There’s this great nonprofit website called FutureMe.org – so no, I won’t get a discount off my Living Social deal if you use it. It’s like a virtual time capsule, but instead of a diamond, a drop of human blood, or an outdated encyclopedia, it’s words. Basically, you write an email to your future self (or future someone), set it to send on a specific date, forget you ever wrote it, and months or years later you get an email from your past self.
I’ve made a habit of doing this at the end of every year, then setting it to send to myself at the end of the following year. Instead of making resolutions, I make goals, and each year I take stock of what I said I wanted to achieve the year before to see if I accomplished any of them. I also make sure to mention some of the big events that were happening at the time or about to happen, because it’s always interesting to compare what you thought life would be like with how it actually turned out. Spoiler alert: it’s never how you thought it would be!
I like the idea of taking stock and setting goals instead of resolutions. If I don’t achieve a resolution, I feel like a failure, whereas a goal gives me some focus, something to aspire to – but I don’t feel like a disappointment if I don’t get there. Sometimes your focus changes over the course of time – you start to value different things, life throws you a curve ball, you have a child (or heck, a puppy) and all of a sudden your priorities change. That’s okay. The real goal of life is to grow as a person, not check some arbitrary thing off a checklist. Unless it’s a bucket list. Then you should definitely check off those boxes.
This is a great time of year to think about what truly adds to your sense of well-being. I’m betting it’s not losing weight or making more money or buying a fancy car. There’s been a lot of research about happiness that found that once you reach a certain income threshold – such that you can pay for food, shelter, and the other necessities (around $40,000 for most folks) – money matters less than experiences and relationships. Especially around the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in stuff. Buying stuff. Getting stuff. Returning stuff. Having to pay for all that stuff. I’d encourage you to get caught up in how you relate to others instead.
Have a safe and healthy new year. I’ll see ya in 2015 with some more advice I never follow. xoxo