Several years ago I decided to take a little different approach to the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, I decided that rather than setting a goal to add something new into my life that I would instead set a goal to stop doing something. I decided to stop letting fear, or comfort, or cold weather, or excuses, or laziness, or Netflix keep me from taking risks, enjoying life, from going on adventures with friends. I resolved to CONSIDER EVERY OPPORTUNITY.
I realized that in life we rarely regret the things that we did (within reason of course) but we often regret the things that we didn’t do. I don’t want to live the kind of life that is safe and easy but that is free of risk and adventure and failure and success. I want a life that is filled with nights out with friends and the kind of regret that you feel when you only get two hours of sleep and have to work the next day but stories that make it all worth it.
Considering every opportunity doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to always say yes, but it means that I am promising myself that I will take advantage of all of the opportunities ahead of me that promise adventure or the chance of success or deeper relationships with friends or a good story later because it is the memories that we make that last not the things we buy or the jobs we do.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to make good life choices and to take some alone time, but it is so easy to get caught in a rut of sitting at home instead of going out, of saying no to activities out of habit or a desire to binge watch FRIENDS for the fourth time, of not going to parties or events because new people are scary. I get all these, I really do, but the more I’ve gotten into the habit of saying yes more often than no the more I have grown and built new relationship. I have chosen to collect memories that will last a lifetime rather than pop-culture quotes that will last just a moment.
My challenge to you: consider every opportunity that comes your way this year and if there’s not a good enough reason to keep you from seizing it go for it, make memories, build relationships, take risks, go on adventures, spend nights at home, watch your favorite show, find your balance and maybe you’ll come out on the other end with fewer regrets of missed opportunities.
Story Time: The featured image from this post was from a solo-adventure I took this winter. I wanted to go ice-skating so I decided that the Friday of that week would be the perfect day to go because I didn’t have to work and I already had to go downtown to get some paperwork. Friday rolled around and the snow was coming down hard (which in my little two-door car is a big deal) but after a good deal of internal debate I decided that I needed my paperwork so I left the house and headed downtown. After I got my paperwork I seriously considered going home but I didn’t really have good reason not to go skating, so after debating with myself I decided to go (by myself mind you). It turned out to be one of the prettiest snow days of the season and I got to skate on the ice with almost nobody on it. A few years ago I would’ve talked myself out of going and would have regretted missing out on a day of skating in the falling snow, but I considered my opportunity and realized that there wasn’t a good enough reason not to take it.