2019: The Year of Yes

Holy COW guys – how on earth is it February!? Part of me feels like January was the longest month in the history of… well, ever. Another part of me feels like time continues to slip by too quickly — as if I blinked, and the calendar has flipped pages (virtually, of course, because who has an actual calendar? It’s all about whiteboards and paper planners, am I right?)

The past month has been a calm one, and honestly, I am so very grateful for that. The last little bit of 2018 was a tad overwhelming. I traveled a lot, I did a lot, I generally felt like life just was a lot. It was a lot in a good way, but a lot is still a lot. Does anyone else ever feel that way?

Anyway, I’m rambling. The point is, the first month of 2019 has been a much needed reprieve. I’ve spent a lot of time taking barre classes, a lot of time watching Netflix, and a lot of time generally relaxing and reestablishing a routine (something I have learned that, apparently, I thrive on… but more on God’s lesson for me in that department a little later).

The rest of 2019, however, promises to be busy, exciting and… well, full of the word “yes.”

I’ve never seen that one movie where the guy says “yes” to everything, but I can certainly say I understand the concept.

This year has a lot of Big Things happening. I turn 25, my mom and I are taking a trip to England & Scotland (insert overly excited “eeeeeeeek!” here), my parents are moving out of the house my siblings and I grew up in, and the boy WILL be passing his CPA exam.

When I began the year, I thought this would be a year of saving for said big things. But then the opportunities, the adventures, started rolling in.

I wouldn’t consider myself the most spontaneous of people. I like to have plans, I like to know what is happening. But I recognize that, sometimes, that can be to my detriment. Sometimes, that means I would be inclined to say no to things “not in the plan.” And 2019 had a clear plan: save, save, save until September, then go back across the pond.

But here’s the thing — I am in an incredibly stable place in life (thanks be completely to the Lord for that blessing), and I have some breathing room. I know that yes, I do better with routine, but I also go stir crazy if it’s all routine. I need some blips on the radar.

So, I’ve started to say yes. Yes to that unplanned trip to Disneyland. Yes to last-minute happy hours, to dog sitting, to working on an extra project.

It’s okay to have routine — and I recognize that I need it. But I also need to allow a little wiggle room, to “ease up,” to recognize that what’s being offered to me right now may not be offered a few years down the line.

So here’s to 2019, to the year of yes. I can’t wait to see what it has in store.

What are you saying “yes” to this year?

4 Goals for 24

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The older I get, the more I frown upon the idea of resolutions. I think there’s a lot of unnecessary pressure that stems from the concept of a resolution, this gigantic thing that you have to do in a set time period. Don’t get me wrong: I respect the concept, and I know that for some people, it works really well.

It’s just not my thing.

I am, however, a big fan of goal setting. Now, I realize that some may argue that this is essentially the same thing as a resolution, and to that, I beg to differ, and I offer this counterargument: resolutions are measured by whether or not they are accomplished, whereas goals are measured by how much you have accomplished towards it. Say you set a goal to save 500 dollars, and you only save 430… you’ve still saved 430 dollars, and that’s still a pretty darn good accomplishment.

I’ll admit that perhaps it’s just a matter of perspective, but that’s how I like to look at it.

Perhaps the other reason I am not so much a fan of resolutions is because I’m not a big fan of New Years. Beyond its overhyped expectations, I guess I also never really saw January 1 as the start of a personal new year. I’ve always considered my birthday more of a time for reflection and goal setting, as opposed to the arbitrary day that the calendar changes.

So, that said, it’s time to set some goals because, in case you missed it, my birthday just passed (and if you somehow did miss that, you must be new… and in that case, welcome!)

Once upon a time, I set goals based on how I old I turned, but the older I get, the more ridiculous that sounds. I doubt I’ll want to set 98 goals when that time comes.

So, this year, I’m instating a new system, a set of goals based on four key areas in life:

Professional. Projects. Personal. Physical.

And, yes, before you ask, I did intentionally start them all with the letter P. I’m a big fan of alliteration, okay?

Professionally, I want to continue on the same track that I like to think I have been heading. Admittedly, this is the goal I am probably least public about, at least over here on the blogosphere, because those worlds are somewhat and intentionally separate. So for now, I’ll go ahead and leave it at that.

As far as projects are concerned, I want to grow this blog of mine. I’d like to put the effort in and reach one thousand Instagram followers and continue to share a message of balance between faith & life for anyone who’s interested.

Personally, I want to work on my relationship with the Lord. I’ll admit that I have fallen into a pattern of leaning on Him when things get tough, and pulling away when all is going well. That’s an unfair give and take, and that’s not how He wants us to be with Him. He wants all of us, all the time, and I recognize that – it’s just so easy to unintentionally credit your idols when life is going well. So I’m setting a goal to be more proactive and intentional about my time with the Lord in order to further strengthen that foundation.

And when it comes to physical goals, I’m a bit of a broken record. I still haven’t run my first race, and it’s still a bucket-list item. I know I physically can run a 5K – I do it regularly on a treadmill. For whatever reason, though, I’ve always held back when it comes to actually putting on a number. This year, that changes.

Four goals. Four main buckets, if you will, where there’s room for improvement.

Then again, there’s always room for improvement, isn’t there? We can always work on being better versions of ourselves, and whether it’s a birthday or a new year, or you’re one of those lucky people who is motivated to evaluate their goals and progress without a calendar reminder, it’s important to set a course for what’s to come.

Turning Pages

Happy 2018! It is weird to think that the holidays are officially over, and that it’s time to turn the page and start anew. Or so it goes.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of New Years. I think it’s a slightly overrated holiday, with slightly exaggerated expectations that tend to lead to slight disappointments, and that’s not how I think you should go into a new year feeling. That’s not to say I don’t have fun on New Years – I’ve certainly had some great ones and I will never say no to an excuse for champagne. Last night, the boy and I got together with friends and drank a lot of prosecco (or, at least, I did), and I got to kiss him at midnight for the second year in a row. I certainly can’t complain about that.

But after the party and that midnight kiss, the next questions tends to roll around: what are your resolutions for this year?

And that’s where I stop celebrating. I don’t really believe in resolutions. I think, if you’re going to start doing something, why wait until the turn of a calendar to do it? I also think that there’s an unnecessary pressure that comes with a New Years resolution, very similar to that of New Years Eve. There’s just a somewhat stressful expectation of the “results” you’ll see come this time next year, and I feel like that pressure is exactly why a lot of resolutions don’t actually get resolved.

So instead, I’m heading into 2018 with a couple of very simple goals for myself: read more and write more. I used to go through a book a week, but as life became more hectic than it was in high school it became a lot easier to just flip on a screen after work and zone out that way. But every time I do get sucked into a good book, I remember exactly what I love about reading in the first place. I love using my imagination to dream up what I think the author is envisioning, and I love the satisfaction of turning the final page (or swiping through the last line on my Kindle).

I’m not setting any sort of goal to read x amount of books a month or anything: I’m just encouraging myself to pick up the book on my coffee table instead of the remote.

I think that will, in turn, help me towards my second goal of writing more. I have noticed that I tend to write more when I read more (funny how that works, right?) and therefore, the two goals go hand-in-hand. Again, I’m not setting out to finish a novel (though that is still on my general list of goals), but I just want to pick up a pen more, or put my fingers to the keyboard. Whether it’s journaling, or prayer, or blogging, or creative, I just want to put words out there, and see what may become of them.

So here’s to 2018, to turning a page — and reading more and writing more pages in the process. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. I’ll blog again soon, but for now… I’ve got a book to finish.