So stoked on 2014.

I went into 2013 with an air of haphazard chaos. No resolutions. No visions. I thought I’d had it figured out.

What started out a fantastic year, an Australia Day hitting near the top of my most fun days ever, was really only the beginning of the downhill rush. I wouldn’t call 2013 a bad year; a year of change, definitely.

I likely coasted my way through February but my return from Thailand in March, saw me standing at a crossroads. We already know which road I took and the stories that followed. I’m not here to rehash those stories, I’ve told them already too many times. But what it meant was that I as I stood on a grassy hillside in Byron Bay and The Roots counted me into 2014, I was fully conscious of how I was going to make this year about me.

Falls Festival 2014 - Byron Bay, Australia

The crew just before the stroke of midnight.

I don’t really like New Year’s Resolutions, I think they are tacky and cliché. If you want to make changes, why are you waiting for a specific month to feel as if it’s finally okay to do it? For me, the reason that these changes came at the turn of the year was because I spent the last few months of 2013 stuck in a rut of the things that were getting me down. For the first time since August, I was somewhere really different. In a place where the mundane and the memories couldn’t haunt me for a little while.

Falls Festival 2014 - Byron Bay, Australia

So, I wouldn’t really call these resolutions, more, reasons that I’m making 2014 {and each year from now} conscious years. Well-being years.

1. Taking control.

First and foremost for me, this year is about me. Although selfish yes, not in the way that you may think. I want to be conscious of myself in a number of ways, one of those being the way I treat and affect others. It’s also about knowing myself, and grasping for the things I want. To really think about each decision and why I’m making it, for me or someone else? Is it because I want to be a certain way or because I feel like I should be a certain way?

And I’m going to stop wasting my energy on those around me who seek only to drain others. I have caught myself in a few of these ah-ha moments, when I realized that my participation in an event, moment or conversation was giving me an excuse to let my positive energy be sucked out of me. It’s not a good feeling.

2. Starting a gratitude jar.

As an extension of keeping myself aware of what it is that makes me happy, what drives my positive energy and creativity, I’m going to start a gratitude jar. I’ve read and spoken to quite a few people that are doing this. As much as it is a chance for me to take a moment each day to appreciate and see the good in moments {even if they don’t feel good at the time}, it’s also a lesson in retrospect. That things do get better, that you learn from mistakes, you forget, you stop hurting.

3. Writing handwritten letters.

These are special. I want to start writing letters to my grandmother. I’m lucky to still have her and I know far less about what she’s been through in the past 85 years than I should. Who doesn’t love handwritten letters in this digitally dominated world?

4. Travel.

This is a travel blog after all. But there are roadblocks to travel, when you live in a city like Sydney, it’s not easy to save for big trips. This year my focus is on Australia, New Zealand and if I’m really smart, the possibility of a S.E. Asia trip at the end of the year. Plans for South America and a possible Euro-return are in the works and the back of the financially responsible half {okay quarter} of my brain. But those are 2015’s adventures.

5. Discovering the difference.

I want to make a difference. This is something I have always struggled with. I fluctuate between someone who has the heart to make a change and the mentality that I’m just a little fish in a big pond. But I’m going to dabble, to discover what passion of mine I can ignite to make a difference to even just one person.

That’s it for me. Simples.

Oh, and the writing…