onward and upward

here we are, 2015. crazy! where did last year go?

i've never been much for new year's resolutions, but once i decided to write them down, some simple research turned my head right round. though i thought i knew exactly what resolution meant, i was surprised by the depth of the word. intention, courage, and dauntlessness are just a few synonyms for it. these are words that really hit home for me. so, no matter how hard it is, resolution is going to be my resolution this year. to have intention in the things i believe in and to be courageous and dauntless in my pursuit of them.

wishing you all a bright and beautiful new year!


p.s. i've asked my team for their new year's resolutions as well. a bit of food for thought for the rest of us.
there is something so special and personal about handwriting. it's as if you can feel a person's energy and personality on paper. getting a hand-written note or card is one of my very favorite things! it seems to be a practice that's slowly fading away but one i want to hold onto tightly, so this year, i resolve to send a hand-written note every week to someone in my life. it might be a simple thinking of you on beautiful stationery, an i love you, a fun only-you-and-i-will-get-this card, or just a little "you're amazing" boost to someone i think needs it...because nothing feels better than to receive (or send) an out-of-the-blue sentiment that you're in someone's heart...and hand. ~tyler

in all honesty, i haven't written down my new year's resolutions in several years. day to day i tend to make myself lists, but for some reason, when i try to list goals to carry out through the year, they all of the sudden become daunting and then the fear of failure sets in. i'd rather put out the simple intention that this year will be better than the last. having more generalized goals like continuing to learn to love and accept myself, being present, worrying less, having more faith and more of what i call "shining my light," radiating love to all things. i guess just trying to be the best version of myself. as for the day-to-day, making more time for work-outs, spending time in nature horseback riding, beach walking, and hiking near and far while making more time for family and friends. i figure if i put the intention out there and take steps daily, with that mindset, at the end of the year i can say it was a good year and i'm looking forward to the next because each represents growth...onward and upward ~lisa

one of the biggest lessons i learned last year was how wonderful life can be by not postponing happiness. unfortunately, i learned this through someone else's example and not through my own experience. so in 2015, i resolve to do the same with my own life and happiness. it has always been my nature to delay gratification--to put in the work before the reward, like finishing homework before watching tv--and that is not the habit i'm trying to break. but isn't life too short to save everything special for the "right time"? this year, i'm going to make pancakes on a weekday morning and finally sign up for that yoga class i've been dying to try. i'll celebrate the little milestones, rather than wait for something bigger to come along. perhaps i'll even take the vacation that occupies my day dreams, rather than add it to my bucket list. most of all, i'm going to practice mindfulness and being truly present to enjoy these things that make life so special. with a list like this, why wait to start? ~katie

one thing that i've come to realize over the past year is how little acts of random kindness can go a long way! they can make someone's day, build positive momentum, make someone feel special, cared for, and shift attitudes in a way that transform situations into happier experiences, and ultimately into happier lives. i think everyone can remember a time when they've experienced a random act of kindness by a stranger, or by someone you know who has gone out of their way to help you in a way that really touches you and makes you feel blessed. i've watched others receive these random acts of kindness myself, and every time it happens i notice there is a deep sense of gratitude that comes over me immediately; it gives me a little "pep in my step." for this new year, i am challenging myself to perform one completely random act of kindness each week for a different person each time. some weeks i will conduct a random act of kindness for a stranger, and some weeks i will chose to do it for someone i know. as a new year's resolution, this gesture is small, but it is my hope that i can help make a positive impact in someone's life, and give that person a reason to feel happy and blessed. ~sara

my resolution for 2015 is to minimize rushing. to be generous but intentional with my time. i have found that there is such a difference between being productive and rushing. all it takes is some time thinking and preparing so that plans and commitments don't sneak up on me. a professor i had this semester taught me this valuable lesson. as a class, we began preparing in august for our final presentation in december. sure enough, as he had promised, when the date arrived for the final presentation, i was not nervous or cramming or rushing to get anything done. it felt as if it had magically completed itself. which of course isn't true, but the lesson learned is to create a peace and harmony in the balance of my life so that i am never in the position of rushing. whether that is waking up and hour earlier to read the news and make a good breakfast before class so i can leave earlier and get a closer parking spot, or setting aside "me" time during the day, i will make sure 2015 is full of intentional, no rush moments. ~natalie


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