I love the start of a new year and—like many of my friends and family—have been looking forward to putting 2014 to bed. Sure, many wonderful things happened last year, but there were also a lot of tough things going on globally, nationally, locally and personally, which is precisely why I am so excited for this fresh start. Besides the usual "Go to the gym," and "Cook at home more often," resolutions, I came up with a few others I plan on implementing. I wrote this to both hold myself accountable, and share these resolutions with you, hoping that you can steal and personalize some of them too.
Resolution #1: Put more silly stuff on your calendar.
Making time to recreate a Beyoncé music video with your girlfriends or spend an afternoon singing ridiculous covers (e.g. "The Thong Song" backed by guitar and drums) is just plain good for the soul. If an activity was fun ten years ago, it probably didn't stop being fun—you probably just stopped making as much time for fun. Make time to let loose and enjoy yourself. Of course, there are exceptions: If you defined fun as "body shots and binge-drinking until you're sick," ten years ago, I recommend leaving those items off your calendar. You should feel the afterglow of the fun had for days or months after, and hangovers have no place in that.
Resolution #2: Diversify the media you consume.
"You are what you consume," applies to media just as much as it does to food. I listen to podcasts on almost every subject (some of my favorites include Black Girls Talking, Savage Lovecast, The Read, etc.) but felt inspired to do better on this after reading "12 Things White People Can Do Because of Ferguson". Seeking out different perspectives has broadened mine and will broaden yours. The world could use a little more empathy.
Resolution #3: Be able to introduce yourself/others beyond what you/they do for a living.
Introducing someone without mentioning their profession right off the bat will not only set a more interesting precedent at parties, you will learn that Alex is starting improv, learning ukulele and taking aerial classes because she's pretty sure it's the closest she can get to flying. Doesn't that give you a better idea of what kind of person she is?
Resolution #4: Get uncomfortable more often.
Look up from your phone and hold eye contact with someone, speak up when you've got something to say, breathe through that tricky yoga pose and push through that last lap, tell people you love them even when you're not sure how they're going to respond. This is your comfort zone and this is where the magic happens.
Resolution #5: Get in tune with what's going on inside.
Try meditation. (I like the Headspace app.) Keep a dream journal and look for re-occurring themes and leave notes on your interpretations. See a therapist. Read Brené Brown and Tiny Beautiful Things. Listen to Mental Illness Happy Hour. Go to yoga. Go for a walk alone. Go do something that lets your mind speak and do your best not to judge yourself when it does.
What else do you have planned for 2015? If you share your resolutions in the comments, I promise to check in on you later.