Bringing 2015 into 2016

mo stych blog post

tweaking old habits for new goals

I spend the first few days of January pinching myself. Is it really a new year already? What the heck happened last year? How could 365 days really have passed that quickly?

Then, as I reflect on all the things I saw, smelled, tasted, touched, heard, felt, and experienced over those 365 days, I realize that I truly did spend the last year doing a LOT OF THINGS. It’s amazing how quickly things move into our memory banks, even when it feels like the moment in front of us will never end (because it’s too wonderful, too boring, too awful, too overwhelming, or too heartfelt).

While this certainly applies to memories, it also applies to my goals and habits. I’m terribly guilty of starting little challenges or lifestyle changes that stick around for, oh, maybe a week or two, and then they seem to dissipate into thin air when I find something else I want to try. Oddly, the only consistency is my unwavering dedication to replace a personal habit with a new one. My friends and family know this all too well, and tend not to take my personal challenges seriously because they know I’ll change my mind soon enough. 

Believe it or not, 2015 may have been a turning point for me in some regard. There are things I started doing more consistently in 2015 that are now an active part of my life. I don’t want to give up certain objectives for something new: i want to build upon the foundation I established and go from there. Here is a short list of things I did in 2015 that I want to continue in 2016:

2015 mantra: playing bar trivia

As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol very often, I don’t have much motivation to go to bar on a Tuesday. But this past year I spent a lot of time at one of our favorite neighborhood bars, making new  friends and competing in a weekly trivia contest. The rewards were twofold: I built stronger relationships with friends I consider acquaintances or otherwise didn’t see much, and I’ve learned a lot of interesting facts about a plethora of subjects along the way.

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Word of the Year: Create



I’m a big fan of personal challenges. Some are truly beneficial (eliminating refined sugars for two weeks before Christmas) and others are questionable tests of my sanity (not spending any money for an entire month, aside from groceries). I like mixing things up in my life and seeing what I’m capable of achieving, whether short-term or long-term.

But New Year’s resolutions are hard for me. Rather than pinpoint exactly what I want to accomplish, every year I end up with unachievable goals and expect instantaneous results. Back when I was an avid blog-reader, I noticed a lot of bloggers set a “word of intention” going into a new year. Essentially, it was a personal mantra to carry with them for the next 12 months and help guide their life without setting strict boundaries.

The whole “word of intention” thing always seemed kind of hokey to me, but as I think about what I want out of 2016 it seems like the most attainable and motivational way for me to break into a new year. I’ve done some thinking over the past week or two, and I’ve set my word for 2016:


In my personal and professional life, I feel like I am on the verge of some big breakthrough. I don’t know what form it takes, or what it means, but I feel something brewing inside my heart. I already know 2016 will be a year filled with big changes (new city, new job, new living space, etc.) but I want to harness this positive energy and get the most out of this year that I possibly can.

For me, I feel best when I am creating. I relish creativity on so many different levels and I like that “create” is a verb that’s versatile and adaptable to a lot of areas in my life. Here are some examples of ways I plan to create in 2016:

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The Creative’s Dilemma

creatives dilemma

The internet is a productivity paradox. While it provides a wealth of information that I can utilize to grow my own ideas (fact-checking when writing, color inspiration when designing, or something new and awesome), the internet is also full of addicting distractions that I find incredibly hard to resist. I’m like everyone else: solid content is impossible to resist, whether it’s educational or just plain awesome.

Lately, I’ve found myself on two big (and entirely separate) addictions: Mad Men and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton.” These two things alone occupy all my free time and essentially put me in a position to not do anything except consume the creative brilliance of others.

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