New Year’s resolutions have never been my strong suit. I love the idea of committing to something at the start of a year, but by February, most people (including me) have lost the drive that they had 31 days prior. I’ve also discovered that I need to have some outside accountability (an in-person class, a mentor or tutor, a deadline, an audience) to help me achieve my goals.
So here are five truths for the year that I hope will guide me through all 12 months, rather than just January.
- Make time for creative brain play. That means dedicating time near-daily for writing, but also visiting more museums, committing to workshops and conferences that support my creative interests (mainly writing), reading inspirational books on interesting topics, and trying new creative pursuits occasionally (painting or ceramics or drawing…).
- Be more visible with my writing. Write stories that I care about. Share the personal essays that resonate emotionally. Commit to writing projects that force me to submit for publication.
- Family is important, but so are friends. When we moved back to Ohio, I was motivated by family. But by this spring, we’ll have been here two years, and our social circle has barely expanded. This year, I’m committing to host dinners and game nights with the people we like, love and want to know better. I’m asking casual friends out for lady dates. I’m re-committing to longtime friendships. Family is amazing and delightful, but friends keep you entertained, grounded and supported.
- Make more adventures. I haven’t prioritized travel for many years, and I feel some regret about that. I want to be better about creating big and small adventures in my life: Day trips to interesting parks or landmarks, meals at new (or weird, or unusual) restaurants, and designated vacation times.
- You’re doing the best you can. This is a reminder to myself: There’s no such thing as a perfect mom, wife, daughter, friend or co-worker. If you are kind, thoughtful, responsible and communicative, you’re doing better than 80% of people. (Maybe 90%? I don’t know; this is very unscientific.) We can aspire to be better, but we should also accept that we’re loved, supported, supportive and loving just as we are.
If you’re looking for more deep thoughts about making your life better this year, I like these:
- Seven Things I Did to Reboot My Life by Wil Wheaton – “I had this epiphany at the beginning of September: This thing that I’m doing? This series of choices I make every day? It isn’t working. I don’t like the way I feel, I don’t like the way I look, I don’t like the things I’m doing. Things need to change.”
- Six Ways to Create an Awesome 2016 by Leo Babauta – “Make small changes. Instead of trying to change everything at once, and making drastic changes … try to make smaller ones that will gradually end up as big changes over the course of a year.”
- Four Principles that Guide My Year by Laura Simms – “My well-being needs to come first. Before my work, my husband, or even my kid. I almost always put it last. It’s stupid and it’s not sustainable and it makes me worse at everything else I do.”
Stock image via Kazuend on Unsplash