Now that the New Year is here chances are good that your content consumption method of choice is filled with all sorts of talk about making 2016 the Best Year Ever!!!!!
There is something to be said for pushing towards being a better and better person: always learning, becoming more compassionate and aware, those sorts of things. Often, though, all that new years optimism is served with a big side of self loathing.
Loose weight by cutting everything you derive joy from out of your diet!
Develop a sense of guilt around your creative impulses and become more disciplined.
Use all your energy cleaning up after your kids, so that you don't have anything left to share with anyone else but BOY your house looks great! (side note: can we all collectively just say that we don't expect people with small kids to have clean houses. I mean, GREAT to those that can pull it off, but as far as I'm concerned if your kid is alive, well fed, and relatively clean you're doing great. Get some sleep.)
It's wonderful that we all want to aspire to something, and goals are an important part of moving towards who we ultimately want to be, but do you ever wonder how much of all of that is something you actually want, and how much of it is something you THINK you should want.
***Cue Flashback Music Here***
Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I can't recall which year exactly, I was in mourning over the reality that I will never be a yoga teacher with a dancer body and white couch that stays white. I was convinced that my clutter-y-ness, my tendency to get distracted, my love of eating ketchup, was all getting in the way of being "who I really wanted to be", which is messed up if you really think about it. Like, did I really feel like REAL, unconventional, artistic, totally awesome ME was getting in the way of being a Stepford wife, yoga edition?
Real me was the little girl that used to cry and sit on my stuffed animal mountain whenever my parents hinted that it was time to prune them back. I am capable of sentimentalizing large swathes of stuff. I am also a creative non-linear person with a book addiction and a tendency to walk away from projects in the middle of them. I usually have multiple things going on at the same time, despite the fact that I can't multi-task worth a damn. Most importantly, I am a person that values passion over contentment. Give me hot and heavy over just plain happy any day. I will probably never be the type A super organizer, but I will be the friend that talks you into doing something wicked fun even though you've almost convinced yourself that you're too old for such things.
So the moral of all that is that yes, my life benefits from a certain amount of cultivation, just not bonsai levels.
Instead of trying to be someone I'm not, this last year I started to approach who I am with a spirit of curiosity (probably because 2015 has been a year of crazy, frantic change.) I learned that I can, in fact, wake up at 7:30 and like it. I even have a morning ritual. I've learned that I can keep the apartment fairly clean. Currently I'm testing the waters to see if I can keep a planner effectively. I'm on day three and actually putting this out on time so...... so far so good.
Bringing curiosity into the process of setting goals makes it about self exploration instead of massive personality reconstruction.
So my message to you, foxy internet friends, is who you are is wonderful already. You're going to change in a myriad of small and large ways over the next year no matter what, so why try to force it? You may find that there are latent parts of who you are already that will help you achieve those big, juicy goals.
Let me know what you're dreaming in the comments, and the habits you're creating now to get you there.