Goodbye, 2022! Hello, 2023!
I love this time of year. As one year winds down, I start making lists and plans for the year ahead. For most of us, life is a constant balancing act between what we want to do and what is possible for us.
Whether we are balancing our time and energy between family, work, hobbies, or health, it’s best to be aspirational but also fair to ourselves.
As we’ve learned in the last few years, there are many situations and forces beyond our control that we can’t plan for. There are life and world events that arise making our best-intended notions of self-improvement difficult or in some cases irrelevant. But we need to keep trying!
I like to stop and take stock of the previous year to keep some kind of awareness of what I did well and how I can challenge myself for the coming year. There are some goals that are easier to complete like doing a short 3-10 week professional course that ends with a letter of certification.
Other goals like learning a language are ongoing, somewhat endless goals that need to be broken down into milestones. For example, I have purchased Spanish language textbooks up to a B1 level and three exercise workbooks. If I can finish all of these texts and take some conversational Spanish classes, I will be thrilled!
Some goals are such a long-term commitment that whatever schedule is not actually meant to be completely fulfilled. For me, this is health and fitness. As I get older, it’s important for many reasons beyond physical appearance to be as fit as possible.
I keep my mornings, Monday – Friday, 9:15- 10:45 free for the gym to do cardio and lift weights or yoga with my favorite YouTube Yoga channel, Boho Beautiful.
However, I don’t think I have ever done a full five days in a row. There is always something that comes up; my son is sick, appointments in the city, last-minute work obligations, cleaning, shopping, a busy morning of courier deliveries, or I’m just too tired and need to sit and enjoy my coffee before I start the rest of my day.
In this case, I’d be very happy if I could make it to the gym three times per week and do at least 15 minutes of yoga almost daily.
Of course, we also have the bucket list goals like writing a book or traveling to some far-off destination for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have many of these goals and try to create time to research, save money, or work toward them even if I don’t know when they will actually happen.
For example, I first heard about Easter Island when I was thirteen years old looking through a National Geographic book. Something about the island paradise and the mysteries of the Moais fascinated me. For the next two and a half decades I would think about that dream trip but was only able to go when I was 38 years old! I booked and canceled my accommodation a few times before I finally made the journey.
And of course, some goals require other people, so we don’t have as much control over that. The goal of finding a life partner or starting a family. We can plan for these things to some degree, but we can never really know when they might be for us.
So, until it’s time to share our lives we need to keep trying to live full lives on our own, accomplishing what we can and above all being kind to ourselves.
Happy New year!
I wish you health, wealth, and abundance in 2023!