New Year’s Resolutions: Looking Back and Stepping Forward

“If you intentionally and mindfully engage with a meaningful purpose you leave behind a gift that through the butterfly effect can literally save lives, prevent tragedies, violence, depression, wars, child abuse, hunger and create peace…” ~ Mike Klingler

The quote above is very powerful, and while it may not be immediately obvious when reading my resolutions below, my overall goal for 2013 and all future years is to more mindfully engage with a meaningful purpose in everything I do.  So I could probably just stop this post short just with that statement, however I want to provide the details on how I want to reach toward this goal in 2013.  Included within the post are some of my favorite nature photographs of 2012.

flower, leaves, foliage

Flower blooming in fall on The Gatlinburg Trail.

Last year at about this time I published a blog post full of resolutions for 2012 – 8 in all.  While I had varying degrees of success  in accomplishing these resolutions, overall I feel that it was helpful that I set these goals for 2012 and so I would like to put forth a list of 2013 resolutions that are largely based on the original 2012 blog post.

I will start with my 2012 resolutions by first reporting honestly on how I did with each and then updating them with where I want to take them in 2013 (updates for 2013 are in italics).  At the end of the post I will add some new resolutions to the list.

There are 11 total resolutions here.  I realize that not everyone will be interested in reading the detail about all 11 🙂 so I will simply list them here and anyone that wants can read the detail below.

  1. Spend more time with family.
  2. Lose 25 pounds (2012)/Maintain current weight (2013).
  3. Running.
  4. Meditate regularly.
  5. Develop a personal yoga practice.
  6. Gratitude.
  7. Start a 2nd blog (2012)/Create a new Facebook page (2013).
  8. Blog more.
  9. Create more time to read and write (New for 2013).
  10. Attend a personal development workshop (New for 2013).
  11. Publish a magazine article (New for 2013).

1)  Spend more time with family.  I made some progress here in 2012 but there is still a lot of room for improvement.  For 2103, I still would like to find at least one activity to participate in with each family member individually. Spending time as a whole family is important but it is also important to have one on one time with each of them.  I realize I need to continue to improve in this area with my wife, my step-son, and my daughter.

2)  Lose 25 pounds.  This is definitely the resolution I made the most progress with in 2012.  In fact, I exceeded it.  I lost over 30 pounds.  I do not feel like I need to lose any more weight in 2013 so my plans are to maintain my current weight in 2013 using the same measures that helped me achieve this goal in 2012.

3)  Step up the running.  I was also able to meet my goals here.  I changed to a new running shoe (Brooks PureCadance) and that helped a lot.  I worked my weekly long runs up from 4 to 6 miles.  I worked back up to running five days per week and stubbornly stuck to it.    I met my goal of running two 5K races and a 10K race in 2012.  Most importantly, and probably due to the change in running shoes, I stayed injury free from February through December which helped me accomplish all of these goals.  Just like my weight loss goal above, my plan for 2013 is to maintain the running levels I reached in 2012.  The only difference is that I want to put  at least a couple more races on the schedule.  This year I want to run at least three 5K races and at least two 10K races.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

View from overlook at Great Smoky Mountain National Park during the trip from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN.

4)  Meditate regularly.  My 2012 goal for meditating was that by July 1 I would have implemented a daily meditation schedule.  I did not meet this goal.  Honestly my meditation practice was very sporadic throughout the year.  In 2013, my resolution for meditating is to establish a 10 minute per day meditation practice by the end of  January. I will continue to use Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project as one means of helping me establish and maintain a meditation practice and will remain open to other meditation teachings as well.

5)  Develop a personal yoga practice.  The best I did here was experiment with a few new yoga postures to help with lower back stretching and they did seem to work.  Unfortunately I did not develop this into a true practice.  I feel this goal is important for the reasons I mentioned in my 2012 resolution blog post and so I will carry this resolution forward into 2013.  My plan has expanded here though and I hope to involve my whole family in some type of family yoga sessions – probably at Lotus Living Arts Center of Concord.

6)  Write a hand written thank you note or tell someone personally how they

Beautiful Flowers on Path, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Beautiful Flowers on Path

are making a difference or doing something great every day.  This was probably my most interesting resolution of 2012 but it was difficult to measure.  I feel like there were times during the year when I was good at expressing gratitude and there were other times when I allowed myself to get bogged down with my own personal worries.  During those times of worry, I was much less appreciative of things.  While the thought of writing thank you notes was a nice one, I definitely did not do so in 2012.  I do want to make gratitude a part of my daily life as much as possible in 2013 so I plan to keep this as a resolution for the new year.  In general, I want to be more aware of everything that is happening around me and from that I want to more openly express gratitude on a daily basis.  This thankfulness can be expressed in person, in writing, through my actions, etc.  One way I will measure my progress on this goal in 2013 is that I want to write at least one hand written thank you note per week this year.

Two quotes from my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions post that I feel are important to share here again are:

“People need to hear about the good things they are doing and they need to know that these good things are being noticed.”

“I think expressing gratitude is one of the most important forms of prayer.”

7)  Start a second blog by April 1.  To put it bluntly this did not happen.  I tried.  I even went as far as purchasing domain name for a new blog.   Unfortunately I found  myself overburdened by the technical details of setting up the second blog the way I thought I wanted it to be.  This ended up taking away from my writing time for Steve’s Thinking Space and so I eventually gave up on the idea of a second blog – at least for now.  So, in 2013 I do not plan to set-up a second blog.  What I plan to do instead is set-up a new Facebook page based on an idea I had in 2012 – more details on that to follow later in 2013!

The Gatlinburg Trail, Great Smokey Mountains National Park

The Gatlinburg Trail, Great Smokey Mountains National Park – The scene of the event and the realization.

8)  Blog more!  My goal in 2012 was to get to a point that I was publishing a blog post at least once a week.  I fell short of this goal.   In fact I probably barely published a post on a once a month basis.  In 2013, I have decided to reset this goal to publishing a blog post at least twice per month.  This is still an increase over 2012 but not as aggressive as my 2012 resolution.

And finally I have a few brand new resolutions for 2013.

9)  Make more time in my schedule to read and write.  If I want to up my blog writing to two posts per month I need to find ways to make more time for writing.  Likewise, I feel that I need to create more reading time in my schedule.    I have a couple of books that I stated in 2012 that I want to finish and I have a long list of other books that I want to read in 2013.  At the top of my reading list for 2013 are Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein, The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte, and Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields.  To make more time for writing and reading I will probably need to watch less TV and come up with a better sleep routine (i.e. go to bed earlier and get up earlier) especially when I am traveling for work.

10)  Attend at least one personal development workshop.  Top candidates for fulfilling this resolution are a writing workshop like The Write Motivation, a personal or spiritual development workshop like I Can Do It Conference, or a big think tank conference like The World Domination Summit.

Sunrise as seen from Hampton Inn and Suites Beachfront Hotel, Myrtle Beach, SC

December Sunrise, Myrtle Beach, SC

11)  Publish one magazine article this year.  I have had a goal of being a published author for more than a decade but other than becoming a blogger I have not done anything about it.  I want to expand my writing beyond the blogosphere and having a magazine article published is where I want to take my first step.  This is a huge stretch goal for me in 2013 since I have never actually tried to publish in a magazine.  I have a lot to learn regarding how to even get started but I know I am ready for the challenge.  It is time to move forward with my life goals in this area.  By stating this goal publicly, I feel that I am much more likely do move forward with it.

So once again, I have set some aggressive goals for 2013.  While there is a lot more I also want to accomplish I feel that these 11 resolutions will serve as a good base and therefore are the ones I want to focus on first.  I wish you all a happy, peaceful, and productive 2013!

With peace and gratitude,

Steve Strother

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About Steve Strother

I am a husband/father/human being looking for ways to move past the status quo. I strive to find solutions; to find the positive; to celebrate the joyous, the just, and the inspirational. Living peacefully and compassionately in the present is my ultimate goal. I love to write! To learn more about me please visit my blog at stevesthinkingspace.wordpress.com.
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6 Responses to New Year’s Resolutions: Looking Back and Stepping Forward

  1. sherry says:

    Well done, Steve! I am proud of you for exceeding your weight loss goal, as well as your running goal. I think most people who make resolutions over-estimate what can be reasonably done in a year, and then are disappointed in themselves. That you have made strides forward in many areas, and plan to continue to work on these is most admirable.

    • Thanks! Thinking my goals through, crafting them into resolutions, and then going public with them by putting them in writing and posting them here helps motivate me to put plans into action that otherwise just stay on my mind but often don’t become reality. I realize going into it that I might not get everything done in a year but making positive strides is the important thing. 🙂

  2. sarahneeve says:

    I congratulate you on your accomplishments. Although I’m a firm disbeliever in resolutions, I truly hope you succeed in your endeavours. 🙂

    • Thank you. I never made resolutions until last year. I find that stating my intentions publicly does help me actually get some of them accomplished. We will see how the year unfolds.

  3. Pingback: Blogging For Peace | Steve's Thinking Space

  4. Pingback: Pushing Way Past My Comfort Zone | Steve's Thinking Space

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