I’ve never really been one for resolutions. The concept of making some life-altering change because of an arbitrarily structured date on a calendar (sorry, Pope Gregory XIII) seems hokey, and I’ve always been a proponent of the #ContinuousImprovement grind.
Besides, dubbing Jan. 1 your official ‘new you’ start date after the holiday blackhole of spiked egg nog and Christmas cookies is a failed strategy if I’ve ever heard one. As if you already didn't have enough motivation to change your ways: add a sugar coma and a week-long hangover!
For these reasons, I’m refusing to classify the following as ‘resolutions.’ In a more Millennial fashion, I’m just casually dubbing them ‘2018 vibes.’ Get onboard! The basic train is leaving the station!
Something about this year made me feel really inspired to just surrender all my excuses for not living the life I wanted to be living, and instead just do it without formulating a bunch of reasons why I can't or couldn't. There are so many things that I've considered (like becoming a yoga teacher) for so long, and I decided this was the year of ditching the hesitations and just doing what I wanted. Unapologetically.
Here’s what’s been on my mind lately—and just so happens to coincide with the beginning of a new year.
Being #HydratedAF will disproportionately improve your life. Seriously.
I say ‘disproportionately’ because it’s SUCH an easy adaptation to make that has an extensive and dramatic effect. I drink more Starbucks than Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada, so I understand those of you whose vice of choice is 6-8 small Diet Cokes throughout the day (Ashley, I'm looking at you)—but trust me on this.
My (somewhat modest) goal was to hit 64 oz. of water per day. In other words, 8 cups—the standard we learned about in 2nd grade. I, at most, would drink 1-2 cups per day, and realized I was probably chronically dehydrated. After investing week after week in 32-packs of Kroger water bottles, I realized I was downing 5-6 per day. That’s a whopping 101 oz. of water.
And let me tell you—my skin has never been clearer or glowier (is that a word?). I can go out on Friday nights and house nothing but Jello shots and Bourbon sours (wouldn’t recommend) and don’t wake up with a headache or a hangover.
At the risk of sounding overdramatic, I treat water like my answer for everything.
Hungry? Water. Angry? Drink more! Bored? Chug! Catching feelings for that random dude you barely know? Drown them!!! I honestly think it’s turned psychological at this point but I stress-drink water now and I’m pretty sure this is the healthiest coping mechanism I’ve ever developed.
Work out hard and make it a habit. In other words, do your squats.
Due to some stressful life events, I got back into Corepower (if we’re friends on Snapchat, you already know this, thanks to the daily workout Snaps—sorry). I have to say, though, making my fitness a serious priority again and committing to classes that are incredibly challenging (#YogaSculpt) has given me this unexpected external sense of purpose that transcends what I derive from my day job. It gives me something to look forward to outside of work that depends on nobody and nothing but my own willingness to show up to my mat and attempt to do real push-ups.
Making health a priority (in other words, making the time even when I work a 9- or 10-hour day) makes me feel like I have control over my wellness. It made me want to cook healthier meals, too, since I was sacrificing sleep and/or time with friends to fit the workout in.
I tried my first 6 a.m. class this morning and (shockingly) loved it. I forgot how much I enjoyed getting my ass kicked every day. And here’s the thing that’s great about working out: my confidence level has shot through the roof. I make it a priority to go to at least four classes a week, but aim for five. Speaking of confidence…
Love yourself, and most everything else will fall into place.
This is so damn cliché it hurt to type. I know this is lame, but seriously: When you feel good about who you are, what you look like, how you spend your time, etc., you can love others so much better. It sounds obvious, but you simply have more to give.
For me lately, this has evolved into a conscious mindset decision. I basically decided I was tired of questioning my worth and worrying about people who seemed indifferent about me, and just…decided to be confident instead. It was that simple. Not that easy, but that simple. I made a Spotify playlist called Sassy Lady Tunes that’s guaranteed to boost your estrogen levels by at least 50%.
Most notably, this bleeds into my romantic life and my work/life balance. I truly enjoy work and care a lot about my career, so in a way, the 'love yourself' mantra can calibrate that balance. I allow myself the time in the morning to exercise, make my green smoothie, get a coffee, do my makeup, pick an outfit that makes me feel good, etc., so I feel my best at work and can do the best job possible. It gives me confidence to stand by my creative ideas for our website (and also to accept constructive criticism gracefully without taking it personally or getting down on myself).
It also helps me remember that, at the end of the day, it's just a job. I'm just a writer. We aren't performing brain surgery or curing cancer and there have been countless copy writers before me and there will be countless after me. I want to be incredible at it, don't get me wrong: but my worth isn't defined by my title, salary, or how many impressions my copy drives on .com.
Professional life aside, feeling confident and loving who I am—with or without male interest accompanying—is sometimes difficult, but incredibly empowering. One of my favorite yoga instructors, Jenni, said, "There's so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being sad over someone who doesn't. There's a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without hoping someone will fall in love you along the way—and it doesn't need to be painful or empty." Amen, sister.
Basically, decide you're giving up on that bullshit, and decide instead to put yourself first. What you give power to has power over you. It really does start in your head.
Let me know what your unapologetic "resolutions" are this year!
The fine print: