I have always had a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. January always seemed to carry so much energy and promise, yet I always found myself feeling a bit stumped. Mostly because I always felt my New Year’s resolutions were basically meaningless commitments I was forced to make as the clock struck twelve and champagne glasses clinked.
Work out more. Find love. Find a job.
But the truth is, you don’t have to wait until the 1st of January to turn over a new leaf. If anything, January 1st can be a benchmark date to check in on your progress. You can start to make positive changes in your life today. As long as your goals come from a place of self-reflection, you can resolve to be a better person now.
So, I have attempted to look at resolutions in a different light. Instead of listing out those really original one line slogans such as Go to the gym every day! (haven’t been to the gym in 3 years) and Get rich! (haven’t been rich, well…ever) and hoping for the best, I have honed in on what I truly want.
I have come up with much more practical goals, all with a common underlying theme. Do more of what makes me happy. Because let’s be real– if I vow to eat healthier this year, we all know I’ll be knee-deep in pizza and beer by next Wednesday.
I’m a huge fan of quotes. Words carry a lot of weight, especially words that are carefully strung together. Therefore, I have purposely gathered quotes that are relevant and further embolden the changes I want to make in my life.
Bringing in a little pattern and purpose into your life can only lead to good things for the new year.
Here are 17 resolutions I’ve made for 2016.
Resolution #1: Read at least one book a month.
Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.–Joyce Carol Oates
A book is a lens to see the world through. Reading helps gain a better understanding of the world around you, the world that existed before you and the imaginary worlds others have created. Always be reading.
Note to self: Collect ideas; the more ideas you collect, the more options you have when choosing what to be influenced by.
Resolution #2: Live in a new city.
Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones. We have to break the rules. And we have to discover the sensuality of fear. We need to face it, challenge it, dance with it. –Kyra Davis
Where we choose to live plays a big role in the quality of work we make. A change in scenery can make the world look new and different, and when the world looks new and different, your brain works harder.
Note to self: On the other side of fear is new confidence; trust in yourself and leave home.
Resolution #3: Simplify.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.–Leonardo da Vinci
Declutter. Sell or donate the clothes you no longer wear or no longer fit. Unsubscribe from newsletters and e-mails you don’t want to follow. Make some space in your bedroom. Rid yourself of any possible distractions.
Note to self: Only collect the things you really love.
Resolution #4: Launch my blog.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. –Sally Berger
Stop waiting for perfection and stop waiting until you feel you have found yourself– otherwise, you’ll wait forever. The point of blogging is to selfishly muse over your own thoughts and make sense of them. So, embrace imperfection and simply be happy that you wrote.
Note to self: You’re ready, so start making stuff.
Resolution #5: Say ‘no’ more.
Telling yourself you have all the time in the world, all the money in the world, all the colors in the palette, anything you want- that just kills creativity. –Jack White
It is okay to say no to whatever doesn’t feel right. There’s no need to fill up your plate with things that don’t resonate with your core. If it doesn’t feel right in your bones— stop while ahead.
Note to self: Decide what to leave out of the picture by focusing on the things you value.
Resolution #6: Practice cooking.
Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Cooking is a way to take control over a big part of your life, while also giving you an opportunity to experiment. Learning how to cook can help avoid excess fat, sugar and chemical additives in your diet. It can also help avoid the whole cooking-a-pot-of-rice-and-accidentally-burning-it thing…(ya, not my proudest talent).
Note to self: Feed your own soul—creatively, socially… and literally.
Resolution #7: Officially break my nail biting habit.
The easier it is to do, the harder it is to change.–Eng’s Principle
Because what is easier than breaking a 25 year old habit?!
Note to self: Nothing tastes as good as… pretty nails feel?
Resolution #8: Focus on the positives.
Under the obsessive thoughts and plans, under the emotions, positive and negative, there is an ocean of peace. –Gangaji
Take pride in everything you accomplish. By acknowledging the good things in your life, both big and small, you make room for more blessings. A good attitude provokes good results. It’s as simple and difficult as that.
Note to self: Fall in love with everything around you. Or in other words, live like DJ Khaled.
Resolution #9: Write something everyday.
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. –Franz Kafka
Don’t just write about the things you know, but focus on writing about the things you like.
Note to self: Write more of what you’d want to read.
Resolution #10: Find a mentor and a community.
The only mofos in my circle are people that I can learn from. -Questlove
Connect with others to help advise and guide you. Wonder about things and invite others to wonder with you. Open up the process and invite people in to learn.
Note to self: Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, better than you and doing interesting work.
Resolution #11: Learn to use a planner.
Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.–Margaret Thatcher
You always love the idea of a planner…until after maybe a week of having one– then it quickly becomes a book of empty squares. However, a consistently-used calendar helps you plan your work, gives you concrete goals and keeps you on track.
Note to self: Pencil in your plans.
Resolution #12: Rise and shine.
Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Build a lifestyle with some routine. Wake up early. Eat breakfast. Work out. Get dressed up. Go for walks. Get plenty of sleep.
Note to self: Establishing and keeping a routine is more beneficial than having a lot of time.
Resolution #13: Travel to at least three new places.
Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has changed, and that changes everything. –Jonah Lehrer
Expand your perspective and make new stories by exploring new, unfamiliar places, near or far.
Note to self: Welcome the new ideas, thoughts and beliefs gained from travel.
Resolution #14: Make room for exploring interests.
I have stared long enough at the glowing flat rectangles of computer screens. Let us give more time for doing things in the real world…plant a plant, walk the dogs, read a real book, go to the opera. – Edward Tufte
Slow down a bit. Engage in the activities that either give you pleasure or spark some curiosity. Continue dabbling with photography. Pick up playing the piano again. Grow a garden. Listen to podcasts.
Note to self: Let inspiration lead you where it wants.
Resolution #15: Get more vitamin D.
Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. –Wallace Stevens
Fresh air can clear your mind. Ride your bike around the neighborhood. Go rollerblading, just because you haven’t in forever. Take puppy breaks to play with Nolan. Set up your desk space outside on a sunny day every once in a while. Being indoors and immobile all day serves you no good.
Note to self: Plan frequent dates with Mother Nature.
Resolution #16: Be more accepting of what is.
I wanted a perfect ending. Now, I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme & some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle & end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment & making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. —Gilda Radner
Whether it be your natural clumsiness, an unwelcomed zit on your face, or the end of a friendship— accept it. Accept the things that are out of your control and move forward.
Note to self: Be prepared to welcome unexpected surprises and embrace imperfections.
Resolution #17: Always find balance.
Life is about change. Sometimes it’s painful; sometimes it’s beautiful. But most of the time it is both. —Lana Lang
Find the happy medium between work and play, dreaming and doing, imagination and reality. Ultimately, feeling good should be your main intention.
Note to self: You can work full time and live full time as well.
When a new year rolls around, I tend to make the same projection—“This time next year, my life will be different.” My life saw changes this past year and I know this coming year has more changes in store.
365 days is quite a long time. It is definitely enough time to make strides toward becoming the person you want to be. I have no doubt that 2016 will be a revolutionary year and that this time next year, my life will definitely be different.