Intentions for 2019

I might have mentioned at some point that I’m a daydreamer extraordinaire – and always have been. I can still remember this one recurring daydream I used to have as a little girl, that would pop into my head the times I walked home from school in the rain. Holding my umbrella, I envisioned how there would be a button to press on the umbrella handle, and how – once I pushed the button – the umbrella would shoot up in the air, and underneath it, there would be a giant sort of ‘net sack’, full of pillows and blankets, where I could sit and be cozy, all the while I’d be flying through the air. And thanks to the umbrella, I wouldn’t even get wet! My point isn’t so much that I drifted off into imaginary worlds as a child, because most of us did, but that daydreaming has been a big thing for me my whole life. And more importantly, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to treat my daydreams as my number one place for my visions – no longer a place of childish fantasies, I have my daydreams be what I want to become, reach, accomplish, do, witness, make come true and all of that. I find infinite strength in allowing my mind to paint the picture of, for example, scoring a book deal one day. Or winning a big race. Or becoming completely self-sustaining. I have (finally) left flying net sacks behind and moved on to their perfectly possible yet (somewhat) far-fetched goals that fill me with endless motivation, inspiration, drive and eagerness to work hard. Not hard as in all-consuming, stress-filled work, but work… my way. Our way. And how does this relate to what I want my/our 2019 to hold, you might wonder? Well, because my daydreams are what I want, essentially – so the answer is right in there.

A while back (when we still lived in NYC), both Mike and I listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast with Mr. Money Mustasche (real life name: Pete Adeney), and a few things were said there that I will forever remember. Mr. Money Mustasche has basically gotten himself famous thanks to his early retirement/financially smart way of life/anti-consumerism philosophy (which is quite funny, because he’s now making a lot of money from his blog following etc. – but that’s besides the point), and he is VERY inspiring to listen to. I actually think he might have planted the first seed in our heads – the seed that would eventually become the decision to move to Sweden, start a simpler life, slow down etc. But back to what I really intended to share from this podcast – Mr. Money (it sounds ridiculous, let’s call him Pete from now on) expressed how he’s a “maximalist in the fun department”. And that’s exactly what I want Mike and I to be too. I want us to live our precious lives with as much fun and enjoyment along the way as possible. Not in a let’s-pretend-everything-is-fine-when-it’s-not kind of way. Not in a we-only-do-fun-stuff kind of way either. But more… choose your fun and make it count. Pete, being overall anti-spending, has a refreshingly different approach to “fun” than the general population – and it seems fair to say we do too, after all. Fun is having a lot of time to do whatever makes you happy. Fun is to take notice and appreciate all the small things around you. Fun is to chase your dreams and live your life exactly the way you want it. Fun is making room for the things that make your heart shine and ending the ones that don’t. This doesn’t mean you should go about life irresponsibly and say hey, paying bills doesn’t make my heart shine so I’m not going to. No, of course not. That’s not my point. My point is, though, that we have the power and possibilities to change A LOT more than we think we can. The drawback is that change – for the better – often comes with sacrifices, new ways of prioritizing and hard work. And that’s when things turn a little less intriguing, to some. In today’s modern culture, we’ve been taught to seek out every little sliver of comfort we can – we choose the car even though we could bike or walk, for example, just because it’s more comfortable that way. With money in our pockets, we can essentially buy ourselves lives where you never have to get the least bit dirty, uncomfortable, cold, hot etc. and I, personally, think it makes us feel… less. We feel less, overall. Just think about it – isn’t the level of satisfaction when you’ve chosen to do something uncomfortable – be it anything from moving that big couch in through the door to biking through the rain – just the greatest? I think those moments are the moments we feel alive for real. And capable. Chasing your dreams is a similar thing. It won’t be easy, but when you’ve fulfilled something you’ve dreamed of for a long time… it beats everything. 

I want us to live our precious lives with as much fun and enjoyment along the way as possible.

I love setting intentions for the new year, verbalizing dreams I carry and putting into words what I want to look back at 365 days from now. It’s not for everyone, and that’s totally cool, but I was thinking I might be able to inspire some of you to actually give your next year some thought. What do you want your life to hold? Like, for real. We dream fearlessly and boundlessly as children, but on our way to adulthood we forget how to. The power that lies in our visions and dreams is endless – it’s a million times easier actualizing things you actually feel passionately about and love than things you couldn’t care less about. So what are your dreams? If you could paint the picture of your perfect life, what would that look like? Allow the first step to be wild and free (well, maybe leave out flying umbrellas and lottery ticket wins), and just see what pops up. And don’t forget that even though the road towards fulfilled dreams usually is long, winding and sometimes even scary – fear not. I’ve been crawling around in dark holes with seemingly no way out multiple times in my life, yet here I am. Here I am, living a (slightly adjusted) version of the life I wanted already as a little girl. Side-tracked a million times along the way, I’ve always carried a dream of becoming an author, living in the countryside, growing my own food and pursuing professional sports. (Really). While not exactly an author, I’m sure filling a lot of my time writing. And while not growing all of our food, we’re sure getting there. I’ve felt disappointed with life and thought of myself as a total loser so many times throughout the years I can’t even tell you, yet… yes, I already said it: here I am. Doing my best to live my life the way that makes me the happiest. Sure, I worry too. Endlessly about certain things (climate, environment, world politics, the health of my loved ones), a little more spread out about others (personal finances, what-do-others-think, am-I-good-enough). But above all, I’m feeling pretty content. It took a while, so I’m inclined to feel a little bit of… ‘finally’. But that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around, twiddling my thumbs. Oh no, not at all – I’m busy as a bee most of the time, and have big plans for our coming year. Here’s a selection of things on my mind with regards to 2019:

In 2019, I am going to work hard towards the following goals:
  1. Developing our platform: growing the Live Slow Run Far-audience, inspiring more people to slow down a little and live more mindfully, and getting some larger-scale recognition 
  2. Self-sustainability: I want to expand our vegetable garden, increase our yields and not be dependent on any purchased fruit or vegetables most of the year
  3. Running: I want to (mindfully) push my physical boundaries, run farther and faster, and explore new races side by side with Mike
  4. Climate: decreasing our carbon footprint further, primarily through smarter travel and #2
In 2019, I wish to see the following change in the world:
  1. Politicians taking active charge, making air travel more expensive and train travel a lot more affordable
  2. Significantly decreased meat consumption, globally
  3. An emerging change in mindset – from a high-pace, high-consumption ideal to a slower pace and more minimalistic approach
  4. A shift in attitude regarding climate change: contrary to what all too many people think, positive change starts with the actions of the individual person
In 2019, I will work on the following areas of my personality:
  1. Not let worry for e.g. our planet or global politics take over my whole existence (which it easily can), and instead harness the passion I feel and turn it into action
  2. Standing up for myself, especially when others fail to
  3. Embracing myself with humor and a smile, instead of pointing to imperfections and talk down on myself
  4. Be more understanding and less judgmental of others
In 2019, I will try my best to include more of the following:
  1. Hugs and kisses
  2. Words and acts of appreciation to those around me
  3. Screen-free time
  4. Composting (I have so much to learn in this area it’s almost overwhelming, but I’m determined to become an expert of soil replenishment)

Those are mine. I’ll keep a few to myself, naturally, but reading through these bullet points now makes me feel pretty happy with the challenges and adventures that lie ahead. Oh, but one more thing – I want to FEEL. I want to feel hot, cold, scared, safe. Loved, hugged, kissed, held. Free, comfortable, strong. Weak, uncomfortable, sad. Brave. I want to feel the sun on my face and really feel it. Dive into ice cold water all too early in the spring and feel that too. I want to smell all the flowers, listen to all the birds, feel the grass underneath my feet. I want to be embraced by snow and bone-chillingly cold temperatures and hear nothing but my own breaths. I want to be present in all the moments – when the spring sun finally makes it above the tree tops and hits our deck, when the first snow falls. When we can harvest our first vegetables in the spring and the last ones all the way next winter. When lungs are screaming for air and we’ve just run faster than we thought we could. It’s in all those moments that I feel more alive than ever, and I will do all that I can to make sure 2019 holds as many of them as possible. Whatever makes your heart beat a little faster, I hope you’ll make sure you get a lot of too. Happy 2019, everyone – let’s make this one the one where we go from mindless to mindful, shall we? And as per always – you’re more than welcome to share your thoughts in the comment section below! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Intentions for 2019

  1. Väldigt bra mål. Behövs fler som inspirerar till leva närmare naturen, odla själv osv. Givetvis ska en inte gå tillbaka till 1800-talet i hushållet men det finns idag både teknik och enkla metoder för att leva hållbart nästintill självförsörjande ändå. Jag själv upplever stor meningsfullhet och värd av att göra något själv fysiskt och se resultatet av det, t.ex hugga ved och se resultatet av värme i huset åt familjen, eller att laga det som är trasigt osv. Att leva ett liv där man låter andra göra allt åt en så man kan ha det bekvämt är inget liv enligt mig.

    1. Hej Oscar! Tack för kommentaren, och för att du har tagit dig tid att läsa 🙂 Jag kunde inte hålla med dig mer. Det hela handlar ju knappast om att vara en bakåtsträvare, utan snarare om att återfinna meningsfullhet i våra vardagsliv. De kan se olika ut, förstås – alla behöver inte söka sig till landsbygden, t.ex. – men känslan är onekligen att vi glömmer att vi ska hinna leva lite också, och inte bara ägna all tid åt att skynda hit, skynda dit, konsumera bortom reson och jaga “typisk” framgång. Precis som du säger ligger det så otroligt mycket värde i att åstadkomma saker med de egna händerna. Att ta kontroll och liksom vara chef över ens eget liv, och inte bara snurra med i hjulet och knappt veta vad som är upp eller ner – eller vart sjutton en är på väg, egentligen. Om du inte redan lyssnat på podden jag nämnde – gör det, om du gillar poddar. Pete Adeney pratar (och skriver) mycket om “voluntary hardship” och hur det ger människan långt mycket mer tillfredställelse än något annat. Med den termen åsyftas alltså situationerna där vi väljer att göra något svårt, obekvämt, läskigt osv. och överkommer hindret – och hur fantastiskt det känns efteråt. När du går ut och hugger ved medan vinden viner och fingrarna fryser till isbitar, för att sedan kunna göra upp eld i öppna spisen. När man väljer att cykla till jobbet trots att regnet vräker ner. Känslan efteråt, jämfört med om en hade köpt veden eller tagit bilen – ja, de två går ju inte ens att jämföra! Adeneys hela poäng är att vi människor i västvärlden helt enkelt köper oss bort från alla situationer av “voluntary hardship”, och därmed missar alla dessa tillfällen av meningsfullhet, egenvärde, självförverkligande osv. Jag tycker att ämnet är så intressant, som du säkert märker 🙂 Det ligger mig verkligen varmt om hjärtat.

      Hoppas att du får en fin helg med många stunder av sånt som får dig att känna dig levande!

      /Sophia

    1. Thank YOU for reading, D! I haven’t really ever set as specific intentions as these before (when going into a new year), but I kind of like it. xoxo

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