A New Year in the Cornfields – Setting Personal and Relationship Goals

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A New Year in the Cornfields - Setting Personal and Relationship GoalsLooking back at the past year, with the wonderful view of hindsight, I see a pattern. A pattern of growth. A pattern of change. But instead of the chaos that typically surrounds me, this seems to have direction, a purpose. There is a goal.

Every year for the past seven years, I have had a simple resolution; to be a better person than I was the year before. This marks the eighth such year that I want to maintain that resolution. However, unlike previous years, I want to give this more direction. I plan on bettering myself in a physical sense, placing a priority on losing weight and getting fit. I also plan on improving something I’ve long since known to be a weakness of mine: I want to be more mindful.

Last year saw me at an impressive point: my lowest weight in over a decade. Since then, I have gained some of it back, but in gaining that weight has been an act of sheer laziness. I know I can do better. And I know that I deserve better. So, this year, I’m reaffirming my commitment to my health.

Last year, I focused very strongly on trying the Paleo diet. In doing so, however, I studied WHY it had the results that it had. And it boiled down to this: eating the Paleo diet will simply give you more nutrient rich, calorie sparse foods. All of those vegetables really will make a difference. And retraining your body is tough, but it can be done. To start, I’m acting a little more radical; cutting most grains and carbs from my diet; but I plan on bringing foods that I’m presently forbidding myself back into my diet eventually, at a slower pace. I know that I simply need more time to adjust to having a lower calorie, higher nutrient diet. I’ve noticed the benefits in terms of energy levels and overall health before. I know I can do it.

I also plan to start an exercise regimen this year. Right now, I know I can’t afford to go to the gym, the money just isn’t there. I also know that will be a bit easier over the next couple months as my income normalizes again. However, that shouldn’t stop me from performing body weight and cardio exercises, right here in the comfort of my own home.

But focusing on my body, while a noble goal, doesn’t feel like it will really fulfill all of my “be a better person.” To be a better person, it requires not just the body, but the mind. And being mindful is something that I definitely need to improve upon. Like a lot of people, I have a tendency to open my mouth and speak before I think about what I’m going to say. I tend to act before I think of the consequences of what I’m doing, and how my actions affect others. Nowhere is this more painfully obvious than in my relationship with Bunny.

Not that it’s a bad relationship; it isn’t bad at all. But, like any relationship, there are rough patches. And I know that one of the biggest rough spots in our relationship can be easily solved by my being more mindful. By thinking before I speak about how my words will affect her, and think about how I act and how those actions will do the same.

I initially wanted to do this because I was afraid of losing her, but now, I think my reason is changing. When we first started our relationship, it was a lot more casual. We’ve grown much closer emotionally over time, and have grown a lot together. She means the world to me. I don’t know where my futures going, but something that I do know is that I would be loath to go into that future without her.

Over the past year, I realize that my mindset has shifted from me being a more “single” polyamorous person, acting as a free agent a lot of the time due to being in long distance relationships, to being more attached to my partner. I’ve had a hard time with that transition, as it means old habits need to be changed. The more I think about it though, the more time that goes on, the more I realize just how much my life is enriched by having her in it. And that is the reason I want to be more mindful.

I want to be more mindful because she deserves it. She really is one of the most amazing people in my life. Bunny has touched my life in profound ways. And staying by with her, she will continue to do so. She is worth it. And you know what? So do I. Being more mindful will not only make me a better partner for Bunny, but it will make me a better friend, a better colleague, and all around a better person. And I don’t think I’d be ready for that if it wasn’t for her. If it wasn’t for the way that I’ve transitioned, that I’ve changed. I have a direction.

For the first time in the past few years, I have a goal. And that goal isn’t to get married, or to find a certain job, or to make a certain amount of money. That goal is to be the best me, the best partner, the best friend, the best colleague, the best person that I can be.

You know what? I think this year is going to be the best one yet. I can’t wait to see where it takes me, where it takes us. Here’s to the new year!

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Derek is a twenty-something guy living in a somewhat urban and rural community in the Midwest. When he's not on the occasional date or trying to get a poly community started in his area, he enjoys hanging out with friends and playing all sorts of different games. Life is sometimes different out in the cornfields, but that doesn't stop him from doing his best to bring polyamory into the open by living openly poly.

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