There is no statute of limitations on starting over. Re-invent yourself every day. Be the girl who walks barefoot and listens to the blues. Tomorrow, wear a trench coat and speak fierce truths. Be a phoenix. Be ashes. Burn down. Resurrect. Let go of the idea that you must always be who you have always been.

–Anonymous

A new year brings with it new possibilities. It represents an opportunity to reinvent yourself, to put behind the old in order to create space for the new. It offers a chance for renewal. A blank page, a fresh start.

New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all made them and we’ve all broken them, falling back into old habits. One might’ve had that piece of chocolate or glass of wine, while the other one forgot to go to the gym come February. It is the perfect time to make promises, it seems, but we all know how it goes.

Personally, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve come to believe in goal setting. One month ago, at the beginning of December when I was still in Perth, I spontaneously asked Dylan if he reckoned I could get my head to my knees by the end of the year. Being used to having hamstrings so tight that half a year ago I was not even able to sit on the floor with straight legs, it was kind of a joke, but it made me incorporate stretching into my not-that-hectic daily routine.

My daily yoga practice has been kind of on hold because of my almost-broken feet, but I’ve aimed to do some stretching every day, especially during the days between Christmas and New Year’s when Marlene and the others were out exploring the city while I had to rest. I was stretching in the hostel room, in the park, on the beach and post-barbecue on the floor in my friend’s living room.

Mid-December I was still quite far from reaching my goal, and to be honest it did not look too promising on Christmas, either. On New Year’s Eve, Marlene’s friend Thomas asked me if I’d reached my goal to which I replied no, not yet, thinking to myself that it didn’t look like I was going to make it, either. Let’s go give it a try, though, I said and climbed up a stone pillar at Blue’s Point where we were waiting for the fireworks to start – a casual 12-hour wait – to get a good a photo away from the crowds of people, one where one could actually see how far I got.

December 11.

I gave it a go, though, and you know what? I made it! I could not believe it, but somehow, miraculously, I got my forehead to touch my shins. Having considered myself everything but flexible my whole life and with metal in my back I never thought I’d be capable of doing that, but I did, and I was amazed. What an awesome way to end 2016!

December 31. Who would’ve known!

Feeling highly accomplished and inspired by the fact that here I am, in Sydney, waiting for the New Year’s fireworks surrounded by amazing people from all over the world while one year ago I was in Finland feeling more lost than ever, I ended up giving a tiny little New Year’s speech to the others (you know me). I told them how I’d gone from collecting my dreams on a board one year ago to now celebrating New Year’s Eve with all of them on the other side of the globe, the cherry on top being my spontaneously set and (accidentally) reached stretching goal. As napkins were all we had, what followed was everyone writing down their goals for the coming year on a napkin. Seeing everyone do it, to actually think of what they wanted to achieve and where they wanted to get in 2017, was so nice, too good. What a feeling!

As for my own goals, they include both more and less tangible ones. In 2017 I want to be able to do a split, a handstand and a headstand. I want to lead a healthy life Monday through Friday with no giving in to those sweet teeth that reside inside my mouth (there’s not just one). I want to challenge myself to keep getting outside my comfort zone, because that is where the magic happens. To take risks and dare to fail, dare to learn. Grow.

… and so on (there’s quite a few).

What do you want to look back at on the 31 of December 2017? Where do you want to get and what do you want to achieve?

Think it through (carefully), write it down (realistically) and let yourself be reminded of it every day and you might just get there, because:

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.
A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan.
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.

As goes one of my many favorite quotes, “dreams don’t work unless you do“, so you might just want to give it a go.

With these words I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2017. May it sparkle like never before!

Love,
Anna