January means the inundation of “New Year, New You!” and “Fresh Start!” advertisements everywhere. Join the gym! Sign up with Weight Watchers! Start a new hobby! Find your perfect match! It’s so overwhelming that I think society has become somewhat numb to the idea of change. “New Year’s Resolutions” now seem just like a hoax to make you feel bad about yourself and buy diet products. If you’ve seen my YouTube video (“How to Make a New Year’s Resolution”), then you know I generally take New Year’s Resolutions with a grain of salt. But this year I have been thinking about New Years Resolutions in a different, more positive light because I’m reframing my view of them as “goals” rather than “resolutions.” Resolutions denote that something in your life is wrong and therefore needs to be resolved to something better and more fulfilling. In contrast, goals open up a whole avenue of creativity. Making a goal isn’t about resolving an issue; rather it’s about imagining what you are capable of in life. Goals create a way for you to constantly push forward, test yourself, and learn about your abilities.
For the first time, I am using this worldview to approach the new year. Instead of making “New Year’s Resolutions,” I am making several goals for the year. I am making them because I want to be a better version of myself, and it excites me to imagine how different and more enjoyable my life could be if I just make small changes with determined foresight. Hopefully, to inspire you and keep me accountable, here is a list of my goals for 2014:
- Start a blog and post weekly so as to hone my writing skills and experiment with storytelling mediums beside video. (Yay!)
- Keep track of all the books I’ve read, movies I’ve watched, and places I have been so as to have a more accurate sense of my growth and experiences throughout the year.
- Try Arbonne products and do more physical activity (yoga and water fitness)—this comes out of a larger goal to generally start treating my body like the special and irreplaceable vessel that it is. I don’t want to lose weight, I just want to be healthy, and post-college I have not been making the best choices to ensure my health.
- Take swimming lessons—I have been an avid swimmer all my life, but because of inner ear problems as a child and debilitating ear infections, I never learned how to dive or properly swim and breathe. I realized that being able to do these things would make me feel so much more confident and in control when doing one of my favorite activities.
- Write one chapter of a novel a month—I have had one idea for a novel series since I was 13 years old, and it has grown with me over the years. Recently, I realized that the only way I would ever write this novel is if I just start. So I decided to start small—only a chapter a month which is not much when you think about it—but by the end of the year I will have 12 more chapters in the novel than I did at the end of 2013.
- Pursue the next step in my career and life—In the year and half since college graduation, I have tried a lot of things and learned a lot, but all from the safety of home. I moved back to my small rural town at the encouragement of my parents and a lack of general future direction, but I’m not made for this place. Nor is my chosen field of study. I don’t know exactly where I would like to go or what exactly I will do, but I know that now is the time to start looking for opportunities outside my comfort zone of Virginia and the standard nine-to-five.
As I work on each of these goals, you can expect updates on my trials and errors. I hope that you are using this new year to imagine a better you and create new goals. Let me know in the comments about any self-inspiring goals you’ve created for 2014!