I've been looking around at some of my favorite blogs and examining the writers' resolutions. Without downplaying anyone's willpower, I find that the broader the resolution is, the more unattainable. Resolutions like "be the change you'd like to see in the world" (merely a broad example), would just be setting me up for failure. Our biology is set in most ways to act and react in the same way we always have. Breaking patterns involves physical action, and small tweaks are the key to change.
I've made a few of my own below. Small, sweet, and attainable: resolutions aren't about big changes, but small ones that make a huge difference in the way others see you and you see yourself.
Sessùn™ Kenai t-strap heels by Madewell, My Life In France by Julia Child
1. Focus on nutrition, exercise and the foods I love--all in moderation. After working on "the perfect body" for my wedding day for roughly 2 months, I lost 10 pounds and (if I may say so myself) looked incredible on that day. I've gained all of that back, but regardless--while in the process, I don't think I ever didn't eat something that I wanted. My key was about eating well for the rest of that day and exercising regularly.
With my new office at home, I set my own hours completely, and have vowed to myself that I will get back to my exercise routine that made me feel and look great: running at least 4-5 times a week, while enjoying all of the normal foods that I love. (Hello, cheese.) Saying no to anything too much creates frustration and failure, and being accountable to only oneself (and not a wedding) makes success more difficult to obtain, but it's proven that I can do this.
2. Save for that December trip to Paris, but don't feel like a failure if it takes longer. Last year's resolution was to learn French--a goal I have had for roughly 20 years. I took the first steps needed to do that, and completed French 101. Next week I start French 102. The inevitable goal is to make it to Paris with the man I love and be able to function as a (sort of) French speaker.
We don't have kids. We don't have huge bills (although we are saving for a house), and we are able-bodied and willing to travel. Now is the time for us, but it's difficult to know exactly what a year will bring. Being true to huge dreams in yourself is imperative to living a joyful life, and mine is to spend time in Paris, speaking French. Regardless of whether or not we make it there in December of 2013, this will remain a priority.
3. Create more. Write more. I've started a journal of all of the projects that I would like to complete. The list is mostly for this blog, but after each project is completed for its deadline, I tend to put work aside and focus on things like cooking, tv, cleaning, organizing my books for the fiftieth time. I need to let these tedious things go just a bit, and focus on the larger goals.
Emily's and my goal is to finish a book for Assemble. It's going to be hard work, but the first step (as we've learned in past) is the first step. I have added blocks of time to my schedule to brainstorm and write and create this book. My resolution is not to finish it, but to start.
4. Wear more of those pretty clothes I already own. I have a closet full of gorgeous clothes...and I never wear them. I wear sweaters, rain boots and jeans pretty much every day of my life. Now, I realize that I won't be tromping to the bank in pink, suede heels, but when the mood (and scene) arises, I will make an effort to break my patterns and wear my wasted, adorable clothes. Simple enough, right? We must remember that routine is the enemy of the extraordinary.
5. Attempt, at least for five minutes here and there, to see myself as others see me, especially when I'm feeling discouraged. You know that whole adage of looking good on paper? Assemble definitely looks good on paper. We have wonderful friends, we have been published in loads of great magazines, we are working on tons of incredible projects and collaborations, yet why do I see merely the negative? My goal is to inject myself with some of Emily's positivity and remind myself of what we've accomplished as we move forward online. Embracing change has always been difficult inwardly for me, regardless of my outward momentum. For me, embracing change and adopting positivity starts with that five minutes.
6. Read more of those pretty books I already own. I just donated about three boxes of books to the Goodwill. How many of these do you think I read? I have a habit of getting into bed, reading a paragraph and immediately falling asleep. (I really love bedtime). Along with wearing my pretty clothes, I'd like to read my pretty books--even if that involves sitting upright at the kitchen table, reading, so that I may not fall asleep. Finishing a book is so hard for me, and it shouldn't be. I have a literature degree for goodness sake.
Every day won't bring New-Year-like change for everyone, but writing these down in this public forum sure makes us more accountable. Let us know your resolutions and we'll be accountable to each other.