I can hardly believe we’re a month into 2016—where did the time go? I don’t know about you, but this year has already tested me and left me feeling a little drained, but not defeated. In it’s short 27 days, January has found me hopeful and positive, disappointed and [slightly] heartbroken, useful and just plain used. The funny thing about starting a new year is that we enter it with so many high expectations. We create resolutions and resolve that we will be more kind and thoughtful. We resolve that we’ll read more, sleep more, volunteer more, eat better, exercise more, change bad habits, travel more, study harder, find a better job, draw closer to God, be a better friend, daughter, son, sister, brother, human being. We enter the year so optimistic about all of the good things it will bring us that we sit passively by and forget the active role we must play in shaping our own lives. But that’s not living, that’s existing.
Depending on the hand you’ve been dealt, existing seems like the easiest route, doesn’t it? The reality is that life is full of ups and downs, trials and errors, passes and fails. Sometimes life knocks us down so many times that we feel paralyzed and tend to go through our days as if we were robots or on autopilot. We forget how to breathe, let alone how to live. But even when we fall flat on our face (which we will), we must get back up, dust ourselves off, and begin again. We must resolve to no longer sit by passively waiting for life to happen to us. We must take action and live because that’s where the adventure begins. Touch your wrist, check your pulse. Feel that? That’s life pumping through your veins. Let it move you, let it inspire you to do rather than simply be.
So, what are you doing to make your life better? What are you doing to reach your goals? If you’re ready to live and not merely exist, here’s some tips to help you get started:
- Define your purpose. Take a moment to (re)discover what’s important to you.
- Detail your plan. What is it you want to do? Who do you want to be? I’m a visual learner and a firm believer in planning. So, whether it’s a check-list or a vision board, map out how you want your life to look.
- Dare to do diligently. Remember that plan you made? Follow it! Get outside, try new things, face your fears. Allow yourself to feel, to cry, to laugh, no matter what. Trust the process.
As one of the greatest film heroes and teen legends of all time once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it.” Well, Ferris Bueller got it partially right: Life does move pretty fast, but don’t just stop and look around, move right along with it…never skipping a beat.