The DAY is here…the day when we move into another New Year with high expectations that this next year can be better than the last. Whether you already had a good year and just want to improve on it, or whether you had a full year of crap and desperately wish to move away from the stink, we all only wish for a better year.
The wish for a better year is very true for this writer, and rather than tempt fate by assuming I’m due for one, I’m going to continue with my plan to focus on what I can do to make 2017 a better year.
First, I’ve reflected on the past twelve months, a difficult task but necessary. Next, I focused on the idea of believing, not only in myself but also in possibilities, and how to formulate a plan I can stick with in order to reach my goals. Implementing that plan is what will help me progress and continue with forward movement.
This leads me to the last to-do for this resolution month, the task of making resolutions…or what I’d prefer to call mindful intentions.
What will be included in my list of mindful intentions? Can I actually make a list that I can really stick to? I really don’t like making “resolutions” – putting together a list as if I’m making out a grocery or to-do list. Don’t get me wrong, I like to-do lists; but in relation to specific tasks or projects, not in relation to how I would like to live or enjoy the next year of my life.
When I think of the year 2017, these are the words that come to me: balance, growth, focus, read, write, be present, have fun, find beauty, laugh, create, strength, gratitude, recharge, movement, less clutter, less chaos, contentment, family, be brave, travel, adventure, reflection, forgiveness, more sleep, less stress, be mindful, dream, let go.
It would be a great accomplishment to make the above list the true definition of 2017 at the end of the year, but I’ll have to stay focused in order to make it a possibility. My focus this next year is personal growth and professional momentum. I wish to obtain a work-life balance while I live a creative life. In order to make 2017 a better year, I will resolve to commit to the following intentions:
Writing – complete and publish the fourth book in the Jorja Matthews’ mystery series, complete and publish my young adult book, and unless another book idea takes priority, I will begin the prequel to my series. I’ll continue to blog, learn more about the craft and work on my author platform. In order to complete each project or task, especially with regard to each book, I’ll break down what I need to do each month and each week in order to make good on my intentions.
Health – it goes without saying we all can do a better job when it comes to taking care of ourselves – I just want to focus more on what it takes to stay active and energized. This would involve some sort of exercise even if it’s just walking, as well as yoga, an adequate amount of sleep, and regular intake of water and healthier foods. I’m not going on a diet, and I’m not trying to lose weight; I just know I can have a more mindful approach when it comes to what I’m eating.
Self-care – this is beyond physical health, as it also deals with the emotional and mental being. In order to do this I have to carve out some regular me-time so that I can work on this area. My main focus when it comes to me-time will be with journaling, but also some form of meditation. Too often we let days roll by at break-neck speed and we barely register our emotions or make sense of why we react to things the way we do. A regular routine involving daily intentions and practicing gratitude in the mornings, recharging with meditation and breathing or a quick walk in the afternoons and reflecting on each day in the evenings will not only begin the day with contentment, but end each day on a positive note if I’m able to acknowledge and let go of negative energy.
Rest, relaxation, family and fun – this is a given. We all need to find time to rest, relax and recharge; and there are so many options: read a book, check out local sights, binge on Netflix, completely unplug for a day, color with a young child (or by yourself), nap in a hammock, go on a day trip, make time for your favorite hobby...whatever takes your mind away from the heaviness of being a grown up. And we all need to spend time with our families and should take part in fun activities together whenever possible. I’m already making plans in this area and have much to look forward to, which gives me a head start in the book of feeling grateful.
My list of mindful intentions aren’t out of the realm of possibility. They are all achievable. Besides, who wants to begin the New Year with a list of projects or ideas that seem almost impossible?
We know how resolutions usually begin, with the best of intentions to stick to them, but eventually something happens a few months into the year to cause us to steer off course. And then suddenly we’re looking at the end of another year, wondering how we lost all that time and why we couldn’t stick to our projected plans.
I really don’t want that to happen this time next year.
So I guess the short version of my 2017 “resolutions” would be this: stay focused, remain positive, work on your goals and make it happen!
Whatever your New Year’s resolutions may be, I hope they help you pave the way to a year that’s positive and purposeful.
Happy New Year!