I went back and looked at my last years’ resolutions and, while in many ways I had a truly incredible year, I achieved pretty much NOTHING of what I had resolved to achieve.
I did not get fit, like at all. Actually I think I got a lot less fit than I was in 2015.
I paid off most of my credit card debt, only to rack it up again.
I didn’t get the blog up to the target 12,000 visits per day.
I did not make a Face The Foliage book.
I still haven’t put away a dime for retirement.
And I had set out to ‘calm down’ about baby #2 and try and approach getting pregnant with carefree, fun attitude — which in many ways I did do– but it hasn’t helped in making me any more pregnant than I was this time last year.
It would seem that my resolutions really didn’t help me to push the ball forward on these matters. So why, at the beginning of each year, do I insist on creating (an then publishing!!) my resolutions even when, most of the time, it doesn’t actually provide me with the impetus or the sustained support I need to actually hold myself accountable?
In order to answer that question I have to examine the year I did have and look at what was achieved.
While I didn’t get fit or exercise nearly as much as I should, I did maintain certain healthy habits that I can applaud myself for. I cut out milk from my diet, I go on frequent bike rides. Could I do more? Hells to the yes. But you gotta start somewhere, right?
While I still have a fair amount a debt, I’m in a very different financial place than I was this time last year. I am supporting my family and a small staff of folks with my art and design work. I gotta pat myself on the back for that. I never imagined that I’d be able to support this many people through designing and blogging. It’s pretty amazing. And now the debt that we’re accumulating is mostly business debt or debt for things that are investments in our home (hello HVAC). And that feels much, much better than the kind of debt I had last year.
I wasn’t able to grow the blog as much as I’d hoped, but hey — I never in a million years imagined that the Jungalow Instagram would grow to over 500,000 people over the course of one year. Bananas, right??
I didn’t put together the Face The Foliage book that I’d hoped to do, but I did write another book — a companion book to The New Bohemians that will come out this Fall. It’s a book I’m crazy proud of and put my heart into and the time was right for it.
As for retirement? Yes, it’s still an issue. But this year we actually will be contributing to our retirement fund for the first time around tax time, so we are on our way. Yay.
And the new baby issue. I have actually come a long way on this issue in my head. Every day I feel grateful that we had such an easy time conceiving Ida and that she is just quite simply the most amazing little person that we could have ever wished for. Would we like to have another child? Yes. But I am now at a place where I’m feeling so grateful for what we have and not always trying to plan so hard or carve out exactly what my vision is….which brings me to the conclusion for this post.
This year I am interested in setting intentions for myself, rather than resolutions. What’s the difference? In my mind, a resolution is a decision to change a course. There is a specific goal and a lot of expectations around said goal, with little room for flexibility. An intention, on the other hand, is an objective that acts as a guiding light. An intention allows for adaptation and discovery. So instead of thinking so hard about what exactly I’m going to do — it’s more about how I want to feel and an overall state of being.
So here are some examples — instead of resolving to get out of credit card debt, I am going to set intentions for feeling in control of my finances.
Instead of resolving to meet a certain quota of blog visitors per day, I want to tap into my favorite parts of blogging and sharing and post when my heart is inspired to post.
And so it will go…
This year, my intentions are still being formed, but I know that to support my growth I need to get out of a binary, rigid mindset about what I must do to feel fulfilled and successful and really breathe, enjoy the moment and go with the flow.
Happy 2017, my friends. Thank you for being here along this dynamic and beautiful journey.