As 2013 winds down, I look forward to all the possibilities of 2014. This year has been a crazy, exciting whirlwind of changes and new beginnings along with some bittersweet endings. Overall, I’m thrilled with 2013, and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. Okay, maybe I would have drank a few less overly-sugared Starbucks beverages and a few more cups of tea, but that’s pretty minor compared to the life-changing decisions of this year.
But with the new year comes a shifted perspective, and I hope that shift makes the next year even better than this one.
As you know, I stopped eating meat this year, which I plan to continue into the new year. Additionally, I want to focus on eating clean, real foods and cutting down on processed… crap. I’m no good at this, but when I have a few weeks of eating really well, I notice amazing changes in my energy, skin and body. In 2014, I want to focus on connecting with my body and paying attention to what it really wants versus what it thinks it wants. I know I’ll slip up, I know I’ll indulge, but the true gift to myself is nurturing health from the inside out.
After how much I’ve tried over the past two years to pay down my student loans with varied success, I’ve decided to put that on the back burner. I’ll still do what I can to pay extra when possible, but it’s not going to be the main priority. There have been a few times this year when I’ve realized I’m skating a little too close to the edge. Paying as aggressively as I have leaves almost no room for error in my budget, and that causes undue stress at times when the unexpected happens. Suddenly I have to dip into my emergency fund for things that aren’t really emergencies, per se, but that really do need to be paid.
My third and possibly most challenging priority for 2014 is to work at connecting with the people around me. I often think, “Oh, I should text that old friend” or “I should really call my dad just to chat.” But then I don’t follow through. While this has, in some ways, helped me focus in on the relationships that are most healthy and valuable, it also results in regretting not keeping in touch with people about whom I do genuinely care.
So… what’s the theme for the year ahead? At the end of 2012, I did Susanah Conway’s Unravel 2013 workbook, and as I looked over what I wrote then, I realized that almost every intention I wrote down became reality. Even things I thought were just pipe dreams actually happened.
After doing the workbook for the year ahead, I decided that my word for 2014 is Connect.
I want to Connect to myself—physically, mentally, spiritually—to my job, my family, friends, community and the world in general. This year, I want to make sure I’m showing up in my life and doing the work, even if that means showing up to play time. I want to focus on being present in my day and looking at what’s in front of me–Connecting with it–instead of thinking so much about the past and future.