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My Top 10 New Year's Resolutions
A Brand New Year
Each year around Thanksgiving, I find myself getting anxious for it to be January 1. Though it's only the next day on the calendar, I like the fact that, at least according to our current calendar, it's an "official" start. It gives me the permission I need to wipe the slate clean and start fresh, hoping for a wonderful year ahead. When I awake that morning, I can always feel a certain energy in the air, knowing that most of the world is starting over.
That said, I haven't had too much luck in making resolutions. The last time I can remember actually keeping one for a significant amount of time was when I was about 11 and I resolved to stop chewing my pens, which was a bad habit I had at the time. For the record, I haven't chewed a pen since then. But in later years, the typical resolutions I make -- to lose weight and to exercise more -- don't turn out so well.
For the past few years, I've found success in not waiting for it to be January 1 to make a resolution. I mean, if I want to do something and it's July, why wait six months? I've made a point to stop using the date as an excuse to put things off and it's been pretty good going so far. Over the past two years, I've written two novels, produced a CD and completed a 20-mile walk. All of these were projects which I started later in the year, not even close to January 1.
Still, I like ringing in the New Year with certain goals in mind. They give me a sense of purpose and help set the tone for what the next year will bring for me. This year, though, I've come up with goals that are a little more flexible and can be attained over time. I'm hoping that by sharing my list, it'll help encourage me to actually stick with them! So without further adieu, here are my top 10 New Year's resolutions:
My New Year's Resolutions
1. To make peace with food. I've been severly underweight and am currently overweight and after years of trying different diets, know that my problem is more psychological than anything. That said, I'm resolving to stop thinking of food as something bad OR as a reward. It's just food. It's not something I need when I'm upset or happy ... but it can be enjoyed in moderation. I'm happy to say, I'm doing well so far. I've lost about 20 pounds in the last month simply by keeping a food journal and watching portions. I'm allowing myself to have whatever I want -- even cake -- but within reason. And I'm not punishing myself for going out with friends and having a nice meal. Like I said, it's just food...
2. To get back into walking. When my husband and I were training for that 20-miler, we walked all over the place and it was really nice. We got to spend time together and see the city in ways we hadn't before. We also got in pretty good shape! Sadly, I'm rather out of shape at the moment and I know that Jon misses going for walks with me. As I continue to lose more weight, I'm determined to get back into it ... not only for the physical benefits, but because it was something that eased my mind and made me happy.
3. To see more of the city. It's amazing how little I've seen of NYC, even though I work there every day. Still, there's always a new museum or restaurant or show that's out that I vow to check out and then don't. I'd like to make a point to spend more time in Manhattan on weekends. Take today, for example. My girlfriends and I went to the Titanic exhibit in midtown and then went for a great dinner at a restaurant called Etcetera. It was a lovely day and I hadn't seen either place. I've seen a lot and know the city well, but I need to keep exploring and take advantage of a city that's always changing.
4. To give myself a makeover. I've had the same blah hair for a while and am lazy about getting manicures and pedicures. I need to treat myself more often with new clothes and trips to the salon. I think it'll be good for my mind, as well as my appearance.
5. To do more charity work. I've been pretty good about this, but there's always more to be done. Perhaps I can sign up to do another walk for one ... that'll be a good way to combine a few resolutions and help others along the way.
6. To be kinder to others. I certainly try, but I'm not perfect. There's definitely room for me to be more open and more understanding with my friends, family and strangers.
7. To stand up for myself. I suck at confrontations. There, I said it. I need to be firm with people who get in my path and don't give me the respect I deserve. I worry so much about upsetting people, but there are ways to say "No" and still have people respect and like you.
8. To not worry so much what others think. I can be rather bad about this, too. I'm getting better, but I need to remind myself to do what makes me happy and not worry about others' opinions. Being a people pleaser's great, but I go a little overboard.
9. To call my grandmother more often. She's now 93 and I'm lucky to have her around. I need to take advantage of that and call her a couple times a week, even if we do end up just talking about what she had for dinner. We'll both appreciate it.
10. To enjoy something every day. We have a family friend who is young and is battling a very serious illness. Hearing about what she's going through reminds me that life is short and that I can't dwell on the stresses of work or life. I know I'm pretty fortunate with the life that I do have and I need to take more time to be grateful for it.
What are your New Year's resolutions? Feel free to share!