So here we are in the middle of January – just over two weeks into a new year. I thought I’d take a quick break from food and travel to share a few thoughts.

I’ve never been a big fan of the whole New Year thing. I don’t quite see what all the fuss is about. Perhaps it’s because I prefer Christmas and New Year always feels like a disappointing follow up.

Having said all that I think this year (or last year in actual fact) I had one of the best New Year celebrations that I can remember. My husband and I escaped to Auckland city for a couple of nights with friends and stayed at The Langham. We had an absolute blast – eating out, shopping, afternoon teas at The Langham’s Palm Court and a fantastic view of the fireworks at midnight from our restaurant table on New Year’s Eve.

It just so happened our table that evening also afforded a view of an apartment building close by. An avid people watcher I couldn’t resist checking out what was going on in the apartments. Through one window we could see a party going on – plenty of drinking and dancing. At the opposite end of the spectrum on the floor above a young man – seemingly alone – was hanging his washing on the airer. Although your first instinct is to feel sorry for him I actually thought – perhaps he just couldn’t care less about New Year and didn’t feel like going out. It also occurred to me that it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if I spent New Year’s Eve at home had I no plans. Who says that you have to be out partying?

It’s no surprise then that I tend never to bother with making resolutions at this time of year. It’s not because I don’t have goals or things I’d like to achieve – quite the contrary – it’s more that resolutions tend to be grand ideas that seldom become a reality. They’re often a bit of a lark and not taken seriously. I prefer to set goals for myself that I know are achievable so that by the end of the year I can feel a sense of satisfaction – all going well, of course. I won’t pretend they always get achieved!

And goals don’t necessarily need to be about producing something or working on something that has tangible results. It may simply be a way of thinking.

For instance, this year I’d like to try and enjoy looking forward to things without wishing my life away. Yes I love to travel but I get so excited when we book our adventures that I often find myself wishing the time away between holidays.

What I need to remember (sometimes easier said than done) is that when it comes to the big events of the year like holidays and celebrations, the anticipation is an important part of the overall experience. So no need to rush it. Because by the time the main event finally rolls around it’s often over in the blink of an eye.

I also try to keep in mind that there are plenty of things I enjoy in the downtime between holidays. There is pleasure to be found in the simplest things during my average day – that early morning walk on the beach, catching up with a friend, escaping the office for half an hour to enjoy a coffee and a good book. It’s not only the big moments in life that count but the smaller moments too.

As for the other goals I’ve set for myself, next month will mark the first anniversary of my blog and this year I’d like to develop it more. I’m also working on my third novel and am determined to have that finished by the year’s end. I’m in the middle of rewrites, which is never as much fun as the first draft so I need to keep motivated.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the list but you get the idea. The only thing to be done now is get busy – improve, improve, improve! That’s always at the top of the list.

I have a good feeling about 2017. And remember that goal-setting is all about seeking fulfilment and happiness. Perhaps that’s why the sunflower is one of my favourite flowers – its beautiful yellow colour symbolises vitality and happiness.

Originally posted on: https://traceyobrienblog.com