Although it’s the second full week of the new year, I feel like last week was such a blur of getting caught up post-holiday and it went by far too quickly for me to really have the moments of quiet that I like to use for writing. This week, things feel more settled and routine, and thankfully all the New Year’s resolutions are fading from my various social media news feeds.
I used to get very excited about New Year’s resolutions, actually. I love a new beginning and all the promises of a brand new year, but I’ve come to hate the feeling that usually sets in by the middle of February when I’ve failed at all my lofty goals and admit to myself that a new year does not guarantee a new lasting mindset. Truthfully I cannot think of a single resolution that I’ve ever kept for any length of time (although I’m going to buy yet another Powerball ticket because one of these days that whole winning-the-lottery thing is going to pan out for me, I’m confident about that).
Even though I had, err, resolved not to make resolutions, I changed my mind slightly after reading a blog post in which the author recommended identifying how you’d like to feel in 2016, rather than setting specific goals for yourself. I love this idea. Identifying how I want to feel challenges me to do things that allow me to achieve those feelings, and unlike a goal of losing weight or saving money, it’s not something that I will have to invest months of time into before I can start reaping benefits.
I want to feel strong. When I leave Zumba with sweat pouring down my forehead and muscles that are already sore from the workout they just got, I feel like my body can do anything I want it to. There is no satisfaction quite like that earned from kicking your own butt and pushing yourself far past what you perceived to be your own limits. I work out for that satisfaction, it’s what gets me into the gym each night (yeah, by the way, my “I quit the gym” thing lasted about two and a half weeks before I reconsidered and recommitted myself to going, and so far I’ve been pretty consistent). In striving to make myself feel strong, I will have to make good choices (eating right, getting exercise) because those actions are what illicit the feeling. It’s a win all around for me!
I want to feel present. So many wonderful things happened to me in 2015. I landed an awesome job, made new friends, moved in with Bill, and got engaged. It was a dreams-come-true kind of year for me. Now, in 2016, I want to simply enjoy all of those dreams that have become reality. To me, feeling present means that I’m focusing on each moment as it comes instead of worrying about what was or what will be. There will absolutely be time for working toward the future (like planning our 2017 wedding!), but there will also be time to appreciate Bill’s welcome-home kisses, snuggly moments with my kitties, and time with friends and family.
I want to feel confident. This last one is definitely a work in progress. I have really come into my own in the last few years, and the unsure, insecure girl of my early twenties is far behind me. Most of the time, I feel pretty good about myself, but there are still days when I make mistakes and feel dumb about them, or look in the mirror and can’t really think of anything short of a bag over my head that will make me look presentable. There are times when I worry that I just don’t deserve the amazing life I have now, and require a lot of reassurance that I am doing okay. Still, I have made huge strides to maintain a positive inner monologue and will continue to practice doing so.
I look forward to checking back in with myself and seeing how I am able to make sure I’m feeling strong, present, and confident in 2016, and what adventures I have while seeking out these feelings.