Ditch the Resolutions and Create Experiences Instead
Something about the start of a new year folks begin talking about a "word of the year" or setting resolutions... and it just makes me want to go, bleh. Especially when I learned that most folks who set resolutions, don't follow through with them. Ouch!
Besides, I don't want to make S.M.A.R.T. goals (which sounds a wee bit silly stating this out loud), but I don't want to have one word to resonate on all year. I long for MORE adventures, more experiences, more memories created so that when I'm eighty or ninety years old, I can say in 2022 this is what we did! These are the experiences we had!
And this isn't something I just stumbled upon myself but actually learned from a community created by Jesse Itlzer. So, props to him + his team for opening my eyes to this new way of mapping out my year and creating my life's resume.
01// IDENTIFY YOUR YEAR DEFINING EVENT
The first thing to get placed on the yearly calendar was my "year defining event". The one thing I'll be focusing on and a lot of my habits will be geared towards. Honestly, a lot of folks get tripped on this - I think! Because you want to have a family event, a business event or even a personal event. Just choose one.
If you choose more than one to focus on, you'll have more opportunity for distraction. Every time there's a point of transition, there's a chance of confusion and distraction... limit this by selecting ONE to focus on! If you are able to do the others as well, fantastic, but choose ONE first.
For myself, the year defining event in 2022 will be a backyard ultra known as a "last man standing" type of race. The runners will race a ~4.1 mile loop every hour on the hour until there's only one runner. This will challenge me mentally, physically and emotionally... it will also force me to focus on my daily habits which will help me reach other goals I have for myself.
Now, do I have family goals or events we would like to accomplish - sure we do! Is there also a business goal I'd like to hit? Of course! However, this year, the backyard ultra is the event I'll be focusing on for myself.
The other thing I am learning is how sometimes, LIFE HAPPENS, and your "year defining" event will be chosen for you! And that's okay as well. All you can do is focus on what's in front of you and be flexible when life happens.
Last year, I thought my "year defining" event would be completing the 29029 race in Snowbasin, Utah; however, halfway through the event, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given weeks to live. So, the "year defining" event ended up being how I was able to leave the event and be at his side for a week. And I am grateful for that... that time with him.
Choose something meaningful to you, yet, be flexible when life happens.
02// MAP OUT ADVENTURES EVERY OTHER MONTH
One of the things, the hubster and I wanted this year was MORE adventures with the Gillies, our 8-yr old twins. With the hubster's work schedule, we opted for doing an adventure every other month. In full honesty, this scared the hubster to commit to because I have a tendency to go slightly overboard on experiences and he wanted to stay within budget!
However, these adventures do not have to be GRAND! They can be, for sure. But the point is to do something out of the ordinary for you. One of our trips is to go visit family back in Louisiana for a full week... which is rather grand for us with the booking of an airbnb, renting a boat, fishing licenses, etc. But another month we are going to go camping in a National Forest for a few days.
We just wanted to create experiences and mini-adventures for the Gillies as well as be able to fully unplug and given them our full attention.
Note: These adventures don't just have to be with your family - they could be just you, you and your spouse or the whole crew! You do you, boo. But get out there and book some adventures you normally wouldn't do... you got this!
03// SCHEDULE DATES WITH LOVED ONES
The other thing I noticed last year was how I truly sucked on making one-on-one time with my loved ones. With a hubster who works in the human medical field during a pandemic, it's hard to plan "date nights". Plus, there's only one couple in our town who truly knows are family and is able to "kid sit" for us to go out on a date. They also work in the human medical field, so it's a wee bit challenging to map out dates.
That's when I realized one-on-one time doesn't have to be OUTSIDE the house, just needs to be one-on-one. So, this year, we are getting creative! We reached out to our kid-sitting couple in advance to have outside of the house dates and on the months they couldn't kid-sit, we scheduled day dates or dates when the Gillies are in bed already.
Is it perfect? Nope! Will it be fun? Heck yes! Plus, it shows the hubster how much I value spending time with him.
We also mapped out monthly day dates with each of the Gillies. We scheduled them in advance and they have the dates highlighted on their own calendars. The Gillies get to plan the WHOLE day they get to have with either mom or dad.
I have a feeling with my Little Miss day date we will be getting hot cocoa with sprinkles while perusing the shelves at the local bookstore; while Little Man will take me to the toy store to check out the new lego sets after lunch at the Mexican restaurant. Both of which will make this mom completely happy.
04// HABITS TO FOCUS ON EACH QUARTER
Now to wrap up this all up for you is to determine what new habits YOU would like to focus on; however, there are a few criteria for these habits. Here goes:
- Visualize the type of person YOU would like to be - What is she doing? What kind of person is she? What does her life look like?
- Choose a new habit to focus on each quarter. Focus on it for the first 4 months until it's a habit and then choose another one! Don't attempt to do all at once, you aren't a Ferrari (going 0-90 in a few seconds). Choose one + stick with it!
- These are not DAILY habits to get you to your year defining event... but simply habits you would like to ensure become your new norm.
What would these habits look like to you? Well, maybe the person you envision is able to play the ukulele? So, your habit could be practice the uke 2-3 times a week. Maybe you visualize a person who reads more? You choose read a new book once a month. Maybe you want to be the person who speaks French fluently? So, your habit is to practice French or take a class. Choose something to help you GROW into the person you want to be. *And yes, those are my three habits for this upcoming year*
Let's bring this altogether to help you map out your year for more adventure and experiences...
- Identify Your Year-Defining Event
- Map Out Mini-Adventures Every Other Month
- Schedule Dates With Loved Ones (Even Yourself!)
- Visualize Who You Want To Be... And Create Habits To Get There
And maybe we need to add a last tip: BE FLEXIBLE for when life happens! Even if half of these things do not get accomplished because of life happening, I know I'll be getting MORE done than the year before... and to me, that's a HUGE WIN!
Now, if you take time to map out your year - I would absolutely love to hear what you scheduled and if you have any questions, getting started then reach out. I've got a bit to help and support you! You can do so via Instagram: @dr.amberlangleygill
Grit + Gumption,