Writing from the Columbia River Basin

So You Already F&*$ed Up Your New Years Resolutions...

So You Already F&*$ed Up Your New Years Resolutions...'s okay, you can still*


*[I realize saying you are going to, "make something your bitch" is pretty vulgar and maybe doesn't align with my feminist values BUT... lately Casey and I have been calling the timer coffeemaker our "coffee bitch" and there is something so silly and ridiculous about it. 2017 was a tough one and you need to come into 2018 a little tough too]

We spent New Years on Case Inlet in Western Washington this year, part of a bigger, soggier road trip I want to tell you about... soon.

Right now though, for this first post of 2018, I want to talk about New Years Resolutions.

"Uh, Emerald, you are like eight days late on sailing that ship."

Or... am I just on fucking time?! Because chances are, a week into 2018, you've already forgotten about your vague or overly ambitious New Year's resolutions and goals because that is how life goes and calendars are really just arbitrary lines we make just like the boundary of a state is an arbitrary line on an ecosystem.

It may be 2018 but it is still a) dark at 5:00PM b) colder and icier than hell frozen over and c) stressful because you just took the holidays off and now you're more buried than ever. I get it.

Regardless, anyone who knows me knows I really like goal setting and I really like lists and I really like calendars and organizing and visioning and dreaming... and I really like parties with friends. So New Year's Eve/Day is one of my favorite holidays.

This year, on New Year's Eve, I made my only somewhat willing friends join me in one of my favorite ceremonies - burning shit. We built a big New Years Eve fire and burned paper with notes about the things we wanted to let go from 2017. Then we folded some origami paper boats (benefit - learning how to fold a little paper boat. Trust me, it's easier than a crane) and wrote our goals/dreams/intentions for 2018 and sent 'em off into the salt water. Afterwards, I think everyone even enjoyed it. Or maybe that was just the champagne.

I do something a little different each year - but as I'm getting older, I'm realizing I'm less forgiving toward my own bullshit. I'm getting better at going cold turkey on the stuff that isn't serving me any longer. This year, I categorized my New Years thoughts into:




Habits are things I want to do every day, goals are what I want to accomplish before January 2019 and intentions are the questions I can return to when I'm feeling stuck or trying to make a big decision.  I brain vomited all my thoughts and ideas onto a page first, so I could really see everything in front of me. Then, I chose only three and tried to underwhelm myself. I tend to dream a little too big sometimes, so it was important to choose things that stretched me but also felt attainable.

So for 2018, it looked like this:

HABITS. Every day I will...

1) Floss (goddamn flossing)

2) Write one page, paint or make a thought map (it doesn't have to be good)

3) Do yoga or stretch (even if it's just for two minutes)

GOALS. By 2019 I will...

(I'm going to keep my cards close on these but an example of this would be "Run a 10k" or "Sell 10 pieces of my artwork")

INTENTIONS. I will ask myself...

1) How can I appreciate what is right in front of me? [GRATITUDE]

2) How can I learn or grow in this? [BRAVERY]

3) How can I take care of myself today? [SELF - WORTH]

Then, I got this great idea from a podcast I love about PERSONAL INVENTORY DAYS. You take one day a month (I'm choosing the 22nd because it's my birthday day) and it's your personal inventory day where you check in on your goals, check in on your finances, schedule doctors appointments, call your Mom, etc. I'm going to try to hold myself to doing that. It's part of that third intention of SELF - WORTH, I suppose.

And that's it. Like I said, I tried to keep it kind of underwhelming and manageable. And I'm not sharing this or the worksheet below to be braggy and obnoxious. I'm sharing it because everyone in my life is either in the midst of doing really good, important work or has the capability to do really good, important work. I want to see the world become a better place - and I need your help getting there. So I hope you can take what's helpful here and leave behind what's not and share with me what YOU do to reset too because I'm always learning and refining this process.

The point of this January 7th post is to say that you can choose your own ceremonies. You can choose to let go of what you don't need, any day of 2018, not just the first.

Hopefully, this worksheet helps you at least laugh, if not set some belated resolutions too:

Happy New Year and cheers to a fucking beautiful, painful, underwhelming, overwhelming, perfectly imperfect 2018.

Western Washington Winter Roadtrip

Western Washington Winter Roadtrip