This year, as 2017 approached, instead of writing out a list of resolutions like I usually do I decided to write up several manifestos instead. I got the idea from a podcast I've become slightly addicted to over the last few months called 'Happier' with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. I wrote 7 in total: one on parenting, one about family, a personal manifesto, work, health, marriage and happiness. These manifestos sum up my morals and beliefs, they make how I want to live my life clear and simple, they are sentences or sometimes even a word or two that hone exactly what I need to do to get the most out of every single day. My manifestos are a collection of words I want to live by. As the saying goes 'None of us are getting out of here alive so we may as well make every day count!'.
They took a few weeks to write but as soon as I'd finished I felt something I'd never really felt before, I'm not even sure how to describe it, empowered maybe but not exactly, something more. Each topic, be it 'Personal' or 'Happiness', has between 10 - 15 manifestos and they go something like this...
Two of my personal manifestos:
Want what I have
Connect before I correct
I am a role model in all that I do whether I feel like it or not
Outer order - inner calm
A comfortable, beautiful home is a great source of happiness
As I read over them all, there was one that unintentionally ended up being on every page; it was 'Go outside'. For 'Health' 'Go outside' related to, well, health! 'Parenting' to connecting. 'Personal' to head space. It was the common thread running through all seven manifestos.
Why, I wondered, did I have 'Go outside' on each one?
Because, I realised, to be active is to be alive. Going outside, for me, meant going for a brisk walk, running around after the boys in the park, picking up pebbles on a beach, following two orange scooters home after Montessori. I want to make time to be active outdoors every single day no matter how bad the elements are. It's nourishing, it's good for you, it lengthens longevity far more then trying to work off a few extra pounds - and that, according to research, is a fact.
And while walking beside the sea or through a scenic park is beautiful sometimes those things don't matter. What matters is that it's easy. It's easy to pull on a pair of runners, pop on earphones, head out the front door and walk to wherever my mood takes me. Of course if I happen to be beside the sea that's a bonus, but the beauty is in the air, it's in the movement, the swinging of arms, the bouncing of feet. Like I said, to be active is to be alive and for that reason, simple as it may be, 'Go outside' is my 2017 New Year's Resolution.