I've been meditating on what my New Year's Resolution should be, and frankly it's been exhausting. I always waver between choosing something mundane but concrete, like "get more sleep" or "drink more water", and more abstract ideas like the whole peace in my heart and quiet in my mind thing that I've been leaning towards in years past. Somehow both seem a little bit like a cop-out--I highly doubt I'll find myself on a summer night, mid-July, opting out of a trip to one last bar because my New Year's Resolution is to "get more sleep". Similarly, "peace in my heart" is really only something I can monitor...and let's not kid ourselves here, I'm not known for my ability to hold myself accountable. But! I'm not one to shy away from a self-imposed obstacle, so I've decided to make things monumentally more difficult for myself by doing both! I know that at some point soon I will probably regret this, but you know--I've said that before and so far, I'm still doing fine. Or by most standards, at least. Anyway, the two-part approach to the new year is going to be great! I'm feeling very positive about it. I've even upped my expectations from low to at least moderate for this year, which is a real step up from how I normally operate*. Bear with me. You'll see where all this optimism is coming from shortly. The two-part system breaks down like this: because the word resolution reminds me of the word resolute, as in resolute in one's convictions, I've decided to make "resolution" as the guiding principle for a more mind-centered approach, so it encompasses the abstract that I so dearly love. Then, going in the completely opposite direction, I've made goals--easily quantifiable things that I really can't get away from.

As an added bonus, this way I get to nail down both mind and body, which coincidentally is one of the resolutions! Balancing life between work and play, mind and body, and other things that need balancing. Not one hundred percent sure what all those things will be, but I plan on finding out! I picked three as the magic number for how many resolutions and goals to have on either side of the New Year's equation--the other two resolutions are staying positive (see above) because I feel like looking on the down side really has just not been serving me well lately, and finally, staying motivated, because I feel like I'm not and probably should be. Senioritis is real. And I have it. And I'd like to say I just don't care, but frankly, I know I'm really going to wish I'd gotten after it after the second week of sleeping on my sister's couch. These concrete goals of mine I picked somewhat arbitrarily, I'll admit. The first is to read at least 12 books that aren't required for school. I like reading and I knew I wouldn't have a hard time getting this one done. So sue me. I gave myself a freebie. Who wouldn't? The second is to go on a trip. I just like to go on trips. Also I really like having things to look forward to, and Christmas is looking really far away. Finally, the last of the goals is to run. I'm tentatively scheduling a half marathon but I'll be happy if I can go for ten miles without my feet literally falling off. We'll see. This was more thought out than the others--I know I will need something i can control in the coming months because so much of my life will be out of control. I need something concrete to achieve, something difficult but not impossible. Also I'm really hoping those endorphins are going to help me out with resolution number two...

In other news, I spent a terrific new year with people I really ended up like a lot. Things so far are so good.

xoxo, Lauren

*Low expectations, high reward. It's pretty simple. If you expect little, you will always end up with a lot.