Happy new year, kittens! I hope you got to ring in 2016 in style (or with snuggles, if that suits you), and that you're feeling refreshed for the new year ahead. It's not a surprise to anyone that I take new year's resolutions pretty seriously, and that I have a lot of opinions on how it's done. I've spent the last month or so thinking really hard about what I learned in 2015 and how I can continue that personal growth in 2016 to make me better and, more importantly, happier.
But before we get into this year's resolutions, let's talk 2015. I tried something new last year with my resolutions, and ultimately ended up being underwhelmed. I was inspired by people who choose a word or theme for the year who aim to create a positive mindset for the next 365. I should have realized this wasn't going to work for me when instead of picking a single word, I went with a phrase: be you, bravely.
It's not that I forgot about my resolution; I actually thought of it often and reflected on whether I was in fact, being myself, bravely. What I found is that the sentiment was more of a non-issue. If you asked my parents, I've never really struggled with being myself. I think I made the resolution in the context of not feeling pressured by FOMO or inadequacy that is common in creative bubbles and particularly blogging and Instagram. Not that I never deal with feeling envious of what someone else is putting out on the 'gram or wonder if what I'm saying and doing is valuable, but being myself bravely didn't seem to do much to counter those feelings, which were already fewer and farther between this year. I feel confident in myself that I've got a story to tell and that there's a place out here for me. I guess I don't feel the anxiety around vulnerability that I expected to. If anything, it's been more exciting than ever to put it out in the open!
So, I started thinking about how I could make 2016 more productive. What areas of my life do I want to work on? What do I seem to struggle with the most, both last year and in general? I came up with three different ways I'd like to grow in the next year:
1. be more in tune with my body
2. be more gentle with myself when I feel disappointed in my actions
3. be more efficient all around
My first resolution is to listen to my body. I am already working on this with intuitive eating in order to address cravings and acknowledge both hunger and fullness so I don't over- and under-eat. In 2016 I hope to expand the ways in which I treat my body well, including things like grocery shopping smarter, cooking meals, and diversifying food groups in my diet. Listening to my body also means recognizing things like when I'm restless and need to take a walk, when a run will help me feel better, and when I need more sleep.
My second resolution is entirely related to the first. In my recent therapy appointments (and really in therapy in general, if I'm being honest), I spend a lot of time working through periods of my life where I'm punishing myself for something. Punishing myself by withholding food for not meal planning well enough, punishing myself by making myself stay up late to finish blog posts because I didn't make time over the weekend, etc. It's incredibly difficult for me to give myself the same grace I would give literally any other person for making a mistake. I often feel so disappointed in myself that I spiral into crazy depression that hurts all the areas of my life. In 2016, I'm going to be gentle. I'm going to nurture myself and give myself a break. I'm going to be the kind of friend to myself that I hope I am to my friends.
My third resolution is partially in response to my second resolution, and partially causes it too. While I'm fantastic at setting and accomplishing goals, I seem to struggle with creative long-lasting habits that help me be better. In 2016, I want to create content that's going to blow your mind. I want to take everything to the next level, from my creativity at work to the reach of this blog to the state of my home and my relationships. But I can't do it all unless I spend time determining the most efficient route, because otherwise I drain myself completely and can't accomplish any one thing. My second and third resolutions talk to each other because I'm going to have to give myself a lot of grace as I try to form habits, and inevitably slip up here and there. I'm not expecting perfection from myself, but I know I can improve my processes and make life a whole lot easier for myself on the back-end while also totally killing it from the outside.
All three resolutions are things that will come up a lot on the blog in the next year, so if you're interested in getting more in tune with yourself, being nicer to yourself, and kicking ass without running yourself into the ground, you're going to want to stick around!
What are your resolutions for 2016? Do you have a preferred resolution-setting process? I'd love to hear about it!