A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions. A lot of people don’t. Some see New Years as a fresh start, and some see it as an annoyance that will make the gym more crowded for the first few weeks of January. I see it as a reason to take a moment to think about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.
2012 was an interesting year for me. For the first time in my life I wasn’t transitioning to something new. I didn’t enter a new grade, I didn’t start a new job. I had a consistency that I wasn’t used to, but welcomed. Outside of my job, I heavily expanded my extracurriculars, mostly with activities having to do with dogs and documented through this blog. I met a lot of really awesome people with the same intense passion for helping animals that I do, and surrounding myself with them helped me realize that together we’re each making a difference in our own way. I feel like I grew up a lot because of the unique balance of consistency and new experiences that I found myself with in 2012.
I don’t like to set unreachable goals for myself in the form of New Year’s resolutions, so I steer clear of the drastic stuff (example: “I’m going to the gym every morning at 6 am in 2013” – talk about setting yourself up to fail). Even though I shouldn’t need the changing of a date to make me do this, the New Year is as good an opportunity as any to take a solid look at what I can improve upon in my life. Like one of my favorite quotes says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” If I don’t make the effort to step it up and make myself better when and where I can, then I’ll lose opportunities to grow as a person.
With that being said, here are four of my goals for 2013 to work towards always improving myself. They’re pretty general, but if I look back at this time next year and have continued to do all four, I will be happy.
1. Learn, learn, learn. I’m soaking knowledge up like a sponge right now. I feel like I can’t get enough, and I love it. I’m going to continue learning about dog training, photography, animal behavior, business and more. I’m already signed up for a few more photography courses, dog behavior seminars and a business marketing class – and that’s just during January!
2. Continue to foster as many dogs as I am able. Here is one where I want to be realistic for myself. I stuck “as many as I am able” in there instead of a specific number because I know how many different factors go into fostering dogs, and if I’m only able to take in two this year then I will still be happy. If my circumstances work out that I can help ten find new homes, that would be great too. But I know I definitely want some temporary four legged fur babies back in my home at some point!
3. Read more. In addition to reading for my first goal, I really want to tap into the massive amount of awesome fiction books that are out there about dogs. I’ve already started a few thanks to my wonderful boyfriend giving me a Kindle for Christmas, and I can’t wait to keep going. I even joined a book club with Your Dog’s Friend that meets once a month to discuss dog books, both informational and fiction. I’m so excited!
4. Stay positive. I know, can’t get more general than this. But 2012 showed me a lot about the benefits of positivity, both for rescue and my personal life. Everyone knows that animal rescue can be a really crappy field to work in. You lose your faith in humanity and you lose animals you love. But staying positive helps to combat that, and in the end can actually really benefit the animals. I’m going to continue to try to look for the good in every situation this coming year – and I think that will be easier than it seems.
So they’re sort of standard and obvious, but I like to make the reminders to myself anyway. What is anyone else doing for 2013? Any big resolutions? I’d love to hear! And, as usual, thanks for being with me for this kick ass past year. Can’t wait for 2013 with you!