I do not believe in New Year's Resolutions. They are often too focused on physical 'flaws' (lose weight, go to the gym every day), leave little room for flexibility (go out with friends at least once a week, find a new job in 6 months), or set a bar so high, failure is inevitable (learn French, cook dinner every night every week). For these reasons, I don't usually set resolutions. I also believe we can choose to make changes at any point in time-not just once a year. That being said, it's nice to have this turn of the calendar to mark a fresh start. This has been a particularly hard year for me, and I've spent the past few weeks thinking of ways I'd like next year to differ. I have several hopes and aspirations for myself and for my new year, and by sharing them, I am holding myself accountable. None of them are simple, and many of them are related. If I don't put effort into one area of growth, I will be unlikely to see change in another. There are also things I'd like to leave behind, but not forget, as these events/feelings/states have shaped me as well.
So without further ado, a few hopes for 2013. I realize some are vague, and some are grandiose. I'm putting them out there anyway.
Enhanced flexibility: Not the physical kind. I am a creature of habit, and hate to break out of my routine. That's not normally a problem, but sometimes my fear of change or of the unknown can hold me back. The only way to become more flexible is to go against my patterns, and while this is anxiety provoking, it also creates space for new experiences.
Deepened commitment to animal rights and veganism: This goes without saying. There's always more to be done to spread awareness, speak up for the animals, and make a difference.
Time for reflection: I don't like to slow down. I'm always busy, always moving. This is great for efficiency purposes, but not so great for my mental and physical health. I have started to write (for myself) and journal again recently, and find that it really does help me reflect and pause a bit.
More (dog-led) walks: I've come to realize that I often walk my dogs with purpose, and that purpose is mine. They deserve better. I am going to spend more time letting them lead the way (smell whatever they want, linger in random spots) and stop making our walks a mission.
Think twice before making/returning calls: I often call people (especially my parents and husband) even when I am feeling upset, angry or just bored. That's not really fair to them. Thinking twice before making these calls will save me the second 'I'm sorry' call, and will make the next chat much better.
Stop judging..so much: It's a horrible habit, and one I constantly try to break. I judge myself the most, and don't give myself any room for error. This has consequences. Learning to be less critical is hard, but it benefits everyone.
Bake more treats. And eat them: I have so many recipes for so many amazing vegan cookies/cupcakes/breads, etc. I used to bake all the time, but then it became a rare or 'special' occasion thing. Why? Not enough time, food anxieties, too many other responsibilities-you name it. But I truly LOVE baking, and am actually very good at it. So this year, more baking.
That's all I have. I hope you this year is full of positivity, change and growth. Happy 2013.