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It’s hard to believe we just rang in the year 2014! Social media reminds me almost daily that all the fads from my youth are extinct, N’Sync broke up over a decade ago, and kids born in 2000 are going into high school. High school!

Each new year I contemplate the changes and constants of the previous year. And each new year I am surprised by both but 2013 was the most surprising year yet. The first 6 months were miserable, difficult, defeating, one of the lowest times of my life. The second half of the year was joyful, life-giving, empowering, and one of the highest times of my life as I started to climb out of the pit I dug for myself. So much changed that, last year at this time, I would have never guessed what my life would be like now. But it’s beautiful.

So, riding that wave of positivity, hope, and light, I resolve to make 2014 my year…starting with the oh-so-cliche new year’s resolutions!

I failed pretty miserably at last year’s resolutions, but, to be fair, they didn’t have much of a basis in reality. For starters, I was going to learn Spanish. Nevermind the facts I had no money for a class and Spanish wasn’t something I was forced to use in every day circumstances. I joined a website to learn Spanish online but the lack of actual conversation with an actual flesh and blood individual left me hopeless in the endeavor.

Then I was going to read every David James Duncan book. I did read a couple but for one reason or another kept getting distracted by other books and/or projects. I did, however, read the entire Harry Potter series for the first time and it changed my life so that has to count for something (even though I was about 15 years late)!

I also endeavored to “work out” three days a week. I purposefully left the term pretty vague just in case I couldn’t run three days a week or make it to a gym. Therefore, surprise surprise, I ended the year the heaviest I’ve ever been. Oh irony, you slay me!

So this year I am implementing goals that I can actually achieve and working on things that I am already striving toward.

1. Health, health, happiness. For starters, I want to get healthier. I drink too much and exercise too little. It’s weird because I didn’t drink that much after I turned 21 but turning 24 was like, “Boom! I’m gonna buy a drink wherever I can buy a drink simply because I can buy a drink.” I miss feeling healthier and more energetic, two things I felt in spades when I drank less and was more active. So this year I want to hike more, bike more, yoga more, walk more, kayak more and resist that craft beer or bottle of wine more.

I also want to cook more. I love cooking and find that I spend less money and eat healthier food when I cook for myself. And cooking leads to community dinners which leads to joy and laughter and who doesn’t want more of that in their life?

Being healthier also includes mental, spiritual, and emotional health. I was much healthier mentally in the last six months than I’ve ever been and I intend to keep that up. Counseling, journaling, women’s group-ing, church-ing, conversing, meditating…I’m keeping up with all of it and then some. A friend recently told me that she takes retreat days from time to time to treat herself and take care of herself. What a lovely idea.

2. Clean it up. I also want to swear less (you’re welcome mom!). While I do feel like a perfectly placed cuss word can go a long way in certain situations, I realize I am over-salting my language and would do well to cut back majorly. When it comes to the point where you are offended by your own language, there’s a problem.

3. The friendliest ghost. I also want to work on friendships, near and far, this year. As any and all of my friends can attest to (especially the long distance ones) I am THE WORST person to keep in touch with. I’m awful at returning calls, initiating calls, making plans, etc. (I am beast at writing letters and cards though so I’ll put that feather in my cap). So this year I am going to invite friends over for dinner more often, call more often, plan trips more often and be there for the people I deeply care about.

I’m so excited for another year of life and love! With my 25th birthday right around the corner (January 16th) I look forward to making it the best year so far! Cheers!