There’s nothing magical about the first of the year, but the time off and focus on the new does provide ample time to reflect and goal set. While I’m hesitant to label them “New Year’s resolutions,” I am setting new goals and changing some habits for growth in 2020.
First and foremost, I’m going to try to spend some time on my yoga mat each day. I got an amazing new one for Christmas (my old one was literally falling apart underneath me), and it’s absolutely perfect. I’m excited to start practicing more often on this cork yoga mat! It has just the right amount of cushion, and allows grip without being too sticky. From 5-minute stretches to hour-long yoga flows, I just want to take some time each day to focus and enjoy it. I’ve missed being able to manage even the lowest impact exercises, so fingers crossed I’m able to continue gradually reintroducing some things without agitating anything!
I’m also excited to read more books this year. I’ve been gradually getting back to reading just for fun since graduation, and now that I have access to an amazing library district I have access to more kinds of books than I have in a long time. This week I’m learning about fish sauce, next week I’ll be learning about investing as I explore options for my first retirement savings account as a W-2 employee. I plan to keep the subjects varied so I don’t get burnt out on one topic, and so far that hasn’t been an issue! Swinging by the library each week ensures that I get to see all the new additions and don’t let books become overdue.
I’ve got a few more, but you get the gist. I’m intentionally starting new habits and re-emphasizing old ones at the start of the year, but I’m not attaching some moral value or mandatory benchmark to them. In years past when I’ve focused on pounds lost or calories burned, rather than moving every day, or checking a certain number of academic boxes, rather than reading what interests me, it becomes another chore on the list very quickly. Especially because these are things I naturally enjoy, I want to avoid adding that connotation to them, making them just another box to check. Some people do well with those kinds of resolutions, and if you’re one of them I’m not here to judge or shame your way of doing things, but it’s not for me. I’m better at prioritizing general behaviors and values than adding items to my to-do list that I just decluttered.
It’s getting late, and most of you probably won’t see this until early on the second or later, but as I finish up the night of 1/1/2020, I’m excited for the growth ahead of me. I’m excited to pursue progress and reduce daily pains and stresses, without strict rules to follow about what that looks like. I’m thankful to be starting the year in such a good place, and am looking forward to where I’ll be a year from today. I hope you are too, but if you’re not that’s alright. The last couple years I’ve felt nearly anything but relief and hope going into a new year, overwhelmed with sprinting across academic finish lines and juggling messy personal commitments and relationships. I lived in a constant cycle between near mania and burnout, and never had enough time to breathe to hop off that hamster wheel until very recently.
But now, here we are. Safe and warm, merry and bright, progressing and at peace. Months and years of self-work, editing, boundaries, and dedication paying off. Living life from a place of love and priorities, not panic and regret. Look at us. We made it. That’s worth celebrating, making peace with, and progressing forward from.
Happy New Year. May 2020 bring you growth, peace, strength, and the progress you’ve been fighting for.