It’s another year. Another opportunity for all the Re’s – Resolve, Reflect, Recommit, Reiterate, Renew, Repair, Re-do….

As another busy holiday season of family, friends, travel and logistical coordinating comes to a close, I find myself sitting with the first few moments of stillness and solitude in weeks. I’m on a plane, of course, which means I am not exactly part of a serene picture of solitude (with baby screamos left and right) but I am, at least, forced to be still. So it is here that I finally have the space to give my attention to the things that have been off in the horizon for some time. That vague awareness that the party can’t go on forever, the vacation must come to an end, and the cookies and cocktails must be put back on the “sparingly” list. Per usual, I am more than ready for the my return to home and work, and for a fresh start to the new year.

Goals can be set any time but the spark of a new year or other momentous occasion is always a nice time. It feels like we leave the past behind and start with a clean slate. Just in taking the time to write down goals, we have set the intention, probably visualized the goal (at least briefly) and perhaps come up with a rough plan to make it a reality. I think that’s what they call Manifesting your Future. We don’t need to be woo-woo about it or even ceremonial but writing down a list, conjuring up some mental pictures, is actually fun and practical – it opens up the space to dream and gives us the confidence to walk out the door tomorrow with a plan. So there’s already one thing in 2017 to pat ourselves on the back for!

Sure, it’s a little obvious to do the typical New Year’s Resolution dog and pony show, and sure, we could be anti- and just revolt against resolutions entirely …. Or, we could take just a few moments to pay attention to what we want for our ourselves and what would make us feel really good in this next year. But even with this, let’s hold ourselves with grace and a positive outlook and remember, that we can set these types of goals any ol’ time, and we can also recommit to them at any point. One step forward is still a step in the right direction, and we’re not counting steps back. And for any hiccup or detour, we come right back to where we left off because every day, every hour, every minute is a fresh new day, hour and minute to do our best.

So, without further ado, here are my 2017 Resolutions:

  1. To live a simpler, less-busy life. Too much of the last 4 years have been just trying to stay afloat. I’m tired of hearing myself answer every “how are things?” question with “just really busy.” I want a more interesting answer to that question this year. And I want to have the brain space and time to ask an interesting question back and have a meaningful conversation. This is all part of my Simpler Life Initiative that I began back in 2013 before moving to Nashville. Well, that was the goal really – do what you love for work so it’s not really work, and live in a place where you don’t have to plan your entire existence around traffic and paying rent. I am part of the way there, and being in Seattle this last week was a good reminder of the wonderful quality of life I have in Nashville, but I can still manage to get myself all stressy and distracted and worried when it doesn’t have to be that way. So my goal is to be more light-hearted about my work, to remove distractions from the time I spend with friends and loved ones so that I can be more present, to unplug more frequently from technology and social media, to relax with reading and music more than television, and to make time to count my blessings each day to keep things in perspective.
  1. To be a good leader. I am profoundly grateful for the amazing people in my life and feel that I have a great responsibility to those who work at my businesses – to make sure they know they are appreciated, to keep organization and harmony, to give them the tools that they need to do their job, and to make the work place a peaceful and comfortable place to be. One of the peace-stealers to me and the rest of the work family can be my stress or distraction, other people’s stress, or emotional reactions / chains of reactions. It is my goal to remain calm and objective when conflicts arise in 2017. This again involves slowing down, not reacting in the moment, taking the time to hear all sides of the story, consider everyone’s perspective. Finally, just taking the time to check in with people – face-to-face, “how are you?” Doing real-life relationships.
  1. To seek spiritual nourishment and community. When I neglect this part of my life, I feel it. I know the opportunity is there but I get lazy. There will always be excuses I can find, other things to do, and maybe nobody to go with me but it is my goal to make time for this area of my life and my being, even if I have to go it alone. Come warmer weather, I hope to continue my version of front-porch pickin’ and talking about life (named Porch Church), which was another nourishment to my spirit that so easily fell to the wayside when other obligations arose. We have to make time for the good things, for the spirit-deep things.
  1. To do more for my community. I got a taste of volunteering and organizing service projects in East Nashville this last year, and I am excited to do more of that in 2017. The need is great, and the people who have needs us are so very close. They are across the street and in our back yard. I hope to continue to use the resources I have to benefit the community and the people whose lives can be changed by someone taking the time … by just getting an opportunity. Maybe yoga is an opportunity to change someone’s life. We are here, let’s see who needs us, and see how we also needed them.
  1. To refine my eating habits. Sure, they’re not the worst of eating habits but they sure do swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, more often than not. I’d love to make healthy eating choices because I want to, not because I have to. Because I know, deep down in my core that I feel better and more free when I’m not eating crap. And that I don’t really love all the crap anyway. And I want the right motives. To eat good, clean food – not just for the external results but for the internal benefits. To nourish my body, to give me energy for the work I’m doing, to enjoy all the amazing culinary creations, and to commune with others. To feel like my best, most alive self.
  1. To be a great hostess. Does this one sound a little like it may have come out of 1950’s issue Home and Gardens Magazine? Well then, perfect! I am 36 years old, and I think it’s about high time I kept some iced tea in the fridge, some gin and tonic on the shelf, and some snacks to be shared when company comes calling. You couldn’t step foot in my grandma’s kitchen without being offered food and drink at least 5 times. I want to carry on that tradition, and I would love in 2017 to create a space in my home to host friends and folks who stop by or who come from far and wide to visit Nashville. I want to be ready to host!

That’s all for now! Maybe more will come, and I’ll add them to the list. Because we can do that. Now tell me what your resolutions are!