So here we are again. The beginning (kind of) a new year. I realize, as I’m writing this a few days into February, that 2019 is already underway, but this is better late than never. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about what it is that I want to accomplish this year and how I want my life to look and feel a year from now. It’s hard to predict exactly how a year is going to go, or what I might encounter along the way, which is what makes life fun and exciting, but I know I have the responsibility to make decisions during this time that move me toward this ideal.
I find resolutions to be fun. As with any goal-setting exercise, making resolutions involve reflecting on your life, appreciating what you have that brings you joy, and making the conscious decision to work on letting go of things that don’t. Whether these are habits, relationships, behaviors, or truly material things that no longer serve a purpose in your life, this awareness that you experience when reflecting on your life is extremely important. It’s important to know and remember where you’ve been, visualize where it is you want to go, and then take steps and learnings from the past to get you there.
With that said, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately on where I’ve been. I had a conversation with a very close friend of mine the other night where I revealed some insecurities and guilt that I had been holding on to for a few years. I’ve been thinking about these emotions and baggage lately and realizing how, despite me hanging on to them for some time, they don’t serve any purpose but to hold me back from being the best version of myself that I can be. And that’s my ultimate goal. I’ve come to recognize how they feed negative thoughts about myself that I sometimes allow into my mind, and that’s not how I want to live. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve done and said things that I am not proud of. I haven’t always treated myself or others the way I should have. With all of that in mind, I know that I’ve been forgiven, spiritually and literally. But maybe not by me.
Now I’m not claiming that moving forward my actions and behavior toward myself and others is going to be perfect. That’s impossible. But, I’m also not saying that the mistakes I’ve made in the past are ones I want to repeat again. What I am saying is that I’m recognizing my faults and weaknesses, and making a commitment to myself to look for opportunities to improve. In the fitness world, they talk about beating your previous day’s personal best. I want to expand upon that idea for my entire life and simply try to be a better version of myself today than I was yesterday, and tomorrow even better than today. It might not always work. I know I’ll slip up and have missteps. But the focus then is on recognizing where I’ve missed the mark, get back on track, and keep trudging along towards my best self.
My best self. What does that look like?
When I think about me at my best, I’m surrounded by friends and family, laughing and enjoying life, feeling loved and comfortable.
There’s a few key things to pull from that statement to show where my priorities lie and where I want to focus my time. What my resolutions are for 2019, if you will.
- Friends & Family – the relationships in my life are extremely important to me. People are extremely important to me. In 2019, I am going to continue to foster and strengthen my relationships, be a better friend, reach out more, and continue to take advantage of opportunities to create new relationships.
- Laughing – experiencing happiness and joy throughout the year is of course the goal, but this is also about understanding and appreciating the moments when it’s not laughter but silence or tears are more appropriate. I believe that a full life is not defined by only the moments that made us smile, but any moments that move us to emote. In 2019, I plan to appreciate all of the moments and experiences that move me.
- Enjoying Life – the focus here is on how, where, and with who I spend my time. Though I love to travel and explore new parts of the world (and plan to do as much as I can in 2019), I ultimately love every single moment spent in my home with Jeff, at my families’ or friends’ houses, or in other familiar places that I enjoy. This is also about doing things that makes me happy. Whether it be hobbies, habits, work, or other responsibilities, it’s important to me that in 2019, I focus my time on what brings me joy and closer to my goals, and limit time spent on activities that don’t.
- Feel Loved – this is an easy one. Feeling loved and feeling worthy of love is hugely important on my journey towards being my best self. It ties back to my relationships and having a strong support system around me, but beyond that, it’s allowing myself be loved and to love in return. In 2019, I am going to work toward further strengthening the already solid relationship and life that I have built with Jeff, but I also plan to focus some more of my time on loving myself. I haven’t always felt worthy of love in my life, and I’m still working towards knowing and believing that every single day.
- Feel Comfortable – it’s important to me to feel secure. This involves having my key basic needs from a physical perspective; having a stable job and source of financial income, a safe place to live, and food to fuel my body. But it also has to do with comfort from an internal perspective. Being secure and confident in myself, loving my body, and appreciating my gifts. These are all a work in progress, and I plan to continue to work toward these ideals in 2019!
Reading back through all of these bullet points, I’m realizing that my best self is not defined by what I have or what I’m wearing. Though these things still bring me joy and fit into the categories above, they aren’t my top priorities.
When it comes down to it, my best self is pretty simple. I want to be with people, feel safe and loved, and be happy. Those are my resolutions for 2019.