A couple of days ago on Facebook, a friend of mine defended New Year's Resolutions in a succinct and powerful way. She posted,
"It has become fashionable to put down the tradition of making New Year's Resolutions. To be cynical ('you won't stick to them'). To be judgmental ('why do you need a date on the calendar to decide to change?'). No. Make your best New Year's Resolutions ever. Infuse them with resolute sacred intention. Claim them: "You know what? THIS is the year that I will....." And then lean in. Right now. This is a ritual that we actually need. Love your resolutions and encourage those of your loved ones. xo"
That post summed up better than I have ever been able to express why I still make Resolutions. It's a chance to challenge, grow, explore and build upon my experiences in my life. People ask 'Why?', and I say 'WHY NOT?' Because even in the missed attempts and errors, you will still learn and move forward.
So with that, I hereby present my 2017 New Year's Resolutions.....
1. Limit social media and screen time.
Facebook, Instagram, apps and all of that have a place, but throughout 2016 I felt them going a bit sideways sometimes and it made me realize that at times, I was not in control of it and it was starting to control me. Not good. With a lot of my groups that I get together in real life communicating and organizing things on Facebook, I can't leave, but I can make sure that I set limits and involvement.
Update: I set limits and found my balance with social media. I found my reason for being on them and just as importantly I found I can be without them.
2. Write letters, cards, in my journals, etc.
Picking up a pen and writing....what a concept! This came out of a realization from a 2016 resolution that I found really value something hand written, so why shouldn't I spread this to others?
Update: As you know my absence from this blog, I found my voice off line this year. I also found that I LOVE drawing little doodles on envelopes I send, so now I look for a reason to send a card to someone.
3. A New (to me) Restaurant a Month
I live in an insanely wonderful neighborhood for food! The local and healthy options outnumber fast food options. While I eat at the local options, I still have a tendency to eat at the same one over and over again..... Eating good food and supporting local businesses, sounds like a good deal to me...
Update: I missed a couple of months, but had multiple restaurants in others, so this was a success. I am working off of a list I found and will continue this in 2018.
4. Be a tourist in my town and state
This one started simmering in my mind in July when some family came to visit and I had done NONE of the things we were suggesting for the group to do. Really? Not only will I have a better idea on what is worth it and what is not, I will break up the mundane of day to day life.
Update: I went to more museums, attractions and events this year than I have in multiple years. What I found, SLC has a lot to offer. What I learned, if you want to attend an attraction (zoo, aquarium, etc) more than once in a calendar year, a membership will pay for itself and then you can go more than once!
5. Take time for self care
I admit I am not always the best at this..... I don't mean taking a spa day, I mean taking 5 minutes to breathe or turning off my phone during the day or any of the other little things we can do for ourselves to calm, protect, energize or whatever else we need. My resolution of last year of a daily walk started this realization, so I decided to expand a bit. The reasoning behind this is the classic airplane safety instruction, 'Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others.' No matter our situation in life, married or single, with children or without, young or old, we all need to take care of ourselves.
Update: Just having this as a reminder this year helped. I journaled. I rested. I knitted. I let go. I hung on. Self care took many different forms and really didn't take time away from other things, in fact, I think it opened up time, because it helps you figure out what is important.
6. Do at least 3 30 Day Challenges
I consider 30 Day Challenges mini resolutions. I have a couple picked out-- a cardio/exercise one, a photography one, and a self care one and will probably add another. It's a way to focus and make a jump forward in things in my life.
Update: I LOVED this! I did a couple of exercise ones, a gratitude one, a happiness one and considered all of them successes! They ended up being jumpstarts for new habits.
7. Travel solo
There is something freeing in travel to begin with, but to do it on my own (not meeting a friend or family member somewhere, but knowing absolutely no one) seems both freeing and comfort zone pushing at the same time. I have an idea where I am going to go, but am still working on the details.
Update: didn't happen, but I'm ok with it. In 2018, more solid plans are in place.
8. Reduce my throwaways...one and done, straws, bags, etc.
I'm pretty good about using reusable grocery bags, but I wanted to do something tangible for the earth and environment and reducing my plastic use seems like a good place to start.
Update: I changed my toilet paper, it's no longer made from trees and everything about it is better for the environment. I have pretty much eliminated ziplock bags thanks to Bee's Wrap and food grade silicone bags. I do not use disposable utensils, I keep a set of recycled bamboo utensils in my purse along with a glass straw. This was a mind set change and it was a daily thought pattern of "What can I do to eliminate my throwaways?' and it is now a habit that I will continue.
9. Do something once a month out of my comfort zone.
I have a pretty eclectic life, but still have a tendency to stay within my comfort zone. I'll probably vary the way I do this, but if you never try something, you'll never know....
Update: Every month, something cropped up that challenged me a bit. Some were easier than others, but others took a bit of courage.
10. Bucket List items (shocker I know, as this has been on the list for the past 4 years)
It always surprises me which items get done each year and which ones that I had planned to do don't, but every year, I have crossed items off my list.
Update: A trip to Rocky Mountain National Park was the only one that I really expected to do, but it wasn't the only one that was completed. I love having a list of things I want to accomplish in life...
It's funny, I say that I need 10 Resolutions, but the last couple of years, I have ended up at 10.
Here's to another trip around the sun...
If you are really curious about how last year's turned out, I updated my post laying them out with the results. You can read it HERE
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