Every New Years Day, my girlfriends and I gather at the same beachside café to determine our resolutions for the coming year. Together we remember the highs and lows of the year that’s been and set huge, unattainable goals for the year to come. We take this ritual very seriously, each of us writing our own list of 26 resolutions, one for each letter of the English alphabet. This generally consists of a mix of adventure, frugality and weight loss. Over time, we have Altered our hair, Bared all, Created blogs, Paid debts, taken Guitar lessons and Kissed boys. We still haven’t Lost 30 kilo’s between us, and not one of us has Ridden a mechanical bull, Visited the Taj Mahal or run the entire City to Bay. We even introduced an annual trophy: “Resolutioner-of-the-Year Ted”. The person with the most resolutions completed has their name scribbled onto a mounted canvas bear and keeps him until the following year when the process begins again.
When you look past the more junior resolutions I have described, you’ll find at the core of this practice lies a desire to bind our lifestyles to our values. However, each year I find that although I have made leaps and bounds in Making the bed and Exercising regularly, the reality is this: my comfort zone has been walking all over my values for far too long. Despite good intentions, I don’t do the things I love or see the people I love nearly as much as I’d like to.
Too often I have made huge calls about how I was going to live my life, determined for drastic change. I’m now realising the key to having peace of mind doesn’t sit in an extreme. It lies in the delicate balance between ideals and reality. It isn’t realistic to burn myself out trying to gain freedom I can have now. Neither is it realistic to drop all of my responsibilities for a dream that isn’t sustainable. What I need is a confident balance. Feet on the ground, chin up, eyes forward. I also need to stop taking myself so seriously.
I’m on a journey of creative and ethical living in a limited world. Right now that means going through some processes to work out what it is I want, what I am willing to do for it, and how I plan to get there. I invite you to come with me. I’m not about to give you all the answers for creative and ethical living as I’m just starting the journey myself. What I am doing is opening the discussion. I’ll be regularly updating you with my own progress and creating some resources to help you with yours. Let’s make our lives our own!
As a starting point, I highly recommend checking out The Art of Non-Conformity, a website by Chris Guillebeau, which has some fantastic articles to get you thinking.