When I started thinking about New Year’s resolutions that I wanted to write for 2017, I initially had a very short list of things that were realistic and attainable that might be suitable for a short Facebook status update.
But the more I thought about it, I came up with at least 10 things I hope to work on in the coming year that I have expanded into a blog post. Maybe you will find some of them relatable.
- Exercise 30 minutes a day. I started doing this a couple of years ago, and by run/walking 30 minutes a day in the park, I quickly lost about 40 pounds in three months. It’s a good habit to get into. It’s a stress reliever. It allows you to be one with nature. It’s good for your heart. And as someone who has always had skinny legs, it made my legs more shapely.
It’s so hard for many of us to find time in our busy lives for exercise, and we sometimes think it’s impossible to lose weight because it would take so much effort, but I think it’s really motivating knowing that you can see real improvement in your health and weight if you amend your lifestyle and spend only 30 minutes every day exercising. I also live a mile from a lake, so one of my goals has been to drive there and take advantage of the landscape for my run/walks.
2. Drink more water.
3. Write down three things I’m grateful for. Several years ago, I experienced some challenging health issues. During that time period, I learned many things about life. A couple of those things were the importance of optimism and gratitude. I’ve also read a number of studies that say doing something as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for every day can really change your life. So I’m going to give it a try in 2017.
4. Work on new and creative ways to teach and improve my job. At the moment, I have my dream job. I work with kind, supportive people that I learn from every day. I enjoy what I do, and that makes me want to continue to do my best.
5. Do something brave every day. Sometimes, that may mean speaking in front of a crowd. Other times, it may mean simply voicing your opinion, or introducing yourself to someone. One thing I’ve learned in life is that sometimes things hold us back when we are in certain, specific situations and circumstances. But sometimes, if you remove yourself from those situations, your fears may disappear as well. Even if they remain, you don’t have to drive a race car or jump off a cliff into the ocean in order to challenge them. After all, if you’re fearless, you’re not really brave. Taking one step at a time is bravery.
6. Stay off of social media as much as possible. Obviously, since I’ve written this blog post and shared it, I have not been very successful with this new year’s resolution. To be honest, I’m sure I would not be able to completely eliminate social media from my life. As a person who has worked as a journalist since the invent of social media and has been expected to promote my work on social media, it’s something that has just become an extension of many who work with words, graphics and pictures on a daily basis. Sometimes, it’s fun.
However, I probably have just as many negative feelings regarding social media as I do positive feelings. Take a break from reading it a couple of days, and you feel as if you have escaped the virtual world. You are on the “outside” again. But it can be kind of lonely “on the outside” when everyone is still “inside.”
If I had to bet, I’d guess that a lot of people probably feel like they have become more introverted because of social media, and that’s one of the things I want to push back against this year.
7. Continue learning a foreign language. I took four semesters of Spanish in college, but I was never fluent, and that’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve. Thanks to iPhone apps these days, it’s possible to learn just about anything. I’m currently using one to brush up on basic Spanish and grammar, and I feel like it has been beneficial.
8. Make more crafts and create. One of the things I’ve learned about myself over the years is that, if you strip away everything about me, what you are left with, essentially, is a girl who likes to create things. If I wasn’t crafting, or writing, or blogging, or creating something, I’m not exactly sure who I would be. It’s a fundamental part of who I am, and I like that person in basic form without anything additional that is suppose to increase my value.
9. Take more road trips near and far. If I had all the money in the world, I would spend it traveling, but I also enjoy going on small adventures to places I’ve never been before. Hopefully, big and small adventures await in 2017.
10. Grow, but accept. I will always be a person who has both insecurities and confidence. I’ll always be someone who is bold and outgoing sometimes and reserved and shy other times. There are some subjects I know a lot about, and others of which I know very little.
Sometimes I’m happy. Sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and think I look good for a person my age. Occasionally, but not often – because living in the past is as emotionally dangerous as ruminating about the future – I’d like to reset the digital clock/calendar to a couple of decades earlier.
I will always be someone who can relate in some way to every meme and Pinterest pin on the internet. I will always be both strong and weak. I’ll always be imperfect.
Our lives are never a yearly project that we can somehow fix in 365 days, transforming ourselves into someone new and unrecognizable. We are our own lifelong commitment.
It’s great to strive to grow and improve, but it’s equally important to accept yourself where you are, and to be your own friend throughout your evolutionary process.