This is the first year I haven't written resolutions. Instead, I'm working on my 18 in 2018 list, as suggested on the Happier podcast. It includes everything from the mundane (I have "moisturize" on my list - seriously) to the more adventurous ("Take the kids to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular" and "Plan two vacations"). And I have selected my word for the year: Delight. That's how I'm setting out to make 2018 my best year yet.
For many years I labored under the assumption that when I finally got into the routine of setting my clothes out the night before, exercising regularly, eating healthfully, keeping up on laundry, making my bed daily, and journaling nightly, I would be happy and life would be perfect.
Now I know better. I know there are always areas where I need additional work, and also always areas where I've got things pretty well in place. And those areas will change all the time. I know there is no such thing as perfect, now matter how many women's magazines seem to want to convince me that if I just get organized/plan my menus/change my diet, everything will fall into place. And I know that happiness is an inside job, not based on external factors like the size of my bank account, my closet or my waist.
Life is messy, full of ups and downs and twists and turns. I will make mistakes. And I will remind myself I always have the choice to begin again. This is a lesson I've really internalized from my morning meditation using the Calm app. Mind wandering? Come back to the breath. It's that simple. No need to beat yourself up or analyze. Just come back. Begin again.
Speaking of meditation, I had a really good habit of meditating almost every weekday in 2017 until August.
On September 1, I began again, and in 4 months missed only 4 weekdays.
In 2017 I had a terrific morning-and-evening journaling habit from January till August (what is it about August?) - and then it faded over the remaining months and I didn't journal at all in December. Not coincidentally, my overall happiness declined. I'm much happier when I'm living purposefully and taking time to reflect.
On January 1, 2018, I began my journaling habit again.
I started this blog in 2015, wrote a few posts, and gave up. I wrote a post in January 2017, convinced I was ready. Then I didn't write again for over a month.
I began again in February and am coming up on my 100th post.
It's easier to keep a habit than to restart a habit.
It's hard to begin again.
But it's never too late.
Photo by Kolleen Gladden on Unsplash