Now that we have been welcoming 2017 for a few days, I am seeing a lot of posts on social media about new years resolutions. In my younger years, I would have been one of those people making a list of resolutions. Unfortunately, I was also one of those people who really struggled to keep them as the year progressed. Knowing this about myself, I stopped making new year resolutions a few years ago. This was in equal parts due to not wanting to set unrealistic expectations for myself and not wanting to feel anxiety/pressure by having to complete them. All in all, it is in my best interest not to make new years resolutions.

However, all these years later and I still wanted a way for me to mark the new year and focus on the good in life. So I devised a two-fold plan. First, I would select one thing that I would personally work on in 2017. Second, I wanted to find something that I could that would strengthen my relationship with Hubs. I thought about these two pieces of my plan for over a week and couldn’t settle on anything specific. My luck changed during lunch with a good friend of mine and the chance viewing of a hashtag on Twitter.

Personal: #OneWord365

I discovered the idea for my personal quest during a lunch with my good friend Brittany. She told me that she and her husband had each selected a “word” for 2017. Their words serve personal mantras that they will use to keep themselves balanced, focused, and moving towards their personal goals. After our conversation, I saw similar posts and conversations online that others were doing something similar. This led me down a bit of a rabbit hole and I spent more time than I want to admit reading about how people use their word of the year to motivate them. I loved reading their stories about the word they had selected for 2017.

I then took a couple days to think about what word I would select for 2017. Before I selected my word, I thought about my current strengths, weaknesses, and personal growth goals. My strengths are my compassion, adaptability, and desire to learn new things. My weaknesses are my inability to say “no” and difficulty focusing. Knowing these things, I have several areas of personal growth I have identified. They include but are not limited to wasting time, not focusing enough on improving my health, and launching my digital consulting business so that I can charge people instead of giving away my services for free.

After thinking things through, I decided that my word for 2017 would be intentional. Intentional is the perfect word for me because I need to be much more intentional with my actions, time, and words. I need to stop waffling about and focus on making good choices that support my desired outcomes. Feeling like a million bucks because I had finally selected the perfect word for myself, I shared my word with Hubs. He agreed that it was a solid selection for me in 2017. Ever the jokester that he is, Hubs told me his word for 2017 was going to be: banana. Little does he know that I’m going to ask him how bananas are improving his personal growth moving forward, lol. :)

You can learn more about selecting a word for your year and connect with others who have online at http://oneword365.com/ or exploring the hashtag #oneword365 on social media.

Couple: #52HikeChallenge

Over the past few years, Hubs has embraced the outdoor lifestyle I have always loved. If it were up to him, he would have us tackling backcountry hikes on the regular. Instead, my health issues have held us back from fully embracing nature. Later this month, I will be visiting an out-of-state specialist to develop a personalized approach to combating my syndrome. I am hopeful that my fatigue and energy level will be some of the first things we tackle. Tackling these will hopefully get me back in fighting shape. Living in the suburbs, we both also miss spending time in nature. When we do have time to explore, we spend a lot of time driving through nature and going on short hikes (1-3 miles) due to my health restrictions. It makes me sad as Hubs loves to hike.

Recently, I was looking at tweets from my #ParkChat friends and ended up clicking through on a hiking hashtag. Down the internet rabbit hole I went until I stumbled upon the #52HikeChallenge hashtag. I was immediately intrigued by the concept and read more about the challenge. My immediate reaction was that I would love to do something like that, but that I likely wouldn’t be physically able to do so.

After digging a little deeper into the challenge rules, I discovered that a minimum of 1 mile is needed for a hike to qualify for beginners. Knowing that I would be able to muster through at least 1 mile, I began to think about it in earnest. First, it would be an excellent weekly bonding experience for Hubs and I. Second, it would force me to get in some non-traditional exercise each week. However, I also worried that we might not be able to complete a hike each week due to our travel schedules. Thankfully, the rules allow you to make up hikes as needed. With my reservations settled, I wanted to move forward.

When I mentioned the challenge to Hubs, he immediately agreed to participate. We agreed to start this coming weekend, which will have us finishing the last weekend in December 2017. Hubs is super pumped to do some winter hiking (yay?). Our plan is to start with shorter and less strenuous hikes. By the end of the year, we are hopeful that we will be able to tackle some of the more challenging hikes in our area without issue. Thankfully, we are blessed to have a ton of trails within a reasonable driving distance of our house. Most of which we have not done.

I plan on blogging through our adventure, so you will get to see our progress along the way! You can learn more about the 52 Hike Challenge online at http://www.52hikechallenge.com/ or by exploring the hashtag #52HikeChallenge on social media.