2016 is finally here and I am ready for it! Are you? A new year is a fresh slate, a blank space (don’t sue me, Taylor Swift), a whole 365 days of possibilities, challenges, lessons and champagne hangovers. (Just me? OK.)
Some may say that New Year’s Resolutions are silly, that no one sticks to them, that you don’t need to “fix” yourself just because it’s the dawn of a new year. I don’t subscribe to this foolishness. Why not make a pact with your mind, heart and body to better your world, starting on January 1?
Are you unsure of how to change it up for 2016? I’m here to give you some starting points; every girl in her twenties knows that this decade is one of constant growth and change. You’ve got this, though.
1. Break up with that fuckboy. Are you fooling around with some Tinder dude you kinda hate just to stave off boredom? Does he respond to your texts with “lol” or “k” more often than not? Do you find yourself unsatisfied or emotionally conflicted instead of happy and chill? Then cut him loose. Let that shit go. You never know – a really good dude might be living next door.
2. Be OK being by yourself. Being single is not the Worst Thing Ever. It’s fun! You can kiss whoever you want and you don’t need to dole out your time between friends, family and your loved one. You can embrace your weird single-girl habits, leave tampons out and flirt like crazy. Spending time alone helps you figure out what you really want in a relationship.
3. Pledge to do one nice thing for others each month of 2016. Maybe that’s a monthly donation to a cause you care about. Maybe it’s volunteering, or taking someone to lunch when they’re broke, or just spending quality time with your grandparents.
4. Handle your shit. The “hot mess” stops being cute after 23. Stop subtweeting and tell that person why you’re pissed. Apologize for being a dick. Show up for work. Be mature about relationships. Wash your dishes. Pay bills on time.
5. Save money. Even if it’s just $10 per paycheck. Tuck it away just in case, because you never know when someone’s gonna smack into your car or your rent is gonna go up.
6. Go on a trip with your BFFs. There’s no better way to bond with your besties than going on a weekend trip. There’s really no better place to bond than in Las Vegas. (Speaking from experience, anyway.)
7. Stand up for yourself. Don’t let yourself be pushed around at work or in your personal life. Don’t be passive aggressive or wishy-washy
8. Speak up. Hey, this can be as simple as sticking up for your beliefs on a Facebook thread or confronting someone on Twitter who is being ignorant or hateful. If you feel passionately about something, then use your voice.
9. Don’t apologize. Women have a tendency to apologize for asking for things they want, or for sharing their opinions at work. Cut that shit out! It’s easier said than done, though; this is something I struggle with because we’re taught to do this as children.
10. Ask for more money. Are you killing it at work? Ask for a raise. There’s no harm in asking. You’re worth it.
11. Make a change. Are you unhappy at work? Quit and find something new. Do you really, really want a change of scenery? Move! You’ll always learn when you try something new.
12. Keep a journal. Maybe you’re not a writer, but you should still take time to write down your thoughts and your experiences. Writing things down can be cathartic, and sometimes the things that come out of your pen when you just let go and write will surprise you.
13. Read more. I don’t mean your phone. I mean books. Reading expands your imagination and your point of view. You’ll learn more from a book than you will from Instagram!
14. Know what makes YOU happy in life, in love, in relationships, at work. The most significant relationship of your life is the one you have with yourself. Know what you want and what makes you feel fulfilled. Don’t settle for less than that.
15. Learn how to handle stress and emotions. Adulthood is a bumpy ride of stressful situations (bills, romance, roommates, jobs) and emotions. Find a way to deal with them that works for you, whether that’s yoga, weed, meditation, writing or taking long hot bubblebaths. Stress can negatively impact your overall health, so it’s important to know how to combat it and relax.
16. Set a goal and accomplish it by the end of the year. It could be learning to cook, or stopping a bad habit, or exercising more. I like to have a big goal to work towards all year, or a few small ones that keep me feeling triumphant and motivated. This year, mine is to eat more greens and to make a point to exercise every day. Baby steps get you to the finish line, too.