January 1st is an arbitrary time to begin anew.
Happy New Year to all – at this arbitrary spot in Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
~Neil deGrasse Tyson tweets
But I still like New Year because of the historical tradition to start fresh in January. Plus, coming right after the hustle-bustle of the holidays is good timing. When the new year rolls around, I’m usually ready for it. Ready to halt and then breathe.
This year has started out slow.
But any time, any month, any week, any day is a good time to steer yourself in a different direction.
I haven’t had much success with single new year’s resolutions in the past. I’ve come to know myself well enough to know that I rarely follow through with succinct goals. I’m better at general “vibey” goals, made up of multiple activities. I’d rather focus on trying to shift my mindset to get closer to being the person I want to be.
In the past, moodboards, pinterest boards, and slideshow screensavers of inspiring photos have helped steer me in the direction of who I want to be. This year, when thinking about my new year’s “resolutions”, I considered what seems missing? What area of my life feels like it could be stronger?
The idea of having a “one little word” for the year is one that resonates with me. (I first learned about this concept in the scrapbooking community.) In previous years, I’ve chosen words. But I didn’t actually do much with these words each year; I only remember these because I had them engraved on a ring.
2016 & 2017: I never chose words
This year, I didn’t plan on choosing a word. It came out of trying to wrap my arms around the general new-years-y vibes I was feeling at the end of December.
I chose care.
I’m not planning any elaborate activities or goals based around this word. Again, it’s just a general vibe and path I’d like to steer myself on to. Become more caring. When I have a choice, choose to care.
Care encompasses many areas of my life. It means self-care, home care, earth care, caring about relationships, caring about my body, about my possessions, about how I present myself to the world, caring through sharing, caring enough to research more, and caring about my art and creative work. Mostly, I’d say care = self love. But going further than just “take baths and do yoga”, it’s about respecting my talent and working harder to access the greatness I know I possess and can achieve.
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
So far this year, these are some things that have sparked my interest and helped me act more from a place of caring:
- insights from a self-knowledgeable human: reading this book by Jewel Kilcher
- daily(-ish) movement: TRUE 30 days of yoga with Adriene
- pep talks for my work: listening to the entire backlog of Dangerous Ideas by James Victore as a patron on Patreon
- reminders of a higher mindset: Christina Sutra’s stories on instagram and on youtube
- eat whole foods: The How Not to Die Cookbook
- just put in the work: The War of Art and Turning Pro
- staying curious and researching: Austin Kleon is constantly learning and sharing
You can boil down all interactions to two categories: ones that grow love and ones that diminish it. Choose love.