New year, new life

A couple years ago, when I was living in a dismal dorm situation with a roommate that I despised, I would have given ANYTHING for a little bit of joy. Enter in Hobby Lobby, a gorgeous floorlamp, and happiness. I came to my weekly Bible study meeting raving about the gorgeous lamp I bought, how much light it gave to my dreary closet of a room, and how it made me feel so cozy in the evenings. That lamp brought a little piece of home to my existence. My dear friend Mary made a comment that will forever live in our jokes and stories: “New lamp, new life!”

I sure could use a little bit of “new life” right about now.


Since coming home from Austria, I have been facing quite a bit of stress, and I have been feeling incredibly overwhelmed.

I have been facing the pressures of needing to have my whole entire life figured out. I have been constantly overscheduled (surprise, surprise) with appointments, errands, meetings with friends. I am arranging a move, the beginning of the hardest semester of my college career, finding a full-time job, and my future plans all at once.


The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of days, and it’s no surprise to anyone that New Year’s Day snuck up on me.

To me, that morning felt just like any other. I didn’t feel anything new. I didn’t feel anything different.

It’s sort of like when you wake up on your birthday, even an important one, and you don’t feel a second older than you did when you went to sleep.

Despite all of this, I diligently went through my usual beginning-of-the-year rituals. I sat myself down on my bed with the afternoon empty before me, and began to read through my journals from the past year. Not going to lie, it was pretty difficult to do. This year has been a hard one. While reading, I create a list of “highlights” from the past year– big events that really made an impact on my life.


Then I begin the process of brainstorming resolutions. I write down all the goals (big and small) that I might have for the year, and I try to combine them into two or three concise goals.

This year, my goals all seemed to center on small things. Small actions that together would help me to save money, live simpler, be creative, and feel grateful. I took inspiration from some of my favorite books that I’ve read this year, and from some of my favorite artists and bloggers.

I love the way my brainstorming doodle page turned out!


I came up with three basic resolutions for 2015 that I am really happy with. What I love most about this process is that these goals sound general and all-encompassing (read: vague and lofty). However, the brainstorming process that created them is full of details and action-related steps that can be taken to achieve these goals.

New years resolutions like “Eat healthier” or “Get in shape” sometimes go unaccomplished because they lack the detailed plan of HOW they will be accomplished.

What I hope to gain by the end of 2015 is this: a simpler lifestyle and a healthy wallet, the start of a creative business, and a full imagination.


Over the years I have collected many beautiful New Year’s tradition from friends and those that I admire.

Mary starts each year with composing hopes for each of her friends for the new year, praying over each one.

My best friend Sawyer starts the year with reflection– determining what she is proud of herself for in the past year, as well as things she wants to improve in the next.

Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favorite inspirations, ends the year by reading through her “happiness jar” and beginning a new one.

And, I recently read in the newspaper that in some French towns, it is customary to set parked cars on fire to celebrate the new year! Definitely not my idea of a good time, but to each his own I guess!


My hope for you in this new season is that you take time to reflect over 2014, and to dream about where you’d like to be at the end of 2015. I hope this brings you peace of mind, hope, and enthusiasm for the upcoming year.

If you have any lovely and unique New Year’s traditions, I would LOVE to hear about them in the comments below.

Happy 2015, everyone!

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man (or woman).



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