Why I Don’t Make Resolutions

Happy 2013! In the spirit of starting the New Year off right, I’ve made a (very) short list of travel (and life) related things that I’ll endeavor to concentrate on in the next 365 days. I hesitate to call them “resolutions” though, because that is such a loaded term, especially this time of year. I prefer to call them “redirections.” I hear the word “resolutions” and think of broken promises and bad local tv commercials for gym memberships. The word brings to mind half-hearted attempts that fizzle out by February (if I’m lucky), and never really change much except for making me feel bad about my follow-through.

So, no resolutions for me, except to say that I’ll resolve to redirect my energy into the following actions: Plan, Save and Go. Yup, that’s what I want to concentrate on this year. These three things go beyond just travel, and can be applied to lots of different aspects of your life.

Plan: Ok, this might seem self-explanatory and boring and safe (the kind of resolution/redirection your parents could really get behind) but it actually makes a lot of sense. I’m not saying you need a detailed, color-coded, week-by-week itinerary for the next year of your life. Your plan can be as specific or as loose as you want. One of my favorite plans was simply “Make enough money this summer to backpack around Europe in September.” That was my goal, as defined as I needed it to be. It was up to me to figure out how to make it happen, but the plan was in place in my brain and the plane ticket was charged on my credit card, so there was no turning back. It was go time.

Save: This step is a natural progression from the first one. Whatever your plan is (to study abroad, get a new job, bum around the country for a summer, buy a car, whatever), you’ll probably need some cash to make it happen (or at least to give you a cushion while you chase your dream, you crazy kid!). Saving can be difficult; it’s nice to treat yourself every once in a while, and it can be sooo hard to pass up that perfect sweater when it’s on sale and in your size. But if you refer back to redirection #1, you’ll remember your plan. It makes it easier to say no to a new cute purse when you realize that saying no to it means being one step closer to putting your plan into action.

Go: You’ve planned. You have your vision board in your bedroom and your goal firmly planted in your head. You’ve saved your pennies and cut back on non-essentials. You’ve done it. You’re off to see the world or buy your first set of wheels or start a new job in your field. You’ve redirected your way onto a new path. So pack your bag and head off on the adventure of your life. 2013 is the year. I can feel it.

What do you want to do in 2013?

For daily travel quotes and other inspiration, follow me on Twitter @StephSpitler

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