I didn’t last New Year’s Eve and 2016 has been the best year I have ever had. This past year I have grown in every aspect of my life: professionally, socially, financially, mentally, etc. I didn’t have any time specific goals set as the year started. I didn’t give myself a 30-day challenge. I didn’t start a diet. I didn’t start going to the gym. Instead, I just kept on with my life, following some overarching goals I have established for myself as time has gone on.
I do have goals
When I graduated college I had an idea of what I wanted out of life. I had envisioned a lifestyle for myself going forward and choices I made from then on out were made with this idea in mind. Sometime in 2015, I conjured up a general set of goals that embody this lifestyle:
- I want to travel — a lot
- I want to be married someday
- I don’t want to worry about money
- I want to surround myself with good people
- I want my life story to be worth telling
I don’t recite these goals to myself daily. I don’t have them hung up on a wall anywhere. But rather, they are a subconscious list that add up to my only real goal: I want to be happy.
I prioritize what actually makes me happy
I will never have the perfect body, and that’s fine by me. I can guarantee that I wouldn’t be happy spending hours in the gym, eating chicken breasts and spinach for dinner, and drinking only water. I don’t derive pleasure from looking at my muscles in the mirror. I do, however, love exploring the mountains with my dog, playing sports with my friends, and skiing on the weekends.
I enjoy being able to make irrational decisions. I like being able to buy plane tickets on a whim. I want to be able to buy my friends a round of drinks without having to first check my bank account. I don’t care that I’ve been wearing the same few pairs of jeans for years and that a majority of my t-shirts were given to me for free. The money I make is plenty for the things I care for, and that’s what makes me happy.
I’ve become a yes man… well, maybe I always was one. But when opportunities come up I am always ready. This, in turn, builds my friendships, my collection of stories to tell, and of course, quenches my thirst for adventure.
So, for 2017
It’s more of the same. These goals will keep guiding my routine decisions, and from what I’ve experience so far, they won’t lead me astray. For your upcoming year, I urge you to think in the big picture, what will actually make you happy? And for those things that do, keep them in mind when making decisions in your day to day life rather than once a year come January first.
Cheers everyone, Happy New Year!