better at keeping in touch/acknowledging important events
We all have those friends who never miss a birthday or anniversary, or even your first day at a new job. In 2018, while I may not magically become that friend, I intend to move in that direction. One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to send “happy mail” (at least) once a month, to acknowledge a special date – or even just to put something other than junk and bills in someone special’s mailbox. Even if I don’t get a card out, a text or phone call can make all the difference – and I want to make that difference.
Allow myself to be more “playful”
Growing up, I was a total ham. I was a dancer, a gymnast, a choir kid, and a cheerleader, and I lived to perform. I wasn’t very – if at all – easily embarrassed, and could often be seen making a total fool of myself. Societal pressures (and mean girls) put the kibosh on that as I got older. Now that I’ve grown more comfortable in my skin again, I feel that playful, child-like side pushing its way out. So in 2018, I intend to let it do just that. Throw caution to the wind, and bust a few moves whenever my heart desires.
I’m so excited to see what 2018 has to offer, and how intentions play out over the next 365 days. If nothing else, here’s to hoping I come out on the other side with a grateful heart, stronger bonds, and a better sense of my place in this world.