I don’t really believe in New Years Resolutions. But I *do* wholeheartedly believe in goals. I’ve seen how much more intentionally I live my life when I have specific, measurable, and achievable goals to strive toward. Even if they aren’t all accomplished (such as only crossing off a handful of items from my legendary “27 list”), it has been in the pursuit of goals where I have lived the mantra that the journey is the destination. Rather than hastily decide on a resolution on the first day of the year, I’ve spent the past month or so really trying to figure out what I want to reach for and commit to in 2014.
Last year I had the idea to create goals in five different areas of my life: physical, spiritual, mental, financial, and personal (emotional). I decided to follow those same five areas as I began to think about goals for 2014. I’m calling them my “revolutions,” because of the genius that is this AT&T commercial:
A friend gave me the idea, while telling me about his new years “revolutions”, and after having a fun moment fangirl-ing together over all that brilliant commercial series, it got me to thinking. Because really, aren’t most goals at least a little revolutionary? I turn 30 this year, and I’m excited, more than I ever thought I would be. And I feel like if ever there was a time to get excited about some revolutionary change, it’s this year. I’m posting my revolutions here on my blog because I know that public accountability can only help my motivation to accomplish them. So here goes.
Physical: Do both spring and olympic distance triathlons this year, and to reach 20% body fat.
While I’ve run pretty regularly in the past, I’m really excited to add the new challenge of triathlons this year. I am also working to really fundamentally change the way I think about food and what I consume (cutting out refined sugar again, eating tons of vegetables, avoiding dairy, etc), but trying to keep the focus on food as fuel, rather than worrying about calories and such.
Spiritual: Memorize Matthew 5-7.
There is a lot in the Bible that I just don’t know what to do with anymore. But the life and person of Jesus…I think I can pretty wholeheartedly get behind. And since the Sermon on the Mount is the biggest collection of “just” Jesus’ words that we have in all of Scripture, I really want to marinate on his words this year, to soak them in and allow them to become a part of me, and hopefully to really change me.
Mental: Read 25 of the “Classics” that I have not yet read.
I’m a total bookworm, most all of my friends know that. I read, A LOT. But…confession: there are still a ton of classics that this word nerd hasn’t made the time to delve into. I read many books this last year, but my default seems to be semi-autobiographies and YA novels. These are great choices, and I’ll probably continue to read them in 2014, but I want to be intentional about reading the classics this year too. So I’ve made a list.
And here’s the awesome thing (or sad, depending how you look at it), of the 25 books on this list, 18 of them are already on my bookshelf in physical form, three I have digital copies of via the Nook app on my phone, and one my roommate owns. I only have to look for three of these titles to add to my collection! (Which given my addiction to spending time in used bookstores, should be a real hardship). So I also get the added bonus of working toward my (someday) goal of reading all of the books already contained in my collection.
The list, in no particular order (and please, fellow book lovers, don’t judge me too harshly for not having read some of these masterpieces yet…):
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
- A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
- Middlemarch, George Eliot
- The Violent Bear It Away, Flannery O’Connor
- The Brothers Karamozov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Kangaroo, D.H. Lawrence
- The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
- The Trial, Franz Kafka
- Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
- Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
- The Prince, Machiavelli
- Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad
- 1984, George Orwell
- Lord of the Flies, William Golding
- Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
- The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
- The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
- The Odyssey, Homer
- The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
- Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
- Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
- The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
I think I’ll try to post a little blurb after I finish each book–not a review or critique, per se, but probably a chance to share a few passages or quotes that stood out to me, and any ways those words changed me or caused me to think further.
Financial: Establish and follow a personal budget and get rid of my credit card debt.
Unfortunately, I garnered some credit card debt during my extended stint of unemployment, and for one reason or another (medical issues, moving, working for a nonprofit!), I just haven’t been able to get rid of it. But no more! I’m gonna figure this shit out. Time to move forward.
Personal/Emotional: Work to learn about, accept, and even love my body
It’s too easy to focus on all of the things we don’t like about ourselves, especially when it comes to physical attributes. I want to really work on that this year, to re-teach myself about the beauty and the mystery and the wonder that is the body I have been given, as it is now (not as it has been or as it could be). A few tangible things I want to do are:
- write a love letter to my body in the form of a spoken word poem (and to maybe be brave enough to perform it?!)
- to become comfortable enough to wear a bikini (for the first time, gasp!) in public (which really doesn’t have much or anything to do with my fitness level or fat content, but rather the way I view my body and what is and isn’t “acceptable” about the way I present my body in a public place)
- each month, to pick a physical attribute of my body that I have hated or put down or been ashamed of (in the past or presently), to re-focus my gaze on the good, the beauty, the practicality of that attribute, and to find a way to use/engage/inspire a way to serve or bless others in connection to it. (I might have to get very creative the month I focus on my butt…) ;)
The second part of this goal is where I get to reward myself. I am going to set aside a little money each month, and if (a big IF) I can accomplish (or at least make significant progress toward achieving) all of my goals this year, I’m going to finally get a big tattoo I’ve been dreaming about for a good while now, probably one that spans my right rib cage and part of my side/lower back. I have a few ideas of what I might like, but I’m also excited about what ideas might germinate this year about content and design.
It’s an ambitious list, I realize. I think I like it that way. I want to live my life, not simply allow my life to live me. Hopefully these goals can be a part of actualizing that concept.
I’d love to hear feedback about my ideas, or about ways you hope to revolutionize your life this coming year. Any and all forms of encouragement are always welcome.
LET THE REVOLUTIONS BEGIN! :)