Happy New Year – 2019

Happy New Year – 2019

If you are the kind of person who is waiting for the ‘right’ thing to happen, you might wait for a long time.  It’s like waiting for all of the traffic lights to be green for five miles before starting the trip. ~ Robert Kiyosaki

It’s New Year’s Day, the first day of the new year, so what?  Seriously, New Year’s Day is just another day, the only difference between January 1st, and August 12th is the significance that we place on that particular day.  You see every new day, can be the start of something new for you.  However, since we all place so much emphasis on the new year I’m writing this post today.

What I’m asking you today friends, is to start something new, commit to it, make it something you will get done.  I know, I know you think I’m talking about the same old New Year’s resolutions talk, it’s not.  I’m really not, our New Year’s resolutions are almost always the same old things, lose weight, stop smoking, be nicer to your relatives, go back to school, whatever.  I see this every year at whatever gym I’m a member of at the time.  In early December the gym levels start to diminish.  By the week of Christmas the gym is a ghost town, there’s hardly anyone in there.  Then, a few days after Christmas it starts, the numbers increase right around the New Year, with all of their weight loss, stop smoking, start exercising resolutions in their head, people appear.  You see the gym staff constantly giving tours, you see people who don’t know how to use the machines and people are always on the machine you want to be on.  The really sad thing, is that by the end of January the gym is completely back to normal, it seems people’s resolve to create something new has a half-life of about four weeks, until it is resurrected next year for another four weeks.

So no, I’m not asking you to go through the same old process.  What I’m suggesting is that this year, you do something completely different.  Let’s almost start the same way, let’s pick a goal, a resolution if you need to use the same old language.  However, that’s where the similarities will stop.  We have a tendency to pick resolutions that society thinks we should pick, things that society and sometimes, we think are best for us.  Things like stopping smoking, exercising and losing weight.  Now these are all things that would be great for us to do, but if we truly have no desire, if there is no passion for this resolution we’ve selected, then four weeks sounds about right to me.

So for this year, let’s ignore what we’re “supposed” to do.  Let’s think about what gets us fired up, what gets us excited, what is that thing that will get you out of bed without having to set the alarm.  Is there something you love to do, knit sweaters, build bird houses, walk in nature or photography?  Or maybe there is something you’ve always thought in the back of your mind, man I wish I could speak Italian and travel in Italy.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  Whatever it is, that’s were you need to focus the resolution, where you need to start.  So let’s say you’ve decided you want to speak Italian and travel in Italy.

Italy, travel, happinessSo, a trip to Italy isn’t cheap and you can’t learn a language in 3 weeks no matter what the ads for Babbel say.  So, you have your goal, start with a little dreaming.  Spend sometime online looking at images of Italy, envisioning sipping wine on the Amalfi coast looking at the ocean.  Look at tours, self-guided trips, find and read some blogs on traveling in Italy.  Start constructing that perfect trip to Italy, maybe it’s walking galleries and museums in Florence, floating on a gondola in Venice, strolling past ancient ruins in Rome or all of the above.

Now, start setting timelines, develop a budget and get a plan for learning Italian.  Figure out, how bit by bit you’ll put away the money for the trip.  Start learning Italian, there are so many ways to do this, sometimes there are free community classes, you can take out Italian language learning books from the public library, there are community college language classes, there are free apps on the net, I’m particularly fond of Duolingo.  BE REALISTIC, make sure that your budget timeline has some cushion in it.  Give yourself lots of time to learn a language and don’t make fluency your goal.  Make your goal something I call survival language skills.  Learn hello, goodbye, thank you and please.  Learn the names of foods, key phrases like I need a taxi or where is the train station.  It’s amazing how well you can navigate modern cities with a smart phone and some rudimentary language skills.

Make all of this fun, watch Italian movies, make Italian friends online, visit museums and cultural sites virtually online.  Read the blogs of travelers who are traveling in Italy and take note of, but generally ignore any negativity about their experiences.  Go to Italian food festivals and restaurants in your or nearby towns.  And most importantly, make sure, five days a week you do something related to language and travel in Italy.

Finally stick to it and in the end go to Italy, enjoy, have fun, blog it out, start an Instagram page for your trip and share it with other people so that you can help motivate them.

oaxaca, mexico, travelWhy am I suggesting this whole process, shouldn’t I be suggesting something health and happiness related?  Well my friends I have.  First a trip to someplace you always wanted to go will help make you happier.  I am, as you know if you read this blog, a huge proponent of all the positive things getting out of your comfort zone and travel does for you.  Second, if you’ve developed even rudimentary language skills you’re learning and education will always help make you happier.  If you pull this trip off you’ve created a goal and achieved it, you’ve proven to yourself that you can do that, and then you can plan bigger and bigger goals that will make your life more satisfying and happier.  This works even if your goal was to paint or play guitar one hour a week for a year.  Even if your goal was to take an hour, one day a week and do nothing but relax, listen to music or read a book.  It’s the goal setting and success that matters, not the topic. This will bleed over, for me, just going to the gym, turned into eating better, losing weight and even more consistently writing this blog.  This process has led me to take on a new language Spanish and even to living in Mexico for two months this past year.

I believe in you, now you need to believe in yourself, and really importantly don’t let your fear get in the way, fear is killing your happiness.   You can do this and not only have happier days, but happier years my friend, go out and make 2019 your year. ~ Rev Kane

About revmichaelkane

Reverend Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His most recent book about hiking and happiness is Appalachian Trail Happiness available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon
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