The calendar turning over to a new year is always exciting. The world seems fresh, alive with possibilities.

One of favorite quotes I shared on my Exit Normal Facebook page was this: “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” I was surprised by how many likes that quote got and how many people shared it. Obviously, it resonated with everyone.

I used to be quite a fan of tradition. When I was a kid, my family had habits that we followed, not only for holidays but also just for weekday mornings before school and work. Following a habitual schedule was comforting. So when I started my own family, I followed suit. I started traditions for everything: Christmas, birthdays, vacations, different times of the year.

But there has always been a part of me that wanted to shake it up, to just get in the car and go see what there is to see. Traditions were all good if they didn’t hold me back from freedom. Following habits was a good thing unless I followed them into a rut.

My husband and I now have a level of freedom that we did not have five years ago. We go where we want to go and we are where we want to be. How? Well, that’s another story, but basically we went after the life we wanted and stopped conforming to the life we didn’t.

We still enjoy family traditions, we just do them on the road, wherever we are. We make new traditions. We have some repeat experiences and many new experiences. Every new cycle is fresh and invigorating with new ideas, new habits, new passions, and meeting new people. We don’t throw the old ideas, habits, passions, or people away in the process, but rather weave old and new together in a way that is beautiful and inspiring.

Above all, the kids are secure in the fact that, no matter where we are in the world, the five most important people are always with them. That’s the only tradition they really need.

In the end, every year is new. Change is the only constant. Every year gives us a chance to embrace life. To discover what it is we want to do and who we want to be. We can let go of expectations from the past year, define our purpose, and go for it. The new year is a perfect opportunity to make it (whatever your “it” is!) happen.

I’m looking forward to an exciting year of travel to Mexico in February and March, more time in Florida, home repairs “back home” that will enable us to take the next step, and a burgeoning new writing business. I’m also fired up about mentoring my four children in setting their own purpose for living, even as I contemplate my own.

Happy new year to all of you! What does your 2016 look like? May you be showered with love, hope, opportunity, and a sense of purpose that has you jumping out of bed every morning of the year.