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January 9, 2018

I have always shied away from those resolutions that are guaranteed to make me feel like a failure. “This is the year I lose xyz pounds. This is the year I never snap at my family. This is the year I stop swearing. This is the year I stay on top of EVERYTHING.” Setting unattainable goals makes me feel bad about myself, and the idea of a New Year’s resolution is to make you a healthier person.

In my 20s, I began inventing resolutions that I knew I could keep. One year my goal was to moisturize every day. Being able to follow though on something felt like a personal victory, and my legs were so soft that year. Another year I vowed to enjoy candles more often. I went to Pottery Barn and bought a bunch of candles for my fireplace, and really enjoyed them. You can see where I am going with this. Set realistic expectations, and succeed! Do something nice for yourself. Enjoy the process. Feel really good about your successes.

In my mid 30s, I took it a step farther. I decided to create projects for myself that I felt had the potential to help me become a better person. I realized that one of the things that give me real joy in life is ongoing personal growth. I am always looking to build, and to have new experiences. One year I gave up meat. Another year I decided not to buy any new clothing or shoes (that was eye opening; it turns out I don’t really need that much new stuff). One of my favorite projects was the year of 52 dates. My husband and I didn’t have to do anything fancy, we just committed to enjoying time together without the children. We went on a lot of bike rides and drank a lot of coffee, making it to 48 great dates.

This year I want to try one new volunteer activity a month, in the hopes that I can find something that works with my strengths and my schedule that I can continue past this year. I am starting in January with the Harvest Food Bank and February at Dress For Success. I welcome any recommendations throughout this year, and I would love company from my yoga family. Wouldn’t it be nice to finish 2018 having done something for our community? I will be posting each of the volunteer opportunities on social media in the hopes that some of you will join me in serving this year.

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