“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize that in life, they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation… I am driven by two main philosophies: know more about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” –Neil deGrasse Tyson
I’ve never really been one for New Years resolutions. To me, resolutions seemed pointless. If you really wanted to change something in your life, you’d just do it, right? What I never really realized is that it gives you a definitive point at which to start, and a way to measure a year later. When I was asked to do New Years resolutions with my students, however, it really got me thinking about my own resolutions and goals for the year. What kinds of things did I want to accomplish this year? While my students came up with things such as, “write a new song,” “have biggest party,” and “work harder,” here is what I came up with as my list of new years resolutions:
This year I will learn how to drive stick shift (hopefully the teacher at my school will be willing to give me some more lessons…)
I will travel to at least 5 new countries.
I will run a half-marathon (an iffy goal, but I’ve started running again and there’s one in March…)
I will cook more and eat healthier.
I will not count down, whether that be coming home or going somewhere else. Counting down prevents me from making the most of the present, so I will focus my energy on living in the present.
I will try to learn a new language.
I will be curious and try to learn other skills and stories from the people I meet, especially when they offer to teach me something.
I will seek out new things and have new adventures in order to stay curious and stay inspired.
I will keep up with my blog, even after coming home.
I will spend less time on the internet and read more books.
I will make an effort to recognize and do what makes ME happy.
My final and biggest resolution is to be trusting and nice to those who I meet. I’ve always been a bit of a closed-off, quiet person, but this year I am going to put forth every effort to trust and help others because I would rather have bad experiences with some people than miss out on getting to know a great person.
This year my big focus will be on finding what makes me happy and where I feel I fit in the world, thus the quote at the top. This quote really moved me, and I feel like it definitely emphasizes my goals for the future and philosophy of life, as much as I wanted to put up that Neil Gaiman quote I love so much. 2012 was definitely SUCH a great year and a year to remember. I met some great people, had some awesome experiences, and made lifelong friends, and this goes for the WHOLE year, January-December. I am so excited to make this year as great as last year!
Here is a link to a lecture on ted.com that talks about adventures and the importance of stepping outside of our comfort zones and exploring. It was really interesting, and definitely inspired me!
French word of the day: les trèfles. It means both shamrocks, and clubs (as in the suit of cards).