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On Resolutions and Goals for 2016

January 7, 2016

I’m not big on resolutions (or “revolutions, ” as Sophie thought they were called). If I want to do something, I’m the type that decides and simply does it. That being said, the thought of a clean slate to begin anew pleases me. And often times, a new year can bring about that feeling.

lilly pad

I wrote the other day that 2015 was a year of newness, adventure and non-stop. It was certainly a good year and I’m not complaining. But the pace (especially the last quarter of the year) was a bit rough on me. I work very hard and constantly push myself. I say “yes” more than I should say “no.” This is especially true when it comes to work projects since money is definitely a motivator for me.

While these can certainly be commendable characteristics (especially for an entrepreneur who makes a living solely on her own work), when the tendencies are coupled with my introvert nature, it very quickly takes a mental and physical toll on me. That means when I’m not working, I feel exhausted and deflated. I try to make up for Monday through Friday’s insanity and crappy sleep by crashing on the weekends. But we all know that two nights will never make up for five!

I so often find myself thinking, “If I can just get through tomorrow, this week, etc., then I can rest tomorrow.” But here’s the thing: Tomorrow never comes. Not the way I mean it here. There’s never a perfect day without work, chaos, emotions and the like.

I don’t believe in a sacred idea of balance. But I’m tired of uttering this phrase. I realize I can change this situation by taking care of today. That means thinking hard about what I commit to, and finding ways to allow myself to rejuvenate.

balboa park

When I write my year-end closing post this December, I’d like to write about feeling calmer and with more inner peace. So with that in mind, here are a few of my personal goals and resolutions for 2016.

  • Before saying “yes” to anything (a work project, social event, Sophie commitment, etc.), take a few minutes to answer the question: Will this make me feel calm? Will I just want to cancel this plan when the day comes?
  • Commit to writing my novel. — Do this by writing daily, taking classes, embracing my characters and giving them a voice.
  • Practice daily personal writing. — This means writing on this blog with more regularity, scripting more personal essays, and journaling with Sophie (a new project we started). Getting things out of my head and onto the paper/screen will help decrease my stress level.
  • Engage in regular yoga, stretching and physical activity that brings mental clarity. — I HATE the new year recommitting to exercise and dieting — this is NOT that type of goal. My thought here has to do with engaging my body in ways that will help me physically feel less stress. I want to continue regularly walking my dogs by myself in the evening. Doing this last year gave me so much solitude, fresh air, exercise and time to reflect. I felt so refreshed! I want more of that feeling in my life.
  • Take more Friday “vacation” days. — As I wrote earlier, I push myself very hard, and weekends are not always restful for an introvert with a kid (especially a very extroverted one). I want to take a few Fridays each month as solitude days for myself to recharge. By the way, I dislike using the word “vacation” in this sense because it implies it’s a luxury; it’s really self-care.
  • Get my photos in order. — I haven’t quite recovered from losing my entire collection last year. Believe it or not, my photo library is something that I need to have in order to feel calm, especially since I use the images so much personally and in my work. I need to go through my computers, online accounts and social media profiles and save all the photos to a cloud system like Flickr and then organize them by date (as well as an external drive). I also want to order new prints to replace old photos in frames hanging on our walls. This may seem trivial, but those outer images contribute to my inner calm.

Doing these things will (hopefully) provide a sense of calm, and allow me to mentally focus on my work and aspects of life that really matter to me. Here’s to 2016!

What are your goals for 2016? How do you help yourself feel calm and peace in life?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2016 4:40 am

    I’ve never been a resolution person either but there’s something nice about a fresh start feeling the new year brings. Good luck to you finding some balance! Yoga will help!

  2. January 8, 2016 3:19 pm

    You know, Leah, I usually make a goal list every year, but did not make one in 2015. And, quite honestly, I felt I flailed and never really caught my breath. I’m wondering if that is why… So this year, I am still in the process of mapping out some accomplishments I’d like to achieve. Something about putting them on paper and having them visible is helpful (for me, at least) in getting more done.

    I love the way you’re approaching the year with careful contemplation before saying yes. Here’s to a wonderful, peaceful 2016!

  3. January 17, 2016 6:43 am

    These are fantastic, well-thought-out goals!

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