Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year’s Adventure

Well, friends, I hope you all are as excited as I am about the new year ahead of us!! 2016 was a year fraught with change in my personal life, and I’ve seen extensive changes in my friends’ lives and in our country as a whole, as well. From where I stand, it appears that 2017 is bound to continue that trend.

Like many people, I’ve considered starting the New Year with a resolution to achieve one or more of my personal goals. Read more, eat healthier, exercise…the list of possible resolutions is endless. But the funny thing I’ve discovered – and I know that many of you have, as well – is that resolutions don’t tend to work very well. We set these lofty goals at the beginning of the year, get all excited about how great we’re going to look or feel once we achieve those goals - and then promptly burn out. Within a few days or weeks, those resolutions are tossed into an ever-growing heap of failed attempts to secure contentment in our lives.

Looking back on all the changes in my life in the last year, I realized that none of those changes came about as the result of some grand feat of willpower conquering a resolution. They just…happened. Not accidentally, but naturally as the result of exploring, trying different things, and taking steps outside of my comfort zone.

You see, a strange thing happens when I try to achieve things in life based on sheer willpower. I wind up losing interest and motivation, bombing out, and then feeling disappointment and guilt over yet another failure. But there’s a different force inside that naturally drives me – curiosity. When engaged, it’s a powerfully addictive force that can draw me to things that are either good for me or bad for me, and can inspire either positive or negative behaviors. But at its core, curiosity is simply something that drives me to explore, taste, touch, attempt, and discover. It calls me to live freely in the moment, enjoying the present and experiencing life to the fullest now rather than spending my time looking ahead to the ever-elusive day when I will look better, feel better, do better and be better.

So this year, instead of attempting yet another New Year’s Resolution, I am embarking on a New Year’s Adventure. I still have a list, but instead of listing black-and-white goals to achieve, I have written down things that I would like to try in 2017. There’s no guilt for not completing the list. There’s no sense of failure if I try something and discover that I don’t like it or have no aptitude for it. And there’s no shame from yet another disappointing attempt at self-improvement. It’s simply an experience, a ride, an adventure.

Stay tuned to hear about my adventures! And while you’re at it – go make some of your own. ;)

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