I didn’t used to be one for New Years “resolutions”. I was convinced that once made, they were just as easily forgotten, then broken, then they become ammo for making you feel bad.
However, ever since I became a “real” adult – graduated, and out in the big, wide world – I have found that thinking about the year in front of me is not only healthy, but productive, for my psych and soul. I’m a natural list-maker and planner, and so spending a little time thinking constructively about my year is just as useful as making a to-do list before a busy weekend, or filling out my planner with due dates and doctor appointments.
That being said, I don’t go for your average “New Years resolutions,” but instead believe in setting both attainable and long-term goals for oneself. Writing those goals down sets them within reach, and reminds one to stay and re-focus throughout the year. “Lose 10 pounds” means nothing to me because, at the end of the day, I don’t understand the motivation behind it. That’s where yearly goal-setting comes in, and they include “resolutions” that are just vague enough to be widely interpreted, and yet tailored to meet your specific needs. They should encourage one to be brave, embrace new challenges, strive for happiness, and extricate oneself from situations where you’re unhappy. They should work toward making your life better.
Here are a few of mine for 2015:
- Spend more time outside, and spend that time being active
- This includes increasing the amount of outdoor exercise I do, whether that’s riding my road bike or running around my neighborhood. Speaking of running, while I ran a decent, not-embarrassing 5K in 2014, I want to improve my overall fitness so that I can, again, run the Cincinnati Turkey Trot 10K this November. This also includes just being outside, including finally planting some kind of garden (veggie or flower, maybe both!) at our new house.
- Worry less
- In past years, I’ve worked at decreasing my stress levels and improving my work-life balance, but in 2015, I want to focus on worrying less. I’m a worrier, and being employed only part-time for most of 2014 – and buying a house during that time – has led to more than one sleepless night endlessly going over the numbers. As graduation approaches, I also find myself worrying about finding a full-time job. My brother is planning on thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail this summer and fall, so thoughts of bears will definitely occupy my thoughts. And there are other life events that I’m sure I’ll just worry to the bone, once they eventually happen. My plan is to breathe, let what will be, will be, and trust that everything is going to be all right.
- Work on acquiring, and improving, good habits
- Everyone needs to floss more, right? Well, that includes me, and in 2015 – just like every year – I want to improve my daily habits and routines so that I’m living easily and happily, without too much extra work. This includes taking proper care of my skin; drinking more water and less alcohol, and definitely less pop; keeping my house clean and tidy because it keeps me happy and stress-free; not biting my nails (keeping them painted in recent weeks has helped!); adhering to a monthly spending budget; and become a better, regular morning person. I also want to simplify these habits as much as possible – I want to simplify as much of my life as I can – so that I’m not spending too much money, I’m not using unnecessary chemicals or ingesting weird food additives, and I avoid any kind of “high maintenance” life as I get closer to 30.
- Let go
- I’m a very mellow, even-tempered person, but when people offend, insult, or REALLY piss me off, I have a hard time forgiving or forgetting. Luckily, this has happened only a few times, but I feel like holding onto any kind of negative energy clouds my judgment and makes me, ultimately, an unhappy person. With my 10 year high school class reunion coming up this year, this is probably a good time to let go. Also, I’m going to try to keep those everyday annoyances at bay (why are people so STUPID on Facebook?!), and remind myself that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.
- Get away from screens and cultivate simple pleasures
- Even as the tech gets cooler, as I get older, I grow more and more disenchanted with screens. I’m tired of hearing what TV show people are now “binge-watching” on Netflix, I don’t care to shell out $500 for a new iPhone, I still have no desire for any kind of e-reader – I’m just tired of it all. Now, I find myself yearning for simple pleasures: reading (I’m talking about how they did it 200 years ago), listening to classical music, cooking, being outside. I feel like these pleasures are longer lasting, and more enduring.
- Go someplace new
- I don’t like to list specific “trips” as a yearly resolution, knowing that vacations are inextricably tied to money, and sometimes, some years, the cash isn’t there. J and I have a few ideas of vacations we’d like to take this year, however by the end of the year, I want to make sure that I see something I’ve never seen before.