I guess I am a little late for this topic, given it’s already mid-January, but my life was in absolute chaos at the end of last year. So forgive the tardiness, but let’s get started.
One of my goals for 2016 was to travel more, but life got in the way and I ended up not traveling nearly as much as I would have liked. But now 2017 is here and, if lucky, we are awarded 365 new days filled with opportunity to make our lives as exciting and fun as we wish. And I am determined to make traveling a priority this year, which is resolution number one! But first, allow me to share a little backstory that’ll help explain how I chose my resolutions for 2017:
In 2016, I turned 30 and couldn’t help but feeling like I had to assess my life to see if it was the life I had envisioned when I was younger. Well… It turns out, I was living in a tiny one bedroom apartment feeling crammed, had a divorce under my belt, had never taken my dream trip to Europe, didn’t own a home, had no children and had a job that, although good, only allowed me to take 5 days of vacation time a year. I was pretty down but decided to tackle one problem at the time.
First, I went to look for larger apartments to rent. I came back extremely discouraged as I discovered that rent in Orlando is at an all-time high and prices are nothing short of absurd. After a good crying session I realized that one of the things I always thought I’d have by the time I was 30 was a roof over my head to call mine. So, that same Saturday afternoon, I called the bank and asked to speak with the lending department. I got a pre-approval letter that same day!
Long story short ::drum roll please::… I can now say that I am 30 and a homeowner! I closed on my condo on January 5, so I can definitely say that 2017 started on a great note and that was because I decided to take action and change the things that were making me unhappy. And… it doesn’t stop there! The year continued to get better. On the second weekend of January, guess what I did? I TRAVELED!
It wasn’t to Europe yet, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am actually doing it. I am making things happen. Seriously, 2017 has barely started and I have already taken a trip and that is a BIG deal for me. I headed to Miami to experience Wodapalooza, a HUGE CrossFit competition, and I had the time of my life.
I now realize how shallow my initial life assessment had been. It’s just not fair to compare my current life to what 14-year-old Fernanda thought her life at 30 would be like, because every person has a different path, but when we are younger we are too naive to understand and accept this. I am a hardcore planner and 2016 really showed me that over-planning life leads to extra room for disappointment. But what I do know is that I have so much to be grateful for even when things don’t go as planned. Taking the time to be grateful really helped improve my mood and that is why being grateful is my second resolution for this new year.
During the move, I started to get really overwhelmed by the amount of things I owned and realized that having so much stuff caused me more stress than joy. One of the reasons why I couldn’t even be happy in my one-bedroom apartment was because I couldn’t fit all my stuff in it and that made me upset. But that made no sense, because material things should only make us happy and not be a source of anguish. So that was when I started looking for tips on how to de-clutter my life and found videos that talk about minimalism. The idea that we should only own stuff that enhances our lives and brings us joy really spoke to me! I donated several boxes of things that I no longer used, sold some things and just de-cluttered my apartment before moving to my new condo and it all felt so rewarding. I am far from being a minimalist, but I definitely think this philosophy makes so much sense and is something I want to try to practice more. So, I plan on being more conscious about the things I buy in 2017 and I want to continue to let go of the things that don’t bring me joy, which is resolution number three.
To narrow it down, here are my three main goals for 2017:
- Travel: I want to make time to travel and I am even willing to take a pay cut if that means I get to travel more often. I realized that what matters to me are the moments spent with my loved ones. And because many of my loved ones are far away in Brazil, traveling for me is a bare necessity. Plus, I want to explore more and visit new places, because since I always use all of my vacation time to go to Brazil, I never end up having time to visit other places. So, this year I am making travel a priority. I’ll share how I am planning to do that on a later post.
- Be grateful: I want to appreciate the things I already have instead of being upset for the things I have yet to conquer. I want to live in the moment more and cherish my friends and family and the moments we spend together more than I cherish material things. We live in a such a fast-paced world that the small moments are often overlooked, so I want to make a conscious effort to appreciate the little things. I know it sounds a little hippie, but I am OK with that. 🙂
- Buy less: We all accumulate SO much stuff nowadays and that is not only cluttering our houses but also our landfills. I am done buying the latest fashion trend at Forever 21, the new lipstick formula that I just have to try or the cheap boots that won’t last me more than one winter. I have way too many things already and, again, I will make an effort to consume less and just be grateful for what I already have. I want to start downsizing and using up the things I have. (Seriously, I have a stock of lipsticks that could last me a lifetime if they didn’t go bad). I plan on shopping smarter for items that last longer and to only repurchase things I run out of. It sounds so simple, but I, as so many women, have a problem resisting impulse buys and great sales. And these items usually end up just cluttering my house even more and drying up my savings account.
So there you have it. I wanted to share my odd 2017 resolutions with you all to help keep me accountable. I am sure it won’t be smooth sailing to adapt to a more positive and less materialistic lifestyle, but I truly believe this is the journey that will make me happier in the long run.
How about you? What are your goals for the New Year?