New Year’s resolutions get such a bad rap. Granted, the “New Year, New Me” (and back to the old me before Valentine’s Day) stuff gets pretty old. I’m big on accountability, so in order to not be a part of that crowd that doesn’t remain resolute with their resolutions, I’m writing all of my goals for 2016 here.
Physical health: I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life and have a pretty unhealthy relationship with food (read: I love all the wrong foods way too much). I’m no longer at my highest weight (thank God), but I’m still nowhere near where I want to be. In 2016, I want to be able to look in the mirror and like what I see completely. This means working out regularly, making healthier food choices, and not scarfing down a pint of Talenti in one sitting.
Mental health: Depression sucks. Anxiety sucks. PTSD sucks. We know this. I’m very guilty of not taking care of myself and my mental health as much as I should (says the person with a Psychology degree). This needs to change in the upcoming year. I’m stuck in my head, a lot, often finding that I would rather rely on my own fortitude than someone else. Though I pride myself on being someone that my loved ones can turn to for solace and advice, I usually don’t do the same. I need to take advantage of my support system and actually, I don’t know, let them support me. I also need to couple this with stress reducing activities like meditation or journaling.
Spiritual health: My grandfather was a Reverend in the Episcopal Church. My mother and her siblings all went to Christian boarding schools. I owned a Bible and had Psalm 23 memorized before I was even able to read. Needless to say, my family loves the Lord. But when I lost my grandmother, I lost a bit of my faith. Then seeing even more people over the years use the Bible to veil their bigotry, I was completely over organized religion. But in 2016, I really want to reconnect with God. Oddly, my Buddhist father inspired this renewal of faith in me. To see him reconnect with his religion as he grows older makes me yearn for that same peace he seems to have found.
Financial health: Creating a debt payoff strategy is key for me this upcoming year. Why? Because student loans and being broke aren’t fun. I’m getting a bit of reprieve from my bills because I’ve decided to attend graduate school (thank you, in-school deferment); however, I still want to use this time to pay down on my loans and other debts as much as possible so that I don’t have to worry about my loans while my own children are applying to college.
Writing: It’s so much easier for me to write from a place of heartache and sorrow. When I was at my lowest point, the words would flow so easily for me. Now I’m at this juncture in my life where I’m much happier, but still trying to find my way and can’t quite find the words to encompass this journey that I’m on. But still. I need to write. I need to record my experiences… My family’s experiences and all of the feelings of being immigrants (or first gen. American in my case) and trying to find our way through life here. When I speak to my mother (also a writer and probably the person I inherited this love from), she often laments not writing down her story and our family’s story to pass down. Oral history can get you far, but memories fade. I want our words and our legacies to live on forever. This is definitely one of my top priorities for 2016.
Photography: I’ve always had a love for photography, but haven’t done a damn thing with the camera gifted to me (do selfies count or…?). In the next year, I need to take a photography course and really study this art form that I’ve admired for so long. Getting out into the city and shooting with friends is also a good way to tackle this goal. I just don’t want to be that person with the fancy camera shooting on auto because I don’t know how to properly use this thing.
Friendships: I’ve cut off a lot of people in the last year or so. Whether that’s a good or bad thing has yet to be determined (but it’s working out really well so far). These changes in my relationships have forced me to take a better look at the friendships that I do still have. I want to go into 2016 being a better friend. This means reaching out to people more often, being better at returning calls and texts, and letting them know how much I truly appreciate their friendships. This isn’t saying I wasn’t doing this previously, but the last year has shown me to truly appreciate those that are being their most genuine selves with me.
Marriage: An Uber driver gave me this bit of advice: “I’ve been married for 25 years. We’re so strong because we continuously feed our marriage and support one another. That’s the secret to a long-lasting marriage.” I’m a newlywed, a newlywed that would like to remain in the honeymoon stage forever. Yes, I know that’s unrealistic. In this upcoming year, and every year after that, I want to feed my marriage. I want to grow with my husband and always work on improving our relationship (without it feeling like work). This means being emotionally available, compromising, participating in open communication (read: a lot of things I’ve been not so good with in the past). My husband is my best friend in the world and I want it to remain this way. If this means being less stubborn and prideful, so be it. He’s worth it.
Happy New Year.