It’s the dawn of a new calendar year, and we asked our readers to share some of their thoughts as we say goodbye to 2019 and welcome in a fresh start.
• For the past several years, I’ve celebrated my new year sometime in late July. There’s a lot of light while meditating on one summer to the previous. While my summertime resolutions tend to drip with gratitude and earnestness, it’s the inert, shadowy wintertime ones that inspire the deep, challenging work that matters. And this seems like a big year: 2020. I resolve to work harder to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, including not wasting or stealing my time. Bike more, sail more, consume less, and also engage in self-supporting, wabi-sabi activities.
• Celebrating a new year has always held particular significance for me. For years, I’ve seen it as an opportunity to reflect on the year that’s passing, to contemplate the year ahead and sit with my journal recording my thoughts, feelings and things I’d like to change. This year, I will sit with my old cat, a new journal, a bottle of champagne and focus on the fresh opportunities 2020 provides. This year, instead of listing things I want to change, I’m going to focus on accepting myself as I am, faults and all. Instead of resolving to exercise more, I will resolve to love my body as it is. Instead of resolving to change, I resolve to accept myself, forgive myself and appreciate what others see in me. A new year presents new opportunities. This year, and with deep humility, I will learn to love myself and the light I can bring to the world and to my community, and to live every day mindful of my actions, my words and my thoughts. And to do it all with love.
• For me, a new year is always about reflecting on the past year’s personal growth and big life changes. As my life shifts into a more settled state, I aim to take a deep breath, slow down and appreciate the simple daily routines that often get rushed or overlooked. The year 2020 feels like an important year to start thinking less about my personal goals or desires, and more about my effect on the environment around me.
• I tend toward daily resolutions, so for me, New Year’s Eve becomes a time to reflect on what “beads of action” actually got threaded onto my long string of daily intentions. I have a list in my journal of all the different activities that make me happy. Running, gardening, writing, reading, showing up for the people I love, and more and more. The list is long, and I want every aspect to be a part of every day, which is impossible. For 2020, I believe a healthy balance in my expectations of myself is needed. Everything I love can be a part of my life, just not all at once, because rest is important too. I have a lot of beads. I’m my best self when I make the effort to use them all, but it is okay if some only get threaded once a week. Finally, continuing to encourage people to reduce waste and cut plastic out of their lives is very important to me.