Making new year's resolutions has never been my thing. And I say this as the internet is exploding with posts about new year's resolutions. ‘10 New Year's Resolutions Everyone Should Have’. ‘My Foolproof New Year’s Resolution’. As a result, I roll in a few days later announcing resolutions have never really been my thing.
Become fitter, eat healthier, enjoy life to the fullest or lose weight are just a few resolutions you hear all the time. These resolutions always feel too general for me.
As I reflect on the reasons why I’ve never made resolutions, I can only think that it had to do with age. I was younger and didn’t look too far into the future. Plus, after losing a parent, in early January a number of years ago, the happy holidays get clouded with sadness. For many years starting the new year didn't feel like starting with a fresh slate. It still doesn't. I'm always reminded of how precious life is and how easily it can change, without your approval.
This year something changed.
There have been many changes in my life. I left my comfortable home in Rotterdam and moved to a small town in Canada. Ever since then I’ve been trying to find myself, establish a new me in an unfamiliar country, find a job in a small community where jobs are scarce and I'm also navigating our blended family life.
This year I reflected not only on 2016 but on my ‘’Canadianness’’ as a whole. I'm closing in on 4 years as an immigrant and permanent resident in Canada. Unreal! A lot has happened within this time!
I’ve explored different career paths which have taught me a lot about myself. Most importantly, I’ve narrowed down what I want to do and what’s best for OUR family. Marrying my best friend opened me to an ever-evolving learning experience with lots of laughter, fun and challenges. And let's not forget, starting this blog and connecting with some pretty bad-ass stepmoms has been pure joy.
This year I sat my husband down on January 1st and told him my super exciting plan.
It was all about setting goals this year, not making new year's resolutions. There have been so many things we keep talking about wanting to do that just never seem to happen.
Of course, such a plan involves a bottle of wine and music in addition to a pen and paper. Truthfully, my husband had serious doubts about my ability to plan a fun last night home with him when I told him what I wanted to do.
Oh, well. It was happening. Whether he liked it or not.
I focused on specific goals that could be broken down into smaller steps if needed. Instead of setting broad unrealistic goals, such as getting more active, eating healthier or saving more money.
Focus on things you always talk about and never make time for.
Stop putting it off and just do it!
These are just a few examples from a loooooong list of things my husband and I keep putting off.
- Aerial Yoga has been on my to-do list for a couple years now, so I’m going sign up for a intro class this year. No. more. excuses.
- Ever since my husband and I met he has been talking about taking the kids on an overnight backpacking trip in the woods. No trailer, no hookups, no stove or heater. We will leave behind the luxuries that our trailer provides and head out for a camping trip in a tent. FYI, we don’t own said tent or any other ‘real’ camping gear...
- It can even be something as simple as ‘untangle my kite-surfing kite lines and take the snowboard out on the frozen lake’. Seriously, this is something my husband has been talking about for years, while his kite collects dust in the garage. I wish him all the best on this endeavor and will completely support him as I stand nervously on the sideline hoping he doesn’t fall through the ice.
Nice and broad, hey? Try making it more specific!
I have a list of books I want to read on personal growth and I’m starting off with How to be Bored by Eva Hoffman.
My husband is very creative and artsy but hasn’t done much of it in years. Our local art community offers a range of art classes. This is a great way to get back into it and for just under $100, it’s totally worth it.
The paper is jam-packed full of smaller and larger goals I hope we both achieve in 2017. The paper has been neatly tucked away until we can open it at the end of this year and reflect on everything we've (hopefully) accomplished.