The new year can mean so much more than just a ball drop at midnight, a changing of the date on documents, and a time to toast and pop some bubbly (although, who really needs a special occasion to justify that!). I have never been big on the idea of making resolutions, to me that can seem more like a chore. I am however all for making points of focus of the new year. This can be a great time to be reflective and give yourself a pat on the back for the wonderful things you were able to accomplish, no matter how large or small your feats have been. It can also be a time to be your own best critic and see where you have room for improvement. Fortitude means having the strength to bear though adversity with courage, and these four areas of focus have helped me to feel like I am living this life to the fullest.
Treat your body like it is the only one you have, because it is.
I have learned this lesson through my journey at SALT Cycle Studio over the last year or so. Everyone should have a form of exercise that not only elevates your body but your mind and spirit as well, something you get lost in. You are worth taking take of yourself. Everything in moderation is something my mom has always said, within the last year I finally took this manta to heart. Moderation with food, sleep, alcohol, exercise, and self care… what a delicate dance it is! Everyone’s balance of these can be different, but find what works to make you feel like the healthiest version of yourself. Spend time outside, you will never regret it. Wherever you are, there is no excuse to avoid fresh air, it’s good for the soul. Feed your body good food. Find one day a week to food prep and follow along with some of my favorite foodies (Chef Krista, Skinnytaste, and Dashing Dish) to nourish your body from the inside out.
Strengthen a relationship with something greater than yourself, let yourself experience awe.
This connection can mean so many things, but is perhaps the most important of all my points here people! This can be a spiritual connection, a religious connection, or an elevated feeling that you can’t quite explain, but makes you feel whole. As an ER nurse I have a significant amount of faith in medicine, but I have also witnessed miracles that medicine can not explain. I rely on my faith to help me get through the tough days at the hospital, but also to explain that feeling when I am standing in front of the ocean or at the top of a mountain and am overcome with emotion for no explainable reason. I encourage you to find a connection to whatever it is that leaves you with a feeling of awe, it will make you a better person. When time always seems to be the excuse to stay away from church, or yoga (whatever it is that elevates you) I have found podcasts to be helpful.
Don’t stop! Get it, get it! Be a lifelong learner.
Stagnancy if one of the ugliest words in the English dictionary, and a being a know-it-all is one of the most unattractive traits to possess. Whether this is in regards to your career, hobbies, or personal growth- do not stop! Take a photography class, take a cooking class, read more, go to a museum! Some of my favorite cooking classes have been at Stonewall Kitchen, Cellardoor Winery, and Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet. It’s a hard one to break, but I have tried to get out of the habit of checking my phone before bed and turn a few pages instead. Some of my favorite titles are Present Over Perfect, Rising Strong by Brené Brown, and anything by Elin Hilderbrand as she shows off my favorite island of Nantucket in the intricacy of her novels. Part of continuing to learn as an adult for me has meant realizing that this world can be unjust, as a part of the human race I need to help where I can. Lilly Pulitzer once said, “If you don’t have charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble”. Find a local animal shelter, soup kitchen, or school to volunteer in.
Explore your surroundings, appreciate where you are and where you get to go.
It is no surprise to anyone that I am a weekend warrior. I have more miles on my Volvo than is socially acceptable, but I love it because it means that I have traveled (and that I have a wonderfully handy father). All of those miles keep my memories of girls weekends to Stowe, trying to park on the ferry to get to The Hamptons for bachelorette weekends, and trips to Maine alive and vivid in my mind. Follow along on my weekend trips here on The New England Gangster to see where your wheels can get you, and how to feel connected to this great part of the country that we live in. Two days away from your everyday life can leave you refreshed and ready to come back to your life with a brightened sense of the world.
Cheers to 2018 and until next time, stay gangster.