Hello, 2018. We’re just beginning the second month of 2018 all of the”new year, new me” posts have continued to flood my Facebook feed. I’ll just keep rolling my eyes as most of you “new year” folk make yourself a permanent home in denial.
Sorry to harsh your mood, my friends. It may be a new year but I’m still the same sassy, sarcastic girl you knew last year.
As 2018 continues, I find myself uttering the words of my grandfather, “Why fix what isn’t broken?” Of course I don’t truly believe that I’m perfect, we all have dents and scratches. Perhaps I’m just resistant to the fad, but I’m not willing to rip down all of the walls and rebuild from ground zero. Remember that chat you had with your teacher in middle school when they told you to “love yourself”? After 27 years of being alive, I can honestly say that I actually like who I am, and am going to continue to improve in this general direction.
Take it easy, tiger. Sorry to curb your enthusiasm, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your life isn’t going to change overnight. The key to real change is consistency. Make small, steady improvements to get where you are going. I hate to tell you, that Shakeology will do nothing for you if you don’t follow your meal plan and exercise properly. Be consistent. It prevents you from becoming completely overwhelmed or falling into your old routine and paying for an expensive gym membership/ program that you don’t use.
Give yourself some credit. As much as I would like to say that my life completely changed in 2017, it did not. Although there were some vast improvements: a promotion, vacations, relationships, etc. I can honestly say that I earned those things, and it was not due to the good fortune of the year. Quit attributing your success it to the “great year” or “luck”. Being overly humble never did anyone any favors (and neither did showboating). Find some balance, and take time to celebrate your successes as you see fit.
Get out the scissors. If you’re going to say you’re a “new person” it’s time to start cutting ties with the toxic relationships in your life. If you don’t like how he/she/they treated you the first time, stop going back to him/her/them (or just quit complaining about it on Facebook). If you’re going to sit around and complain, you might as well spend the time doing something about it. Old ways will not open new doors. If you don’t like your life or who you are, change (it).
Hey you on your high horse, what have you done? Alright, I get it. I’m not so high and mighty over here. I haven’t joined a new gym (here’s looking at you, newbies) and haven’t started some absurdly restrictive diet that I’m bound to quit in the next few months. In many ways, I am still the same person I was last year, just slightly improved. The key to my improvement is subtle, consistent change. I’m certainly not going to reinvent the wheel and completely change everything in my life under the façade of a “new me” or a chance to “start over”. Here’s looking at you, 2018.
- First things first. I have started off the new year with a few new things. I have hit the famed pause button, which explains the radio silence on this blog. Don’t worry, my friends. I didn’t forget you. Despite being a workaholic, I managed to take a vacation without my computer (Whoa, what?!) and re-prioritize when I felt overwhelmed. I expressed my concerns on projects without panic and even said “no” a couple of times (even if it was painful). I am starting off this year with clear expectations and a realistic workload.
- Taking the time to turn some pages. I have always been an avid reader, but I noticed a steep decline in my consumption of books towards the end of 2017. Perhaps it was the holidays or my work schedule, but either way excuses do me no good. I’ve returned to my habit of picking up books whenever I can and revived my tradition of buying books in airports. Over the years, I’ve come to greatly appreciate the escape found in great stories. They give me a moment to pause my busy life and view the world through the eyes of another, giving me some much-needed perspective.
- You’re a regular decorated emergency. Sometimes when things go South, I jump to the worst-case scenario. From there, I work backwards, thinking that if I’ve prepared for the worst, things will work out in my favor. As we’ve discussed before, I’m an extremely well-organized planner with an affinity for problem solving. Despite this, I’ve recently learned that it is not my job to fix every issue that comes my way. While I tend to play counselor to the troubled, and leader to the lost; it is not humanly possible to mend every bump in the road on your own.
- Some news is bad news. This week my family was hit with some difficult news, one of my grandparents is horribly ill. Being the “fixer” that I am, my mind began to race with all of the different scenarios in which this could play out. I quickly came to the realization that despite my best efforts, we might not reach the best-case scenario. This revelation was devastating for me. It is rare that I encounter a problem I cannot solve or a situation I cannot fix. But admitting the fact that I cannot fix this was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
- Being support staff. Despite my best efforts, there is little I can do other than supporting my family and offering assistance where I can. Despite feeling that this is “not enough” I realize that it is the best I can do and that some things are simply out of my hands. This is a stark reminder that despite our best efforts, we are painfully human, but that doesn’t make us weak. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to let them know you care and to give them support.
- Finding the silver lining. This has been a large focus for me this past year and is continuing to be a recurring theme in my life. When things go to hell in a hand basket, there is always some sort of silver lining. It is up to us to seek it out as you weather the storm. This year has just begun and has already been full of peaks and valleys. Stop telling your loved ones what went wrong with your day. Ask instead, what made you smile today? Sometimes that simple shift in the conversation can make all the difference. Make your takeaway from each day something good, instead of dwelling on the bad.
New year, and a new wish for you. My wish for all of you is quite simple. I wish all of you great success, not just with your New Year’s resolutions, but in all of your endeavors. Like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, may the path be exciting and full of lessons. Remember: there’s always someone cheering for you.
Stay excellent, my friends.