Starting a new year is all about making new, fresh and exciting plans. While we celebrate the year that comes with champagne and laughs, we also celebrate all the adventures we want to embark on. And of course, we make lists. I was never good making these kind of lists, mainly because I know my plans change all the time and I probably wouldn’t be able to go through my New Year’s resolutions anyway. But that’s about to change. These are my 2016’s Ten Commandments, which I truly intend to live by (I’ll let you know if I succeed, 365 days from now):
1- Be grateful
I guess this is pretty much a cliche, mas it is so very important to stop sometimes, look at my life and be grateful. 2015 was a perfect example – so many good things happened to me, dreams came true… so much to be grateful about. Becoming a travel leader for Nomad.pt being the most exciting of them all. So this is it: be grateful about what life throws at you. Be grateful for your accomplishments, your adventures, your health, your ideas, your family and even your dog. I absolutely am.
2- Be adventurous
For me, life and aventure always go together. I’ll keep seeing the world, finding new places, making new friends around the globe, getting out of my comfort zone so I can find out more about the world and about myself. I must plan my next trip soon!
3- Be more organised
Time management is so not my strongest suit. Actually, I suck at it. I always think time will always stretch more and more and I’ll have plenty of time for the million things I have to do…urgently. [That’s maybe why I burn all the food i make when I decide to do something else “just while it cooks for a little while”]. The other day I was thinking of working at home mums. Do they really exist? If you are one of them and reading this: I AM YOUR BIGGEST FAN. Honestly, how do they do it? My first problem is to stay focused when everything tries to compete for my attention. Clean that, “we’re out of this, lets go to the supermarket”, “oh let’s put the TV on while working”, phone, emails, tidying desktops and external hard drives, make lists and not crossing everything out of that day’s list. Then, all my deadlines are “urgent” or “for yesterday”. Then people ask me if I can do or that just because I can – because I don’t have a “real job”. Or why I haven’t cleaned the whole house when I was, after all, home all day. But mainly I need to get a grip. I need to manage my time better and need to get a routine that works (working through the night almost every day can’t be healthy). And I need it now. Any good advice out there? [I have actually read a few blog posts on the topic – I must apply the advice to my routine]
4- Be (more) present [and go offline]
My dear friends – you know who you are – I am so sorry for not being really present in 2015. It will try harder to change that for 2016… after all, life is no fun without sharing it with friends and family. Time goes so fast that sometimes it makes me feel dizzy. But there are no excuses, and hopefully I am still in time to let them know they really matter.
Another important thing I want to do is to go offline sometimes. I remember being at a deserted island in Indonesia, with no mobile signal, no wi-fi and no electricity during the day. Three amazing days spent enjoying my handsome boyfriend’s company, reading, snorkeling, going for walks and witness the most wonderful sunsets. Life is beautiful when you unplug from the rest of the world and live in the moment. I must to that more often.
5- Learn new skills
Write more and often, read and learn from the best.
Focus more on digital media and social networks.
Learn basic Indonesian.
6- Go Greener
I have changed already some of my habits in the last few years, but there’s still a long way. It’s not easy to completely ban plastic bags, plastic bottles, and the sorts from our daily lives, but one has got to start somewhere. And this needs to be taken to a whole new level… I have been reading about it lately, on how to reduce waste, eat ethically (trying to eat food that has not been produced at the environment’s expense can be tricky…) and keep our planet clean. It’s not easy at all, but if you love our world as much as I do, I truly hope it can stay as beautiful for many years to come.
7- Get rid of unnecessary clutter
We all get attached to things we don’t really need. I have been postponing some major cleaning up. I need to get the time and sort a few things out: sell, donate, recycle, refurbish, give away. I either need it and use it or it is out. I hate hoarding. And it’s also good for the planet. Check out this video from Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia outdoor clothing and gear: “You hear ‘reuse, recycle,’ stuff like that. You also have to consider refuse. Refuse to buy something. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.”
8- Be childish
My brother used to say “you can only be a child once, but you can stay childish forever” – I don’t know where he heard it from but it stuck to me. I look at my 2 year old nephew and I see those eyes opening up like crazy and getting excited about the little things… like everything is worth being astonished by. I can see a similarity to when I visit a new place: same “wow” sound comes out from my mouth, same wide open eyes, sparkling eyes, same excitement. Traveling keeps my inner child happy. It makes me feel so alive. Another awesome reason to keep traveling, right?
9- Live healthier
Sports – I have been ignoring them. I miss going for walks more often, running or taking the old rusty bike for a spin. I need a plan, and I need it now. Go, Rita!
In 2015 I made a change for the better to my eating habits: I started having breakfast. It sounds awful just saying it, I know, but I used to skip breakfast almost everyday, occasionally forcing myself to drink up a liquid yogurt before leaving home in the morning… On holidays and while traveling I eat when I get up but for some reason while working I used to feel sick when waking up and not hungry at all, and then I would forget about eating all morning, being the usual late lunch my first meal of the day. I finally corrected this major mistake this year but I still need to make some emends to my cookings. I need to replace the “easier” and “quicker” for “healthier”. Get the organic and fresh and let go of the frozen and canned. I believe it’s just a mindset – I love cooking, it’s just that doing it everyday (and now that I work from home more often, even at lunch time) starts being an obligation rather than a pleasure. I guess that when commandment Nr.3 is accomplished this will also get easier I guess, as time hasn’t been on my side either. Gotta make the time, take some music and good wine to the kitchen to change things around, I guess
10- Have fun
A list of things to live 2016 by would be nothing without having fun while doing them. Achieving my goals, crossing things out of a list, getting personal projects on the run, traveling more… all this would be nothing if I was not having fun. I always try to make the most of every moment and it’s important also to acknowledge when things are truly making me happy or becoming a burden, or worse – making me feel miserable about myself.
I plan on getting the most of 2016 and making it a great year, starting by having humongous amount of fun.
What about you? What are your plans for 2016?