The eve of a new year is my favorite time, the air is electric with possibility. It is all of the cliche statements: a jumping off point, a blank slate, a new chapter etc. All of these thoughts are great, but a blank slate without a plan stays blank. I use the last few days of the year as a “get my shit together” planning session. During this session I am honest with myself and write down my fears, doubts, and anxieties. I then write out how I am going to manage them, instead of letting them manage me, in the new year. I put this list in a spot where I can refer to it on those days when I want to flip off the entire world, fake my own death, and open a fruit stand in the Caribbean (this is a serious retirement plan I considered). It reminds me that I control my own happiness. I am not just some random soul waiting around for something to happen, I have the ability to shape my life experiences.
I wouldn’t call my list resolutions, it is more of a flexible action plan. I don’t like resolutions because they are usually vague, action plans give you ideas to work from. So this year I re-framed some of the popular resolutions that people make into mini action plans. Like with any to do list we should tackle these one at at time, always working towards being a better human being. This might not be my exact plan for 2015, but there is a significant amount of overlap. I am also bringing back the “Hey Girl 30 Day Resolution” but with a focus on growing and learning as opposed to challenging myself to give up cheese for 30 days (worst month ever). Many the mini resolutions will be pulled straight from this list, hope you can join in on the fun.
LOVE AND ACCEPT MY BODY
Let’s stop wishing we could be some weird Frankenstein woman that is made up of the best celebrity body parts (that have been airbrushed to perfection). Earlier in the year my friend that is a photographer asked me to be part of a collaborative project where she would be asking women what their favorite body part was on themselves and then photographing it. I am ashamed to say it took me a long time to think of a favorite because I was always so focused on what I needed to make “better” about my body. In 2015 let’s embrace what we love about ourselves: big smile, full lips, button nose, curvy hips, strong legs, curly hair – celebrate what makes us unique. This is a group effort people, when your bestie starts trash talking her small boobs or giant feet it is your job to tell her how you see her (beautiful, smart, amazing) and to cut that shit out. Accept that the idea of perfection comes in a wide spectrum of shapes and live your life by this advice:
“If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” – RuPaul
EAT HEALTHY ALL THE TIME
ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE
Oscar Wilde said it best: “everything in moderation, including moderation.” Good food choices are important, it is part of loving your body, but enjoying experiences is more important. When it comes to regular exercise I am completely food motivated. Every mile I run, every weight circuit I lift all I am thinking about is the donuts and wine I earned. Instead of eating healthy ALL the time let’s commit to making smart choices during the week and giving ourselves dietary flexibility on the weekends. It is like being back in grade school – if you follow the rules all week you earn a gold star, or a carne asada burrito.
MAKE MORE MONEY/GET PROMOTED
MAKE MYSELF MORE VALUABLE
We should always be striving for bigger and better, but how do we get there? It is not like your boss is just going to come to you and say “hey, I think you’re great! How about a raise?” Instead let’s shift the focus on how to make ourselves more valuable professionally. Identify what your weakest skill set is and make a plan to change that. Are there training or certification programs that would provide you more expertise? Is there a local professional networking group for your industry? Are there mentoring opportunities? Last but not least get involved at a volunteer level with causes you care about – this is an easy way to network and meet new people. All of these small changes can open doors you were not even aware existed.
FIND A SIGNIFICANT OTHER
GET COMFORTABLE BEING ALONE
This is a tough one, I was forced to learn this lesson when I moved from Arizona to California knowing zero people in my new city. I did a lot of solo bike rides, movies, and dinners. When I moved from LA to Sacramento after getting engaged I went through the same process, making friends as an adult is not easy. I am glad that I had this experience though because it helped build my self confidence. I’m not afraid to eat alone at a bar table (or even be the person reading in the bar!), I don’t get anxiety about being the first one to show up to a party, I don’t NEED someone around to do things with – in fact I have met the most interesting people when I show up to events alone! Being comfortable with being alone also leads to better romantic choices, you are not constantly searching for the next date, it also displays an air of confidence to those around you – which is a definite plus for any potential partner. One more reason being alone is awesome: watch what shows you want, eat your favorite dinner, never put on pants the whole weekend, who cares? You are the boss of you time. Next year start slow: try coffee by yourself and work your way up to a movie, I promise you will thank me.
What else would you add to this list?