As most people do during the start of the new year, I tend to reflect on the past year’s events. And quite frankly, it’s taken me a while to process everything that’s happened in 2021. . . or shall I say everything that I made happen (hell yeah!). 2021 was one of the most important and best years of my life and the start of a completely new chapter for me. For these reasons, it’s been difficult for me to acknowledge that it's ending.
2021 was a year of action. In 2020, I made the decision to make some major life changes. In 2021, I implemented those changes. I dang near uprooted my life. It wasn’t easy, in fact it was really freaking hard at times. But I did it. I survived and came out the other side as a different person, in a significantly better place, physically, emotionally, and mentally than I was in January of 2020.
Now that I’m looking down the barrel of 2022, I feel a little stuck. Don’t get me wrong, I typically love the feelings that a New Year brings. Reflecting on the good times from the past year, the beautiful and emotional nostalgia of it all, is one of my favorite things to do. (I am an introspective introvert, after all!)
And then there’s looking forward with unbridled optimism to the new year, having the courage (or naïveté) to dream big, to shoot for the stars. There's the promise of new beginnings and “new” goals, that have yet to be achieved, the desire to be better and do better. The New Year is a time to pinpoint who and what is really important in your life and vowing to shift focus from the superficial and unimportant.
For whatever reason, anything seems possible at the start of a new year. “Maybe I can accomplish that goal this year (even when I’ve tried unsuccessfully to accomplish the same goal 3 years in a row!) Maybe, just maybe, this year will be different!” To be honest, this is generally how my New Year resolutions go: they are generally the same goals, year after year i.e. be more successful at my job (in hopes it will help me like it more), make more friends in the city where live (so I can learn to love this place), lose weight, etc.
However, the challenges I face this year feel completely different than the ones I’m used to. I no longer live in a city I don’t like or work a job that makes me feel unfulfilled. I feel healthy, I feel closer to friends and family who love me and care about me, and I now live with my boyfriend who I love in a place that I love. My life is in many ways, completely different from years past. I don’t honestly want to significantly change my life. There don’t seem to be many low-hanging fruit, with which goals can tackle. I’ve gone from “How can I hate my life less?” while constantly looking forward to the future to “How can I continue loving my life and live in the present?” So what do I resolve to accomplish this year?
To be honest, I’m still figuring this out. Some goals I have re-adopted from last year i.e. restart a morning and nighttime routine, read 1 book per month, complete 1 trail race, meet Apple Fitness’s move goal 6x per week, etc. However, the rest of my goals are completely new i.e. find one new income source, blog 1x per week, complete a 3 day fast, and go “off-the-grid” for at least 1 week, to name a few. But to be honest, one of the greatest gifts I’m giving myself this year is compassion, patience and mindfulness. I know now that positive habits take time and it’s better to be flexible and patient with your goals than stringent and over-zealous. I also know that strict routines can turn you into an emotionless zombie (yikes!)
So yeah maybe 2022 won’t be as groundbreaking or action-packed as 2021. Maybe in terms of events and changes, it won’t even compare. And I think I’m completely okay with that. I’m in no rush to get to the other side. Because in a lot of ways, I feel like I’m already on the other side waving (and twirling about). Here’s to enjoying the moment, here’s to living in the present, here’s to 2022!