I've Packed a Change of Clothes and It's Time To Move On.


At risk of being another blog on your feed today professing the grand, amazing, just-short-of-changing-the-world-or-curing-cancer things I plan to do this year, I wanted to lay out some of the things that I do hope to work on this year (and maybe some things I don't). As 2014 came to an end, I did more reflecting on the year than I think I've done in years past. I'm always reflective, but this year I sought to make that reflection thoughtful, meaningful, purposeful. To cut through the surface of all the things I did or didn't do, and get past the what and on to the why. To figure out what worked and what didn't. What things I liked, and what things I didn't like. And not only that, but how to change them. I'm just as guilty as anyone of vowing to make big changes but then not totally following through. I have patterns that I don't like but that I perpetuate anyway. I used to see yearly, monthly, or even weekly goals, as things that needed to be changed overnight, but now I realize it's not that simple. As with anything, it takes time, practice and work. 

I've looked back a lot on the events of 2014, but I haven't done much more than scratch the surface, at least not in this white box. Truthfully, I have mixed feelings about the last year. I did a lot of things I'm happy about and proud of, but it was also a tumultuous year. It got off to a rocky start and I feel like I've been riding a roller coaster ever since. Though the unexpected twists and turns led me to a place that I know is where I'm supposed to be, I still couldn't shake the feeling of the bumpy ride that got me here. While I have countless memories from 2014 that I'll cherish forever, I'm happy to turn the page and start a new chapter. New year, new frame of mind.

I'm not quite sure what to call the ideas I have for the next 364 days…plans? Goals? Resolutions? None of those seem quite right. I don't want to make any huge proclamations claiming that 2015 is going to be my year, but I also don't want to make any half-hearted plans or goals just for the sake of making them. The word I keep coming back to - thoughtful - is the one I want to drive my actions this year. I want to find balance between my over-analytical mind and my impulsive mind. To make good, thoughtful decisions, but not to debate them to the point of agony. To really understand the why behind my actions, and to be able to accept it, whether or not it's what I think I'm "supposed" to do or not. These are things I came up with organically, things that came to me rather than me searching for them. I've been thinking about these things for a little while now and I feel such sense of peace going into the new year, more than I've ever felt, like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Like I've freed myself from myself.
  • Stop planning to plan. I want to take a radically different approach to how I view, well...life, I guess. I had a really eye-opening conversation with Ben about my need to not only plan, but plan to plan. As soon as I wake up in the morning I have a detailed to-do list already in my mind and I spend the whole day stressing about how to check off each thing on the list. I want to trust myself and others around me enough to know that things will get done, whether I plan every minute of my day or not. I like having a schedule but I can definitely afford to be a little looser with it.
  • Be nicer to myself. This is something I couldn't really articulate so simply until Kristen said it yesterday, but it's exactly what I need. I am my biggest and worst critic and can almost always find fault in everything I do. I beat myself up for not being good enough, smart enough, fast enough, driven enough, nice enough, fill-in-the-blank enough…and this year I just want to accept that I am enough. I don't want to criticize myself for not being perfect. I am doing my best, and my best will have to do.
  • Stop letting words like "accomplish" and "achieve" and "success" define me. I'm a goal-setter, a list-maker, a doer. Always have been. I checked a lot of boxes in 2014, which I thought would fulfill me, but didn't quite satisfy me in the way I was expecting. Since I've always been and always thought of myself as someone who needs a checklist for literally everything, I assumed that's what I would always be. Over the last year I've come to realize that maybe I don't need the validation of accomplishing a goal, big or small, as much as I thought. That maybe the journey is just as gratifying, if not more so, than the destination itself. I don't want to need constant validation.
  • Learn the difference between a want and a need. Should I be embarrassed that I've made it over 27 years without really knowing this? Either way, this is something I started learning in 2014 that I want to continue this year. Downsizing and learning not only how to have less, but realize we actually enjoy it, was a big step for me. I'm not perfect, but doing things like purging the things we know we don't need and starting a capsule wardrobe has felt like a step in the right direction. This is also directly related to the fact that I really want to do better at budgeting this year, so I want to be more thoughtful when it comes to my purchases, big or small.
  • Find balance. This has been on my mind a lot the past few weeks, so I think it's safe to say this is my biggest goal of all. I'm obsessive and hyper-focused and when I find something to put my mind to, I really put my mind to it; the flip side is that there just aren't enough hours in the day and other things tend to fall by the wayside. When my running is on point, my yoga is not. When I spend 24/7 on schoolwork, my eating habits suffer. When I spend time with family and friends, my house is a mess. I don't know if I'll ever be able to perfectly balance everything, but I do know that I feel better when my priorities are more proportionate. I feel like, above all else, striving for a more balanced life is the key to a lot of my other goals and will make it easier for everything else to fall into place.

Yesterday I started a new, daily yoga challenge with Erin Motz and the first day's prompt was a "pose that makes you feel celebratory." I couldn't think of a more appropriate pose than tree - it looks so simple, but a couple years ago I couldn't even get into this pose, and even now being able to hold it is cause for celebration. I've been practicing yoga for several years now, but balance poses are still the hardest for me - maybe a metaphor for my life in general? So this year, if nothing else, I'm striving for balance in all things. Join me?

(And P.S….after thinking about it for ages I finally made a blog Instagram account so I could stop using my personal one, and I would love it if you added my new one :))


17 comments :

  1. I feel the same way. 2014 was all over the place with behind the scenes stuff. I am challenged to find a balance as well. I feel like it is one of the great struggles of life.

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  2. I love that you're doing her instagram challenge! Tree is my favorite pose by far!

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  3. Yep - I need to be nicer to myself as well. That's the ultimate thing for all of us I think.
    Off to add your IG

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  4. ok I love all of this post and I want to make a comment on everything but I will refrain from a typical Kristen long post.
    First off, if anyone can cure cancer it's you, you're the most determined person I've ever 'met' :) Just kidding, mainly.
    Oh my gosh you don't even know how much I love to plan. Or maybe you do because of the hotel stuff. Seriously, it's like I get high off it. I am much better at planning and planning to plan than I am at doing things, definitely an area we differ. I wish I was more like you. I make checklists all the live long day but rarely check things off. I know you are trying to be better at those things, and I need to find the balance that is less lists more doing. And the "supposed" to do things, sometimes I get so worked up and upset that I haven't accomplished this or that because shouldn't I have done those already? Anyway. That goes hand in hand with the being nicer to ourselves. There is no supposed to, no should haves, just life, and enjoying it anyway we can. Here's to 2015! :)

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  5. haha i said post instead of comment which goes to show even more that my comments are always too long.

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  6. What a heartfelt post! This was such an encouraging read to me. I could feel you on every single level, especially about being nicer to ones self. I'm excited to follow along with your journey in 2015! Cheers! x

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  7. Want very need is such an important lesson right? I definitely learned it when I was moving......I have so much stuff!!!

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  8. Ok, your first sentence in this post nailed something right on the head: so many bloggers are talking about moving mountains and "this is THE year" and blah blah blah. From my anti-resolutions post, that is EXACTLY why I hate resolutions. People make these lofty goals and never stick with them! I like yours. They're manageable, realistic and meaningful. No moving mountains for you - or for me!

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  9. I love this post! How do you plan life anyway, right!? Balance is a big one for me this year too. It's something I didn't really have to worry about before going back to school because I always seemed to have time. But now it seems that there are not enough hours in the day and I'm definitely guilty of focusing all my attention on one thing and letting others fall by the wayside. I think simplifying will really help with that, so that's my mission. Happy New Year to you! I'm doing the challenge too and I love your first pose and just that picture in general :)

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  10. Ah yes, the good old want vs need. I think this is something I have finally mastered in the last few years. I have been going through and purging a little of my stuff over the last few days. No need to hold on to things that are no longer useful!

    I myself hate new years resolutions because I feel like most of the time they are so vague and more like hopeful wishes. I like focusing on little aspects of my life and things that I really can change with a little effort. I save lists of things to do for my seasonal goals and actually do them so I love this post!! Focusing on lots of good things! Best wishes for a great 2015!

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  11. I love this post, friend. I have some similar goals, particularly working on balance and resisting the urge to plan. Sometimes I'll open up all my documents and lists and calendars and spreadsheets I use to track and plan every move of my life.. and just stare at them. There's nothing left to plan, list, or write, but I feel so useless when I'm not taking an action toward one of those goals. Because god forbid I spend a Tuesday night not changing my life, right? I think it's tough for people like us who are goal-oriented and spend our free time doing something with which we can measure progress and advancement, to turn off the need to be active in movement or in our minds. But the result isn't always better planning; instead, it's often more stress and less happiness, or contentment in the moment. (By the by, I couldn't sleep so at about 3 am today I was mapping out some things for us to do while you're here.)
    Anyway. You are enough, and I can't wait til you're here and we can have conversations in person about how Type A we are and how to be less maniacal about our To Do lists in 2015 ;) cheers to a great new year.

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  12. oh I love this post so much!! I'm totally down to join you :) cheers to 2015!

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  13. I'm going to try and write my not really resolutions but goals-ish for 2015 tonight! I like how you described it as thoughtful! I'm with you on not saying this is MY year. I think every year brings good and bad things and my main hope is to just enjoy life as much as possible. I have some tangible goals and then actions I want to work harder on/spend more time doing. Here's to 2015 and our thoughtful actions :)

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  14. I'm right there with you on the balance part. We wear so many hats that it can be difficult to divide our time among all of it. Best of luck this year!

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  15. "stop planning to play" - oh girl this here is probably one of the biggest downfalls I have. So much truth in that one statement. Great goals. Realisable goals!

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  16. "Stop planning to plan" - LOVE THIS! Happy New Year x

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  17. I think this is the most perfect 2015 goals type post I've read. I need to work on a lot of these things too- I definitely do too much planning to plan and not enough actually doing if that makes sense.

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