Tuesday, January 22, 2013

...new year...new age...new blog

They say that if you can consistently complete a task for a whole month, you’ve created a habit for life. Clearly “they” have never met me. I managed to blog every day for the entire month of October and effectively fall off the face of the blogosphere for most of November and all of December. Now, twenty-two days into a new year, I’m attempting a revival. Time to get back into blogging and attempted entertainment. I can’t promise how often I’ll be able to jump on here or how entertaining it will be, but have no fear…an effort will be made.

So with a new year comes a host of resolutions from individuals around the world. Time magazine lists the top ten broken New Year’s resolutions as: lose weight and get fit, quit smoking, learning something new, eat healthier and diet, get out of debt and save money, spend more time with family, travel to new places, be less stressed, volunteer, and drink less. Now that we’ve 2/3 of the way through January and 2/3 of the people who made resolutions for 2013 have a success rate of far less than 66% (or 2/3 in fraction world…see what I did there? =) I figured it was time for my annual reflection on life. January is a double whammy for me…new year on the 1st and another year older on the 12th. Lots of opportunity for reflection. Yes, I know I’m only 29, but with each year older I get, the more reflective I get, and the more I realize how little I actually know.

A couple of years ago I started making New Year’s resolutions. After a few years of failed resolutions halfway through the year (ok, I lied…it was more like the end of January or February) I changed my thinking. Instead of resolutions that make you feel like a failure, I started making goals to work on throughout the year or longer if necessary. If you caught my goal progress report blog from last October, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

2012 goals were: No pop until May 5, run a half marathon, kiss someone who is worth it, give people the benefit of the doubt, get together with Amy once a month, don’t take things personally, let go of anger, use struggles/obstacles as positives and not negatives, look for the good/seek to understand/be gentle, go to a Packers game, write 3 pieces of music, see a Broadway show, read a book a month, write down my thoughts more often, electronic detox once a month, eat more fruit, finish 2012 without credit card debt, be a good listener, play more piano.

Looking back, that was quite an ambitious list of goals for myself. Some of the goals (see a Broadway show) I knocked out of the park. Others were modified (run a half marathon? I did a 5k, 8k, 15k, and triathlon but wasn’t able to get that half done. September 2013 will hopefully check that off my list). And others just didn’t happen this year (no Packers game for me…and those three piece of music are still floating in my head). But looking back over 2012 I can honestly say that even though I wasn’t able to “check off” all of my goals, I experience more new things and learned more about myself, relationships, men, and life in general than I ever anticipated.

Before the New Year started I was chatting with one of my good friends about what we wanted to change in the new year, our resolutions (or goals if you will). After quite the wild ride of a year (laughter, tears, adventure, discovery, change, etc.), I decided that I was going to simplify my goals for 2013 down to only one goal and two words:
I want to live a life where if someone asks me, “How are you?” I can reply with “I’m happy.” Well jeez Andrea, how do you just be happy? You can’t just press a button and have a life that you’re happy with. It’s not that easy. Correct as usual King Friday! (10 points to whoever can name the show that comes from…Your hint? I hear it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…) It’s a great opportunity to actually stop and think about what it is that makes you happy. Here’s what makes me happy:

 - Enjoying the little things.
 - Feeling confident about myself.
 - Having a job that doesn't feel like work.
 - Loving people.

Four things. I can keep four things in check on the happiness meter, right? It might be harder than you think. I’m finding that each one of those four things comes with lots of subcategories. But stay tuned! I’ll tell you all about them, and what I’m doing to maintain “be happy.” I can only imagine that I’m in for another roller-coaster of a ride. 2013 for the win…