New year. New challenges. New inside jokes. New coffee shops. New songs stuck in my head. New struggles. New wins. New failures.
I know time is a structure created by men and women and often it can be restricting and a cause of stress and it’s lovely brother, anxiety, but I am a lover of a good schedule. Nothing satisfies like a new planner, AMIRIGHT?!
I do get excited for a new year. I very much abide by that measurement of time. I think it is a just amount. 2017 was a wild one. I’m not going to go through my pits, peaks and embarrassing moments (okay just one: I learned this year – the hard way – that only one adult fits in a revolving door cell at a time. woof.), but I will say that at the end of the year, I was happy with where I was and the people who I chose to surround myself with.
12 months is enough time to feel like you can start anew. It’s enough time to feel closure and positivity for a better 12 months to come. Having expectations is a silly thing to do when coming into a new year.
The truth is, I don’t get to decide what happens in a year. Of course, we are all in charge of our own destinies and all, but most of the things that will happen in 2018 are out of our control. I have no idea who I am going to meet, who I am going to grow closer to, who I am going to lose, if I’m going to be healthy, if I will lose all my limbs, if I will be able to pet all of the pugs or none at all (dear god I hope not), and on and on.
But hey that’s life. And it’s not something to fear, but believe me I do from time to time. I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like to reflect on my past year come December 31st and I try to think of how I can improve myself in a way that might make the next year a little bit better based on what I learned the year before.
So without further ado, here are some of my 2018 goals written for myself, by myself. Feel free to take some of mine or make your own!
Stop Judging Other People
God knows this is just a way to avoid looking inward. News flash: other people do extremely stupid things and fantastically great things. Just like you do.
Take Time to Play Guitar
You’re not going to get better if you don’t challenge yourself. Learn how to play a damn F chord. Master plucking. Play when you have a lot on your mind and need to shut it up for a bit. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed of your skill level. You’re not going to get better if you’re worried about being bad.
Don’t Spend Your Money on Stupid Things
You do not like Caribou coffee. Stop buying it in the morning because it’s convenient (keep buying the breakfast biscuit though. That’s delicious). Don’t buy things that are nice to have, but don’t serve any purpose. Don’t buy gifts for other people out of obligation. Get them things that they will actually like and will show them how much they mean to you. If nothing is coming to mind, write them a thoughtful letter instead. Buy less alcohol when you go out. Stick to your $3 Trader Joe wine at home, then enjoy a night out that doesn’t hurt both your head and your wallet in the morning. Spend more money on plane and concert tickets. You won’t regret that.
Exercise & Relax
You don’t manage your stress well. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. Keep going to yoga. Say no to plans when you’re overwhelmed – even if you will feel like you’re missing out. There’s a saying that “You won’t remember the nights you went to bed early”. Well, let me tell you, that’s a bunch of crap. Find time to kill it at the gym and push yourself till you make those horrible faces that you can’t control when lifting weights, but also say “Hard pass” to happy hour when you feel like you’re barely scraping by. Mental health is just as important as physical.
Take Care of Your Relationships
It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing in your own life. Don’t. Your life would be nothing without the people you love. Make sure they’re getting a good chunk of your time. Be there when it isn’t convenient. Be there when it matters. Be there when it doesn’t – sometimes this is the most important. Cherish every minute you get to spend with your people. Take more pictures of them. Make them laugh. Let them help you. Share the weight.
I mean. That’s pretty straight forward, ain’t it?
Be a Little Selfish
Realize when you’re being taken advantage of. Say no to things you don’t want to do. Don’t feel bad when that upsets other people. Be aware of people you’ve outgrown and let them go, gently. Do things that are right for you, even if other people don’t think so. You know yourself. Trust that.
But like, less pasta. I know, I know. Just do it. You’re doing alright. Shout out to Katie for teaching me a ton about cooking in 2017. Branch out a bit more. Take on some challenging recipes. Also, start baking. It’s fun and there will always be people who want to share the goodies.
Keep Trying New Things
Never stop learning. Just because you graduated college does not mean you know everything. In fact, with the amount of knowledge out there, you essentially know nothing. But well done! Try things more than once. Here’s a few things to get going on: rock climbing, cross country skiing, different types of yoga, baking – we’ve established this, no?, teaching Norwegian classes and so much moooore.
Start & Finish New Books
I am famous for starting books and moving on to other books before finishing the first one. I have about four books I am currently reading. This.is.not.sustainable. PICK A BOOK DUMMY. Finish it. Even if it’s not the best book you’ve ever read. (Hey everyone: please share your book recos with me!)
Keep Making People Laugh
Don’t stop being ridiculous. Even if you leave a conversation feeling like you went to far. You may have, but at least they laughed out of embarrassment for you right?? Keep doing stand up. It’s hard and scary but you’re going to love it if you get better. Send more snapchats that make you look like a prize fool. You are! In the best way, but you are. Don’t ever take yourself too seriously.
Be nice, but be yourself. You’re not always nice and that’s okay. Take risks. Hold the people who love you so close. Make a million mistakes and learn from them. Let perfectionism go for god sakes. Remember that what people think doesn’t matter, unless it’s a doctor or Jenn. Those matter. They might know something. Ask for advice and decide if it’s good or not on your own. Just smile and nod regardless. Don’t stay silent when something is not okay. Stand up against injustice and take no shit. Take care of the earth in the ways that you can.
Treat 2018 like it’s the last year you’ve got. It may be. Remember that love, of all kinds, is the most important thing at the end of the day. Run with that.