Well, hello. You've stumbled upon a post I'm a little terrified to be making. I have always been an organizer, a list maker, a planner. You've heard of people who live in the past? I am the opposite. My heart and mind are always a few weeks, months, or even years ahead of the here and now. In some ways, that's motivating and awesome, but it can make me less likely to a) enjoy the now and b) reflect on the past in meaningful ways.
So I'm deciding to share some things I want to work on this year (acknowledge the now), and committing to track and eventually review these next year (embrace reflection). If you're a little unsure where to start with resolutions, it helped me immensely to assess whether the things that came to mind could be easily grouped under a larger heading. And thus, I came up with the following...
Overarching Resolution: LIVE MINDFULLY.
As I considered the kinds of things I wanted to change/add/lessen in my life, the idea of mindfulness came up over and over. I understand mindfulness in the sense of mental health, but I believe it also encompasses the kind of lifestyle I want as a whole. One in which careful consideration is given to each thing/practice/person/task that enters my sphere. Are they life-giving, joy-prompting? Do they contribute to my wellness and my ability to extend compassion, help, and love to others? Do they sit well with my conscience or personal philosophy and values? Is there balance?
With those thoughts in mind, I came up with these 12 resolutions:
1. Engage in community, spiritual and otherwise
One of the things I missed a great deal in 2016 was strong spiritual community and other social connections. I did have some incredible deep experiences with a few loved ones, but overall I needed more consistent support and engagement. Making it a priority this year!
2. Blog regularly – updates, creative pieces, essays
I know that I have things to express and that this blog is a great outlet for it. I plan to be more disciplined in posting this year. And I may have a secret-ish project up my sleeve... ;)
3. Exercise/get outside every day
V. important for my mental and physical health. I want to feel connected to my surroundings and capable of interacting with them. I feel best when my body is in use, and I need to fight the urge to be cozy inside all the time.
4. Examine spending and focus on finances
I've just sold a good deal of my things in preparation for a move, and it's helping me realize the difference between things that truly reflect me and things that are unnecessary clutter. I'm appreciating quality over quantity a lot more, and want to continue doing so. I also have lots of future plans (as we've established ;) and I want to feel financially organized for those things.
5. Work/study in ways that better me and are authentic
This is purposefully a little vague because I'm not entirely sure how my work/studying will play out at this moment. However, I am making a point to enter into those decisions with careful consideration.
6. Eat vegan/vegetarian a majority of the time
This past year, I did the Vegan Before 6 challenge, and it introduced me to a lot of new foods and meant a lot more cooking at home. I'm planning to continue in this vein, with a subgoal of not purchasing any meat or eggs at all when I buy groceries (meaning animal products will only be consumed in outside places).
7. Complete reading challenge (see my post on that!)
I'm once again attempting a 40 book reading challenge which encompasses a variety of genres/specifiers to keep me from reading all one thing! I've got a separate post for updates on that if you're interested.
8. Learn to drive (at least get my learner's!)
It's time. Just. Yeah. Even though I love transit and walking, I want to acquire this skill before I am old and grey.
9. Use as many cruelty-free things as possible
I made a commitment at the end of last year to buy only cruelty-free cosmetics. This year I plan to continue that and extend it into other areas as much as possible (hygiene products, cleaning supplies, etc.).
10. Take vitamins/minerals and drink water
Basic body maintenance. I feel much better with these, so I *will* make this routine by the end of the year.
11. Make my own wine and/or cider
This is partly a creative endeavour but also a cost-saving/mindful move.
12. Regularly assess goals
The most important step! I promise not to forget all about this post until next January 1st and then scramble to put a few thoughts together on how it went. CONSTANT VIGILANCE, as Mad-Eye Moody would say.