I’m committed to having my most organized, healthiest, most awesome year ever in 2017. I’m committed to setting SMART goals and making them happen this year. I’ve decided to quit making excuses for why I can’t do things, and remember that if I try my hardest, I can accomplish anything. I need to remember to take my own advice more often. I have followed my dreams and taken leaps of faith in the past, and it always ends well. It’s when I don’t take action that I get into a spiral of feeling sorry for myself, and I start to believe the word “can’t.”
I felt like I was “floating” around a bit too much in 2016. Truth be told, I’d been feeling that way for a while, not just in 2016. Michael Hyatt calls it drifting, I call it floating: the act we all get caught up in of just doing the next thing that needs to be done, and forgetting to take charge of our lives and forge our own paths. I like the term “floating” because I’m a swimmer, but I’m a strange swimmer: I can swim well and for long distances, but I cannot float. Everytime I try to float, my feet end up sinking into the water, and I fail the task. That’s what life feels like when I don’t have a plan: like I’m floating; except that instead of having a relaxing experience, I feel like I’m sinking under the “stuff” of the day to day, instead of taking charge and swimming to my next destination with purpose.
2017 is going to be different. I spent the last few days of 2016 creating checklists, words of inspiration, and more in order to make it easy to grab life by the horns and live each day with purpose. Whereas I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I’m a huge fan of SMART goal setting, and of having “themes” for each year. Last year, my themes were family, family adventure, and creativity. Each time a decision needed to be made, I asked myself if it fit within those three themes. Honouring my themes in 2016 helped me to accomplish the following:
- I went on a 557-kilometer cycling adventure with my husband and three children (six and under);
- My husband and I went to marriage counselling and discovered an even deeper love for one another;
- I decided to start pursuing my writing more seriously, and ended up being able to visit my family in Brazil as a result.
When I honoured my themes for 2016, wonderful things happened. Although 2016 was a wonderful year, it could have been better, if I had just stopped floating around from day to day. Although our lack of preparedness for our cycling trip ended up affording us some pretty cool experiences, we could have probably saved some money and avoided some potential serious issues if we hadn’t procrastinated on preparations. We could have saved some pretty good money if we hadn’t waited ’till the last minute to send Christmas cards. And the list goes on. I had a great year in 2016, but I intend on making 2017 even better. As a matter of fact, 2017 will be my most awesome year yet – because when bad things happen, I’ll ask myself, “What does this experience make possible?” And when good things happen, I’ll know I’m in charge of my own life, and I had a hand in reaching those awesome milestones.
My themes for this year are: adventure, courage, and inspiration.
Adventure always includes my family. We’re dreaming up another cycling trip – probably a shorter one this time, where we visit some more friends along the route. Stay tuned. But we’re also planning micro-adventures with the kids: camping, short hikes, and generally lots of outdoor time (yes, even in the winter. This Brazilian gal just has to learn to love this winter outdoor activities idea. Yuck. The things I’ll do for my kids).
Courage is one of my themes because last year, I was too afraid of too many things: too afraid to stand up for myself when people were taking advantage of me, too afraid to pitch higher-profile publications, too afraid to charge what I’m worth for my writing, too afraid of putting myself out there as a blogger and build a bigger audience. This year, I know I want all these things, and I have the confidence that if I put myself out there, work hard, and help people, I’ll get to where I want to go with my writing career. All I need is the courage to stand up and make it happen.
Finally, inspiration is what I hope to provide to the readers of this blog and to the people in my life. I want to inspire people to follow their dreams and pursue their goals. I want to help people understand their full potential, and then go out and fulfill it. I’ll do this by continuing to blog here, but also by providing courses online to my followers, as well as concrete help to my friends and family who need it. Stay tuned.
I’ve hit the ground running for 2017. Yesterday, on the first day of this most awesome year, I updated my address book so that I can send Christmas cards on time this year, I’m updating my birthday list because this year I’m finally going to follow through on the promise of sending birthday cards, and by writing this post and a zillion other things while the kids sleep, I’m fulfilling my quota for the Write Everyday Challenge. I also think that so far (it’s been less than 48 hours, but I’m doing pretty good) I’ve been honouring my themes pretty well. Of course, there’s more to accomplishing my goals than remembering my themes. I also have a few other things up my sleeve for getting to where I want to be, including the goodies you get when you sign up for the mailing list on this website.
Let’s start 2017 on the right foot, stop floating, and take charge of our lives. How are you going to get 2017 started on the right foot?