If 2014 was the year I changed my life, 2015 was definitely the year I learned to change my perspective (and quit apologizing along the way). Reflecting on that had me wondering, “What will 2016 bring?”
A confession before I dive further: I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions. The advertisements and overall messages shouting about a “New Year, New Body, New You” come across as inauthentic and cheap. I’m all for moving towards a healthier lifestyle, but would love for you to get there when you are ready. And for you, that might not be on January 1st.
I do however think January is a really good time to hit refresh and take inventory on the past year. I use this time to set my overall intentions and dream big. I’ll always have really specific and detailed goals related to my career, fitness and well-being, but these particular intentions are more of personal mantra for the year.
Towards the end of 2015, several moments led me to my focus for 2016. I had wanted to declutter and organize my space for quite some time. Several friends recommended Marie Kondo’s best-selling book and raved about her process of getting rid of things that no longer serve a purpose. That notion inspired me to take inventory on my things before I fully dived into her KonMari method. In this process, I came across a host of items I purchased over the years and essentially forgot about. A beautiful Karl Lagerfeld candle I acquired in Paris and waited for a special time to light. A dress I bought for summer date nights (that never happened). And to many friend’s chagrin, the most beautiful red wine from Italy that has been waiting to be uncorked for a big celebration.
Around that same time, the attacks in Paris occurred. I happened to be back in my hometown in Nebraska with my entire family. Not only was it the first time we were together in a year, but it was the first time we were together in the same room watching an international tragedy unfold and able to talk about it immediately. It was a sad day and one where I truly realized how much I take each moment I have with them for granted.
So, I arrived to this intention for 2016: Wait For Nothing.
For me, this means:
1. Everyday can be a special occasion. Some of the best memories I’ve had were spontaneous, unplanned and in my workout clothes. That beautiful bottle of red wine didn’t come with instructions, “Consume only in the presence of sequin-clad friends when you have something to celebrate.” So, I’ve been practicing using nice things immediately and not thinking about the what-if moments as much. And if date night happens soon, I know the directions to the nearest Nordstrom quite well.
2. Say it now. Admittedly, I have a hard time asking for help and conversely, I hate turning anyone down, even when I don’t have the bandwidth to help. I’m also the worst kind of just-checking-in-to-see-how-you’re-doing friend and daughter in my busiest of times. However, in a matter of weeks this has shifted. When a friend crossed my mind, I texted them. When I felt strongly about something at work, I said it immediately. And when I wanted to help a friend but was on a tight deadline, I was honest. Asking for what you want and saying what you mean right now sure saves you time in the long run.
3. Don’t just think about it. Do it. I’ve caught myself day-dreaming about buying a cyclocross bike, driving to Marfa, TX for the weekend, creating a podcast and even taking on a weekend apprenticeship with a donut-maker (seriously). But inevitably, I always let something get in the way — mostly time, sometimes my own nerves. But if I’m going to tell to my friends, “There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect time’ to start — NOW is the perfect time,” then I have to practice what I preach. Guess who is finally giving yoga a real go next week?
Much like I couldn’t predict how 2014 or 2015 would play out, I have no idea what 2016 will bring. But, results from “waiting for nothing” over the past two weeks lead me to believe I’ll be happy once December 31 rolls around.