Over the last two days, I spent ten hours in the car, driving from North Carolina to Brooklyn with three of my favorite people: Brené Brown, Lauren Graham, and Elizabeth Gilbert. As their latest books streamed through Brad’s speakers, I pretended we were on the politest four-way conference call ever. Once someone held the speaking stick, the rest of us didn’t interrupt her until she was finished. We laughed, we cried, we got funny looks from driversby. Last but not least, it’s my turn to share...
With the end of another year drawing near, I have the sensation I’m sitting front row at a tennis match. My attention zooms left, then right, alternating between looking back on 2016 and forward to 2017. It’s exhilarating, it’s inspiring, it’s making my neck sore.
An earlier iteration of me, before I met all of you, would’ve muscled my way through the entire match, ignoring the signals to rest and stretch and paying for it with a stiff neck the next day. Now I know it's OK to relax. The world won't end if I take my eyes off the ball for a few moments and rest my head in my hands. I've come to appreciate those still times when I can let other senses take over, noting the sun on my skin, the ooh's and ahh's of the people around me, and if I'm lucky, the aroma of a freshly opened can of Wilson tennis balls.
So my friends, whether or not setting resolutions is a tradition for you, consider using this time of year as an opportunity to clarify and focus. Avoid the old formulas involving addition and subtraction (“I will lose 20 pounds” or “I will add $20,000 to my bank account”). Instead, choose a simple sentence to serve as your intention for the upcoming year. It could be something you want to keep, makeover or kiss goodbye. Don’t stress. You won’t be engraving it in stone. This is only your starting point, and it will evolve along with you.
To get you flowing, here are some examples infused with the wisdom of my road trip buddies. See if any of them put a kick in your serve.
- I believe people are just doing their best, myself included.
- I won’t feel down on myself regarding any issues that Oprah is still working on.
- I will swing for the fences.
- I live by the three C's: courage, curiosity and creativity.