Now that we are more than a week into the New Year (2017) how is everything going for you? Do you feel like much has changed over the last week as we’ve begun transitioning into new beginnings? I never was one for resolution making… the idea always seemed kind of silly to me. I set a list of goals for 2016 and more than a few went unaccomplished. I am 100% okay with that because I made progress on the things that were important to me and let other things fall by the wayside. I’m quite proud of my accomplishments last year.
One lofty goal was to read 26 books. That’s one book every two weeks! While feasible for some, I fell quite a bit short. I read 10. Of those 10, eight were non-fiction. I came to the realization this year that I LOVE non-fiction books and that makes up for the other 16 books I missed reading.
Another goal last year was to visit 5 new places. I hit this goal out of the park thanks to two road trips. Road trip #1 took me south down the Great River Road from Dubuque, IA to New Orleans, LA with stops along the way in Hannibal, Memphis, Onward, and at Oak Alley. I headed home via Nashville. Road trip #2 took me east to Maine with a stop at Allegheny College to visit a friend and seeing Niagara Falls for the first time. I visited something like 14 new places in 2016.
For shits and giggles I applied to the NASA Space Program (they never called), I learned how to knit and have been working on a pair of socks since July, and I once again maxed out my 401k. I failed to learn how to handstand walk and did NOT get my ears pierced.
This year, I decided to go about things a little differently. Instead of setting specific goals, I set intentions for myself. These intentions are things that I can remind myself of daily and practice when time allows or when necessary. They are personal things that I believe will help improve my life and how I want to be living. Some of these intentions include:
- write more – I’ve always enjoyed writing, whether it be lists or short stories but somehow they tend to disappear or I find them not compelling or ‘good enough’ to share. However, I truly believe that everyone has a story and I believe those stories deserve to be told. One of the tools I am using to do this is this blog.
- disconnect to reconnect – We live in such a fast paced world that I feel as if I’m losing touch with the world around me. We’ve never been more connected to each other and yet, it seems, we aren’t truly making connections with anything or anyone. I’ll be switching my phone off more often and limiting time online in an effort to reground myself and be more involved with the world physically surrounding me.
- have a purpose – for everything. This includes the things I own, the people I interact with, and how I spend my time. De-cluttering/minimizing the things that are no longer important and cutting the toxicity out of my life in order to improve the quality of experiences with everything else.
- do something everyday to lessen man’s negative impact on earth – I think this speaks for itself.. We only have one planet to live and enjoy our lives you’d think we would take better care of it. Earth is beautiful and I hope that she’ll be around for a very long time for the generations to come to enjoy as much as we do. Whether it be socially or environmentally; making the world a better place for everyone.
As I live out these intentions for the year, I will be keeping in mind a quote that appeared to me early in 2016 and has resonated with me since then; from the New York Times article ‘The Wisdom of the Aged‘:
“I would say, that I am applying the ‘butterfly wing’ theory to my everyday life,” [Jonas Mekas] wrote. “It’s a kind of moral dictum, moral responsibility to keep in mind that whatever I do this second affects what the next second will be. So I try not to do anything negative, which is my best insurance that the world will be better next second, or at least not worse. But of course, my positive action may be undermined by 100 negative actions of others and so it may mean nothing. But I still have to follow that dictum. You can call it optimism.”
Here’s to an exuberant and fulfilling year ahead.