2017…2017…oh dear goodness, this post has taken so many different forms over the past couple months of drafting and editing and thinking. This might be one of the most-anticipated new years I’ve ever had. Part of that is my overall less-than-enthused feeling toward 2016, but a bigger part is that I’m finally getting some of my energy back, feeling ready to move through life more assertively and get to work on some big goals again. And I suppose another part is that with two vacations and the Chicago Marathon on tap, I get to do some pretty cool stuff this year.
Oh, and did I mention I’m turning 30 this year? It’s odd – my 30th birthday is 10 weeks (!) away, and I keep waiting for some rush of introspection or motivation to hit me, but I can’t really feel anything about it. Isn’t that anti-climactic? Shouldn’t I be suddenly inspired to make over my life and scramble to check off bucket list items or something? Isn’t that how you’re supposed to feel when approaching a milestone birthday? But over the past year I’ve had some time to get used to the idea of being a 30-year-old, and now all I can think about is moving forward with life like it’s any other year. Maybe age really is just a number.
My plans and ideas for 2017 have gone through a lot of shape-shifting in the past few months. I still don’t know how this year will turn out or what’s in store for me (“I plan, God laughs”!), but I decided that I do want to have some new year’s resolutions and big goals for myself after all. The aforementioned return of energy has me feeling ready to get back into goal mode, and I think having things to work toward will keep me feeling positive when life inevitably hits a lull or two.
I thought I’d share my new year’s resolutions today. I know how trite new year’s resolutions can become, and it was important to me to put a lot of thought into mine and make sure these are things that speak to my truth and I actually really want for myself.. They are:
- Grow in my minimalism practice. I know what they say about the likelihood of success with vague, non-measurable resolutions. But minimalism is not a numbers game, at least not to me. All I know is I want to continue to grow. I can say that a few things I will be focusing on in particular are: cutting down my spending, being less wasteful, and reducing my dependence on motor transportation by going more places on foot or bike. That last one is also borne of a desire to incorporate more activity into my daily life and feel more in touch with the world around me. And, of course – being a MINIMAL MARATHONER! It seems counter-intuitive to train minimally and have a big goal, but I have to say, I’m looking forward to the challenge.
- Reform my diet. Another vague cliche! Gosh, I sure am on my game! This is actually, however, an important resolution for me. I not only want to start saving money, I want to feel better. Is my diet the reason I often lack energy, feel like crap mid afternoon, struggle to get up in the morning, and get regular visits from ol’ indigestion and sour stomach? Maybe not entirely, but I’m sure it plays a huge role. My diet isn’t horrible (I’d give it a solid C), and I’m not looking to make drastic changes, just clean it up a bit. I’m particularly focused on eating more greens and veggies, cutting back on coffee and soda, eating (a healthy) breakfast every day, refueling better after workouts, and cutting back on fried, processed, and heavier foods. Kevin’s parents got us a new crock pot and a rice maker for Christmas (maybe a not-so-subtle hint?), and I’m already on the hunt for healthy and EASY slow cooker recipes.
- Read 36 books. THIS IS MY YEAR. I’ve made a 36 books goal for the last few years, usually halfheartedly, but this year I am DOING IT! I really want to become a regular reader again – it enriches my life so much – and making this goal will force me to do so, because when you’re an adult with a full time job and other crap to do, you can’t read 3 books a month without setting aside time for daily reading. You just can’t. At least 1/3 of these books (or one a month) will be nonfiction that explores social justice issues and illuminates the lives of people who see the world differently than I do. I want to be more educated and mindful of the experiences of people who don’t have the privileges I’ve enjoyed in my life, and I want to understand and empathize with people who view our world so differently than I do. I will definitely be sharing my reads as I discover and devour them. I’ve been digging around my library’s website and have already discovered several titles for my must-read list: Between the World and Me; Strangers in Their Own Land; Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City; and Hillbilly Elegy, to start.
In addition, I also set 3 big goals for this coming year. Like, big scary goals. One is marathon-related, the others aren’t related to running or fitness at all. I’ve told very few people what my goals are, and I’m not going to talk about them online. I’m not trying to be secretive, I just want to keep this part of my life personal. Sure, it takes a lot of pressure off me, but the real reason is that I don’t want to make a huge deal out of my goals and have them take over my life. Public accountability is nice, but I think I need to stick to the environment I thrive in: plugging away quietly and working diligently in the shadows, and otherwise getting on with my life without all the fuss.
I said earlier that I may be cutting back on my blogging in the first half of the new year. Until marathon training starts I’m not going to have much in the way of regular running content, nor am I even going to have much for my marathon spending log. I’m trying to have more of a life outside the internet these days, and I want my writing to focus on things that are interesting and meaningful to me. Of course, usually when I resolve to step away from writing is when I suddenly have much to write about, so maybe I’ll blog less, maybe I won’t. For once I’m just gonna go with the flow and see where it takes me.
Happy 2017! Now we’ve all got lives to lead, so let’s go live ’em!