2017 was a pretty shitty year for me. I lost my job, my mother died and somewhere amidst all the quote-UN-quote happy moments, I put on about thirty stressed induced, and definitely not Domino’s Delivery, pounds and can rock the hell out of my double chin. Yep, life can sometimes be absolutely vomit inducing but there were a ton of lessons I learned this year that I’m definitely not going to be taking for granted as I venture into the new year (although January is just a trial run). Here are 6 ways I’m bringing more positivity into the New Year in order to be my best self.
1. I will not feel bad, over and over again over pointless bullshit.
I was always that girl who was like, “I don’t care if somebody doesn’t like me” but secretly would go home crying because all I wanted more than anything was to fit in with the popular girls. I’m not about that life anymore. Would I like to be liked by everyone? Absolutely. In a perfect world, where women aren’t catty and over-the-top with envy and trying to tear other women down just to make themselves feel better, then that would be great. But that’s not the case, and furthermore, I’m not in it to make friends with people who are only out to get me. I’m human. I fuck up and I fuck up a lot. But if someone in my life can’t see past that, or if they can’t see past their own insecurities in an effort to somehow attack or belittle me, I’m done wasting my emotions on that. Stuff happens, and if they can’t get on board with it, then I’m not going to own their own insecurities.
2. I will stay focused on getting healthy because I want to live a long and happy life.
In high school, I’d starve myself which was not, I repeat, not very cool. It was dumb in fact and I’m so glad that today there is a ton of more body positive campaigns and brave women like Ashley Graham who inspire girls everywhere to love their bodies. It’s no surprise I put on so much weight over the past twelve months. Sadness, depression, grief and stress will definitely do that to you. I don’t want to be out of breath from simply walking up the stairs at work. I don’t want to be so insecure that I feel like less of myself because I have zero justification to feel that way. Getting healthy isn’t about getting trim. It’s about making better choices about what goes into my body because when my body is happy, I feel like such a more confident and bubbly person. A steady diet of saturated fats and carbo-loading (while super fun) makes me feel blah. I don’t want my goal in life to be settling for “blah” all the time. I want to have energy exuding from my skin like a fucking exfoliant.
3.I will become more assertive
Because if I don’t, then there is no one who will do it for me. There is no shame in asking for what you want and what you need whether it is at work, in relationships, or in bed. I am acknowledging this year that I can obtain the kind of life I want and the only difference between you and the person, who got what you wanted, is that they asked for it. If you want your life to be different in any sort of way, then all you need to do is speak up and do something about it.
4. I will put my dishes in the sink before I go to bed.
There is so much to be said about waking up to a clean house as opposed to a messy one. I have the worst habit of leaving everything in my house out: mugs, clothes next to the hamper instead of actually IN the hamper, Domino’s boxes from last night’s dinner still sitting out on the coffee table. It’s not like I’m so overworked or busy that I don’t have time to clean up after myself; I’m just too lazy and in 2018 that stops. I wake up in such a better mood when there are not coffee cups lining my living room like decoration. I don’t want my house looking like a teenager lives there.
5. I will not adhere to a schedule.
Every morning I wake up with a list of the chores or activities I want to accomplish. It always includes a load of laundry, or homework, or putting that basket of folded laundry in our chest of drawers but it also includes me writing an article for publication, or working on one of my paintings, of even submitting the children’s book I wrote and paid illustrations for, for copyright and getting the ball rolling. Sometimes that list entails finishing the night with a bath bomb and some scented candles or slipping under the sheets an hour earlier so I can get swept away in a good book before my 5am wake up call for work. But, every single night, I get so mentally exhausted from the day that I plop myself on the couch, flip on Netflix re-runs of the Office and fall asleep in a sugar induced coma by 9:00pm. On weekends, especially, I’ll choose to clean the house first and then the day will change, and repeatedly I’m left with all the personal activities and desires of the day still dangling off my list. This year, I’m not doing that. The laundry will still be there if I choose to get up in the morning and read my book for an hour. This year I’m choosing to satisfy the passionate side of me – the part of me that wants to create and to fuel inspiration. Doing so is beneficial for my mental health.
6. I will travel this big, beautiful country (one weekend trip at a time).
Speaking of doing what’s best for my mental health, this year I will travel more. I live in the hub of so many amazing areas and honestly, if a three hour flight is what is holding me back from a weekend in Key West, or Nashville, or hiking to Tallulah Falls in Georgia, then I’m not taking as big of a bite out of life that I should be. I absolutely love to travel. I love to explore new cities, and try new foods and take a thousand pictures to shove in people’s faces on Instagram. This year, I’m not going to limit myself to the same activities that I’ve deemed as fun in the past. I want to see this big, beautiful country from here on out and honestly, there is nothing standing in my way of doing that.
In 2018, I’m not putting myself on the back burner like I’ve done so many years in the past. I ultimately want to be the best and happiest version of myself and this is the time when I’m making those goals a reality.