It’s January 24th… perfect day to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions, right?

Cole has never really been into setting resolutions for the new year, but I love the cyclical nature of starting fresh each January. I know that change can obviously happen throughout the rest of the year, but I do love using this calendar mark as a time to reflect and refresh. The only problem is that I am the flakiest person on the planet and my resolutions last until approximately January 4th.

So this year, my intentions are far less drastic, cliche, or pressured. (Or timely, apparently.)

My only official resolution of 2017? Getting unorganized.

Let me explain.

I do a lot of planning, to-do listing, dreaming, and wishing — like, maybe an obsessive amount — but when it comes to taking actual steps toward my goals I tend to flounder and flake. So this year, I intend to stop using planning as a vehicle for procrastination and an excuse to not do anything.

As a kid, whenever we had to clean the whole house before a big party, I would always insist that we first make a giant list and assign jobs to everyone. There were columns, room sections, and even half-X marks to fully ex off when the task was completed. This wasn’t because I was afraid that we would forget to do something. This was because I didn’t want to clean and sitting down to make a list meant we were putting it off. (For the record, my older sister just wanted to start cleaning and clean until we were done… she was all action).

So project that pattern 15 years into the future and here ya go. I still do the same exact thing. I will plan out a very detailed workout plan for the week, color-coded and organized and practical based on my schedule, then don’t actually do any of it. I make lists and lists of the places I want to visit, the AirBNBs I want to stay in, and even the trails in St. Louis I want to hike, but I usually don’t follow through.

This year, I resolve to stop making lists and get unorganized.

Is that the weirdest resolution ever? Probably. But for me, I think that a little disarray might be good. I know more or less what I need to do to succeed in every area of my life. I’ve already done the grunt work (aka elimination/reintroduction diets, books on books on books, workout regimens) to figure that out! I know what healthy foods I need to buy from the grocery store. I know how to move my body at the gym to grow muscles. I know how to not spend money. I know what to pack for a trip. I know how to clean my house without writing down the word “toilets.”

(An exception: I know I will have to break this resolution for the blog’s sake. In fact, just a few days ago, I wrote a blog post about our trip to Buenos Aires in the beginning of the year. And it was in list form. But that’s different, right? That’s a post-list. A reflection. Reflection is good. This is not the year of no writing things down after the fact.)

I don’t know how this will change me. Or if it will. Or if I even need it to.

What I hope is that this intention will allow me to take a step back from the obsessive pen and paper and be more in the world. I’m sure I will forget things, but I also think I will become more aware of what’s around me and how I’m feeling. What’s out of place. What makes me upset. What needs to be tended to. What needs further thought. An emphasis on reflection versus planning and a connection to the present is what I’m going for here.

For example. I have always been interested in engaging in activities that connect to the present: meditation, yoga, prayer, journaling. But these in-my-head practices are scary, because I have to go just there: in my head. It’s not always a comfortable place. In the past, I have dabbled in all of these things half-assedly (mostly on paper, as I’m scheduling out my day) and I’m not sure what would happen if I stuck with one of these activities.

This year, I might. (Question mark exclamation mark question mark).

This year, I will embrace the disarray or the calm or whatever comes from not making lists. (I wouldn’t even know!)

This year, I will simply look around and look inside and see what needs to be done.

Written by Elizabeth

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