It was as if the universe conspired around me, neglected to check in on how I felt about things, and deemed 2014 the year of change. Indeed, it was a theme that carried through every single month of the year, beginning with my decision to become a runner on December 26, 2013. That one choice set the wheels in motion, and the following 12 months followed suit. It didn't take long for me to realize the trend and reach out to embrace it with both arms and let the rest of 2014 be full of steps, decisions, and moves that led to me being a significantly different person than I was when I closed out 2013.
I quit smoking. I became a runner. I became a morning person, at least as much as an insomniac can. I recommitted to my yoga practice. I traveled a tad. I hiked more. I dated again. A few times. I stopped dating when I should have (proof that I learned a lesson seven years in the making). I moved. I got a new car. I thought about changing jobs and got a promotion instead. I raced. I ran a half marathon months before I thought I could even consider it. I cut ties with toxicity and embraced the knowledge that I was becoming an introvert. All of this happened throughout one year. I changed. My life changed.
I couldn't have planned it all if I tried.
That said, I'm taking a different approach to 2015 and I really hope the universe doesn't mind my more active role in deciding on a theme for this year. I am not one for resolutions — I don't believe real change can be made with simply a sweeping declaration and crossed fingers. I believe in goals. I respond to and succeed in the presence of goals. So I'm sure it comes as a surprise to no one that I make a list of goals each year, and then make a monthly goal list as well. The latter involves month-specific things, and also measurable tasks that help me meet everything on the former list.
My goal list for 2015 has 22 items. January's has 15.
And while some of these goals are things to check off just to keep me on track — financial goals, savings bench marks, book lists, mileage marks — the rest have very easily opened my eyes to what I want the theme of 2015 to be. The thing is, I didn't sit down and sort through a list of nouns and verbs to come up with a term to live by in the new year. But all the little things I decided on created for me a very clear picture of how I want to remember this year: As the year of adventuring, exploring, and experiencing.
I want to go someplace I've never been or see something I've never seen every single month. I want to work on my bucket list goals of seeing every state (12/50 down) and running a race in all 48 in the continental U.S. I want to visit friends who don't live nearby. I want to stop saying "I want to" and start saying "I am," "I did," or "I'm going to." I want to find myself in places where I'm actually able to get lost. I want to spend more of my life outside, on foot, with my head in the clouds.
Reviewing 2014 and all the changes that came about last year was eye-opening. I knew all along how much my life was altering, but it wasn't really until I sat down to look at each month on its own that I really saw how different I had become throughout the year. As I prepare to publish this post and set out on my list of January goals, my stomach is fluttering with anticipation for the time when, a year from now, I'll look back and see how I did in 2015. I can't wait. But more than that, I can't wait to get started on the journey that will take me there.