We are exactly one week into the new year and I have not broken one “resolution”.  This is because I chose not to make any this year. The more I thought about it, the more the term resolution sounded like something I would have to strain, grit my teeth and white knuckle it to do and I didn’t really want to start my year that way.  Rather I sat down and made a list of thoughts and ideas on some things I would like to change, pursue and/or accomplish this year….then I put things in place to allow me to start doing them.  I will be 34 in a few days and I don’t get yesterday back and tomorrow keeps coming faster and faster….so I want to fill my life this year with meaning and accomplishment.

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1. Be more purposeful in my friendships.  Pursue. Encourage. Edify. Love. Pray. I feel as though I little more of this going around would bring all that is needed to the world.  So rather than sitting around waiting for phone calls, texts, and wishing for someone to reach out….I am going to make the first moves.

2. I want to run – really run. Not just run and say I did and then not run for 2 1/2 months, then run again.  I want to run 5K’s, 10k’s and half marathons.  I grew up in the hometown of running for crying out loud, where the Kenyan Olympic runners train – I should run. So, with this thought in my head, I signed up for a 5K – in two weeks!  AHHH!!  Yep, that made me lace up and get out there….I am sore but I don’t regret it, and I’ll be ready to run the “Too cold to hold” race when it gets here!  I won’t win it, but I will finish it! I could use some running buddies, so come out and run with me if you want!

I also signed up for the Nashville Rock and Roll half! It is April 30th and I am going to run it.  I have talked about running it for 2 years now and always wimped out on the training and then made excuses and didn’t run.  I figured if I signed up and paid the registration fee early this year – I’d force myself to run it (I hate to waste money!).  So, I am signed up and cannot wait to run with my Nashville friends!

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3. Learn to dance.  With my sweet little Baptist upbringing I have heard all about the evils of dancing, but never really paid attention.  If the music comes on I feel the rhythm and my little feet start to tapping or shuffling and my head starts to bopping.  I love to dance.  I dance around the house and am glad that there is not a hidden camera somewhere because I am sure that I must look like something straight out of a slap stick comedy, I dance in worship at church, I dance in the car, I dance with my friends, I probably dance in my sleep.  I took ballroom dancing while I was studying in Hong Kong 10 years ago and the stories my friend Pam and I could tell you from that class would keep you laughing for days.  However, I’ve finally decided that after years of really wanting to learn I’m going to….with or without a partner.  Groupon made that easy this year with a special on a year’s worth of classes at a dance studio for a fantastic price.  So, my friends, I’m going to learn Salsa, contemporary, some hip to the hop, and some Chicago stepping (mind you, I have no idea what this is, but I am going to learn!).

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4. Send more snail mail.  This has been inspired my my friend Jamie over at Inspired Mess Blog, and kind of goes along with #1. on this list. Last year I joined a pen pal group called Happy Mail.  Each month I was partnered with a pen pal and we had to write each other a card or a letter and send a package full of fun happy stuff (keeping the cost around $10) to each other.  WHAT FUN!  Knowing that there was a letter coming kept me going to my mail box.  To search out and find a treasure in the midst of all the coupon flyers and junk mail was such a treat.  So I have decided that this year I am going to send a lot more “happy mail” to those I love.  While getting to know new pen pals was great fun, sending a card, letter, or package full of treats to my cousins or friend or other family would be so much more fun.   I started this on New Year’s day by sitting down and writing out 20 cards….what fun!  If you want to participate, email me your mailing address and I’ll send you some fun and love too!

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5. Find new music.  My friends are great at this and always talk about bands that I have never heard of.  This year I want to discover all sorts of great, non-mainstream musicians who inspire and move me with their music….who do you recommend?

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5. Learn to knit.  Ok, so I already started this. I taught myself on Boxing Day when my hands were tired of crocheting (did I mention I made 6 scarves in 5 days!)  I am finding I really like the rhythm of the needles and understand the love of other knitters for this calming craft.  There is a lovely yarn and knitting shop that has opened quite close to me and they have a knitting circle on Wednesdays for knitters of all experiences from beginner to pro…I can’t wait to join them from time to time.

My first little knitting project

6. One thing I have never really wanted to do until this year was read through the Bible.  Yes, you may gasp with shock and horror…but to be honest until this past year I really did not have any sort of hunger for the Bible except in waves.  This year however, I found that thoughts of reading all the way through it kept coming into my head.  So, thanks to a fantastic reading plan for “shirkers and slackers” I have started.  In true slacker form however, I didn’t actually start on Jan 1st…I started on the 5th.

7. Stop saying “I’ve always wanted to….or I’m going to to” and do it. In the words of Yoda, “Do or do not….there is no try.”

I’ve got more thoughts and ideas but these are the ones that are bouncing around in my head, ones I’m acting on already and ones that I would love for you to join me in.

With that my friends I leave you with this quote to take into the new year….blessings.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. –Helen Keller

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