So, it’s New Year’s Day and I have been appreciating reading the many blog posts that are popping up about people’s new year’s resolutions, intentions for 2013, and the like. In fact, today has been a good day: I enjoyed a soul detoxifying yoga class this morning, a long walk, some good music, and the company of people I care about. On some level I recognize that today signifies the start of something new, a new year, new opportunities, a fresh perspective …… but the problem is that, really, today just feels like any other day (a particularly good one, but ordinary nonetheless).
Last Year (2012)
Historically I have been terrible with New Year’s Resolutions. (I mean really, most of us are, right?) I would get super ambitious and draft a loooong list of “important self-improvement goals” for the new year, and then predictably spend the year feeling bad about the fact that I was not living up to any of those completely unrealistic expectations… it was a vicious cycle!
Last year was different. I got inspired to keep it simple and set a single New Year’s Resolution. I figured that if I could manage to narrow it down to one thing I hoped to accomplish in 2012, I *might* realistically be able to keep it up. My one 2012 resolution: to keep a journal.
Now over the years I have purchased and written in many journals, but the thing is that I have never managed to move from sporadically starting a journal into a consistent journaling habit. Yet I sensed that journaling was something I would enjoy, something that would add value to my life, something realistic I could do to care for myself. So in 2012 journaling became my one and only new year’s resolution.
Somewhere around mid January, I bought a simple black sketchbook. It had sturdy pages (my favorite pens are fine tipped sharpies) and no lines. I told myself that:
- It doesn’t matter how often I write.
- It doesn’t matter what I write.
- It doesn’t matter how well I write.
- All I had to do was put pen to paper when the mood struck me throughout 2012 … and see what happened.
At first I wrote tentatively. Sometimes I drew or doodled, or wrote out my to-do list. Occasionally I would write down a meaningful quote. But more than anything else, I wrote about me and my life. My journal became a safe space where I could be brutally honest, lame, silly, rude – whatever I needed to be – and it was a-okay.
Somewhere around summertime, writing in my journal became something I actually looked forward to doing. I started noticing that writing in my journal had a grounding effect – it was like pausing to take a deep breath in the middle of a busy day – and the time I spent writing became an important piece of my personal self-care puzzle. Then, in early November, I reached two milestones I had never before reached: the last page of my journal (in case you were wondering, yes, I purchased a new one immediately and have continued writing!) and the feeling that I had succeeded at keeping a new year’s resolution.
This Year (2013)
But, here we are again, at the start of another new year and I am simply not feeling inspired to be resolute! I have been agonizing all week, trying to come up with my “one all-important new year’s resolution for 2013” – but here we are, the moment of truth, and I’ve got nothing. That said, I do have one general intention for 2013 in mind. Sure it’s a carryover from how I spent 2012, but it’s an important one and worth remembering … My intention for 2013 is to live courageously. What do I mean by that? Some things I have in mind include:
- Trying new things and going to new places (let me know if you’ve got any suggestions!)
- Continuing to blog
- Saying no when I need to say no, and yes when I want to say yes
- Continuing to do it scared
- Being open to adding to/removing from this list as it feels right
Well, ready or not, 2013 – here we go ….. !