2013 has been nothing short of surprising. Recently, I lost my job. And for a historically type-A-control-freak-planner-extrordinnaire, this normally would have caused major issues (enter the mental breakdown). But it’s been the most refreshing learning experience of my life. Unfortunately, in our society, we move at a lightning speed pace everyday and rarely can catch a break to pause, reflect, and look inward. Thus, I am beyond grateful that I have been granted the opportunity to press the pause button.
Pressing pause inspired me to book a trip to SE Asia and satisfy my unwavering desire to travel the world. Traveling through Thailand and Cambodia opened up my eyes and my heart to more than I could have ever imagined. It allowed me to gain perspective during a time of uncertainty and also endless opportunity.
I traveled with two girlfriends, old co-workers who also lost their jobs, and it wasn’t too long before we discovered we share very similar personalities. Thus, the trip evolved from a “vacation” to an eat-pray-love-style working introspection, if you will, filled with conversations about ourselves, our lives, and our next steps. During our many discussions, we started to share a working list with each other of our non-negotiables for our return back home. Changes (big or small) that we must implement. And how timely that we formalize these lists as we embark on a new year.
I’ve never been a huge fan of New Years resolutions so I appreciated this article I came across yesterday that described a refreshing spin on traditional resolutions and challenged readers to instead adopt New Years themes. Rather than a concrete behavior, a theme should be a word that resonates with you and embodies something you have been missing. Instead of defining specific behaviors you want to practice, you simply keep your theme in mind and allow your days to unfold from there.
My New Years Themes (and non-negotiables):
- Meditate more. Sign up for a yoga retreat. Practice rose, bud, thorn daily.
- Spend more time with friends. Cook at home more. Travel.
- Read more, watch less TV. Learn a new craft. Self-teach Buddhism practices.
Life begins where your comfort zone ends. How will you step outside your comfort zone in 2014? What are your New Years Themes?
Wishing everyone the happiest New Year and much joy and adventure in the upcoming year. Cheers, friends!