Every year, around this time in January, I like to devote my energy and focus to evaluation. What happened last year, what was good, what was bad, what needs to change, what doesn’t? January offers us a pause between the nonstop pace of the holiday season and anything that’s yet to come in the new year. It’s a blank slate. Life feels new again, and full of possibility. It’s refreshing to think about, isn’t it?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the past year of my life. One quirk of adulthood no one ever talks about is that there always seems to be one part of your life that reduces you to a pile of emotions, no matter how well everything else is going. On the other hand, there’s always one thing in life that’s so great and wonderful, it makes the terrible/painful/blah worth it. Luckily, I’m in the former boat. For the first time in my adult life, things are going the way they should be. I am more confident in my skills, my relationships, and myself than I have ever been, and finally the things that have burdened me so in the past seem to be less weighty or not problems at all.
Vague enough for you?
Anyway, there are so many things I want to improve upon in the coming year, which should be no surprise to you if you’ve been reading my blog for some time. Self-improvement is pretty much the name of my game.
My 2014 goals focused on specific things I wanted to get better at, or things I feel like I needed to fix in a larger sense in my life. Some of those goals came naturally and easily, and are still things I like to work on to this day. Be More Fancy is still one of my favorite projects that’s come from a resolution. I’m also happy to report that I continue to venture into the world of salmon, because it’s delicious and it’s good for me, too. But some other goals, like setting a new powerlifting total, made me think once I’d gotten there or was struggling to get there (see: get fit, in general). I lacked the energy and resolve to continue on the path for longer than a few weeks or months. The drive just wasn’t there. In short, I know now that this is due to some of my personality traits, but also has a lot to do with the fact that I haven’t been considering the why part of my goals.
In addition to the great amounts of research I’ve been doing on personality, motivation, and goal-setting, I’m about to delve into The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. The premise of the book is that we should focus not on what we want to accomplish, but how we want to feel. If the process sucks, why bother with the goal? If the end result isn’t the feeling we wanted, why push?
I love this concept. Love.
While I have yet to map out my core desired feelings and work through Danielle’s book, I do know the main thing I need to focus on for 2015. It’s simple, almost laughably so. It’s my very own happiness.
I’ll detail more about this to come, but I plan to undertake some projects and focus on some things that, quite simply, make me feel happier. It’s not that I am unhappy—not by any means—but that I want to shift my focus from things I don’t truly enjoy, activities that drain me, and habits that are a waste of my time to things that make me feel good.