As we close out the final days of 2021, we’ve reached that time of the year where many of us are reviewing the goals we set at the beginning of the year and evaluating what to put out into the universe for the year ahead. In recent years I’ve tried to focus more on pursuing the same outcome (achieving big goals), but through a process that involves more appreciation of the steps along the way. It’s a simple idea, but one I think tends to get lost in the shuffle.

Recently I was interviewed for an upcoming article about mindfulness, and I spoke about the running journal I co-authored called Chasing Twilight: A Joy Journal for Runners.  During the creation of the journal, myself and my two co-authors journaled for several months about the thoughts surrounding our respective running journeys. What I found through the process was that the act of reflecting and being mindful of the entire running process brought me immense joy! From the preparation for the run, the run itself and the dissection of the run afterwards, all of the phases created positive impact on my life. In fact, the process brought me much more joy than just experiencing the run itself. There was a compounding nature to it; while I was always in a good mood during the run, the act of putting pen to paper and sharing my thoughts about the experience before and after created even more positive momentum. And that positive momentum allowed me to capitalize off of the revelations I had during the run for a much longer period afterwards. So, what does this have to do with goal setting for 2022?

Rather than the typical creation of a list of things you hope to accomplish or a handful of resolutions, I would like to propose a different approach: take a look at the things you love and bring you joy, and invest more deeply in those! Spend your time joyfully, in the pursuit of things that will create happiness in your life along the way. For many of us, resolutions tend to lose steam over time, and eventually fizzle out by the end of the year. Pursuing your passions, however, is something that will never disappoint you. Any progress doing what you love is time well spent. So, in 2022, may you all be blessed with the wisdom of committing more time to the things that really matter.

Happy New Year!