I love that a new year feels like starting over. It gives us a chance to do things better or differently than before, a clean slate.
I prefer intentions to resolutions because the latter implies that I’m going to do something, and I can’t guarantee the completion of anything written below. I intend to achieve as many as I can, but for me, it’s useless to say, “I’m going to work out every other day for the whole year!” I’m not great with huge overarching, and time-specific goals. I work better in the “one day at a time” mind frame. I have to actively think about my goals and chip away at them every day, make the daily choice to work toward them, and fight back when the snarling monster of derailment comes for me. Intending takes the pressure off, and I’m much more likely to make the goals happen that way.
Here are my intentions for 2014:
- Be present. Things only really happen NOW, not in the past or the future.”With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) “Forever is compounded by now.” (Emily Dickinson) “The living moment is everything.” (D.H. Lawrence) “Trust no future, howe’er pleasant! Let the dead past bury its dead! Act, – act in the living Present!” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Psalm of Life) “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ( Jesus, Matthew 6:34)
- Jump back in the ocean. My surfboard has gathered enough dust. It’s time to head back out there.
- Live with less. I’ve backpacked and traveled enough to know that I really don’t need THAT many things to survive, or even to make me happy. So why then do I have 35 tees and 25 pairs of shoes? They just take up space (better suited for my collections of books and vinyl, which I will never downsize). Plus, pairing my things down will minimize the loathsome clutter in my space.
- Read the books I already own. Any avid reader knows that Barnes & Noble is a wonderfully treacherous place. It’s way too easy to go in there “just to browse” and come out with at least five new libros that you want to read eventually. They go on the shelf at home, only to gather dust and laugh at you when you can’t make the time to sit down. In my case, by the time I put the new soon-to-be-read books on the shelf, another separate alluring title distracts me and I never return to the first ones.
- Hike it out.
- Choose love over fear. Okay, so this sounds a little abstract, a little fluffy rainbows-crystals-and-tarot-cardsy but it’s really not. 2013 taught me that we behave and think from two places: love and fear. Really, everything we do, think, or feel can be boiled down to those two. What would our lives look like if we acted from places of love rather than fear? What would that do to the lives around us? Think about it.
- Travel. It’s been far too long since my passport has been stamped. Camp more too.
- Strip it down. No, I don’t mean skinny-dipping (though with the right people, it’s pretty fun). What I mean is to remove the complications. For me, this means getting in the Word and reading it as it is written, without a devotional opinion or commentary explanation. It means staying present. It means reducing my consumption of media and increasing my time outdoors. It means eating healthy food, and being completely authentic in my relationships. We complicate too many things even within our own brains. How many times have you worried about what that guy, girl, or friend might have thought, said, or worse, believed about you? How many times have you worried about how you’re received by people, or thought about whether or not three days is an adequate post-date waiting period before calling? I have! Strip life down to its essentials: the people, places, things, and thoughts that are real, true, and necessary.
Cheers to 2014!