It’s that Time of Year

It’s that time of year again . . . in with the old, out with the new.

It’s that time of year again . . . in with the old, out with the new. Time to assess 2017 and set those New Year resolutions, goals, visions, or whatever you call it.

It’s no secret that I haven’t really been into specific resolutions. I usually don’t do them. BUT I’ve been trying a few different ways to acknowledge the New Year and think about what it is I want.

Last year, I created a list of 17 Things for 2017, that is, 17 things I wanted to try or accomplish for the year.

How did I do on my 17 things? Well, I didn’t achieve every goal BUT here’s what I did do—and what I learned.

  • Do dry January (that is, no alcohol for one month).
  • Go on a helicopter ride in Chicago.
  • Go to a new city, state, or country that I’ve never been to before.*
  • Take a solo Sabbath writing trip.
  • Explore a local neighborhood I haven’t explored before.
  • Take myself out to a nice lunch.
  • Improve my Turkish using the Rosetta Stone download I have (and never used).
  • Go to 3 Arts Club Café for brunch or lunch.
  • Take a class or workshop on web site design, social media tricks, or similar.
  • Start or join a book club.
  • See Cher in concert in DC. [REPLACED See James Morrison in concert since he is not touring.]
  • Go to Randolph Street Market.
  • Bake bread from scratch.
  • Go to the opera.
  • Try a Vinyasa, Forrest, or other yoga class besides Basics.
  • Visit a historic site in the United States that I haven’t seen before.
  • Finish the guest room in my condo.

Technically I completed 11 out of 17 things, but I sort-of complete 3 other things on the list. While I did try Rosetta Stone to practice my Turkish, I can’t say I actually improved it, so I didn’t cross that off the list. As for yoga, I did a few restorative yoga and Kundalini yoga classes so I did try something other than the basic class. But I didn’t cross it off the list because I wanted to try a different class that would challenge me a bit more like a Vinyasa, Forrest, or even Hatha class. I also tried to visit a historic site—I was all set to go see Mount Vernon but the weekend I went I was sick with the flu. I ended up in bed at my friend’s house in DC. The other 3 items left on the list I didn’t do at all: helicopter ride, class on web site design (or other), and finish my guest room.

My biggest takeaways from my 17 Things for 2017 experience:

  • I figured out what I actually want versus what I think I want.
  • Resolutions feel so big and general; this list feels doable and specific.
  • Having a list of specific things I want to accomplish keeps them in my consciousness and I actually try to do them.

While I didn’t complete the list, I like creating this list, and it’s something I will continue for 2018. So I’m working on my new list of 18 things I want to accomplish in 2018. Stay tuned!

And since I’m assessing 2017, I should check in on my attempt to do monthly resolutions, kind of like a theme for each month. I say attempt for a reason. Here is what I planned:

  • January = no alcohol
  • February = daily meditation
  • March = financial awareness and tracking
  • April = Active April, workout every day, minimum of walking for 30 minutes
  • May = Make It Happen May, get all the little tasks done
  • June = Journal June, 10 minutes of journaling every day
  • July = Stay-cation in July, explore local neighborhoods
  • August = Active August and No Social Media (Active August as a re-do for April)
  • September = Super Self-Care
  • October = Organize October (get my home in order)
  • November = NaNoWriMo so I the plan was to write every day
  • December = Super self-care month (a re-do of September)

The best laid plans do not always happen. Some months were good, some were not. My most successful months were January, February, May, June, and August. While I like the idea of a monthly theme, I think it was too much to take on in addition to my other lists for the year. I’m a big believer in doing what works best for yourself, and since this didn’t work as well for me, I’m not going to continue the monthly resolutions for 2018.

Despite the setbacks, I consider 2017 a success in terms of my goals. Maybe it’s not so much doing everything on your list or achieving every goal but the process of being with those goals and the attempts to make them happen. I learned more about myself and who I am in the act of working on my goals. More importantly, I gave myself the grace and permission to not be perfect and to be ok with not crossing everything off the list. And that is the best goal of all.


(Image found here.)

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