I’m a big believer in resolutions. I like the fresh-start aspect of the whole thing, taking time at the beginning of a new year to take stock of the previous year and plan with intention the coming months.
I don’t buy into the notion that resolutions are about counting one’s deficits or setting oneself up for failure. Rather, I think they are an opportunity to live more intentionally, to be more present, and to see every day as a chance to be a little bit better, whatever that means.
I used to post my goals and bucket list on the blog every year on January 10th. You can check out past years here. This year I wasn’t blogging on January 10th, so I’m sharing what I wrote back in the first of the year today, on April 5th. We’re almost a quarter of the way through 2018 so what better time to reflect?
I usually pick five or six overarching goals for the year, things that I want to continually work on but that don’t necessarily have a finish line. Yes, I could say I want to lose 10 pounds, but once I do that, then what? No, what I really want is to cultivate a healthy lifestyle, one that is good for my body and my mind. That doesn’t have a finish line, that’s forever.
- Continue to exercise regularly. Set new physical goals to curtail boredom and to stay excited.
- Begin and foster a daily creative practice. Make it as regular and as necessary as exercise.
- Practice perspective. Be slower to anger, to judge. Be empathetic and extend more grace.
- Be present. Live life as it’s happening, rather than constantly looking forward to the Next Big Thing.
- Stay involved in and informed about causes that matter to me. Action breeds hope.
- Take more time for rest and play. Give yourself a break, even when the to-do list doesn’t get done. Especially when the to-do list doesn’t get done.
Every month I take a moment to assess how I did in these areas, asking myself honest questions. Did I excel? Did I try something new or a find creative way to solve a problem? Did I fall behind and if so, what can I do to get back on track? There is bound to be some ebb and flow in these overarching goals, and that’s okay, I think. That’s how lasting change happens.
My bucket list is where I list all of the things I want to do in the year, things that have a finish line, things that can be crossed off and put away. Some are recurring from year to year, like “visit a state I haven’t been to” or “see a concert.” Those are always fun things to keep at the forefront of my mind. Some are annoying, lingering tasks that I’ve been putting off and am sick of thinking about, like “ordering new glasses.” Some are just for the heck of it, just to see if I can, and those are my favorite to cross off.
2018 Bucket List:
Create a 2017 photo book with pictures taken throughout the year.Done! January 2018
- Create our wedding video/slideshow
- Go to a state I’ve never been to
Go on a girls trip with MomDone! March 2018
- Grill pizza outside
- Go to a concert or comedy show
Frame and hang all of our art and printsDone! January 2018 Go on vacation with KDone! April 2018. And probably (hopefully!) a few more!
- Visit Boston
- Do a perfect chaturanga (This)
Work through The Artist’s Way.Done! March 2018 Vote.Done! March 2018. And will again in November! Find a doctor and get a physical.Done! February 2018 Order new glasses.Done! February 2018 Find an aesthetician and get skin back on trackDone! January 2018. And ongoing.
This list is a great thing to chip away at each month. I like to reference it at the beginning of each month when I’m setting things up in my Bullet Journal and pick 2 or 3 to try to achieve. This keeps me focused and intentional, and also makes sure that I’m not looking at a list of unaccomplished things come December. That’s a bummer.
So that’s my year, I hope! Soon I’ll share some tips I’ve found that help me keep resolutions and make progress towards goals, but in the meantime, do you set intentions for the year? If so, what are you focusing on this year? How are you doing? This is one of my favorite topics, so let’s chat!