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Today’s ‘365 days of writing’ prompt:

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

I, like most other people, am not very good about keeping New Year’s resolutions. I assume other people aren’t anyways. More power to you if you stick with them. For me, resolutions followed the same trajectory as all of my diaries. At the beginning, I was incredibly excited about the prospect of starting something new, a fun project that would require commitment and creativity. I’d spend hours perusing the blank books at Barnes and Noble, trying to imagine myself writing in them in a coffee shop or next to a river. Or something. And for a while I would stick with it. Entries every day. Lots of detail. Poetry. Deep feelings. Etc.

But then I would get bored or feel like a failure if I went awhile without writing or didn’t have anything to say. And inevitably, the pile of half-full (or quarter-full, if we’re being honest) diaries continued to grow over the years.

Last year was different, though. Instead of coming with up incredibly specific goals that I would inevitably grow bored with or end up failing to complete, I thought of ways I wanted to live my life differently. Overall changes that wouldn’t be negated if I messed them up a few times. And, in review, I think I did pretty well. Here’s what I came up with a year ago:

  • People come first.
  • Don’t sweat the small things
  • Don’t be afraid to be selfish, but always try to be selfless
  • Save time for exercise because it makes you happy and healthy, not because you need to lose weight
  • Eat real food
  • Nourish your body, mind, and soul
  • Take the time to read for fun
  • Life is too short to be stressed
  • Always say yes to adventure
  • Love others, love yourself, and always love deeply

This year’s batch of changes were a bit more quantifiable (ex: making a new, deliberate dish a week and reading at least a book a month). I’ve already gone to town making some new dishes, but more of that later. And I finished a wonderful book called The Blind Man’s Garden. BUT I finished that on December 30th. So I guess it doesn’t count towards January’s books.

It is so interesting to me to see what my priorities were back then and think about the things I was going through that brought these things to the forefront. And I have done well. I am still working, still better-ing. But living thoughtfully is always a process. I don’t think you can ever reach a point where you are the “best” possible version of yourself. And even if you do get to that point, then it is time to start prioritizing others. So there is always something to do, to change.

Never discourage anyone who makes progress, no matter how slow. ~ Plato

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