I don't make New Year's resolutions. I've tried in the past but as they usually don't last past Valentine's Day...well, you see where I'm going here. Instead, I reassess. On New Year's Day, as I enjoy my black eyed peas, ham, cornbread, and college football, I take a good look at what I accomplished in the previous year and how I would like to spend the new one ahead. It's a blank slate, just waiting to be filled and on that first, bright, shiny day of the year, anything is possible.
2017 was an exciting year for me. I've always loved to travel, meeting new people, and exploring cultures different from my own, but I hadn't been out of the country since 2006. Thanks to good friends, I traveled back to Italy, the country of my heart, last summer. It was exhilarating, soul-satisfying, and reminded me how much I've always loved exploring beyond my own shores. This year, I plan to venture out of my comfort zone once again with a trip to visit family in Sweden. I've never been to Scandinavia and am excited at the prospect of learning its history and experiencing her charms with people who call this region home.
Cooking. I've always enjoyed being creative in the kitchen but it's a skill I've let lapse over the past few years, falling into the habit of going with whatever is easiest and quickest. This year, that changes. I may be cooking for only one but that doesn't mean I shouldn't take the time and energy to create imaginative, colorful, healthy, delicious meals. I mean, I'm worth it, right?
Exercise. Ah, exercise. The bane of my existence. I need it. I know that. But I find it utterly boring and much too easy to avoid. Let's face it, I'm a master of procrastination. Procrastinate long enough and - oops - day's over and time for bed. No fitness center today! So, this year, my plan is to find something I like doing. Something that challenges my body, builds my muscles, and doesn't feel like exercise. Any suggestions?
Before selling my home and moving into a condo in another state, I was an active volunteer for many years. It's something I've always enjoyed but haven't done since moving. It's time to change that. I've missed it. This year, I'll find a cause to which I can give my time and energy. It's good to have a purpose. It's good to give back.
I'm always amazed by how much lighter and better I feel when I'm not surrounded by clutter and yet I never seem to be able to maintain a de-cluttered home. Do things creep back in while I sleep? Sometimes, it seems that way! This year, I'm determined to rid my home of the things I don't need (let's face it - if I haven't worn that dress in 12 years chances are I never will again), organize what's left, and keep it that way. I don't anticipate complete success - years of habits are not easy to break - but I do plan for improvement. I'll take it.
Maybe by writing these thoughts down it will help keep them in the forefront of my mind and improve my chances for success. Wish me luck!