The Year of Calm

Winter 2019: New Beginnings

Not everyone is fond of New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ve always loved them. I enjoy making long lists of goals and planning what my my future educated-healthy-satisfied self will look like.

Of course, I never arrive at this person. (It’s the journey, not the destination and all that….) But even in my failures I find I learn something, and it is for that reason that I continue to make resolutions every year. 2019 will bring a lot of “firsts” into my life, and I plan to embrace this next chapter with enthusiasm.

Although I have a lengthy list of things I hope to accomplish in the new year, I tend to think of these as goals. I only have one resolution and it is quite simple. In fact, it is only one word.


What? Is that even a resolution? Or a goal?

Yes. Yes it is.

I want to simplify my life in the new year so that I can focus on the present rather than feeling anxiety about the past or the future. One way I will be approaching this is to declutter areas of my life that have become overgrown. Amongst other things, I plan to reduce my smart phone usage, reduce my possessions, and become more mindful of doing one task at a time.

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
— Good Ol' Jesus in Mark 4:39-40 (NRSV)

Choosing Calm has not been easy. I’m competitive and I have big dreams for myself. I often feel behind, like I’ve missed out on opportunities or didn’t work hard enough. I don’t see myself as successful enough. But I’m weary of the world’s view of success. I’m tired of social media and people “hustling” to ‘build their brand’ and ‘build a following.’ I don’t want to humble brag about my accomplishments or the places I’ve visited. I’m searching for a kind of contentment that only comes from God, but I’ve been trying to build that foundation on my own. Calm is about handing over control to God.

So now that we’ve discussed my resolution, here are my goals.

2019: The Year of Calm

Read 24 Books


There was a time in my life when I was able to read one book per week, but right now I am struggling to find time to read on a regular basis. With an ever growing TBR (to be read) list, I hope to get through at least two books per month in the new year. Suggestions are always welcome.

Write A Novel

This is one of my projects for the year. Like many people, I want to write a book. I’ve decided that 2019 is the year I write mine.

Outline 4-5 Story Ideas

There are several story premises that have been haunting me, and I would like to give them a more concrete form. They are still fledglings—not ready to take flight as novels yet—but I want to create a solid framework for when the time is right.

Learning Goals: Constellations, Chess, Knitting

These three items have been on my to-do list for several years in a row. I can knit a scarf, know the basics of chess, and can fumble my way through several constellations. But I’m ready to go beyond the basics. I don’t want to become a Grand Master or an astronomer, but my curious nature isn’t satisfied with only knowing the minimum.

Spend 7 Hours Outside Every Week

I love the Norwegian saying (or is it a slogan?) “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad/inappropriate clothing.” Although I spent much of my youth running around outside, I’m lucky if I get a thirty minute walk nowadays. I want to get outside more even if I’m just identifying the trees in my neighborhood.

I also have some personal spiritual and financial goals (along with some secret plans!) that I am not sharing here.

Stay tuned for updates—they will appear on the blog regularly!

CalmRianna CohenComment