I’ve been thinking long and hard about my resolutions for 2017, because I want to have them written down somewhere for all to see. It keeps me accountable. It motivates me. It encourages me. I wanted to be able to bundle them up in a neat little package like I did my past resolutions, with another catchy moniker like “Be Better 2016.” The problem was that none of them really felt related to a common goal; they were just a bunch of little things and not-so-little things I wanted to achieve in the coming year.
And then, in what can only be divine intervention, I saw today’s daily prompt. Renewal. What a fascinating idea. I love words that have multiple definitions because I like overlap; renewal has three different yet somehow related definitions. You can extend a license or contract; you can resume an activity or state of being after an interruption; you can repair something that is worn down. In 2017, I’m going to focus on the last one, but also the middle one a bit.
I will take care of myself, both physically and mentally. I’m bad about stretching myself too thin. My diet is still not great. My mental health is ever-fluctuating. I have apparently forgotten how to sleep. My exercise levels are laughable: sometimes I’ll work out five days a week, and other times I’ll go three weeks without entering the gym. I want balance, but I’m terrible at allowing myself to have it. In 2017, I’m going to allow (and sometimes force) myself to have it. I’m going to start saying no, even though it’s hard–you can’t fill someone’s cup if your pitcher is empty. I’m going to eat better, even though it’s a bit more expensive and kind of exhausting and not always great. I’m going to sleep better, even if that means I finally drag myself to the doctor and get a prescription. I’m going to go to the gym regularly, even though my life is exhausting enough without any extra activity. I’m going to treat myself kindly, even though sometimes it’s hard. I’m going to put myself first for once, because that’s the only way I can truly help others. I want to renew myself.
I will breathe life into others. I want to donate money to worthy causes–I’m still trying to figure out which causes (especially how many because I have no self-control and want to give all my money away to all the people) and how much I can afford to give, but I’m going to do my part to help others I cannot reach. I want to volunteer more: I love HOBY and ASLFL with all my heart, but this year I want to give my time to others as well. Again, still not certain on specifics, but I’m confident I can find some worthy ways to spend my time. I want to be more conscious of my thoughts, words, and actions, especially in regards to how they impact others. I want to build people up instead of tearing them down. I want to support others with what I say and what I do. I want to shine a light on the wrongs of the world and help find solutions. I do not want to speak over anyone, but rather stand beside them and do my part to let them be heard. I want to renew those around me.
I will be a light. I want to use my voice and my privilege for good. I want to change the world; I’m still trying to figure out exactly how to do that, but I’m going to start small. I’m going to radiate love. I’m going to speak kindly of others. I’m going to be a positive person. I’m going to be hopeful, to encourage others to be hopeful. I’m going to do my part to help others see their potential–then I’m going to help them reach it and maximize it. I just want to be a good person. I want to heal the people and things that bad people have broken. I want to renew the world, to leave it a little better than I found it.
Miscellaneous. I want to keep having adventures; in 2017, I want to go somewhere I’ve never been before, like I’ve done every year since 2012. I want to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter I’ve accumulated in the past 24 years. I want to not freak out about turning 25. I want to read more books. I want to write my own, or at least get close. I want to expand my horizons. I want to continue learning. I want to write better, to learn to draw, to embrace all my ecstatic impulses. I want to take more pictures. I want to be more present in my own life. I want to make new friends. I want to strengthen the bonds I already have. I want to live each day like it’s a celebration. I want another tattoo. I want to look back on 2017 the same way I look back on 2012 and 2015. I want to have some permanence. I want to prepare to become a foster parent. I want to be content. I want to be a revolutionary.
I want to be renewed.