By Heather Blanchard
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Unknown
Right now, millions upon millions of people are thinking of next year’s resolutions, and writing down lofty new goals for the coming months. If you find yourself in that camp, you should know that digging down deep and setting new goals is healthy as it reflects your desire to live life more fully, more joyfully and more successfully. This is a time to reflect what you want to change, what you want to do or accomplish, and where you want to go. Resolutions offer an ideal of hope, and they are good for us. But this year I found myself wondering why our resolutions so often fade away in a matter of weeks or months. How do we loose sight of something we want so much? Why do we let unexpected twists and turns, which are a natural part of life, derail our plans?
What if we changed the way we think about Resolutions? What if, instead of setting annual goals, we set daily goals, monthly goals and long-term goals? Stay with me here…
What if each day we commit to doing something that feeds our soul? One small thing that makes us happy – like listening to a podcast, reading a book, taking a walk or connecting with a friend. Each day we try to do something that’s healthy – like making a healthy meal or snack, moving more or drinking more water. And each day we do one small thing that brings us peace – like taking a bath, taking an hour to nurture ourself, or taking time to meditate – even it it’s only five minutes. At the end of each month, we can evaluate the plans we made to reach our long term goals – because a goal is just a wish without a plan. We can look at what steps we took to make them a reality, look at what worked and what didn’t, and pledge to move towards them each month moving forward.
I have a sweet friend whose personal story of achieving both small and life-long goals is truly inspirational. Ten years ago, my friend was happily married with two young boys, healthy and active and working in a highly coveted government position when she started experiencing some odd health issues. Upon several doctor’s visits, she was diagnosed with MS. She was devastated, and after taking time to move through all the rolling emotions over the coming months, created a plan with her husband to tackle the disease with hope, energy and vigor. She made a goal to try to do something that made her stronger physically each day – like swim when it was hard to walk, or take a nap when needed. In the interest of having access to all the latest research on MS, she quit her job and pursued one as the coordinator of medical conferences with traditional Western and alternative Eastern practitioners. She soaked in everything she learned and got healthy and balanced.
Each day, my friend tried to do something fun or something that brought her joy – like Freaky Fun Fridays with her family. Last year was a beautiful reminder of how this pledge plays out daily. We were together at a hotel in DC for my grandfather’s funeral when she called to tell me she was going on a morning walk and taking our girls with her. They were hanging out in the hotel lobby in pajamas. When I asked her to have them come up and change, she said they looked cute and comfy – so off they went. She surprised them with a short trip to the national zoo a few blocks away, and my girls were beyond thrilled – PJ’s and all. She lives life to the fullest.
She set a long-term goal of returning to Europe regularly once her boys were in college as she spent a year of grad school in Italy and truly loved it. This year, in pursuit of that dream she took a position as a tour agent and guide for group trips to Italy. She is there all the time.
So, let’s create a Resolution Evolution together in 2023! I’ll leave you with a beautiful quote here…
“I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.” – Juansen Dixon