Okay I understand it’s now halfway through the month and y’all are probably sick of this New Year New Me crap but I really wanted to get this post up so if we could all jump in our mental time traveling machine and pretend it is like January 4th that would be great!
A quick anecdote about me: I love the New Year.
Now don’t get it twisted: I do not love New Year’s Eve. No, that holiday is underwhelming at best and only results in sore feet and glitter in places where there should never be glitter.
But I do love the New Year.
I believe there is something magical that comes with a fresh calendar. A whole twelve months that have yet to be defiled with doctor’s appointments, and exam dates, and PAY BILL OR YOU WILL BE KICKED OUT OF SCHOOL notices.
I’ve always loved the idea of a blank slate, a chance to start anew, and a time to reflect on what really matters before the Universe inevitably throws us for a loop as we recklessly spin around the sun.
If you don’t already know, the #OneWord365 movement is relatively simple. The goal is to steer away from the idea of resolutions and instead pick one word to set your intention for the year. This concept really appealed to me because it is focused on continuous growth as opposed to specific benchmarks.
But here’s the issue: I love New Year’s Resolutions!
I love goal planning and setting and tracking and re-adjusting. I will colour-code and to-do and vision board until the cows come home. (editor’s note: Where the hell did that idiom come from? Was there ever a point where we were worried about cows not coming home? I need answers!)
So I found it particularly difficult to try to find one word to be my focus for the entire year. I mean how can I possibly find a word that encompasses both my undying desire to find a skincare routine that makes me glow like J.Lo and my on-going mission to keep up an Instagram theme?
I finally decided that I wouldn’t stress and just wait until the perfect word came to me (so basically I gave up and forgot about it completely).
That was until last Tuesday.
You see I, like many others who may have ate one too many cookies over the Holidays, felt that it was important to get back into a workout routine. So I headed to the GAC to take my first Pilates class of the year.
Unlike the soccer moms with whom I took said Pilates class, I am not made of pure grit and muscle, so while they were completing their 100s effortlessly, I was flopping around like a fish out of water until I heard the instructor call out; “Engage your core! Engage!”
And then something magical happened…
Suddenly, I was able to balance and complete the reps with ease (and by ease I mean my abs were screaming in excruciating pain but I kept going.) In that moment, the act of firing up all my muscles rather than allowing them to sit passively made all the difference.
Which is why this year I plan to treat my entire life as a Pilates class. I’m gonna suck in my gut, feel burn of intention, and ENGAGE.
I define engage as that invisible spark that energizes and propels, causing you to attack life with the same conviction as the girls on The Bachelor fighting for the final rose.
Now there is no way that I am going to feel that fire in my belly every moment of everyday this year, but here is a list of a few things plan to do to bring more of engagement into my life:
1. Start listening to more audiobooks and podcasts over music
I listened to the same 50 songs over and over in 2016. I can start to feel my brain turn to mush as soon as I stick my headphones in. This year I would like to better utilize my time when I’m getting ready or walking around the neighbourhood by listening to things that educate or/and inspire me. By taking a few minutes every day to consume something that is not for a class or assignment, but rather solely for my personal development, I will hopefully feel more like a real well-rounded human being rather than a blob of information regarding passé simple and Elizabethan performance practices. (If you have any podcast/audio book recommendations please leave them in the comments.)
2. Recklessly compliment and cheer on others
I have mentioned it before but I have a horrible habit of comparing myself to others. Because of this I often assume that people who I perceive are doing better than me don’t need to be complimented. But I am also a strong believer in spreading kindness and I know in my heart of hearts that everyone could use a good ego stroke every now and again. So this year, I will be going out of my way to give compliments (to those I believe deserve it, I am still not a fan of handouts.) Whether it is the girl at the movie theatre in a cute dress, or my distant acquaintance who recently posted a bomb cover on YouTube, I am going to tell them they rock.
3. Embrace the city
Last year, one of my resolutions was to be an artsy Torontonian and I think I did a pretty good job exploring what the city has to offer. This year I want to take that resolution even further by seeing more shows, going to more art exhibits, visiting new coffee shops, attending more workshops because these are things that make my heart swell with happiness (and I could always use a little more happy heart swelling.)
4. Create more with intention
Starting this blog has been a highlight of 2016. I love that I have a place that pushes me to continuously be creative. In 2017, I would really like to focus on creating more content not only here, but also on my social media accounts (I’m particularly working on upping my Instagram profile. Please check it out as I spend way more time on it than I should admit) and other places around the Internet (side note: one of my big goals is to have my writing featured somewhere so if you know of any online magazines that need guest writers, holla at your girl.) I want to look back on 2017 and know that I put stuff out into the world that I can be proud of (also I am always looking for new blog post or video ideas so if you have any requests either leave me a comment or let me know on Twitter!)
This list is surely going to adapt and grow throughout they year but I felt like this was a good place to start firing up my glutes and engage for the next 365 days.
Here’s to a year of less mindless and more action!
À la prochaine,
N.B : Let me know that your #OneWord365 is for 2017!