I am not really one for New Year’s resolutions. It seems like a really fantastic way to set yourself up for failure. Have you ever met someone who made a really fantastic change to their life and credits it to starting something on January 1? Yeah, me neither. (I’m really hoping you all said nope to that or you completely disproved this post.) Why would we decide to change our lives after a week of overeating, the day after staying up too late with a full day of football watching ahead of us? That just sounds like we are setting ourselves up for failure.
If anything, I believe in new school year resolutions. At the beginning of each school year, I make my advisory students do an activity where they make a resolution for each class, a professional resolution, their profession being a student, and a personal resolution. I do the same thing. This year, my professional resolution was to do every assignment that I assign to my students. I have no idea why they complain about homework because I think it is so much fun. I’m not even kidding. It’s what I do to de-stress. If anyone wants me to send some math assignments their way, I would be happy to do so. I’ve been doing a great job, and while a lot of my students are a month behind on homework, I’m about a month ahead. It’s been fun, it has helped me anticipate where students might struggle, and I think it puts more value on the work I assign if I say it’s so important that I’m going to do it too (even the word problems). My personal resolution was to cook at least three new recipes a month. After I ran out of new ways to make tacos, that one has kind of fallen apart. There’s always next year? (PS please send me all of your easy taco recipes.)
There are also a few things that I am famous for ranting about. Those things include (but are not limited to) people who use the snooze button (SET THE ALARM FOR THE LATEST TIME YOU NEED TO WAKE UP AND THEN GET UP YOU ARE JUST MAKING IT WORSE FOR YOURSELF), Wisconsin drivers (THE LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING. IF YOU ARE NOT ACTIVELY PASSING SOMEONE, PLEASE SCOOTCH YOUR 68 MPH GOING BOOTY OUT OF MY WAY AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, LEARN HOW TO USE A TURN SIGNAL), and people who go to the gym the first two weeks of January and are so busy getting endorphins that they forget how to be a decent human being. Now, I think fitness is great and that every single person should add it to their routine. It has been great for my physical health, my mental health, and my daily donut habit. If New Year’s resolutions are what help you find a love of fitness, great! But please, for the love of all things good, wipe down your machine when you are done, stop talking on your cell phone, don’t change the TV that someone is clearly watching, AND BRING HEADPHONES. NO ONE WANTS TO LISTEN TO YOUR MEDIOCRE TOP 40 JAMS.
The thing that gets me about New Year’s resolutions is the thought that we need to wait until a ball drops to change something in our lives. I would hope that I am continually evolving to become the best me that I can be. New year, same ever evolving me. As much as I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I do believe in taking the time to reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go, and I think a new year is a really great time to do that. So here are some of the things on my ever evolving list.
1.) I want to work on becoming a more consistent writer. Now I never want to feel like I need to churn out a certain amount of blog posts every month. That sounds counterproductive for all of us. However, I would like to be better about designating time to write, whether it is blog posts or just personal journaling. Now because I’m a firm believer in full disclosure, I think it is important that I inform you that this blog post has been in my drafts since last January. On the bright side, the bar is very low, so I feel like I can only improve!
2.) I want to deepen my yoga practice. I thought about committing to a certain number of classes each week or month, doing some sort of challenge, or finally signing up for a yoga teacher training. I don’t think yoga is at all about the quantity, but rather the quality. I want to make sure that whether I’m attending one class a week or seven, I am making sure my whole self is present and honoring where my mind and body are on my mat on that day.
3.) I want to make sure I am always putting myself in life’s way. The best things happen when you put yourself in life’s way, both in the big and small ways. When the option comes to pull back or push forward, I hope I push forward. I hope this also eventually evolves into me being a way less picky eater, but that might be taking it to the extreme.
4.) I want to embrace my humanness. I often feel the need to try to be some sort of superhuman in all things I do and I hold myself to some ridiculous standards. Although I think it is important to always do my best and put my whole self into all that I do, I also hope to be better at honoring where I am at, even when where I am at is not perfect. To mean, this means recognizing the things that are really great about me and celebrating them. It also means embracing my flaws and respecting that I will always have them. Whether I’m happy, overjoyed, sad, frustrated, exhausted, confused, lost, hurt, or anything in between, I’m allowed to feel that way and it is okay to feel that way.
5.) I want to be better at embracing others in their humanness. Yes, this includes snooze button users, Wisconsin drivers, and New Year’s resolutioners at the gym. I think this goes hand in hand with allowing myself to be more human. When I remember that I am flawed it will allow me to embrace other people’s flaws. We are all just walking along this journey of life, no one knowing more than the next. We can always be learning for each other, and ideally always evolving into our best selves.
We are all works in progress, 365 days a year, all of the days of our lives. Every day is an opportunity to work towards becoming the person we want to be and living the life we want to live. It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen in the span of 365. Heck, it won’t happen in our lifespan. But that’s no reason not to always be working towards living our best lives, whatever that looks like wherever we are in life.