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2016 Intentions

I think I’ve touched on this a few times, but I am not setting resolutions this year. Not big ones, not small ones — nothing. I’m coming around to the realization that resolutions seem to work in two ways. Either they’re things that end up failing at some point during the year, leading to a public proclamation of failure or a quiet discontent with oneself, or they’re things that are really just wishes. Nobody can resolve to achieve things that are entirely out of their control, but I have read far too many resolutions this year that are, in truth, hopes. And hopes are good, but you can’t force them to happen.

So how, then, to mark the year and start it on the right path? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what this next year might hold. There are things I desire, things I wish to avoid, and most importantly, things I need to keep present in my mind. I mentioned a bit of it here, but my intention for this year is to accept and open myself to the unknown. I am doing the opposite of setting resolutions and making plans — I am finally admitting that, in many ways, all one can do is stack the odds as best as possible, then let what happens, happen.

I know, I know… you make your own luck. And that’s true, to a point. But you are also subject to whatever luck the universe decides to throw at you beyond what you have prepared for, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about that. I am ready for the ride, wherever it may take me, because in 2015 I learned that you can find yourself turned around completely from what you imagined life would be, 12 months prior.

I worked through the Unraveling the Year Ahead planner last night, on paper (and I skipped some of the stuff at the end, full disclosure). The part that inspired me the most was coming up with a word for the year. I wanted a word that inspired motion — upward motion. Thriving. Lifting. Healing and changing and keeping myself elevated above the challenges, large and small. I was going to go with rise but I decided to really commit:

design

I don’t think that birds are afraid to fly — they just do. They don’t worry about whether that initial jump will make them fall or crash, or soar — they just trust that what is supposed to happen, will happen. That’s something I need. I need to embrace the fear and the risk and even the fall, if it means I can soar. And I do need to soar, to keep myself up, to keep reaching.

What does that mean in real life? More self-care (as usual). Yoga. Eating well. Allowing myself wine and cookies, too. Time with friends. Time alone. Time with my family. Allowing my home to have signs of life (i.e. mess) if it means there is life in my home. Embracing the moments, acknowledging the impermanence of both good and bad. Slowing down. Checking in. Mindfulness. Pushing myself for bigger and better while letting myself take breaks and be boring and lazy.

Mostly? I don’t want this year to slip away from me like the last one did. I don’t want to get lost in the what-ifs and the countdowns and the expectations and the wishes. I want to be present, and live fully, whether living fully means a fresh air hike or an afternoon on the couch. I am not shoving myself into someone else’s mold, and I am not putting today on hold for a tomorrow that is nebulous.

Maybe that’s more complicated than just making a resolution. I’m still not sure how all of these thoughts can turn into something tangible. But I have a whole year to figure it out.

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