Full Steam Ahead

Now, I know that many of you are probably not resolutions people, especially at this time of the year, when your New Year’s resolutions may or may not have fallen by the wayside. Personally though, I love them! I like having goals to achieve and I think they keep me from getting too complacent. Yes, they do tend to give me some guilt if I fall off the wagon, but that helps me get back on and achieve whatever it is I’m hoping to accomplish! In fact, I don’t just do the New Year’s resolutions thing, but I also make birthday goals! And, I like birthday goals even more than New Year’s resolutions, because well, let’s be honest, I just love birthdays! And birthday goals are so personal. They’re not just the typical follow-the-crowd New Year’s “well, better start going to the gym so I’m not the only one fat one left in the office.” It’s your own special day to think about yourself, your own past year and what you need to do to go forward in a productive, happy way. Plus, I think it’s hard to start achieving big things in the middle of winter. The cold, gray days just make me so tired! The beginning of spring, on the other hand, is the time to rub the sand out of your eyes and say a big fat HELLO to the newly awakened world!

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Tulip magnolias (I think) in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.

For example, on my golden birthday (when I turned 28 on March 28!), my birthday goal was to start taking guitar lessons. I did take lessons, but admittedly, they didn’t work out and I still don’t know how to play guitar. But I tried! Confession: I’m incredibly good at diving into new experiences and trying to learn new things. What I struggle with is remaining interested in things long term. You could say I have hobby-ADD. So many interests, so little time! But I digress.

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Happy Birthday to me! Hehe.

This year is a little bit different though, because I went so overboard on my New Year’s resolutions. I was feeling so ambitious and made so many! I’ve done a pretty great job of sticking with most of them so far, though there are a few exceptions that I still need to work on at some point this year (learning to crochet, getting back into Rosetta Stone Spanish and putting money into savings wah wah). Anyway, so my birthday goals are a little less specific than usual. Usually, I make some travel goals, fitness goals, etc. but I’m already doing about as much exercise as I have time for, and have been a busy bee planning some upcoming trips. This year, I would simply (or not so simply) like to do two things:

  1. Put forth more kindness into the world. (Full disclosure, this does not include when I am on the metro or in the metro station. I do not have nearly enough patience to be kind to tourists on the wrong side of the escalator or people blocking the whole way with strollers. I wish I could get less annoyed, but it’s just not going to happen). I know this is vague, but I would just like to show more kindness and thoughtfulness to friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, and even my own inner-self. I feel like I can be too critical sometimes, including critical of myself, and I’d like to try and balance this out by putting more kindness out there instead.
  1. I feel like right now in life, I’m preparing for something. I’m learning to rock climb, doing yoga, taking an improv class, taking a photography class…. Just all around becoming what I would consider a more interesting version of myself. The purpose of course is the pursuit of happiness. But I also have this feeling deep down that I’m getting ready for something. No idea what that might be, but it’s a strange feeling that I haven’t been able to shake. A new opportunity, a new phase of life, a new love, I honestly don’t know. But anyway, the goal here isn’t to figure out what that is, because I feel like whatever the universe is throwing at me will appear in good time, but rather to keep on track and keep learning and exploring these aspects of myself, and to keep self-improving. It’s pretty amazing how much I have learned and accomplished in the last three months, and it really has been adding to my happiness level and my self-confidence, so my second birthday goal is to just keep on trucking and keep it up!
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The many flowering trees of Lincoln Park.

Side note, I received a new pair of hiking boots, water bottle and an America the Beautiful national parks pass as gifts from my family this year. I feel like this bodes incredibly well for a positive and happy year of exploring ahead! 31 was an okay year – I did some awesome things, but there were some pretty significant bumps in the road as well. Here’s to hoping 32 is more of an experiencing year instead of a life-lessons year. The emotional part of my brain could use the break! 😉

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So many adventures to be had!

How about you, my friends? Do you make birthday goals? And by the way, happy spring!!

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