Every year at this time, I feel a wave of panic wash over me as an urgent impending need to accomplish all of the goals I set for myself last New Year’s eve. Every new year is a new opportunity for a new beginning or in some cases, another year to disappoint myself and feel like a failure but not this year. This year is the year of easy New Year resolutions to help you live your best life or as I like to call it, Wednesday.
For the first time in my adult life, here we are on the dawn of a new day, new year, new decade and I feel no regrets. I feel no sense of urgency to rush to change because I’ve spent the last few months focusing on reaching my goals (well, a set of goals). Today, tomorrow and the next day after that are just another day because that’s how I’m choosing to see them. Every day is just another day but it’s also the opportunity for a fresh start. Every single day. 365 days a year.
What is a New Year’s resolution anyways?
A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.
All of this is based on the premise that we find fault and imperfection in ourselves. We do. I can honestly say, I don’t know (nor have I ever known) a single grown woman who is 100% happy with her body or herself. It’s a sad statistic. I used to think it was just me but this year, I realized my unhappiness with myself stemmed not from imperfection but from the state of being fallible and doing nothing to better myself. I only feel like a failure when I’m not trying. As I believe there is no try only do, I feel like a failure when I’m not doing things to bring me closer to who I want to be.
READ ALSO: Resolving to Incite a Revolution
This year, when I was thinking of my word of the year and making my vision board (because goals without words are nothing but wishes) I decided that my main goal for 2020 is to live a life with purpose and intention. I want to find the courage and strength to pursue peace and success. I want to be able to confidently walk away from things and people who don’t work anymore with no regrets. I want to be okay with choosing me, no guilt attached.
These are more like habits I’m trying to grow than resolutions but for the purpose of the New Year, let’s call them New Year resolutions. Here are a few good choices to get you to a better life and your best self.
Easy New Year Resolutions to help you Live Your Best Life
Don’t Marie Kondo your house. That will only make a bigger mess. But clutter and mess cause a stressed mind and body. Take a deep breath, break big projects into smaller (more digestible) projects. If something no longer has a purpose in your life, get rid of it.
READ ALSO: Is the Marie Kondo Method for You?
It’s crazy how organization can give peace. A peace that you didn’t even know that you needed. Things need a place so that you can easily access them when you need them but don’t trip over them and frustrate yourself when you don’t. It’s that simple. I don’t know about you but piles of unfolded laundry make me nervous. Things without a place, just hanging out, stress me out. I don’t want to give those things space in my head in 2020. I want them to fade into the background so I can focus more clearly on the people and things that are important.
Many of us live our lives unintentionally. We get swept up in what’s going on at the moment and we mindlessly move through the world. I know I do. My life, especially after having kids, became a series of putting out fires while I tried to keep my life on track. It doesn’t work. Distracted living isn’t living at all. It’s getting by and I (you) deserve more than just getting by. I pause and ask myself, is it worth it? The hard work, the loss, the gain, the calories, the time, the space? Is it worth it to me? If it’s not, I’m passing it up and walking away. Priorities matter.
Let it go
This is a hard one for me. I’m a hoarder at heart. I grew up with not a lot and it’s hard for me to get rid of things that are still in good condition, which includes people. I try to repurpose and find occasion. The result is a house full of clutter and a life full of stuff that I don’t need or worse, don’t serve a purpose. Sometimes the only purpose a thing needs to serve is joy. If it brings you happiness, it has a purpose. It doesn’t have to make sense. But if it doesn’t have any purpose, let it go. You don’t have to throw it out. I’m big on not being wasteful but pass it on. Donate it to someone who can use it. Let it serve its purpose and lighten your own load. Don’t think of it as gone, think of it as getting a second chance at a new life.
Move Your Body
I ignored this one for so many years. I have a bit of an addictive personality. I go all in or not at all. Or at least I used to. I’m trying to learn moderation and forgiveness for others and for myself. I know that saying that you’re going to start working out can feel overwhelming, especially as busy as we all are these days. And saying that you’re going to lose 20 pounds can feel daunting and burdensome, maybe even insurmountable. Then we just say bump it and give up. Well, that’s what I did, many times for many years.
READ ALSO: How I Reversed My Diabetes in 3 months.
I was either starving myself and obsessively working out or I was sitting on the couch, mindlessly snacking and binge-watching Netflix. There has to be a middle ground. Start with small goals. A 15-minute walk at lunch. Take the stairs. Drink your 64 ounces of water. Take your vitamins. One tiny goal at a time will put you on the path to where you want to be. Do not give yourself a deadline to get healthy because it’s a journey and a lifestyle not a destination. If you miss a day or eat the pizza/chocolate/cocktail so what? It’s ok. It’s just one day. As long as it’s the treat and not the norm, you’re fine. Move along.
The most important thing we can do for ourselves is to travel. It’s something that I’ve done since I was a child. My parents did it for us because we didn’t live by our grandparents and, in fact, my dad’s parents lived in another country. It was the best gift they could have ever given us. It made us compassionate, tolerant, inquisitive and instilled into our very soul, wanderlust. It was the catalyst for me to learn 4 languages. My greatest joy is sharing travel with my husband and our girls. Seeing the world through their eyes is priceless. Travel is worth more than any “thing” money can buy.
Remember those priorities I was referring to earlier? I’ve let reading fall off my list time and time again, and I love to read. I am a bibliophile at heart. But at the end of the day, it’s a luxury I can’t afford. But can’t I? I spend hours a day on social media? Why can’t I reclaim an hour a day back for reading and self-reflection? I can. You can too. Reading is knowledge and wisdom and can we really afford to stop learning in a world that is constantly changing? No. Reading helps us to better ourselves and build our brain muscles. It helps us to have more varied vocabularies and to become better versions of ourselves through understanding and knowledge. The question is, can we afford not to read?
Do it scared
Stop waiting for the perfect conditions. If you want to try something, do something new or change your direction in life, just do it. Of course, you’re scared. Anything worth doing will be scary at first. But as you shift onto your new path, you will get comfortable. Put your goals into the universe and follow it up with actions. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you and will support you when you try new things. Do it scared and you will achieve your dreams but don’t try at all and nothing will change.
It’s so much easier said than done. I’ve always been a bit hyper and manic. I stress a lot. It’s my state of being if we’re being honest. Or it was. Even when I’m sitting still, my brain is flexing in so many different directions. My brain likes to show off and do 23 hours a day squats. Do you know what that makes me? Tired. Downright exhausted and when you’re exhausted you get frustrated and you might be doing squats but you’re half-assing them and the effects are not what you want. Eventually, you and your lopsided ass just give up. So stop. Stop what you’re doing and breathe. Relax. Meditate. Reset. Refuel your soul. Restart.
Make time for “Me” Time
Me time might not always look like a massage and facial. Sometimes “me” time is driving to the grocery store for formula at 11 p.m by yourself with the windows down, blasting Pitbull and singing at the top of your lungs. Me time is about doing what you want, what you need to reboot. Especially as moms, we give out pieces of ourselves all day long until there is nothing left for us. There has to be something left for you. If there is no you, there is nothing for you to give to others. I’m not talking about living to serve others, I’m talking about being alive enough to share your own special gifts. We are all special and worth it. We all bring something unique to the world. We are all here for a purpose. You might be everything to someone but you first need to be everything to you. Put you first in whatever tiny or big way you need to. Don’t fade into the background of your own life.
Don’t care what others think
I’ve never really struggled with this one, at least not outwardly. I come from a big family and it serves you best not to worry about what other’s opinions are of you unless you want to be a useless puddle of snot and tears on the floor. I do struggle with measuring myself up to other’s success but I am working on that. But as far as other people’s opinions (other than my parents and my children), they mean little to nothing to me.
Life is too short to live by someone else’s expectations and rules. You do you and I’ll do me. As long as were not hurting one another, we’re all good. My fashion choices, religious or political beliefs, parenting philosophy and the way I choose to spend my money should have no bearing on anyone else’s life and vice versa. So I wear the bikini, I am tolerant of everyone, I support my friends and family in their pursuit of happiness even if it’s not mine and dance like no one is watching, and even if they are, I don’t care. I’ll invite you to dance with me. Live in the moments because this is the life that you will look back on. Live it on your terms and be happy.
This is the big one. Practice forgiveness of others and most importantly of yourself. It will be the best thing you ever do for you and your mental health. Love others and yourself for all that you are not for who you think you should be or want to be in a year. Love yourself and others for who they are right now, in this moment.
Wishing you all a very happy new year filled with lots of love, laughter, good health, fruitful endeavors, happiness, and travel. Forgive yourself often. Be patient with yourself and pursue your dreams; life’s too short not to.
Me, I’ll be pursuing some dreams, making some changes and sharing some truth we can all relate to on here ( 3-5 times a week; stay tuned.) You can subscribe to get your weekly newsletter and everything in one place, directly to your inbox. Never miss a thing.
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