My Dearest M.A. Gavin,
I know it has only been a few weeks, but I miss you immensely and I hope your travels and studies have treated you well in the interim. I am glad to see you have been reading and will add all of your suggestions to my list.
While you completed a sort of recap of 2017, I’ve decided to write about my hopes and goals moving into 2018. With that said, I have never been a fan of the colloquially “New Years Resolution,” and prefer to make changes when I recognize they are needed or desired. Nonetheless, I do like to sit down and reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year with those reflections in mind.
As I reflect on 2017, I noted many changes in my professional life, and – partially because of those changes – growth in terms of my mental and spiritual well being. Those are the things I am seeking to continue as 2018 proceeds and they simmer down into the following three big ideas.
- 30 Day Challenges. I watched a TED Talk by Matt Cutts (linked here) several years ago about trying something new and sticking to it for thirty days. While his oratory style is not my favorite, the message he gave stuck with me. Doing things over a period of time make them a habit. Last year I made a concerted effort to read everyday. Now if I don’t read at least of few pages, my day feels incomplete. The point is, I plan on using this “challenge” to try new things and better my overall physical, mental, and spiritual well being. I have several months already decided, but if you have additional suggestions I would love to consider them.
- Engage in a community of learners. You may not know this about me, but I am incredibly shy and unfortunately instead of my shyness ebbing with age it has increased. While I have the most beautiful circle of close friends and family a person could ever want, close friends and family are not always the people who will push one’s thinking, teach one something new, or provide unbiased feedback. This is not to say you do not challenge me, because you do. Instead it is about sharing with others and learning from others I would not otherwise engage with. Be this on a social media platform, a book club, or a volunteer position, I hope to work to get out of my shell and engage with others in order to learn and grow, and to contribute to important conversations.
- Read to learn. I have always been in love with reading and over the past year have successfully returned to reading for enjoyment and making reading a priority. Whilst doing so, I made an effort to read a variety of literature from diverse authors in order to learn about other people, their opinions, and how they view the world. This year I plan to continue exploring those writers, and I am hoping to expand my reading to other formats as well. Find a newsletter like the one you suggested, read articles from diverse authors and publications, scholarly publications, ect.
Ultimately, for me 2018 is going to be about growth. And in truth, isn’t every year about growth? When we were kids each birthday meant we had grown physically, mastered a year’s worth of school, and experienced a plethora of new things, because when you are young everything is new. I hope to keep that in mind this year.