I usually set small, monthly resolutions instead of one for the year because I like to change things up. It also means you get to reset each month if you stopping going to bed early or meal prepping three days in.
This year is the first in a while when I actually set goals for the whole year*. I guess these days I’m thinking more about long term growth, planning ahead and thinking about what I want to achieve in the big picture.
I learned so much last year. Life moves fast, but not quite as fast as we fear it does. You’re not running out of time if you’re making the most of what you have. For me, those things look like doing things that matter, encouraging others and telling the people I love that I love them.
In 2018 it felt like I had two overarching conversations with people in my life a lot.
The first with people my own age who we’re having an existential crisis about getting older. The should’s , the ‘I haven’t achieved enough yet and it’s already too late for me to have a baby by 30 and I don’t know what career I wan’t to be in and maybe I got the wrong degree and why is everyone getting married and why aren’t there more zeros in my bank account and should I have an RRSP yet and should I go to grad school” and it goes on and on.
Wondering if we’re already failing. Wondering if we aren’t doing enough.
The second kind of conversation I’ve experienced a lot lately are with people who are 30+. Family members, older co-workers, mentors. People who have lived and seen so much more life than I have. People who know the path isn’t always straight. People who know that life is full of ups and there isn’t anything we should be doing.
For my birthday and the start of the New Year this year, I went to visit and stay with some friends in the United States. What started as a chill trip to Virginia and Washington turned into an adventure filled week and a spontaneous road trip to from little Roanoke, VA to New York City.
One of the highlights for me was that on my birthday we hiked a mountain trail in Virginia. I’d never really seen mountains up-close before, let alone climbed one, and it was a pretty great way to ring in my twenty-third year of living.
While we were hiking up the mountain I was thinking about learning to focus less on small moments when we slip up and to look at things as a big picture.
I am the type of person who can get very stuck on the negative. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing most things right – if I mess up it’s all I focus on. I don’t think I’m alone in that type of thinking. But here is the thing; we don’t need to get so hung up on the small slip ups. People aren’t watching to see if you trip once or twice on you way up the mountain, they are interested if you keep going and make it to the top.
The small steps, the everyday trials and how we handle them dictate if we get to the top of the mountain. Even though the challenge and goal is the summit – our biggest stumbling block could be the first step.
Don’t let fears of not achieving enough haunt you – there isn’t anything you should be doing.
Chase the dreams you have right now, be the best and kindest person you can be right now, do the best with what you have in this moment. Our lives are big pictures, made up of these moments – so don’t live it feeling like you should be doing something or being something better.
Setting goals and making New Year’s resolutions? Love it. Do it, plan for the future. Work on your growth. But don’t let the hope you have for who you will become take away from loving the person you are right now and the small steps you’re taking today to get you where you want to be in the future.
* If you are interested in what my resolutions for 2019 are they include:
- Not bringing my phone to bed (I’ve already slipped up on this many times, but I’m still trying)
- Only buying one item of clothing per month (trying to simplify and pair down in general, but especially in my closet)
- Learning to be a better ally (This is something we can all work on, and the more I learn – the more I realize how much room I have to grow)