The first step that I took in setting my goals was actually presented to me through a person I follow on Instagram (yass social media network!). She shared a New Years workbook by a group named Year Compass. Their 20-page handout (it’s long but worth it) had you reflect on 2018 and then plan for 2019 through a series of meditative questions. I truly enjoyed this reflective time because I’ve never allowed myself to sit and just think concretely about how my year went. I sat with my thoughts for about 3 hours and in that time I discovered some patterns of thought that I never really confronted. All this to say, it allowed me to not just plan my year, but it emphasized how I want to feel about myself throughout the year and how my goals will support that. However, this year instead of setting goals I wanted to set themes that will remain constant in the way I choose to live in 2019.
1. Running Wild
How I feel physically has become a true value in my life. For so long I’ve convinced myself that I am not the type of person that can live a consistent healthy lifestyle. In the last couple of months, however, I’ve gained the confidence in myself to live a creatively fit life. My newfound respect and love for running inspired this theme as I’ve been focused on gaining more miles and breaking my personal records. I thank the Nike Running Club app because it has created so many opportunities to just get out and run wildly and that’s the attitude I’m adopting for my fit life.
2. Live Lighter
When I think of how I want to feel throughout the year, I have an urge to shed the heavy weight I carry around in my life. When I say heavy weight, I mean the stress, worries, doubts; the absolutely annoying list goes on. It’s like how I feel when I travel; I want to be the type of person who carries the simple bag that contains exactly what I need, nothing more, nothing less. That’s how I want to live my life. I lessen the attachment I feel to objects, I take only what will sustain me, and I look forward rather than constantly checking in with my past.
3. Make an Adventure
While 2018 was an incredibly adventurous year for me in terms of travel, I think of 2019 and wonder how will I begin to create the same incredible adventures. I know there are many ways that I could find ways to travel but the more important question that I had was, what constitutes an adventure? Does it only mean traveling around the world? Absolutely not. I think back to the conversation I had with Chester Higgins, Jr., a world-renowned photographer, who simply stated, “I don’t take photos, I make them.” What a beautiful philosophy that can be applied to almost any situation. I thought more about this theme and said to myself, “I want to make adventures this year.” I want to create moments of discovery, enchantment and excitement from exactly where I am.
4. Manifest Presence
In the moments that I find myself stressed or mentally exhausted, I realize it’s mainly when I think intensely about things in the past or things that don’t yet exist in the future. I rarely find myself in the present moment. It’s something that all of us are trying to navigate. I’ve started small rituals that remind me of the value of being present. When I drink my water and apple cider vinegar detox in the morning I envision the cleansing of toxins from my body. Before I leave the house at some point, I try to do a quick ten minute guided meditation that centers my thoughts and intentions for the day. Most of all, whenever I workout I have no choice but to be present as to how my body feels and the ways in which I can slowly push myself. Even now, I am presently writing the theme of manifesting presence.
5. Discovering Stories
My passion in anything I consume or create begins with storytelling. Life would look and feel so bland if we didn’t see or understand the story behind it. On one hand, this theme represents the books that I hope to read often. I want to immerse myself in books and shift my need for entertainment from screens to pages. On the other hand, I want to create more visuals (back to screens) especially when it comes to photography. I have so many ideas when it comes to this theme, I can’t wait to begin my discovery.
6. Renew Connections
Moving through various geographical locations has made me yearn for those people that I don’t get to see often. What has surprised me however, is that in the moments that I reconnect with those individuals, it’s as if no time has passed at all. That’s magic. This theme represents just that. I’ve also accepted that it may not always look like an in-person reunion but rather creative tactics in which I let these people know that a part of me still exists in their lives.
7. Word of the Year: Determination
When I look over my themes, I am excited, content, and ambitious. I intentionally didn’t create goals. This is a process and for me it’s one that doesn’t necessarily involve checking off boxes of accomplishments. Instead, it’s feeling accomplished. Though we are not only limited to change when it’s a new calendar year, it happens to be a time of encouragement and support as we all begin a new chapter. I am determined to create a transformational 2019.