2016; What a complete fucking bummer of a year. To put it more eloquently, it felt like 2016 was a year of loss and disillusionment; loss of life, loss of hope, and disillusion with the world as I had previously seen it. Dramatics aside, as I slogged through the final days of 2016, it was easy to get caught up in the narrative that the next year, 2017, would be better. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a fresh start.
The problem with believing in that fresh start is that, in reality, nothing changed. Regardless of where or in what state I woke up in on January 1st, 2017, fundamentally nothing about me changed since December 31st, 2016. Just because the year is new and different, doesn’t mean that I am new or different. We all want things to get better, but seldom do we want to be better.
The important part of the word “resolution” is “resolve”. In its noun form, the word resolve is “firm determination to do something.” I do not have resolve. If something is too hard, I usually give up. It’s a character flaw I’ve avoided facing because it means working on changing myself fundamentally as a person, and doing that is hard. So the cycle continues.
But no more. The stakes get higher as I get older and time is running out for me to change the direction I want my life to go in, both professionally and personally. While, yes, it is possible to change as I age, why wait and waste my time?
In the past few months, I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking about the idea of “doing the work”. Lainey from Laineygossip has long been a proponent of “showing your work” (and now has an excellent podcast on that subject), and Adriene from Yoga With Adriene has been bringing up the concept of doing the work in her most recent 30 Days of Yoga series, Yoga Revolution. In fact, this video explored the subject of giving up when things get hard, and how to work on that. This year, my overall goal is to do the work. I’ve broken my resolutions into five areas, but the overarching theme is to do the work.
Here are my five areas, and the different things in particular I plan to work on:
- Health – women’s health has been ignored throughout history, and I am making it my goal to reverse the thousands of years of neglect by focusing on my personal health and encouraging my friends to do the same. This means that I need to be more proactive about doing the traditional health conscious moves, like making doctors appointments, exercising regularly and eating well, but should also take advantage of new trends in health care, like health tracking apps (Hormone Horoscope is a lifesaver) and the recent “wellness culture”(hello essential oils and homemade tinctures). I already took a giant step forward in being proactive about health care by getting an IUD a few weeks back (an experience I plan on documenting here), but there are a lot of places I need to make up the deficit (ahem, not visiting a dentist in about 4 years…)
- Social Life – this is an area that I feel I am doing ok in, but as with everything, can use work. I want to focus on improving the relationships I already have rather than scrambling to make new friends. In the past, I’ve always put too much priority on looking for new people outside of my core friend group to limited success. I think what I should instead work on is enhancing the relationships I already have. But! another part of this goal is to try new things and not be afraid to do them on my own.
- Hobbies – My goal here is to work on finding the time to do things I enjoy. Too often, I let myself get bogged down by doing things that I don’t actually lie that much but are easy, like scrolling through Twitter on my phone instead of picking up a book. I want to schedule time during the week to devote to hobbies, like learning Spanish, playing guitar and reading. Along with doing the work, finding the time is another major goal for me.
- Finances – I need to learn to save money. Obviously easier said than done, but budgeting has always been something that causes me great anxiety and I need to learn to get over that fear.
- Place in the World- This is a newer goal, and I won’t pretend it wasn’t inspired by the most recent election. In the past, I have been rather complacent about actively participating in not just our democracy, but in the world as a whole. On both a macro and micro level, I want my actions to have intention. Participating in local and national government, contributing to charities and educating myself on cultural and political movements, but also on being more intentional in my day to day life with the choices I make, like supporting a smaller business over a larger one with values I don’t align with.
The work will be hard, but I resolve to do it.