This New Year’s Eve, I slept on the living room couch with my two daughters. We spent the evening doing each other’s hair and make-up, then taking it all off to apply face masks. We played games and did crafts while listening to Kidz Bop. When the Cha-Cha Slide came on, there was an impromptu dance party. By 9:30, we had one big bowl of popcorn to share, three individual bowls of ice cream, and had cued up The Goonies.
Although my five-year-old was sound asleep by 10:30, my oldest daughter and I made it to midnight, after which we shuffled outside wrapped in blankets to listen to the fireworks and stare at the moon. It was the best New Year’s Eve experience of my life.
As far as resolutions are concerned, 2017 was fairly successful. While I still cannot do the splits, to be fair, I only practiced a handful of times. Among my other resolutions though, I managed to run a 10K, meditate more, and drink less. Taking one day at a time still proves to be a challenge, but I’m trying to invite the mindfulness I practice each morning into other areas of my life, and for that, I give thanks.
Resolutions are crafted each year to improve oneself. The best thing I can do for my daughters is to teach them that personal growth is important. You can set academic goals, professional goals, fitness goals, financial goals, and personal goals that will help you to live a balanced life. And so, as I enter a new year, my 40th year, I am raising the bar.
Here are my 18 Resolutions for 2018:
- Continue to strengthen my meditation practice.
- Don’t use alcohol to cope with stress.
- Pay off debt while saving money.
- Grow my blog.
- Read books, take classes, and network with people to cultivate my professional leadership capacity.
- Spend time individually with each of my daughters.
- Find time for solitude & silence: run a hot bath, take a long walk, go to the spa, or stay home and send everyone else away for an hour or two.
- Give up control occasionally—And when things are out of control, relax. Don’t fight the current.
- Challenge myself physically: go swimming or bike riding, try snowshoeing, practice splits and headstands, lift weights, attend new classes.
- Be more present. Give attention to what matters most. Limit social media.
- Tell people how you feel and show them that you care. Don’t assume they know.
- Be kind.
- Undertake one major home improvement project.
- Make time for friendships. They matter.
- Read at least 25 books.
- Step outside my comfort zone from time to time.
- Appreciate the world and all that it offers. Go out and explore it!
- Begin and end each day with an attitude of gratitude.
While I have never been a huge fan of celebrating New Year’s Eve, I love each new year for the possibilities that await. We spend so much of the holiday season focusing on others, that January offers a time to turn that attention back on our self.
Paulo Coelho said, “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
By focussing on me, I know I am not just bettering myself, but I am also becoming better for them.
So, what will you strive for this New Year?