A New Year’s Resolution doesn’t need to start on New Year’s Day. In fact, you can start a new year anytime you’d like. There’s even a few perks of starting off your commitment to change during the “off season”. A big plus is that you won’t be part of the resolutioner rush at the gym. You also won’t have as many doubters that think you’re just doing it for the month of January, when you start during a random month people tend to take it more seriously for some reason.
Last year for my birthday I made a book full of promises to myself. I literally found a tiny notebook and on each page wrote something that I wanted to accomplish or experience. My list ranged from learning a new language to getting a driver’s license. Yes, I’m 26 and I’ve never had a driver’s license. The first on that list though was to do a 5k race and follow it with at least one race each month. As each month passed I tore out that page from the book and wrote a new. My 5k page went to 5 mile, followed by obstacle race to eventually half marathon and triathlon. Now my race goals are a full marathon and an Olympic distance triathlon. I still have a ways to go before I’m ready for either of those, but writing it down and keeping them on the horizon ensures that I continue to work towards those goals.
Writing down your goals is important in all aspects of your life really. Some of the things I listed were silly like have dinner at Medieval Times or reorganize my room, but having them on paper helped me keep track of them and gave me great pleasure when I was finally able to cross them off. (By the way I still haven’t had that dinner at Medieval Times so if you’re interested let me know!) A big goal that I’ve had for some time now is to go back to school. At 17, when I was fresh out of high school, I moved away from everything I knew and started a new journey. At the time I thought I had everything figured out and that I knew exactly what I was doing with my life. I was wrong. It was truly humbling when I finally had that moment of realization that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or where I was going. Rather than waste time and money by continuing on a path that no longer inspired me, I dropped out of school right before finishing my last year in college. It’s a decision that I often regret, but now I’ve finally come to peace with. I realized that I needed to spend some time away to truly grasp what I wanted to do and to appreciate the opportunity to even be in college.
As of this week I am officially a college student once again. It took a lot for me to put my pride aside and take the plunge back into the unknown. I’m on the right track this time around and am more determined than ever to finish. Most people assume that I graduated and never ask so I just let them believe what they’d like so I haven’t shared this with very many outside of my close friends and family. The momentum of this new chapter in my life was so strong that I decided to take another chance and stop by the DMV to take my written and vision tests to get my learner’s permit. I passed with flying colors! Now I just need to get some time behind the wheel so I can go back and own the road test.
All of this has taught me some important things; it’s never too late and you should never give up on your dreams. It doesn’t matter how hard it seems, if you keep pushing eventually they’ll give way. So make a list, write down all of the things you’d like to do or learn or experience. Check it every so often to stay on track and make any changes. I still have 11 more major league ballparks to visit, continents to touch and courses to run so as long as I keep writing, I’ll keep dreaming new dreams to make reality.