How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. We’ve all heard the statistics. Not the ones about elephant consumption, but the ones stating that only about 8% of New Year’s resolutions are accomplished. The reason they fail so predictably is simple: resolutions are vague and broad, open-ended and overly ambitious. Goals on the other hand, tend to be specific and measurable. We here at the Bird Rock Hotel deeply believe in specific goals, personal growth, the power of being kind and present and that the best is yet to come. Check out our goals for the next year and see which ones are for you. Many are easily achieved on a San Juan Island getaway, just saying….
- New Year’s Eve Reverse Bucket List
Have you ever made one? Powerful stuff. Write down, in no particular order, everything you have accomplished. No “but”, just do it, 10 things, go! Raised daughters, rescued puppy from shelter, bought and fixed up house, got a poem published, secured huge contract at work. Seeing what you’ve done and how far you’ve come will illustrate patterns and give you a sweet confidence boost. Our favorite is: writing our reverse bucket list on the cliffs at the Whale Watch Park high above the Salish Sea on the last day of the year while watching seabirds, otters and whales.
- Be Grateful
You might think, well, that’s not very specific. What we mean is: practice gratefulness when things get tough. Studies have shown that simply thinking about gratitude will release “feel-good” hormones in your brain. When faced with a challenging situation, breathe and think of something you are grateful for. There is always something. Our favorite is: we are allowed to be on an absolutely gorgeous island. And you are too
- Tend to your Friendships
All relationships need caring. With family and careers keeping us busy, friendships sometimes get put on the back burner. Make it a goal this year to tend to three good old friendships you have been neglecting. Organize a Girlfriend Getaway to San Juan Island, make a lunch date or write postcards from your island getaway.
- Plan a Ritual for that Hard Day
We all have them. Painful anniversaries of a loved one dying, the divorce going through, being downsized, that car accident, the diagnosis. Those dates creep up on us. Sometimes we don’t even know why we are out of sorts. Change this by planning something for that day. When on the island, go to South Beach and build a tiny driftwood raft, decorated with sea shells, kelp and feathers. Send it off and say a few words out loud. Take a rock, haul it into the ocean with all your might and imagine it being your anger. Write a message in the sand and watch the waves take it. South Beach, where you can find yourself all alone if you walk just a bit, has been helping islanders heal for years and years.
- Challenge yourself
Are there things you always wanted to do, but never found the courage or time to tackle? Taking a flight lesson, kayaking with the Orcas, zip lining? Put that on the books for this year today. Call us, we’ll help you plan it.
- Talk and listen to a Stranger
This one is almost too easy on San Juan Island, where everybody is so friendly. Strike up a conversation with somebody sitting alone in a cafe, help somebody with their stroller and ask about their baby, ask your server or lodging staff what brought them here and listen. So often we are just waiting for somebody to stop talking, so we can start in on our story. Resist that urge and take in what another has to say.
- Be kind to ye olde body
Yup, that is a new wrinkle and that diet didn’t work at all. So frustrating.Mind your self-talk though. Avoid beating yourself up and instead talk to yourself as you would to a dear friend, with patience and kindness. That is your body, made of stardust, the only one you’ll have. It’s working and trying so hard. On your San Juan Island getaway, plan a self-care date. Get pampered at our Spa at Earthbox and while you enjoy your treatments find a place within you, which feels great. Maybe it’s your toes or your nose. Imagine that feeling spreading to your entire body. Repeat.
- Do good
What excites you? What cause makes your heart bleed? Make a point to do something good this year just because you can. Perhaps you’ll help us with our “Litter free by the Sea” annual beach clean-up for Earth Day in April or adopt a whale at the Friday Harbor Whale Museum. If not here, wherever you are…volunteer for a day at your local soup kitchen or animal shelter, pay for the groceries of the young mother behind you in line, or offer to help your neighbor to mow their yard. We are all in this together. Let’s make 2020 a really good year!