December 31, 2012
Now go do something in 2013
Usually I look at New Years as just the hangover holiday after Christmas. It's always been a reason to drink and make some passing reflection on the year and forget about it the next day. This year has been different, however, there's been a lot of change in my adult life in just 12 short months. In 2013, for the first time I really have high hopes for the future and just what could be accomplished. Not just the normal "well there goes another year of my life down the tubes."
In 2012, I made several changes. Last Christmas, I was what you would classify as "fat" weighing in at a whopping 215 pounds in my pretty normal frame. It wasn't anything too serious, but I certainly didn't feel good about myself. Roughly 365 days last, I've dropped 65 pounds and am eating healthier and feeling better. It was the first time in my 20s where I felt I turned a corner on something and actually made some progress on my life as opposed to "just getting older."
A few months ago, I also decided to stop drinking altogether. There just wasn't anything beneficial from it anymore and the social lubricant that it had served as during the college years was now just putting me in crappy bars with a hangover the next morning. I sensed that all that time spent drinking and "having a good time" was keeping me from doing real things that were actually a good time. I haven't regretted the decision nor felt any single urge to drink again.
I also moved across to states from Polson, MT to Centralia, WA to become a sports reporter for the Chronicle. The job is absolutely incredible and gives me that feeling "this is exactly what I want to be doing?" ... something you don't get from too many occupations. The new community has been great and is just a drive from Portland and Seattle.
A couple other changes I made was making a point of always being at the gym working out, reading more books, canceling my DISH subscription so I can spend time doing other things and just finding new things in general.
I'm certainly happier than I was 12 months ago, and I want to be able to say that in a year. I know it won't be easy, life certainly isn't, but I feel there are some things to be learned from 2012 and can be applied to 2013. If you're looking for a way to make the next year of your life better, try doing these things.
1. Find out what you don't like about your life and change it - What, deep down, doesn't sit with you well? Try and change that. While I can't say you'll become a millionaire or a movie star, if you're unhappy and keep doing the same thing, you won't get any different results.
2. Realize actions and attitudes are more important than words - Do it. If you want to be a positive person, it should be a no-brainier that you can't be negative. Negativity is just an awful thing for a person to have. Those people in your life that say you can't? Don't listen to them, they have their own issues. If you start being a positive person, taking actions that make you a better person... then you will become a better person. It's as simple as that.
3. Challenge what you find is comfortable - This is my favorite. I like challenging the thoughts I bring up about my religious upbringing. Never be afraid of new ideas and new experiences, because if you try them you might find yourself. Go out on a limb and take up a new hobby even if you're terrible at it. Don't be afraid to talk to that person you've been dying to talk to. You'll find that the most successful people will deal with uncomfortable situations like the rest of us, but the difference is that they're not afraid of them. Don't be afraid of different people, political ideas, passions, life plans and don't be afraid to steer from the life road you've had since you're a kid.
4. Find Inner Peace and a Purpose - This is a huge thing. When you're having an awful day, find what makes you at peace with the world and go with it. For me, a great deal of physical activity combined with quiet reflection and the company of friends always puts me in a good mood.
Then there's the age old question of what am I doing with my life? I discovered all I want is to be happy. Money and fame? Nah. You should do the things that make you feel like you've accomplished something. Do those things. Make those your passion. Don't give up on them.
5. Friends and Family - They're always important. Don't forget them. Make sure you tell them that you appreciate them because they may not realize it.