At the start of every new year, I find myself stuck between two opposing approaches. On the one hand, I want a big lofty goal for the months ahead that I can dedicate all my focus to. And on the other, I just want to keep things simple—setting my sights on doing and being better. But this year, I decided to choose a word to guide me in my decision-making and growth across the board: courage. Why courage? Well, candidly, I felt like I lacked a bit of it in 2023. I spent more time second-guessing myself than going for it. And I let the noise in my head take over more than usual. Trust me: that’s not my go-to behavior.
With courage at the forefront, this also got me excited to explore more newness this year. For me, the novelty of trying something new always leads to a boost in serotonin, a spark of curiosity, and a newfound joy and appreciation for being a beginner. Plus, I always leave an experience seeing the world just a little differently.
Featured image from our interview with Mary Ralph Bradley.
I hope that with a bit of courage, and by opening my heart and mind to new things, I will also inject more fun and play into my life.
6 Ways I’m Embracing More Courage in 2024
When I thought of the why behind all that I want to invite into my life this year, I leaned into what I felt might be missing. This ensured that the experiences I chose to prioritize felt additive and exploratory. A few things that came to mind:
- feeling more connected to my community
- moving my body in a different way
- disconnecting from my phone to reconnect with something else
But above all, I wanted to get out of the day-to-day rut I’ve been feeling. The only requirement? These had to be fun and solely for myself—not social media or anyone else. Here’s what trying new things in 2024 looks like for me.
Asking for What I Want
This is a hard one to admit, but I struggled here in 2023. And quite frankly, that shocked me. Last year I reverted to old people-pleasing behaviors and one whole year later, I have the clarity on how that both held me back and forced me into playing small.
This year, I’m going for it. I’ve already started to. Asking for what I need in all aspects of life and putting myself out there for growth. I’m fully aware that may come with rejection, but I truly believe the consequences of not asking are far riskier than any rejection could ever be.
Practice this in whatever way it aligns for you. It could be asking for a raise, pivoting careers, asking someone on a date, or declaring your needs proudly. Maybe it’s saying no to something or someone even if it’s hard, or saying yes to something even if you’re scared. I know you’ll be so thankful you did.
I was struck by a post I saw on Instagram by a writer who said that at the beginning of 2023, they made it a practice to write a poem every day. It was a beautiful goal, and I immediately began researching how I could do the same myself. This is one new thing that I’ve already begun, and while I haven’t hit that daily cadence, I am averaging a poem every other day. It’s been a fun practice to share my thoughts in a completely new format. I’ve written everything from a short rhyme to a haiku, and am even exploring funny, lighter tones as well as the more melancholy and personal. It’s helped me see the world a little differently and expand my own vocabulary.
I haven’t shared a poem with anyone yet, and I’m not sure that I will. I love that this is something that is just for me. At least for now.
Ever since I saw Dita Von Teese’s burlesque show at the Paramount Theater in Austin last January, I have been so enamored by the feminine and sexy ways she and her troupe moved their bodies. What drew me to pole dancing is its difficulty—it’s a total core and upper body workout, much like aerial silks can be. But it’s also edgy, feminine, sexy, and for the most part (for my purposes), something done solo.
I’ve told at least seven friends that I’m doing this and they all responded with the same Are you serious? Is this a joke? And then all seven of them promptly asked if they could join me. I think I’m onto something.
I’m inspired by women who aren’t afraid to connect with their bodies in new ways and who bravely lean into feeling sexy and feminine—even if just for themselves.
Trying a New Workout Each Week in January
Speaking of being in a rut, my workout routine needs a complete refresh. While I love the workouts I’m currently doing—typically a morning walk around the lake and a bootcamp-style class, I realized my fear of failure is currently keeping me from exploring new forms of movement. But rather than staying stuck in that cycle, I’m springing out of it and making it my mission to move out of any funk or rut.
Plus, if I want to connect with the community in a new way after years of working remotely and feeling a bit stuck inside my place, this is the PERFECT way to be around people once again.
I’m shifting from What if I hate it or embarrass myself? to What if I love it and find a new way to build strength?
I would love to say that I won’t buy anything for a month or that I’m going to only shop my closet, but I know those sweeping declarations will likely set me up for failure. However, I truly want to shift my consumer behavior to being more responsible both financially and for the environment. My approach: default to second-hand shopping. Austin is home to some incredibly curated consignment shops (looking at you, MOSS), and rather than visit the five rotating websites I always search, I’m turning to some of my favorite consignment shops or friends’ closets.
Building a Vision Board
If you know Camille, you know she’s hosted vision board workshops and designed an at-home kit to build your own. I’ve been a naysayer for years wondering how images on a piece of paper could actually come to life, but after enough friends have preached the power of a board, I’m finally coming around.
There are a few specific things I want to happen this year that I’m acutely focused on. My true hope is that by shifting my outlook and putting positive energy into these intentions, that I can help bring them to fruition. I also feel like at this point, it certainly can’t hurt my chances.
So, what’s on your list of new things to try in 2024? Is there anything you’re leaning into this year that you’ve never tried? I can’t wait to re-read this article in December and see what’s transpired. I’m excited just thinking about the possibility.