I love the new year. New Year's is probably my favorite holiday. For me it feels like a fresh start, the turning of a new page, a new chapter. I love that. Another chance to do better, to grow, to accomplish. A chance to PLAN! I have an entire year ahead of me to plan!
I know a lot of people don't like doing resolutions. Something about living in the moment, January 1 not being any different than any other day, and the fact that a person can make a change at any time of the year. I see that angle. But I DO live in the moment. And I choose to seize the moment on January 1, at the beginning of the year, to make a fresh new awesome start for the year. Can I improve myself at any time during the year? Of course- and I do. But I also love taking the opportunity at the turn of the year to look back on everything I've accomplished in the past year, and set goals for the things I want to accomplish in the next year.
This January, I had a whole list of resolutions. I had goals, I had things I wanted to accomplish, and I had a plan to make them happen. Looking back now at the end of the year, I'm proud of how well I did. I am not the same person I was at this time last year. I've grown and improved in many ways. Isn't that what it's all about- not perfection, but moving forward?
This time last year, I hadn't even had the lightbulb moment that I should go ahead and start studying to be a doula while I was waiting for our circumstances to open up and allow me to purse that dream. Next month, or perhaps early in February, I'll be supporting a laboring momma for the first time as her birth doula. I have another prospective client due in June, and if that works out, I'll have the two births I need to get certified through CBI. There's a good chance I could be a certified birth doula by this time next year! So exciting!
To do the GAPS diet was a big goal of mine last January. Even after a year of being gluten free, my health was still not where I wanted it to be, and I knew my gut was pretty damaged. The GAPS diet looked really daunting, but with some good support and a little determination, I was able to start on GAPS early last year. I've seen so many improvements in my health, and my gut has healed enough now to allow me to VERY slowly transition off of GAPS. After an entire year chocolate free, I'm excited to try a little dark chocolate next year and see if I can tolerate it! I never thought I'd make it an entire year without chocolate, but I did!
Exercising more regularly was also one of my goals for this year- isn't it for everyone? I'm proud to report that I'm about 10 lbs lighter than I was last year, and since I've been doing Crossfit regularly at a local gym, I now have actual visible arm muscles! I'm so proud of them.
I had a couple of other goals that are too personal to share, but I've seen growth there too. My relationships are better, I'm more content, more confident, and I feel like I have a better handle on life in general now than I did last year. It feels good.
So after all that, I have one simple goal for next year. This goes against much of my personality(although I'm going to try to do this in a way that also honors my personality, or I'll go crazy) to only have one goal/resolution. I'd love to have a neat, bullet pointed list like last year. But after the bullet pointed list of last year, after working so hard to improve myself from so many different angles, I'm exhausted. I'm bordering on burnout. It's not all the list's fault. Last year's list was really good for me, but we also live really busy lives, and my personality can also tend towards perfectionism.
So for this year, my resolution is simple: to relax. To chill out a little bit and not take myself so seriously. Now, of course, I'm not going to stop improving myself in other ways. I couldn't stop doing that if I tried(and why would I want to?). But I'm not going to focus on it. I'm not going to allow myself to make a list. My list last year was great, it was needed, and it was a valuable tool for me. But if I don't take time this year to learn to not take myself too seriously, I think I could very easily fall out of balance and start bordering on obsession. I don't want to do that.
So. Relax. Chill out. Calm down.
This is going to be hard for me, but so, so good for me at the same time.
I'm getting off to a good start though. Next week, Thad and I are taking our first vacation as a couple in 6 years. The last time we went on a trip by ourselves was for our 1 year anniversary, 6.5 years ago. Needless to say, this is WAY overdue, and I'm so excited. Thad will come back to a big renovation to be done at our church's new building(yay!), and I'll come back to a baby due, a new study I'm leading for our women's group, and spring cleaning, but for 4.5 days we'll have nothing to do but relax and enjoy each other. I CAN'T WAIT!
I might need help when I get back though. What are some of your favorite ways to relax and not take life so seriously? I'm trying to chill out a little, but I just might need to make a list of how to accomplish that!