2017 has come and gone, officially, leaving a taste much more bitter than sweet in most of our mouths. Yes, 2017 had its ups as well as its downs, but collectively, I think we all can agree – watching that famous ball plunge down to earth at midnight was like a breath of fresh air. A new start. And, by now, you might already be feeling like you’ve ruined that fresh start considerably. Maybe, you already skipped leg day or absentmindedly ate that entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s (I should’ve just bought Halo Top, in all honesty.). But most food or exercise related New Year’s Resolutions are no more than uninspired fallacies, anyway. They never stick because they’re not supposed to.
Instead of making 2018 about restrictive diets and unrealistic expectations at the gym, let’s make it about creating new and unique opportunities for ourselves. How so? Maybe, first, stop asking “How?” and start asking “Why not?”. Start saying yes to things you’d normally say no to without even considering. Don’t say yes to everything, of course, (A necessary disclaimer, I think.) but don’t say no to something just because you’re afraid of your own limitations.
Limitation – it’s kind of a scary word, isn’t it? It makes you feel incapable…like you’re grasping for straws you just can’t reach no matter how far you stretch, no matter how incredibly close you feel. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reach elsewhere. And that’s really what stepping outside of your comfort zone is all about. Looking for different approaches, coming from any and all angles. Allowing yourself to recognize your own limitations, learning from them, and making necessary adjustments; adjustments you might not have allowed yourself to make once upon a time because of deep seeded fear or regret or even stubbornness.
Set goals and clear-cut ambition are all good and well, but sometimes I think we can become a little stuck in predetermined destinations. It’s nice to be grounded, but not unmovable. In the Marvel graphic novel Civil War (Bear with me, here.), Captain America tells us to, “plant yourself like a tree” and, when the whole world says otherwise, “when the whole world tells you to move…say, ‘No, you move.’” It’s pretty decent advice suggesting that we shouldn’t sacrifice our own morals for the sake of others. With that being said, however, I don’t think it’s entirely applicable to all real-life situations. Don’t “plant yourself like a tree” in all aspects of life and expect to end up anywhere other than where you are right now. After all, how can we ever expect to go forward if we’re not going anywhere at all?
You don’t have to lose who you are or become someone else to create new experiences. But don’t let your established “comfort zone” define who you are. Trust your gut, know your worth, and, if you don’t already know, find out who you are. You can’t do that if you stay in the same spot. Start small, if you have to, as long as you start.