Every year you hear about the people setting lofty goals to kickstart a health regimen, kicking a bad habit, etc, and that’s great, but… with that kind of stuff, I find that if you really want to do it, you start when the thought comes to you. So, New Year’s? New Year’s is different.
I’m not one to make a big deal out of it (in fact, I usually don’t even make it to midnight unless I get a few naps in), but what I consider when that day comes around is that it does, indeed, make a sort of convenient “bookmark” if you will, in the timeline of our lives, and one that I use for only one thing:
Each year I set out on a personal mission to “one-up” myself from the year before.
It can be anything. I might not even know what it is until next New Year’s, and that doesn’t matter. All that matters is looking on the bright side and doing/learning even just one thing that I didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t do/know the year before.
Whether it’s a checkmark on the bucket list, a new thumbtack on the world map of “places I’ve been” or coming to terms with the things that happen with my (or the people in my) life, the point and the aim is to do at least one thing that will make me happier, more confident, or just give myself a kick-ass or super-serene memory to be able to look back on and grin at.
Some years it’s a struggle to find the positive – and that’s okay, too – because chances are that it came with a few steep learning curves that I am glad to have over with, and sometimes I can take it as simply the “mistakes not to make again.” The trick is to make it a positive thing, a positive step to move forward and learn from.
Because other years? There are some years where you’ll feel ready to take on the world, and sometimes you need to slog through the “heavy” and get that little bit of personal prep work established to set yourself up for the awesomeness ahead.
2012, for example, was gruelling. I worked too much and put myself through some seriously exhausting crap. But I learned a lot about myself, what makes me tick and my personal limits – which, in despite of being tired all the time, I still feel like I came out on top, more determined than ever. Not only that, but I took on another slew of obstacles races, sometimes having a couple back-to-back on the same weekend, and was in the top third of finishers for the Tough Mudder, before blowing my ankle a couple weeks later and did a 10km on it anyway (not advisable).
But it set me up for 2013 which began with frantically tying up the loose ends before my deadline… because 2013?
2013 was the best year of my whole freakin’ life.
And while I’m sitting here looking down the long nose of 2014, considering my annual goal to “one-up” my yester-year with the things I hope to achieve in the months ahead, I can say this: challenge accepted.
I know it won’t involve summiting a mountain taller than Kilimanjaro, for one (2015, maybe ;) ), but I do know that I’ll be able to take myself through some new adventures in this thing called life. The trick? Keeping your eyes up and your feet walking forward. Totally do-able.