Happy New Year!
It’s the time of year when we sit down and think about what’s coming in the year ahead. It’s a time for fresh starts and do-overs because it’s the first day of a 365-page book! It’s a time for re-energizing and grabbing life by the balls because you’re a badass and you can do anything! It’s a time for feeling guilty because you’ve totally overindulged these last few weeks (months, years) and now your jeans won’t fit! It’s a time for being completely overwhelmed because now you’re not sure where to start with all the fresh-starting and the ball grabbing and the badassing! It’s time, too, for well-meaning people in our lives (and in our electronic devices) to tell us what we should and shouldn’t do and all the ways we should or shouldn’t accomplish all the things we need to do or to stop doing, in the year ahead.
I’m not here to do that.
I am here to say, that this year, I am not starting at the start. And, I’m not going to ask for a do-over, and I’m probably not going to be engaging in much badassery. But, I have spent a fair amount of time over the past couple weeks thinking about what I want to accomplish. Last year, Steve and I dubbed 2016 “The Year of Do,” that meant if we said we were going to do something, we would do it. For example, we said we were going to travel more, and we did, a lot as it turns out. We said we were going to get blinds for the windows and get those put up – we did that, too. Not everything in The Year of Do was glamorous, but we did many of the things we said we wanted to do, and that felt good. There were many other things still left on the to-do list on December 31st, but that’s okay, we’ve got 2017 to be: The Year of Do, Part Deux.
That said, I’ve come up with a main overarching principle for the year. An idea that will help guide all my other ideas and shape my hours and minutes this year. This year, I want to focus on nourishment. We hear often about food being fuel and the things we watch and read fueling our lives and our directions. To me, fuel is something you need to get you from one place to the next. It’s not pretty, it doesn’t smell great, and the act of fueling up is not generally a pleasant experience. Necessary? Sure. Pleasant and joyful? No.
I prefer pleasant, if not downright joyful. So, I choose nourishment. I intend to utilize the idea of nourishment to inform my choices. Will this food nourish my body? Will this video nourish my mind? Will this experience nourish my soul? If the answer is yes, then that is the direction I will encourage myself to take. If the answer is a resounding no, then I will need to re-think that choice. I don’t expect 100% compliance, and I don’t expect 100% perfect achievement, but I do believe that by changing my mindset, I will be able to make changes, some big, some small, that will help me nourish my mind, body, and soul, and that will lead to a happier and healthier life – not just for 2017, but for the future, too.
I am in charge of my life. I will make choices that support the kind of life I want to live. (I feel like I should be chanting: “I am one with The Force, The Force is with me,” and that works, too.)
Now, for the list part. I do love a good list. And with the principle of nourishment in mind, here is an incomplete list of goals, some nebulous, others concrete, that I have for myself this year:
- Choose nourishment.
- Write 2,000 words a week. (I’m never going to be a writer if I don’t write…)
- Do the things I say I am going to do.
- Complete the Master Gardener program. (This is pretty much a foregone conclusion, but I’ve included it because it will be an achievement, with hard work put into it, so it counts and should be counted.)
- Spend more mindful time with my husband and children. (Focus on them when I’m with them, put the phone down.)
- Finish writing my first novel. (See #2.)
- Walk 10,000 steps a day (Fitbit helps with this. And Steve’s got one now, too…no excuses!)
- Drink more water.
- Say “yes” before “no” more often. (Over the years, “no” has become the default answer when the kids ask for something. I should have more confidence and faith in my children’s choices and desires. See #10.)
- Allow more grace for myself and others. (Just breathe.)
- Participate in groups or movements in meaningful ways so that I am putting good into the world. (This one is vague and that’s okay.)
There you have it. That’s how I’m shaping my 2017. Am I still going to eat cake? Yes. Am I still going to have days that I choose mindless television over engaging activities? Yes. But I know that those are my choices, and if I want to be better, I’ll have to choose better.
What about you? Do you have plans for 2017?