Purchasing a new planner at the start of each year produces a magical feeling of limitless possibility and fresh reinvention deep inside my soul. I always look forward to an opportunity to create new goals and plans, but this time, I'm doing things differently.
Usually, I make a list of fun, creative ideas and lofty ideals. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but I'm ready to make lifestyle changes that are a little broader and more practical in scope. To better organize my thoughts, I've divided them into four categories: HEALTH, WEALTH, CREATIVITY, and RELATIONSHIPS. I'm excited to start a new journey toward becoming my best self, and I'm grateful to have all of you out there supporting me along the way.
Okay. Let's get started!
Last year, I definitely let my physical health fall by the wayside. A little background: I'm extremely stubborn when it comes to my body. I've been all different shapes and sizes throughout my life, and I've always had good body image. I have always refused to change for anyone else, despite comments from others. And I've always believed that you can be healthy at any size. I was lucky to grow up in a family of voluptuous women who embraced their natural body shape. If I ever changed anything about my size, it was because I personally wanted to. And when I didn't want to anymore, I stopped.
But the thing is, if you're not healthy, it doesn't matter what size you are. And even though I didn't gain a significant amount of weight last year, I know that I was not living a healthy lifestyle. My gym membership ended and I didn't renew. I kept telling myself I would with my next paycheck, but I never did. And as far as eating goes -- gah, I don't even wanna go there. I'm a pescetarian, but instead of replacing meat with other sources of protein, I consumed tons of carbs and dairy and sugar. I would eat salad every day for a week, but then I would go right back to where I was before.
I'm really excited to change all this. A few days ago I went on a grocery shopping extravaganza for healthy eats, and then I went to the gym! It was so much fun, honestly. My goal is to work out five days per week this year, but I'm not going to beat myself up if it doesn't happen every single week. And to help myself out, I'm going to pack a gym bag every day that I work so I can head there right after.
I truly believe that our emotional health is just as important as our physical health, and the two can affect each other. I want to continue working on the emotional piece as much as I've been -- by reading inspirational books, having deep conversations with supportive loved ones, and writing. Always writing.
I'm not saying I plan to get rich this year. That'd be nice, but I really just chose the word 'wealth' because it rhymes with 'health.' ;) My resolution here is to get smarter about money.
For those of you who don't know, I'm 100% financially independent from my parents. I pay for my own rent, utilities, car, car insurance, phone, student loans, credit card bills, food, gas, etc. Also, just a reminder -- LA County is really expensive. But, of course, I chose this lifestyle for myself. And I'm not complaining. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my life. I'm proud of myself for making it what it is.
The reason why I'm pointing this out is because I need to start reminding myself that I can't afford to do all of the fun stuff I want to do. The truth is, I have a hard time saying 'no' to exciting plans. I love going out and I'm not a homebody, at all. My spending vice last year wasn't clothing -- it was entertainment. As you saw here on the blog, I did a lot of exploring around town and travelling. It was really fun and I don't regret any of it, but I need to learn to pick and choose. I hate missing out on an adventure, but I hate debt more, and I really need to concentrate on getting that down.
I'm not saying that I'm never going to do anything or buy anything in 2013, but my goal is to make smarter choices. Simple as that. And, what's a smart financial choice for me may look stupid to someone else. And that's fine. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- people will judge you no matter what. I'm okay with that.
Whenever I took one of those left brain/right brain tests growing up, I was always smack-dab in the middle. I'm creative but I definitely have a business side -- and I use that side for 12 hours every day at work.
Because of this, I feel that my creativity has been a little neglected. I know that I could work on that novel or scrapbook I keep talking about if I purposely set aside time, but I haven't. Also, now that I have a new DSLR (Christmas present, yay!) I want to start working on my photography again. I've already started a little photography project on Instagram, by the way, with the hashtag #365photos (inspired by this). I'm taking one photo every day. The catch? No faces. I take enough photos of myself and my friends. I'm going to do that anyway. I want this project to push outside my comfort zone.
I want to pursue other creative projects that I've been talking about, instead of just talking about them. My goal is to schedule time for creativity every week. Even if it's a just-for-fun activity, the logical side of my brain needs to add it to a to-do list. It's how I work.
Along with the novel and scrapbook and photography, this very blog is also filed under this section. I published 202 posts in 2012, but 381 in 2011. That's almost double! I know quality trumps quantity, but I do want to blog more. Even if that means turning off my music and phone and exiting out of all other social networks while I'm working on a post. Concentration and efficiency are key here.
Ah, yes. Relationships. They make life so beautiful, yet so painful.
I've lost a lot of people within the past few years. Not by death, but it can seem like it at times. And you guys have read about all that. But also, a lot of new, wonderful people have entered my life. And, there have been some that have stuck around since the beginning. What was that saying -- 'when one door closes, another opens'? I truly believe that. Even if it takes awhile for that door to open for you. Or, you know, maybe it was always open. And you just had to make the decision to move through it.
Okay, I'm getting dramatic here. What I'm trying to get at is this: relationships take work. I'm not just talking about romantic ones. We have relationships with our co-workers, friends, and family. If life was easy, which it's not, then our relationships would be easy. I'm learning that they're not supposed to be. We wouldn't learn if they were.
I want to be very intentional about my relationships this year. I don't just want to slide through them and let them be. I want to nurture them, build them up, make them better. I feel as if I've been lazy in my relationships. I tend to dwell on the people that bring me down, instead of concentrating on the people that bring me up. Why give more attention to those that have hurt me, than to those who have been there for me when I'm hurting? It's wrong. And I apologize.
I'm ready to make changes here. I don't just want to love the people in my life, I want to show them how much I love them. That's my goal.
And that's my final resolution. Just four this year, but they're four big ones. And I'm looking forward to seeing where they take me! I'm really enjoying reading about everyone else's goals for this year too, so if you put up a post about them, link me!