Just Another 2015 Manifesto

As much as I try to avoid resolution hype around January 1st, something didn’t feel right about kicking off the new year without some introspection. (After all, here I am typing away at 1:14 a.m. the morning of January 2nd.)

autumn leafFortunately for my tired brain, I recently participated in a writer’s workshop facilitated by Elizabeth Sharp McKetta, an incredibly brilliant writer (among other things) who was as gracious and warm as she was inspiring.

During the event, she provided several prompts from her new book, one of which was to write a manifesto. Apparently, that was all I needed to clarify what I want in my life, both in 2015 and beyond, because in ten short minutes, I had myself a manifesto—and something (hopefully) worth sharing.

I highly recommend you write your own, but here is mine, in case you find anything juicy enough to steal.

Be present.

Speaking of presents (presence), give the gift of your time, attention, and love to those who will appreciate and reciprocate.

Daydream. But don’t just dream away your days. Put some plans in motion.

Travel somewhere new once a year (at least), experiencing time and place as an innocent, wide-eyed, and curious child.

Ask for help when you need it.

Same goes for hugs (and you need them even more regularly).

Forgive others liberally—not for their benefit, but for your own.

Spoil yourself with simple but sensory pleasures—strong tea, a riveting novel, a hike during sunrise.

Eat food straight from the source whenever possible.

Smell flowers that grow abundantly in gardens.

Gather leaves from trees.

Make snow angels.

Let people love you.

Love many, trust few.

Understand that your footprint in this world may be small, but it can make a huge impact.

Breathe fresh air, walk barefoot in the grass, put your hands in the dirt (when seasonally appropriate).

Observe children and how they experience the world. And don’t be ashamed to live like them.

Be kind to yourself.

Move your body, feed it regularly, give it rest. Listen when it tells you what it needs.

Tell yourself kind things.

Write love letters, most importantly, ones addressed to yourself.

Make things.

Use your hands.

Use your heart.

Be love.

Fall in love—even when it’s scary.

Learn to heal your broken heart when it doesn’t work out.

Put as much effort into being beautiful on the inside as you try to be on the outside.

Do not judge others; bad behavior is simply an indication of pain or ignorance.

Be compassionate.

Call your mom.

Say I love you.

Cuddle with the cat.

Use your words. They are your power.

Be honest with others, but most importantly with yourself.

Bake cookies.

Give gifts.

Send thank you cards.

Live a life that inspires others.

Try new things.

Ride your bike.

Discover new trails.

Don’t allow small people to make you feel small.

Be confident, be bold. You are more capable than you think you are.

Don’t allow others’ opinions to define you.

Be your own soft place to fall. Be that for others, too.

Make music.

Love yourself more than you love anyone else.

Be true to your deepest desires.

Discover something you love to do—and do it forever.

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