Last January, I gave myself a challenge. I decided that each month of 2015, I would make one big change or undertake one big challenge. Throughout the year, I would gradually become a better writer, and better traveller, kinder, healthier, a better person overall.
How far did I get? Not far. Though I completed my January goal of writing 5 posts a week on my blog, my other attempts fell flat. Why’s that? Maybe it’s a lack of motivation or incredible indecision on my part, but the biggest reason is probably the fact that I had no concrete goals after that first month… and the fact that I was totally burnt out afterward.
This year, I am in a position where the opportunity to start fresh is upon me. I have no job, no apartment, and no ties to any one city. It’s a stressful time, but this isn’t my first time in this position. I began 2014 in an eerily similar manner. This time, I can pretend to have some more confidence and make fewer decisions based on fear.
Does the start of a new year really matter in terms of wiping the slate? Not really. But, that doesn’t matter in itself. Starting fresh can happen at any time. Though, with everyone in this transformational mindset at this time of year, why not take advantage of that feeling in the air?
For the last few months, I’ve been unsure about where to take this blog. I’ve travelled with it. I’ve relived the past. I’ve deleted posts and rethought ideas and generally screwed around with the design like crazy. While I’m sure 2016 is sure to bring some big changes to this space, the big changes really are starting with life in the real world. You know, the whole part where I need to figure out how I’m going to support myself. I think I know a little more than last time, at least.
So, maybe I won’t be “away” again for a while, at least in the abroad sense, but I’ll be here. I’ll be here with a jumble of posts about every random place, idea, or situation that I feel like writing about at the time. I’ll be here through a crazy time where I might update you on what’s going on and I might miss a few things. But, if there’s one thing I can tell you about “starting fresh,” which is something I’ve done more than a few times in 26 years, it’s that you’ve got to be honest, to give yourself some slack, and to forgive yourself once in a while.
How to really start fresh?
Step 1: Look at your life.
Step 2: Decide that you want to change it.
Step 3: Get stressed out and spend hours running in circles, trying to figure out what “change it” means.
Step 4: Figure out what “change it” means… and then change that.
Step 5: Tentatively toy with one idea for longer than the others.
Step 6: Realize that this idea is the only one that stays with you. Decide to “commit to it.”
Step 7: Get overwhelmed by how much work it seems to take to even get started. Do nothing for two days.
Step 8: Break down your tasks as much as you can and finally start taking one thing at a time.
Step 9: Get overwhelmed again and do nothing for a few more days.
Step 10: Make one last decision. Cut all the other stuff out. Really commit. Start fresh.