I used to be a big believer in New Year’s resolutions.
Most often, when I made resolutions focused on losing weight. I’ll go to the gym more often, I would tell myself, and focus on eating only healthy foods. Like most people, though, my resolve was short lived. (As an aside to my fellow gym-using friends, the resolutioners are coming. Please be supportive and nice to them. We weren’t born knowing about TABATAs and proper form at the pec deck.)
I don’t make resolutions anymore, but there are things I would like to accomplish (more about that shortly). While I don’t do resolutions, I have embraced the idea of choosing one word to define and focus the coming year. This year, my word is “transformation,” which seems so very appropriate in the current state of the world.
Marianne Williamson says this about transformation: “Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.”
The year just past ended with so much negativity in the air, including fears about the incoming administration, the rise of terrorist threats here and abroad, and the seemingly relentless parade of celebrity deaths. Although I have my own concerns about the shape of the political landscape over the next four years, most of the negativity and “2016 sucks” sentiment was fed by the social media echo chamber. Being connected online is a force for good and for ill. Mostly ill, I think, but that’s changeable — and not by regulating fake news. People have brains; they should use them and not 1) blindly believe everything they read online, or 2) join every chorus of negativity that goes caroling across their screens.
That would be real transformation, wouldn’t it?
Williamson says transformation begins with me, so I’m going to heed my own advice and be a force for positivity on social media when I use it.
Here are some other ways I plan to embrace my word of the year:
- I want to fit in size 40 pants, where I was before my cancer diagnosis. I spent the last third of 2016 following the Whole 30 and seeing great results, from the alleviation of some treatment-related symptoms to weight loss. I plan to continue living the Whole 30 lifestyle. I’ve also set a goal to train for and compete in the Charlotte Spartan Sprint in April. I exercise more consistently when I have a goal to shoot for.
- This year marks the fifth anniversary of my cancer diagnosis and I would like to celebrate the so-called “cure” milestone in a big way. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I hope something big is in the offing. Cancer changed our lives. Getting to five years post-diagnosis wasn’t supposed to happen, and that realization in itself has been transformative, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
- I want to write more and add to my web site. Part of being a force for positivity and optimism on socia media will mean using my voice. So expect more blog posts, including the merger with my blog of my Gratitude passion project, wherein I share stories of gratitude through the eyes of friends and people I encounter in the course of daily life. I plan to add a newsletter and other content in the year ahead.
2017 holds a lot of promise. I’m looking forward to a great year of transformation.