Because I am a person who loves lists, goal setting, and making plans, New Years is one of my favorite times of the year. I don’t think it’s futile or a waste of time to make resolutions, I think it’s freakin great. People deciding to make themselves better, save money, learn a language, pick up an instrument, be nicer, eat less crap, drink more water… I love it all. I keep a list of personal and financial goals all year but New Years bring this solidarity, like a victorious fist in the air across the entire world!
I’m watching early episodes of ‘The Office’ today while I get some things done around the house, and I just saw the episode titled ‘The Merger’, when the Scranton and Stamford branches merge and we see Andy Bernard in the Scranton office for the first time. He tells us his plan to take over the office and says “I’m always thinking one step ahead. Like a carpenter… who builds stairs.” One of my favorite Andy quotes, it makes me laugh every single time. Ready for the leap? I also love this thought, from Dr. King, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” New Years is a time when we’re all focused on the staircase, and I think that’s a really good thing. While there are a few things that I’m jaded by, things like watching the news, scrolling through Facebook after a cultural or political scandal, and those God awful commercials about puppy mills, New Years resolution making is not one of those things. I still believe it’s good to reevaluate your life and make a plan to become your best self, even if you know you’ll need a reminder in a few weeks or months. That’s why God invented Lent.
Growing up, practicing yoga, and having entrepreneurial parents who “don’t take no crap off of nobody” (insane amounts of cool points if you can tell me who said that) has taught me that life doesn’t happen on accident. Things don’t “work themselves out”, people work things out. Life doesn’t usually “fall into place”, people first work hard and sometimes get lucky but mostly where they end up is directly related to the amount of passion, effort, and time they spent getting there. So, yeah, I think it’s incredibly beneficial to get intentional about what you hope to get done in your life at the beginning of the year. Setting goals, even if you don’t actively pursue all of them at the same time, sets you in the frame of mind to align your decisions with who you want to be and where you want to go. In my early 20s and every year since, I have set an intention to one day run my own business. Did I know what it would look like? Absolutely not. Did I know how or when or where it would happen? Not a chance. But, my mind and heart were set in that direction so when it happened, although it seemed like the opportunity fell in my lap, it was really the result of years of making choices that prepared me for this. I came back to that intention every year, said yes to some opportunities, said no to others, and now I’m running a yoga studio. Truth? There are more things that I don’t know than things that I do, but there’s a lot of freedom in not knowing what you don’t know. I get to dream really, really big and go after it without the inhibitions that come with the knowledge of “How it’s supposed to be done.” I’m constantly vision casting and planning and dreaming and I’m so glad I don’t have to fight thoughts of exactly how or why it won’t work or didn’t work for someone else. Because, guess what? It’s working. It’s happening right now.
Want to get out of debt? Get healthy? Run a business? Buy a house? Write a book? Learn French? Practice yoga? (I know a guy…) Write it down. Then, write it down again. Next year, write it down again. Keep writing it down and putting it in front of your face and live your life on purpose. Don’t take no crap off of nobody. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t play games or make yourself small so that other people feel less threatened by your big, awesome dreams. Be like a carpenter who builds stairs, and keep taking steps even if you can’t see exactly where they’re headed, yet.
Faith is not complacent; faith is action. You don’t have faith and wait. When you have faith, you move. – Betty Eadie
Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time. – Asha Tyson
The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is that I’m not afraid to DIE on a treadmill. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, but if we get on a treadmill together, there are two things: 1- You’re getting off first. OR 2- I’m gonna die. It’s really that simple.- Will Smith
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain