New Year hat and journal for resolutions
Image via Carol VanHook/Flickr.

What a year 2014 was! I tried a new hairstyle, moved to two different cities, traveled to beautiful Surry, Maine, for the first time for IHE’s Student Residency, and spent the rest of the summer on the sunny beaches in south Florida. The latter part of my year was full of family and friend birthday parties, attempts to exercise consistently, and experiencing my very first drum circle with a dear friend.

In 2014 I learned a lot about myself and my own boundaries. I explored new parks and several vintage book stores and cupcake shops. I thought a lot about how I can help promote education for girls all over the world and how I can support global efforts to decrease maternal mortality. It was a year of great variety and contemplation.

However, like so many others, on the first day of this new year, I was reminded of all the 2014 New Year’s resolutions that I did not accomplish.

At the end of one great year and on the cusp of another, many of us sit with great longing and irritation at all the things we have yet to accomplish, all the while dutifully adding them to an ever-growing list of resolutions for the following year.

So this year I pledge to do it differently. I will not create a long list of things to do; I will not saddle myself with goals that are vague, that have no time frame, and that don’t add great meaning to my life. Instead I have decided to create a different set of resolutions: a list of specific and meaningful goals that I will accomplish with great clarity, peace, and joy. I invite you to read my list, reflect upon your own goals for 2015, and create a different set of resolutions that resonate deeply with your life’s purpose and passions.

As humane educators and solutionaries, each day we pursue educating the world about healthier practices for our earth and our fellow human and nonhuman beings. We strive in each moment to be a beacon of light, an inspiration for great reflection on how we live and how we treat the world and all of its inhabitants. I say let us shine in our New Year’s resolutions as well, making them year-long opportunities to invest in peace and progress for all. The world is watching; what shall we show them this year?!

As I created this year’s resolutions, my primary guiding thought was this: “In everything, do it with love, do it with great care, and do it with joy and integrity. Tomorrow is not promised, yet this moment is large in opportunity, and I will fill the space accordingly.”

CKrystal’s 2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

1.    Seek out an animal/farm sanctuary and find out how I can be of service. Support the sanctuary in any way possible.
2.    Take on the challenge of being trash free.
3.    Research global efforts to reduce maternal mortality and improve childbirth practices. Dedicate myself to being a part of the solution by educating myself and sharing the information with others.
4.    Become familiar with more vegan companies and restaurants.
5.    Support a local organic farmer.
6.    Try 12 different fruits or veggies.
7.    Start a gratitude journal.
8.    Introduce my kids to at least four different child activists.
9.    Create a compost bin.
10.    Embrace a simpler way of life, letting not even my New Year’s resolutions create a sense of hurry or chaos. But rather choosing to live 2015 in a humble and honest way, pausing long enough to smell the flowers and feel the rain. Pausing long enough to meet my neighbor; call a dear friend; support a worthy cause; learn about human rights issues in my own city; read a book; sit with the laughter of children; and remember that this one life is a grand opportunity to be a part of the movement for progress and peace, justice, and humane education on behalf of all.

Happy New Year! What will be your different set of resolutions this year?