While the world seems to agree that 2016 was an awful year–Brexit, Trump, Aleppo, Pulse shooting, the deaths of many beloved celebrities and activists, Batman vs. Superman, etc.–I can safely say it was the absolute worst year of my life. I lost my mom in 2016. No year will ever really be perfect for me again.
That being said, I am making some positive changes in 2017. I refuse to call them resolutions because that word has come to mean “habits that only last the first two weeks of January”. Not to mention that January 1st is a pretty arbitrary date to start making life changes. While it matters to our calendars, it doesn’t really make a difference to the universe or how time works. Hell, I’m not even choosing January 1st as the start of my journey. I’m choosing January 2nd because it’s a Monday and I won’t be hungover (hopefully).
So what are my goals for 2017? They’re pretty simple, I think. Simple doesn’t mean easy, but nothing complicated or too costly. I actually took inspiration from a Buzzfeed article for many of them revolving around self-care. Some are also goals that have been my resolutions in the past.
But enough yacking; let’s get this list going!
7. Eat breakfast every day.
This shouldn’t need to be a goal, but the truth is that I often play it fast and loose with my morning dietary needs. And that’s stupid because breakfast is the most important meal of the day: it regulates your blood sugar; it helps you get all the nutrients you need in a day; it increases your metabolism; it helps you avoid overeating later; and it is usually delicious. I need to get serious about this meal. I’ll be compiling lists of breakfast toasts (it’s also the best meal of the day to ingest carbs), overnight oats, shakes, and egg recipes.
6. Volunteer with those in need.
I’ve always tried to give back, but I feel the need to increase my efforts this year. I’m planning to start volunteering a few times per month with various outreach programs for teens with issues, the homeless, and seniors. I’m also going to fill a few of my old purses and bags with things like protein bars, water bottles, sanitary supplies, and Visa gift cards so that when I’m out driving and I see women in need, I can give them a little care package. I can’t change the world by myself, but if I can help one or two people, that’s a start.
5. Exercise 5 times per week.
I’ve already started going to the gym Mondays through Saturdays and I take a couple of dance classes on weeknights, but I still think it’s good to write this goal down. I need the health benefits like cardiovascular improvements and endorphins (and the weight loss), but I also need that time to myself. I find that when I miss the gym for a few weeks, I get moody and short-tempered. I definitely need that outlet.
4. Say ‘no’ sometimes.
No matter how much I fight it, I am a people pleaser. It’s just how I’m wired. I’ve always been one of those people who can’t say no, no matter how difficult or crappy the task. I’m not planning to change that too much, but I need to start saying ‘no’ to some things. I don’t always have to go out on Friday nights when sometimes I would just like to stay in and read. I can’t always give people rides to the airport or meet those ridiculous deadlines clients request. I think it’s better to be honest about it rather than say yes and disappoint later on.
3. Eat real food.
Pretty cliche, I know. But the fact is that I eat way too much processed food. It’s convenient, cheap, and it tastes good. It’s not, however, doing me any favours to pick up those frozen meals or that chemical-covered bagged salad. I can cut my own lettuce, thankyouverymuch! I’m looking forward to more fruits and veggies and foods that look like food! Plus, it’s so fun to shop at farmers markets and produce stands!
2. Stop reading books that I don’t like/I’m not interested in.
This is from that Buzzfeed article and it really spoke to me. I was an English major and Publishing minor in university and loved it, but it also gave me some bad habits when it comes to reading. Because both of my study areas revolved around books, I somehow got it into my head that I must read many many books, even if I hate them. This is especially true with books that seem to be popular. The voice in my head tells me there is something wrong with me if I don’t like a book everyone else is raving about. But that’s just stupid. We all have different tastes and I shouldn’t waste time trying to love a book I hate.
1. Sleep more; worry less.
I would never take back looking after my mom when she was sick, but I have to admit that I didn’t really sleep for two and a half years. I’ve never been good at sleeping (clinical insomnia), but when you’re always listening for coughing or a call for help, you tend to sleep pretty close to the surface if you sleep at all. I spent many nights replaying doctors’ visits in my head and planning chemo-safe meals. I would give up ever sleeping again if it meant I could have my mom back, but that’s not how life works and I know she would want me to sleep well. So that’s what I’m going to do in 2017. I’m going to find my sleeping groove and let myself relax away from the stresses of day.
What are your goals for the future? Are you planning to ask for a raise, revamp your home, communicate better with you partner?
Let me know in the comment section below.
Happy New Year,