New Year’s Eve is thought of as a night when one door closes and another opens. You think about all that you’ve accomplished in the past year and everything you hope to do in the next. But when you wake up on New Year’s Day, you realize that it’s just another day. It’s not the dawn of a new age or the tipping point to some new you. Still, we force that utopian ideal by casting New Year’s resolutions to improve ourselves. It’s a new year, so why not a new you?
The problem with lofty New Year’s resolutions is their inevitable abandonment and the guilt that comes next. There’s nothing wrong with setting them. But it’s important to realize that self-improvement is an ongoing life long strategy. It doesn’t have to start on January 1st and be accomplished by December 31st.
This January 1st, I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for surviving 2016. Instead of focusing on a timetable, I will tackle challenges on my own terms. Rather than fixating on what I don’t get done, I will embrace the fact that I’m human. I will take greater pride in my accomplishments. As I keep pushing forward, if I get stuck, I will remind myself to simply begin anywhere.
Here are some of the things I accomplished in 2016 and the challenges I look forward to in the coming year:
- Cooking for a healthier lifestyle. They say getting fit is 20% exercise, 80% diet. In 2016, I started cooking for myself a lot more, including adding more fresh vegetables in my meals, and eating more protein. I also cut a lot of dairy out of my diet. I hope to continue on this path and eat out less frequently. Although I will indulge happily from time to time when I eat healthy during the week.
- Regular exercise. This year I have focused on working out harder at the gym. I have yet to bring that discipline to at-home workouts. I’ve realized in the past year that working out at home is just not my cup of tea. So this year I will try to explore outdoor activities like walking, tennis, or hiking.
- Edgier Fashion blogging. I have shot almost 70 outfit looks in the past year, most photographed on my own, which is more than I imagined. However, I feel like I’ve hit a rut with my style. This year I will challenge myself to mix it up. I will bring a new edge to the way I style my looks or pose for the camera.
- Take more responsibility. I have been reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. One lesson it teaches you is that many people have difficulties in life such as mental illness, physical disabilities, family deaths, etc. The people who take responsibility for their experiences often go on to accomplish great things. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, they find a way to own the problem and achieve highly regardless of it. I realize that this a mindset shift that will take a long time to change. Becoming more aware is a good first step.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Or just get out of the city and go places. I’m young and single. I can travel anywhere at almost anytime. Not a lot of people have that luxury and I should take more advantage of it. Before I know it, I’ll be old and have bad knees. Basically, I should climb Machu Picchu while I still can.
What are your thoughts on New Year’s expectations, resolutions, and what you hope to accomplish?
And for those of you who say FU to resolutions, this video is for you: