A new year. Resolutions. Like a jump start to a car or a kick onto the stage, the first day of January always brings the perfect opportunity for us to reassess. More symbolic, meaningful and weighty than trying to enforce the same change at any other less potent point in the year, New Year is the perfect time to make some resolutions.
So what are yours? Lose weight? Save money? Travel more, spend less, work out more, eat less. Change yourself. Do different things. Be someone new. It'll stick, because it's a new year.
Realistically, these types of resolutions will last a month for most of us, and a few more for those with serious will power. Respect to those people who make it through to December 31st, but I'm not one of those people. I don't commit to making resolutions because I know I'm likely to break them, and the ones I do keep get made on a different day. Like joining a gym again - something I did in November 2011 and still feel much better paying for it and getting the variety, versatility and social opportunities (going to a gym class is much more fun if your housemates go too) than saving the money and having to psych myself up to bore myself silly jogging for half an hour every other day.
But I digress. The key to keeping a good resolution is to do things that you naturally want to do, that will help give you the results you want as well as the enjoyment you're already getting from it.
This version of me that I use as the life force of this blog has only been in existence for around ten years or so. Before that, a version of me almost entirely contrary to this version existed. Instead of neatly shined shoes, perfectly applied makeup, styled hair, carefully chosen outfit, I'd put on whatever old clothes my mum had handed down to me, along with a pair of battered muddy boots, head out and walk for hours through woods, forests and fields, making up stories and thinking of ideas. Years and years later, I've stayed in my tiny cramped basement flat for so long because it's close to wild wooded green space while still being an easy commute to work and the shops. I've had many pairs of shoes, but there are few I've loved more than the ones I've had adventures in. Found new views, seen the way light hits trees in autumn and differently in the spring. Discovered new paths and thought of new ideas and found, ultimately, peace. The kind of peace that people look for in all kinds of places, be they churches or temples, libraries, quiet places. On runs, over coffee with friends, looking at art or listening to music.
So my resolution, and my suggestion for you, is this: find your favourite pair of adventuring shoes, lace them tight, put on your comfiest coat and your muddy jeans, and go exploring. Whether the outfit I've described is a literal description or you use it as a metaphor doesn't matter - do more of the thing that brings you peace, enriches you, makes your heart soar and brings you inspiration.