I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago, because I could never manage to keep them. After reading much psychology, I now know that I was setting myself up for failure, by making the wrong types of resolutions. They were either too grandiose, too ambiguous, or too misaligned with my lifestyle. So here’s to trying to make the right type of New Year’s resolutions for 2019.
Savor the moment.
I’ve been trying on and off (more off than on) to be more mindful, but often I would forget and revert to old habits of multitasking. This year, I hope to slow down this relentless pace I’ve been on, and take time to look around. I never do that. It’s especially noticeable when I go on hikes; I’m so busy looking at the ground to make sure I don’t trip that I miss all the beautiful scenery. Single-tasking might be too much of a reach, but I’m going to attempt to give my full attention to whatever I’m doing.
Create more joy.
For 93.5% of my life, I’ve been pessimistic and sometimes fatalistic. In my mind, I called it being realistic. But I wasn’t. I was underestimating my abilities and demeaning myself, not going after opportunities because what’s the point? I’m going to fail anyway, right?
Wrong. I have so much untapped potential, because I’ve been so negative. I’m not going to become optimistic any time soon, it’s just not in my nature. But I can reframe all the negativity and invest in my happiness. Sure, I’ll fail sometimes, but I’ll never know if I count myself out before I’m even in. I don’t want to be small and miserable anymore. I want to do things that make me happy, and try to make other people happy as well.
Let things go.
This ties into the previous one. I can’t be happy if I’m taking everything personally, every failure of mine or every comment from someone else. There are so many things I’ve internalized over the years that are holding me back from living my best life. And I’m still sometimes adding new things that happened to me to that stockpile. In the long run, we’re all going to die anyway, so does it really matter that much?
This also applies to unrealistic standards I’m holding for myself. I am never going to get to my “ideal” weight, or make running a habit, or be super fun and social. So it’s time to let them go as well.
Act more confidently.
I’m still a long way from being a confident person. All the things I’ve internalized makes it a long and arduous journey. I’m constantly doubting and second-guessing myself, even when I’m close to 100% sure of something. So I’ve decided that I’m going to act more confidently, even if I don’t feel it. Especially if I don’t feel it. Hopefully the concept of fake-it-til-you-make-it works.
Along these lines, I’m also going to confidently ask for things. Whether it’s help that I need, or advice that I want, or opportunities that I’ve always thought no one will say yes to. What’s the worst that can happen, they say no? That puts me right where I started. But what if they say yes? How far will I be able to go in life if just 10% of the people I ask say yes?
Live more sustainably.
This is something that’s been weighing on my mind for a long time. I’ve taken half-hearted measures throughout my life to recycle and be less wasteful. But this year I need to do it with intention. Of all my resolutions, this is the one I have the most concrete plans for:
- Start a designated compost bin. Currently I’m just throwing organics into the garden, sometimes without even looking. And sometimes when I’m lazy, I will throw compostable things in the trash. I also need to educate myself more fully on what is compostable.
- Buy secondhand instead of new. If I have to buy new, I will buy high quality items that can be handed down. I will also make every attempt to repair things instead of throwing them out. (This is easier said than done; I have two pairs of jeans that need mending but I’ve been putting it off for going on two months.)
- Take public transportation more often. This isn’t easy, especially living in Los Angeles. Public transportation usually takes 3-4 times as long as driving, even with traffic. And oftentimes there’s no direct route there, or I have to lug many things with me, or I get out too late. It’ll be the hardest part of my sustainability plan, but even if I manage to take public transportation once a month, it’ll be more than I’m doing now.
- Eat more vegetarian. I’m more of a carb-ivore than anything else, so eating less meat shouldn’t be a problem (dairy might be). But I’m already planning to cook more often; I recently discovered meal prepping and it’s like the best thing that’s ever happened to me! It’s so much fun spending an entire afternoon cooking. I’m not sure I can ever become vegetarian or vegan, but doing this more often will make me feel better. Not just for the sake of the planet; my body feels better when I eat more vegetables.
I’m feeling really good about these New Year’s resolutions, because they’re very aligned with my values and who I want to be. That alone should make it much easier to keep. But I also need to make sure I keep them top of mind as I go through the next year; my sister introduced me to the depth year at the beginning of 2018, and I didn’t look at my list again until just last week. (I’ll have a post about this later on, once I update my depth year for 2019.)
Also, my blog is a year old! I remember sitting down to write my first blog post, not really knowing what direction my blog should be going, and trying to emulate other blogs I admired. It’s still a work in progress, this figuring out of my blog. But I’m going to savor the moment (see what I did there?) and take it as it comes. My blog, and my life, should be a natural evolution 🙂
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? What New Year’s resolutions do you have for 2019?