Realistic Resolutions That Could Actually Change Your Life
While I know logically that the world doesn't really start again on January 1st every year, I still like the feeling of a new year in the same way I like a new school year, a new notebook or a new hoodie. It's a chance to begin something again.
I've found after a few trips around the sun that many of my old resolutions were...not great. Most often they involved a dramatic restructuring and rebuilding of my entire personality...
But, I'm not willing to walk away from the feeling of newness that a cold January brings, and what feels like the right time to set some goals that will make life a little easier, at the very least.
I thought about the year, and the things that made it beautiful and amazing, as well as all the things that made it sad and hard.
And I did some research on changes that have been proven over time to make a positive impact on our lives, and here's what I ended up with!
Share (more of) the mental load with your partner.
If you're a woman, the chances are you are taking on more of the household responsibilities than your partner. If you're a mom, the chances are you're taking on more childcare responsibilities than your partner. Like most people, I have sat quietly with the resentment and burden punishing only myself. I'm not doing that anymore. It takes work to transfer the knowledge and the jobs, but so does actually fucking doing everything.
Choose two-three jobs you do all the time, or have your partner choose from a list, give them away and then STOP DOING THEM. That's it. If that feels too hard, think about why it feels hard. It's either about your partner, or you and you need to know which one to figure out what's up.
Share your stories of pain and joy.
It was a hard year for many, many, many reasons. One thing that's struck me is how the pandemic has offered us all our own unique ways of finding joy and our own unique sadnesses and pain. The summer was a peak for me and the one thing that helped me turn a corner was when I started telling people I wasn't ok. And then they say they weren't ok either. And then things started to be ok again. Joy started to be easier to find. And celebrating those good things became easier too.
Just sharing real and honest experiences. Being vulnerable about our fears and joys. No magic. Just unburdening ourselves of years of societal and familial expectations. NBD.
"Exercise" for fifteen minutes every other day.
If you're already doing this you're ahead of the game in terms of basic physical and mental health. The more stressed and overworked we are the more we think we don't have time. Time is a weird thing. Not all time is created equal, and fitting super basic exercise in your schedule changes the quality of the time you have. And it really doesn't have to be much. Pick your favourite YouTube workout channel (or even just the one you find least annoying) and pick the shortest workout you can find.
Remember, willpower is just dopamine level. When you aren't motivated to do it, just remind yourself it's just about your current dopamine level, not because you're lazy, or uncommitted, or unfit. Accept you don't want to do it, and start. If you still don't want to do it after five minutes. You can stop. (But you won't!)
Be mindful of the mistakes you keep repeating.
Do you say "yes!" too often? Do you put others needs and desires before your own all the time? Do you forget to ask for help when you need it? These are all super common, and they are making your life harder than it needs to be.
Mindfulness has had had a huge impact on my decades long binge eating and people pleasing habits. It doesn't ask that you change harmful habits, it just asks that you notice them.
So, no pressure, just start to notice the acts you take and the ones that serve you, and then notice the acts that don't, and see what you find there. It opens up a lot of room for change when you notice the patterns that don't serve you.
Admit you suck at something new and do it anyway.
One particularly hard area for me this year was that I had to learn a bunch of new stuff for Hoodie Chew Chew while also running an online school and Vireo Research. Focus is hard anyway, but come on, it was ridiculous. And I sucked at a bunch of stuff. Publicly. And it felt horrible. And I kept doing it anyway. And I got better at some stuff. And noticed all the stuff I'm already good at.
And it's made me so much more excited for 2022! Give yourself complete and total permission to suck at whatever you want to this year! It feels great!
Who knows what'll happen this year, friends?!? But, either way, I'm ready to get to it!