Last year, I abandoned New Year’s resolutions in favor of a guiding principle. The only thing resolutions ever made me do was feel guilty when I didn’t stick with them. Spend less money! Exercise three times a week! Go to bed earlier! OY! Basically, the surest way for me NOT to do something, is to resolve to do it. I love the idea of a word for the year — and in fact, we ask guests at our Winter Solstice celebration to share their word on a giant canvas that we hang in our home for the following year — but for me, I need more direction. Last year’s guiding principle was SAY NO TO SAY YES, and while I didn’t chant it like a mantra every day, I do think I lived by it. I said no to projects in favor of keeping my schedule manageable and staying (relatively) sane. I said no to social engagements in order to rest and spend time at home. I said no to self-imposed tasks and deadlines and said yes to hosting friends in an imperfect house. I said no to guilt about saying no, in order to feel wholly present in what I was saying yes to. The guiding principle thing worked for me, so I’m doing it again this year.
For 2019, my guiding principle is CONNECT MORE DEEPLY TO NATURE. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m going to spend three months off the grid, or only eat what I grow (laudable goals, but just not for me). What it does mean is grounding myself in the natural world. Taking time to prepare food. Drinking water. Going to bed with the moon and waking up with the sun. Walking. Slowing down. Being aware of the ground I’m standing on and the air I’m breathing. Wondering. Exchanging late-night Facebooking and ‘gramming for a good book. Listening. And yes, spending some amount of time outside every day.
It’s going to be a good year.