New Year’s Resolutions in Reverse: A Good-bye to 2013

 

The first few days of the New Year are upon us.

This can only mean one thing:

New. Year. Obligatory. Post.

Just in case the other 97627346 bloggers, hard-hitting CNN journalists (seriously – CNN – sometimes I think you’re punking me with your absurd headlines), and, as I found out today… , USA.GOV New Year’s Resolution website (what???) didn’t offer the right amount of predictable inspiration, I’m offering my two cents here.

Truthfully, I am a fan of this topic and New Year’s in general.

The ending of a year and the starting of a brand spanking new blank slate is pretty exciting.  It’s like the first day of school (brand new notebooks!!).

However, I don’t believe you can start a new chapter/list/notebook before you’ve properly closed off the previous one.

Last night, during a dinner party, one of the seven guests suggested we go around the table and have everyone say their “Best and Worst of 2013.”

The answers were real.  Some were funny.  All prompted reflection.  The worst: losing a job, learning of a family member’s illness, losing a pet; The best: passing an important exam, meeting newly special people, finding a new job.

In similar fashion, for today’s post, I’ve decided to recycle a popular idea I used a few months ago called The Reverse Bucket List and write a reverse New Year’s resolution list for 2013.

The following is a list of some self-improvements, goals, and personal attainments of 2013 (and, when appropriate, illustrative photos):

1)      Put effort into becoming closer with family members; find time to get to know extended family

cousins

Meeting second cousins for brunch

2)      Separate emotionally from surrounding drama

3)      Get back out on that ice and start figure skating/training/coaching again

ice skating figure skating

Back on the ice – starting a session

4)      Furnish/decorate an apartment from scratch

The completed "living room" in my first personal apartment

The completed “living room” in my first personal apartment

5)      Travel abroad for an “extended” vacation; leave worries/computers/cell phones behind

greece

Taking it easy in Naxos, Greece

6)      Pick up a new fitness hobby

flywheel spin cycle

Attending Flywheel classes with friends

7)      Cook for myself more – learn to make new healthy staples

Yummy salad with homemade dressing

Yummy salad with homemade dressing

8)      Take advantage of new city

Hanging off the ledge at Sears Tower

Hanging off the ledge at Sears Tower

9)      Take advantage of new found proximity to family (with move to Chicago) and spend more time with little sister

roller coaster

Roller-coastering with lil sis

10)      Take steps to show some semblance of putting yourself first

11)      Learn to say no

12)      Bring down the mile-high fence/barricade/guard and give trust and a new relationship a chance

Ice skating at the zoo.  It snowed.  It was perfect.

Ice skating at the zoo in Chicago. It snowed. A friend snapped this when we weren’t looking.

Decidedly, 2013 was pretty good to me.

A great portion of the positive in 2013 stemmed from this blog.  Writing these posts, however inconsequential they may seem, has come to be a huge part of my life.  I love connecting with readers from my  backyard as well as all over the world.  I love reading what others are generating.  I love finding commonalities.

So thank you, friends, for making 2013 Awesome.

I think I’m ready for 2014.

Cheers!

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A Moment for the Resolution

resolution

In the midst of all-you-can-drink parties, family gatherings and sight-seeing adventures, I took a time out to ponder the notion of the resolution.

Unlike previous years, I’ve decided not to rush the creative process of resolution making and start 2013 out right.

Too often we are whisked into the resolution spirit (mildly connected to the holiday one) and promise ourselves unrealistic or lengthy to do lists.

Last year, overwhelmed and unsure what 2012 would bring, I went against the very grain of my overachieving being, put the notepads and pens away, and didn’t even bother to make any.

This year, finding the compromise between writing out 47 things I’d like to accomplish/do/change/improve/engineer/kick-start and making zero life improvements, I pulled out a new journal, found some pens and my 13-year-old self, and wrote some things down (in neat bubble letters).

I’ve decided to share some of these here.

Without further delay, I present a few key resolutions I’ve made for the year 2013.

1)       Put myself first more often and take better care of myself.  Over the years, I’ve learned that being the rock for others is great but taking care of oneself is super important. This year I’d like to take more timeouts, mental health days and to learn to say no.

2)      Go to bed earlier.  This might seem silly, but is something I really need to work on if I’m going to make it in the world of everyone else’s reality. My reality = lots of ideas and excitement between the hours of 9pm and 3am and sleeping in until noon.  Unfortunately, corporate America is not on this schedule and I find myself exhausted by the time work is complete.

3)      Achieve a fitness goal.  As a competitive figure skater, I always found that the journey was more important than the ending.  In the same way, I find that although crossing the finish line is great, working towards the goal ultimately brings everyday accomplishments, inspiration and results.  In 2012, I ran my first half marathon.  Although crossing that finish line after 13.1 miles was Awesome, it was the 6 weeks spent running with friends, discovering new parts of my city and running further than I had ever run before that allowed me to achieve all I had wanted.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2013 will bring.  I recommend pulling out some crayons, colored pencils or black ink pens (computers work too) and jotting some things down.

Feels good.

Happy New Year!