This post has taken me longer than I had planned, but for some very good reasons. See, every year we make these new year’s resolutions. To lose weight. To pay off that debt. To get a new job. To finally write that novel. And as I have the past few years, I wrote out a list of goals I had for 2016 on New Year’s Eve and set it aside until now. This is mostly in part because I had a crazy first two weeks of the new year! I cannot believe it is already January 17th, but on the same note, I’m also just as shocked (impressed?) I have fit so much into the new year already!
It started off perfect with a full day of writing on New Years Day with my closest friend, full of planning and collaborating for the year to come. The next day I took a trip up through Rochester, MN and into the Twin Cities to spend time with four different friends, some of whom I had not seen in nearly 4 years. The next week was packed with planning for my upcoming service trip to the Dominican Republic (more on this soon!), getting back into tap dancing lessons, and the weekend retreat kickoff to the Women’s Leadership Program I was accepted into in late November. Finally, I spent the last week in an intense 6 days a week/ 10 week intensive kickboxing and strength training class. Remember when I was waffling about doing Farrells in my mid 2015 review? I finally took the plunge and it has been worth all of the additional pain.
Wait… you have chronic pain and you are kickboxing?!?! Yeah. I know. I want to talk more on this in another post, but one thing they focused on at the PRC was keeping moving and continuing to build strength. We had physical therapy every day, and I left the PRC feeling better than I ever had before. I feel like four years later, I’m ready to push myself. It’s going to hurt (already does!) and it has effected my ability to keep up with certain things (like this blog, I’m really sorry!). But I know my limits, as well as my chronic pain, and I know what is soreness from exercise and what is my pain ramping up. My goal is to ultimately increase my strength for the long term so I stop hurting myself so easily, and start making long term changes in how I live my life.
So, after my final session of week one, I came home, showered, and crashed out for 4 hours, waking up for the day at the bright and snowy hour of 2pm. With nothing on my social calendar until this evening, I sat down with a big cup of coffee and dug out my list of new year’s resolutions. Having not looked at them for over two weeks, I was immediately struck my something I had not noticed when I wrote it. This year, something was missing.
I didn’t put a weight loss goal.
I cannot tell you how shocked I was by this, or how proud I am of myself! Here is the thing… I do plan on making changes to my body and my eating habits this year. But the goal isn’t to lose weight, though I’m sure it will just happen naturally as a consequence of making changes. I’m honestly focused on living healthier. I see everywhere around me people who are miserable with their lives, their jobs, who find no time to fill their life with activities that bring them joy, and they try to fill the void with highly processed foods or by blowing their money on things they don’t really want. All of it is just looking for the quick fix. That rush to make them feel better right now. I’ve done this for years and it’s clearly not getting me where I want to go. So it’s time to start making changes.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take immediate action to start improving your life. But I do feel like what has been lost is the balance. I think the biggest change in myself from the last year is that I have started thinking about who I want to be in 5 years. What activities do I want to have? What accomplishments? What are things I keep telling myself I will do “someday when…”? What are the daydreams I have about doing something new or different?
If you won the Powerball
It all came to me when I really started thinking about the powerball this week. If you didn’t notice (or are not in the U.S.) the Powerball Lottery was up to 1.3 BILLION dollars this last Wednesday. The cash take away was something in the ballpark of $900Million. Part of buying powerball tickets is so you can dream, right? But I started to think about it, and wasn’t super excited about the idea of what social implications would be caused by winning the biggest lottery jackpot to date. Honestly, you wouldn’t be able to continue life as normal, certainly not for the first month or so. And silly as it sounds, that idea made me really sad. While I would have so much lovey time to pursue my plans for the blog… I wouldn’t be able to complete Farrell’s, I would struggle to partake in the Women’s Leadership Program. While I know there are certainly workarounds (I think you can figure it out with that much cash flow), it made me realize that I am doing something right.
You should fill your life with things that YOU WOULD STILL WANT TO DO IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY! Because honestly, we will never* win the lottery. Our lives will still continue to march forward, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, year by year. I am tired of waiting around for that “someday when”. I’m going to start looking at what I want out of life and making steps in that direction. With no timeline. No pressures. No deadlines. Just making continual steps in that direction. Learning from the lessons I encounter along the way.
*I am still holding out hope for someday… cuz you never know.
Setting My Priorities
In order to really make goals that will help me grow as a person, I realized I first had to know my priorities. This is why I feel so many goals fail, simply because we are not making these goals for ourselves, but for what we feel we should include in our lives based on external input. I was struggling just a few months ago to be happy because I realized I was behaving in a way that put everyone else in front of me. The problem with that is if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t be of any benefit to anyone else anyway. So in some regards, you need to take care of yourself… in work, in health, in spirit.
This year, I want to make changes in my own life and help inspire others. I have decided to stop making goals based on what I feel I “should” do, or what I feel will help me in the eyes of others. I’m doing it for me. And you should make your goals so that YOU can really shine.
This year, I want to prioritize my personal growth. And I’m really looking forward to it.