Happy New Year! Deciding on your New Year’s resolutions is a helpful way to start fresh in January with a sense of hope and promise. How did your last year go? Was 2016 full of adventures, love and laughter or sadness, loss and grief for you? Reflecting on 2016 has been a good exercise for me as my year was full of both of the above categories. While 2016 has been the toughest and saddest year of my life, I have also experienced many blessings to be thankful for.
To help me remember and be grateful for this year, I’ll share my highlights with you. They include:
- exploring many new cities: Savannah, Asheville, Nashville, Austin, Charleston, Sonoma & San Francisco
- getting promoted at work
- the birth of my first niece, Aurellia (Aurie)
- becoming the godmother of my second nephew, Auguste (Gus)
- helping plan Cleveland’s Young Professionals Week
- starting my blog
- celebrating my city and it’s sports victories #theLAND
- standing by the side of two of my best friends as they got married
Below are 7 New Year’s Resolutions for a joyful and adventure-filled 2017:
- Go somewhere you’ve never gone before. My goal is to travel to Greece sometime in 2017! Where do you want to go? Visiting a new area and seeing how other people live encourages you to break out of your comfort zone, gain empathy and understanding, and helps you realize that most people have the same basic needs. To love and be loved. Let the planning commence :). For me, that means deciding how much $$ I need to save, looking at my calendar and figuring out when I can actually go, and starting to investigate flights prices.
- Start a gratitude journal. Every night, my desire is to write down 5 things I am thankful for that day. I started to do that this year and it was helpful on especially hard days to remember that there was still some good in each day. Brother David Steindl-Rast stated, “It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” I wholeheartedly agree.
- Pause to say hello and look people in the eye. Don’t let your “busyness” prevent you from being kind. Stop looking at your phone. Look. Listen. Engage.
- Take care of yourself so that you can serve others well. For me, that means exercising regularly, eating healthy (meal-planning is a necessity!), knowing when to say no, sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night and making it a priority to read my bible/devotions every morning. What do you need to do everyday so that you feel “full” enough to spread love to others?
- Tell your family and friends how much they mean to you. Why do we wait to let others know how much we love and appreciate them? Tell them today.
- Get my budget and finances in order. I want to use what I have been blessed with in a way that honors the One that gave me the resources in the first place. I also hope to buy my first home this year. Eek!
- Read more! Never have I thought to myself, “Man, I feel so bad about how much I’ve read today.” Nope. Never said that! It’s time to turn off the Netflicks and increase my trips to the library…which is great because this is one of my favorite places. (Check out the below recommendations from what I’ve read over the past few months!)
“Bossy Pants” by Tina Fey:
A light read that will make you laugh but also feel like girls can do anything boys can do better. 🙂
“Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri:
This was one of my sister Faith’s favorite authors. I read it in her honor.
“Grace Not Perfection” by Emily Ley:
If you tend to be a perfectionist, you should read this! I am working on trying to develop this book’s tagline of embracing simplicity and celebrating joy.
“Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequiest:
I’ve never read a book by this author that I didn’t like. These pages will remind you to be kind to yourself and remember what matters most in life.
Question for you: What are your New Year’s resolutions? If you are going to add one of the above goals to your list, let me know and we can help one another!