Gingersnapped’s Guide to the New Year

There is something about the new year that always feels like a giant ‘do over’ to me,  with all of our good intentions and various levels of effort and commitment wiped clean.  We end up sounding like pre-2016 Cubs fans with a rousing chorus of “Maybe next year!”.  I’m as guilty as anyone!  Some years I’d be fiercely determined and scrawl my list of resolutions in blood, only to abandon them the minute life got in the way.

Other times I wouldn’t even give myself a fighting chance and scrap the whole idea before I even started!  I was wildly successful at this for years! lol

Now, I’m not saying I’m a proponent of the whole “New Year, New You!” philosophy.  But what about the best version of yourself?  Have I EVER been the best version of myself?  More often than not, my best versions have arrived at different times in my life and rarely have they co-mingled.  Like two divas realizing they wore the same designer gown to an Oscar party!

The best version of my physical health was definitely in my late teens and early 20’s.  Give me as moment as I wax nostalgic over my lost waistline and toned posterior…(sigh)  Okay, I’m back.   The best version of my financial health, probably my late 30’s.  What about the best version of my heart health…and I’m not talking about my cholesterol levels!  When have I been truly happy?  Dare I say never? Oh, of course I’ve had plenty of moments in my life when I was happy, but happiness shouldn’t just come in bite size pieces.  It shouldn’t only exist when you’re on vacation or attending a concert or some sporting event.  Those moments should enhance the happiness underneath.  Like buttercream flowers on a cake.  The cake should be awesome too, right?  I mean what if there was no frosting?

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations or relationships that just don’t seem to ‘fit’.  We don’t know quite how to explain it, but we know something is off.  But we stick it out hoping that whatever it is that doesn’t feel right will eventually get in line or fade into the background.  Over time, we resign ourselves that the discomfort we feel is normal – we get used to it and we go through our lives as if that’s how things are supposed to be.  As if there were no other options available.  But what are we willing to sacrifice, put up with, submit to, ignore…to BE happy?  Why should being happy have to feel forced??

I like to believe I am a happy person by nature.  I believe you choose your attitude every day.  However, during this past holiday season, I can tell you honestly, I did not choose to be happy.  Early in December, a dear friend of mine died suddenly leaving me just heartbroken.  That heartbreak lingered as I continued to struggle with my finances.  I felt guilty for not being able to provide anything for Christmas for my daughters.  The walls of my tiny and crowded apartment closed in as I choose misery over happiness.  I couldn’t even fake it.  People began to noticed.  Heck, I noticed!  I had to pull myself out of this funk somehow!

That’s when I realized the New Year’s “Do Over” was upon us.  The clean slate.  So, I chose to flip the switch.  I chose to take action!  I wasn’t going to let another year go by where I just ‘settled’.  I put a list together.  You may call them resolutions – nothing wrong with that.  I am resolved!  To stop making excuses and start making changes! Sorry to bore you with the whole list, but hey…it’s my blog. lol

My list for 2018:

  • Log food daily (myfitnesspal.com)!
  • PREP! Prepare or think out meals ahead of time!
  • Eat Clean(er)!
  • Meet daily step goal at least 5 days a week (increase from 5k/day to 10k within first 2 weeks of Jan)!
  • Long-term goal – Lose 60 lbs by July 9, 2018. 110 lbs total by Jan 2018!
  • Stop procrastinating – face your problems/responsibilities head on!
  • Be more productive with your time!
  • Have more fun!
  • Let your creative side out!
  • Keep your brain in shape too!
  • No fast food!
  • Get organized!
  • Add regular exercise (at least 30 min to start) into your weekly routine (5 days/week) – Pilates, resistance bands, weights, kettle bell, etc.!
  • Save at least 10% from each paycheck!
  • Find additional way(s) to supplement income!
  • Inquire about doing voice-over work/radio!
  • Find 1 volunteer activity to get involved in!
  • Learn how to knit or crochet!
  • Read more!
  • Blog entries at least twice a month!
  • Live your values!
  • Drink more water – and track it!
  • Move more – sit less!
  • Explore more – get out there!
  • Send handwritten letters and thank you notes!
  • Eat breakfast!
  • Take your vitamins!
  • Watch less TV!
  • Wake up earlier – get more done each day!
  • Try something new every month!
  • Clean out your email!
  • Start making your own happiness a priority!
  • Value the lessons you learn from your mistakes!
  • Create your own happiness!
  • Keep cleaning out your closet!
  • Try “Meatless Mondays”!
  • Try a fitness class!
  • Go for a hike!
  • Do a little act of kindness each day!
  • Start at stretching routine!
  • Journal! Ideas, recipes, thoughts, sketches!
  • Organize my photos!
  • Go through one box in storage at least once a month! Donate what you don’t need!
  • Get an Annual check-up!
  • Visit the Dentist!
  • Get an Eye Exam!
  • Take a class (cooking, painting, writing, etc.)!
  • Work on creating an outdoor space to enjoy!

Remind yourself why you are doing this!  Remind yourself what the benefits will be!  Remember – YOU ARE WORTH IT!  

Let’s do it!!