April Saturday 29 2017

One Word to Guide My 2016

A new year is a time for resolutions, changes, and starting to become a better person.  Flipping the calendar page – pulling out a brand new calendar – is a strong metaphor for the clean slate that many people see in a new year.  At the end of a year, we all look back at what happened.  We see what was in the news, what we posted on social media, and even what music we listened to in 2015.  We look at what happened in our lives and make a judgment to determine if 2015 was good or bad.

Then the countdown starts – 3… 2… 1… – happy new year!  It’s 2016, couples share their first kiss of the year, and everyone celebrates and welcomes in the new.  The year starts and despite the many resolutions that were made, it does not feel all that different for most people.

Since resolutions rarely work for more than a week or two, I have decided to simplify things this year.  I have chosen one word that will guide and define my 2016.  That word is…

Challenge

2016 has a lot of unknown variables within it right now.  I only know for sure where I will be and what I will be doing till May.  After the first week of May, I do not yet know in what direction my life will be taking me.  As I prepare to graduate, go through interviews, and find out where I am headed, the word challenge is a reminder that I want to constantly have in my thoughts.

challengeI have a lot of decisions ahead of me in 2016.  I have to decide where my life is going and what I will be doing with the bachelor’s degree I have worked so hard to earn over the past four years.  Reminding myself to be challenged will help me to step out of my comfort zone and take risks.  Even if what I am doing seems scary, I want to be able to take that chance and see what happens.

If everything goes according to plan (which is not guaranteed), I will be moving and living out of the state I have lived in since birth – possibly into an entirely new region of the country.  Leaving everything and everyone I know behind, it will be all on me to make it in this new adventure.  I have to trust myself and believe that I have what it takes to succeed truly on my own.

A guiding principle – to go along with the word challenge – for this year is if I am not scared of doing something, I should think twice about doing it.

I have spent four years in a relatively safe environment as I pursued higher education.  While I
have accepted a few challenges and taken a few risks during that time, I want to be less safe and make myself more vulnerable and open to new opportunities this year.  I want to be open to what might fall in front of me, even if it might seem impossible or too daunting to tackle.

Finally, I want to make the most of what time I have left at Indiana State.  I have five months remaining till graduation on May 7.  In those five months, I want to make memories that will only add exponentially to the memories I already have made.  I want to make this last semester the ultimate, grand finale to my undergraduate years.  And at the risk of being cliche, I want to leave an impact and legacy at the university so it is at least a bit better than how I found it.

That’s it – that is my goal for 2016.  I want to challenge myself, to step out of my comfort zone, and take risks in this time of uncertainty that lies ahead of me.

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About the author

Student Affairs Grad Student at the University of South Florida. Disney World and Universal Studio Passholder. Runner. Liberal. Twitter & Instagram: @geoffreykoester

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