I woke this morning to several commercials on dieting, fitness and resolutions. Sometimes I get a little blue on New Year’s – its the end of the festive holiday season, extra time off from work and my daughter being home from college. Sure, I could be healthier and reminders about eating right and fitness are important for me. But in addition to health this year I have other important goals on the list. I’ve decided to do New Year’s resolutions my way and focus on more than just the size of my hips.
Resolutions are a chance to look inward and forward at the same time. This past year I did a considerable amount of thinking and exploring of self that led me to where I am now. My goals this year touch on things I am most passionate about and what I feel will impact where I’ll go in 2014.
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
I often see posts or pictures about gratitude journals and I’ve admired both the idea of it and the resulting journals people create. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and the idea of doing a journal came into my life a couple times this year. The most powerful one being when reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection and taking the online class (which was amazing). Brene drove home the idea of “practicing gratitude” like anything else we want to learn to do better, emphasizing that we have to practice gratitude to access joy. Who can’t use more joy? It’s time for me to practice and use this tool to see things in a new way, consciously. I chose a journal by Chronicle Books because it has prompts, quotes and plenty of space to write.
2. Create More
Another part of my “New Year’s Resolutions my way” initiative is to create more. Take all the ideas roaming around in my head and actually get them done and on my blog. Last year I tried the Project Life scrapbooking system for the first time, and I really enjoy it. I established a documenting process for myself that works out so well. You can read about it here. I am going to continue with that same effort this year and use my blog, facebook, twitter and Google+ pages to connect with more scrapbookers and crafters. Planning my projects and carving time to create is definitely a priority.
I love to read but don’t give myself the luxury of literature often enough. So when a friend invited me to join a book club recently, I said, “YES!” We had a get together just before Christmas to plan for this year and picked the first book — The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. New Year’s resolutions my way in 2014 means enjoying a lot of good books.
4. Be a Better Photographer
This year I bought a new camera, lights and tripod. I now have plenty of equipment and need to get out there and practice, practice, practice. I want to be more thoughtful with my images and learn to shoot more successfully in different environments under varying lighting conditions. I want to be more skilled in Photoshop and take the time to spend afternoons capturing the world around me. I want next year’s Project Life Album to include more artistic images and some digital hybrid images.
5. Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
When it comes to health, the New Year’s resolutions my way list includes what I eat, how I cook, exercise, using my fitbit, eradicating sugar, quitting artificial sweeteners, and more sleep. Sounds kind of daunting I know, but when you think about it, they all really align with each other and many will automatically happen when I’m eating right or moving more. I know my triggers, I know what I need to do – I just need to do it. My soul needs to make great strides in this area this year.
6. Make Progress To “Do What I Love”
I’ve worked in marketing for 30 years and I’ve been successful and enjoyed it. But I’m ready for something new … the next chapter. My love of paper goods, scrapbooking, design, crafts, and art has been with me my entire life and I need to make a shift and “Do What I Love.” I need to immerse myself in the industry and find my place. I am ready to take my journals of ideas and set myself on a new adventure. A business plan, goals and forward progress are on the list of new year’s resolutions my way for 2014.
7. Live By My Mantra
My friend Mary and I created focus words and a mantra for 2014 — to give us vision for what we are going to accomplish this year. The visual reminder on the board we look at each day. The phrase to email each other or say in a call. The “boost” we need to hear to keep us on our paths.
I chose the word “action” because so many of my goals for this year demand action on my part. When I heard Mary say “Find a Way” during a conversation, I thought – that’s it! Find a Way rang true for so many elements of my 2014 goals. It became my mantra. In truth, I’ve never had a mantra before or even thought about it. But during the exercises in Brene Brown’s class she suggested we create a personal mantra and shared how she uses them to guide her goals each year.
So keep the fad diets and trendy new gadgets. New Year’s resolutions my way are important goals I need to be a better me this year. I’ll “find a way” with each of them, take action, show more gratitude and access more joy.