In all seriousness, 2016 was kind of a shitty year for me. Without going into too much detail, my personal life was a bit of a disaster. My work/life balance was also pretty minimal, and I made a habit of letting stress run my life. On top of that, we went through a year and a half of an exhausting election with an even more depressing outcome. While there were many great moments in 2016, I am ready to move on. Fast. It seems like everyone that I’ve spoken to recently has the same sentiment – we’re all ready to burn last year to the ground.
With that in mind, I’m refocusing on the future. I’ve spent the last few days being a major grandma – listing out my goals, journaling, and even going so far as to make a vision board. Like I said, I am DONE with last year, so I’m taking all steps possible to make sure 2017 turns out differently. These are some of my New Years resolutions for 2017 – declared on the internet which makes them super official (and hopefully more likely for me to stick to).
1. No more unnecessary technology/social media. After watching this amazing talk by Simon Sinek, I am determined to fight off certain Millennial tendencies, one of which includes an addiction to devices (I usually feel that older generations’ complaints about Millennials are not always warranted, but he hits it right on the money with this one). I have made a horrible habit of cruising all my social media outlets right before bed and when I wake up, which admittedly is the worst way to start/end your day. In 2017 I want to experience life in the real world more often, and be less concerned with the filtered lives of everyone else on social media. I don’t foresee my Pinterest obsession dying anytime soon, but moderation is key.
2. Multitask less. I am totally guilty of watching Netflix, working on my computer, and eating dinner all at the same time. When you’re self employed, this can happen more often than I would like to admit. While I love the fact that we women are badass multitaskers by nature, I feel like I’m always “on”, like I can never fully relax even at night when I should be finished working. Concentrating on one thing at a time can put you back in the present moment, where real life is happening.
3. Go camping. I spent way too much time indoors in 2016. I’m a firm believer that Mother Nature is one of our greatest healers and teachers, and I need a massive dose of her this year. Lately I’ve been drawn to travel images of forests, national parks, mountains, the Grand Canyon etc, so I think it’s time to take a camping trip. I haven’t been camping since I was a kid! I was a bit of a wuss back then, but I think I’d fare much better now as an adult. *channels inner Reese Witherspoon à la Wild*
4. Eat clean and exercise. Last year was an extremely stressful year for me, and eating healthy and working out were the first things that fell to the wayside when things got overwhelming. Unfortunately, this was reflected in my skin, nails, hair, under eye bags and most importantly my energy level. Over it. I’m on day 3 of a 30 day cleanse (no wheat, dairy, sugar, soy, corn or red meat) and I’m pretty stoked about it, and determined to keep up the same attitude about my health for the other 362 days.
5. Find (and stick to) a daily meditation practice. Without sounding overly cliché or neo-hippie-bougie, there are legit scientific reasons to meditate ok? It lowers your blood pressure, improves your memory, relieves stress, even improves brain function. In the past I have had periods where I meditated every day for up to 3 months at a time, and during those 3 months I felt much more centered, calm, focused and even slept better. The trick this year will be to make it a daily habit. Yep – 365 DAYS. Let’s do this.
6. Read 12 books. Reading has always been a huge passion of mine, and sadly is another thing that I’ve let slip in recent years. This one relates to my first resolution, because reading an actual book is a great way to wind down at night in place of technology. Sometimes I literally feel stupider now than when I was in college, I think because I was constantly reading, learning, and using my brain, in a different way than my current work and lifestyle calls for. And contrary to popular belief, you actually CAN get brain cells back, so to me this is one of those “use it or lose it” type deals. Currently reading: The Diary of Frida Kahlo.
7. Create more. To my own surprise, I am actually pretty good at drawing, painting, and taking photographs. I gave handmade watercolor paintings to a few people in my life for Christmas, and it was so soul-nourishing. I used to paint and draw a lot when I was young, and I almost forgot how good it feels to create. It can be time consuming to sit down with yourself and let your creativity take hold long enough to put something to paper (or canvas), so I’ll be making an effort to carve out more time for that this year.
8. Have more patience. Blame it on technology or what have you, but I seem to have no patience for anything these days. I need to calm the fuck down. Have more patience for others, situations, and even myself without getting all in a tizzy when things aren’t exactly as I think they should be right NOW (this is where that meditation resolution comes in handy).
9. (Re)Learn Spanish. I took AP Spanish in high school, and was actually pretty good. I got myself to a comfortable conversational level and got by just fine when I visited Spain about 10 years ago. But, like anything else, if you don’t practice it, it just goes. There have been so many situations in my life recently where knowing Spanish would be extremely helpful, so I might as well finally put that Rosetta Stone to use.
10. Take a real vacation. This one probably won’t come for me until later in 2017, but I want to get on a plane to somewhere I’ve never been and unplug for at least 7 solid days. I did absolutely no traveling in 2016 (intentionally, to save money), but I’m ready for some adventure.
What are some of your resolutions for 2017?