The countdown is on to 2013!
Perhaps not too surprisingly, I’ve been a little too excited about embracing the new year. Thankfully not in a I’ve-got-100-resolutions-to-meet kind of way, but rather just a more conceptual “oh, I should embrace this!” with a few bullet points of how I could actually accomplish it…or at least dabble with it, since it’s all about the process, right?
Ultimately I’ve decided that each month I’ll have a theme or idea to embrace (very Happiness Project-esque, but I just couldn’t help myself). I’d thought about taking this approach when I was initially thinking about my resolutions, but my hesitation was that I still have overarching goals that I want to accomplish. I didn’t want to neglect my health goals, for example, just because only one or two months were dedicated to it. And that’s when I had an “a-ha!” moment.
One of the (three!!) books I read during my week at home was Drop Dead Healthy (he’s an author that makes me literally laugh out loud while I’m reading). In setting up his quest to be healthy, he started with the definition of health, which the WHO defines as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.” While it might not result in complete well-being per say, those three elements are a great way to really embrace life. Plus it can encompass so much that they seemed to be the perfect overarching goals for the year. (You’d think as a former public health student this concept would have hit me years ago, but better late than never, right?)
What’s even better is that I think I’ve set it up so it’s not overkill to have it in conjunction with the monthly themes. At least I hope so.
Physical: I’m not getting on my high horse by any means (primarily because it still takes a lot of work and motivation, not to mention a killer Excel spreadsheet), but I think I’ve finally hit a stride with my physical health (although the holiday season was a bit rough…). For the last three years I’ve had a resolution of logging the number of miles as there are days in the month (so in January I needed 31 miles). This year I’ve decided to shoot for 55 miles each month using the same tracking measures (only counting half my biking miles, etc). It seems like a somewhat arbitrary number, but my average monthly mileage in 2012 was 54 miles and there were three months where I didn’t quite hit the 50-mile mark. I figured 55 would be a good challenge to hopefully kick my physical health goals up a notch.
Mental: This is actually going to be two-fold. On a personal level, each month I want a me day or at least a morning blocked off for myself. Whether it’s crafting, organizing, journaling or just reading a book while drinking coffee, I need that alone time to get lost in something or just process. And while that’s initially what I think of for embracing my mental well-being, it was interesting to me that in Drop Dead Healthy the author focuses on his mental capacity as well. This ties in perfectly with my reading log for the year, which I alluded to a bit last week. I wouldn’t say I’m setting a goal pertaining to the number of pages or books I read each month (which I probably should to hold myself more accountable, though I’ve set up my tracking log to read 4 each month), but I am aiming to read books that challenge me or are outside of my normal genre. (If I were really clever I’d also select a book that corresponds to my theme for the month, but that may be overkill even for me.) I’ve already got a tracking log set up as a googledoc and used December as a trial run to make sure it didn’t drive me nuts. Thankfully I love it so far and it motivates me to read a little more each day — double win!
Social: Relationships have always been a priority for me so I’m really excited to focus on this throughout the year, though it will also be two-fold. While it’s a bit easier to cultivate relationships where I have daily or weekly interactions, I want to make sure I’m not taking those for granted. In addition to deepening those relationships, I also want to break out of comfort zones and try new things from time to time. One thing that should assist with that is creating a friends date jar with Lindsay, particularly since we both have experience crafting them and don’t think they should be limited to just romantic relationship. While that works for those who are close in proximity, I recognize that need to be a lot more deliberate in how I’m cultivating my long distance relationships. I want to be sure I’m sustaining and putting just as much effort into those since they’re equally important. To jump start that, I’ve already reached out to one of my old college roommates (she was one of my soul mates in undergrad) and we’re going to be pen pals! (And it turns out she’s still a soul mate — both of us drafted “sorry I suck at keeping in touch!” messages to each other on the same day and we’re already envisioning the cute paper we can use for our letters.) I’m also going to embrace social media more…and the phone. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: I’m going to actually make phone calls. Since it’s been a somewhat contentious issue for quite some time, I figure it’s time to nip it in the bud.
In addition to these three goals, I’ll be kicking January off with the theme of embracing simplicity (in part because I’ve started blogging about it and also because it seems like a great way to start the year). I think I’ve got the 11 other themes picked out with tentative action plans for each, though it may be subject to change. It seems like a lot (which I seem to say quite a bit…) but I think it’s in part just because I ramble on about the resolutions (and being succinct will likely never be a resolution). Given that this post is already long enough, I’ll have to leave you all in suspense about what those other themes are…
But suffice it to say, I’ve got a great feeling about 2013!