At the beginning of each year, I spend a few days thinking about the areas of my life I’d like to grow in and the new things I’d love to try before the year is out. In an attempt to streamline things a bit, this year’s list is significantly shorter than lists from previous years. Here’s a look at my goals for 2016…
1. Watch my words
Our words are powerful. We can choose to use them to build others up or tear others down. Last spring, I picked up Karen Ehman’s life-changing book, Keep it Shut: What to Say, When to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All and finished it in less than a week.
The chapters on gossip (what it is and what it isn’t), being a better listener, and controlling your digital tongue really convicted me. It challenged me to make an effort to listen to others when they’re speaking without interrupting (difficult for me as I can be a bit of a talker, but working on it), recognize when to speak up and when to remain silent, and think carefully before I post (or leave a comment) on social media.
2. Practice being content in every situation
When hard times come (and they will), it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for ourselves. Life is filled with ups and downs, highs and lows. In 2015, I learned what it truly means to be content in good times and especially in bad times. Trials teach us how to be patient and persevere and equip us with the necessary experience to comfort and encourage others when they’re going through tough times.
3. Read more good books
Last year, I rediscovered my love of reading. Once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop and I ended up reading 57 books in 2015. Thanks to the MMD 2015 reading challenge, I had access to book recommendations from fellow book lovers. We shared books we read and loved (or hated) and this made deciding which books to read and which ones to skip that much easier. The challenge categories also pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and read books I wouldn’t normally give the time of day.
For 2016, I plan on reading 100 books. Once again, I’ve joined the MMD 2016 reading challenge and I’m loving the new categories like ‘a book published before you were born’, ‘a book that was banned at some point’, and ‘a book that intimidates you’.
4. Stay active in every season (not just when the weather permits)
In January 2015, I promised myself I would start going back to ballet. While I got over my fear and started dancing again, I didn’t go as often as I would have liked. In the winter, I would complain about the cold and use it as an excuse not to leave my apartment.
This year, I plan on going to class at least 3 times a week, no matter the weather. I went ice skating on New Year’s Eve (I hadn’t gone in two years!) and I had such a blast. I’ll definitely be incorporating it into my winter fitness routine.
5. Take mini trips throughout the year
After my spontaneous trip to New York for Christmas vacation, I’ve caught the travel bug. I’m already making a list of possible vacation destinations within Canada and overseas. A ski weekend at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Collingwood and a long-overdue trip to Vancouver in the summer top the list.
What are your goals for 2016? I’d love to hear in comments.
(Photo of gigantic Christmas lights snapped while exploring NYC over the holidays.)