This time of year, the cynic battles with the nostalgic in me, and I look at people swearing off carbs and smoking with one eyebrow raised, one hand with a pen in it, swearing simultaneously how stupid New Year’s resolutions are, while still quietly making my own.
I mean, it’s not a bad thing right, people setting goals to better themselves? But if there’s one thing New Year’s Resolutions have taught us, it’s that people, more often than not, are incapable of sticking to their guns and working to reach a goal – that’s just the harsh reality of it. Many of us will make these resolutions, and almost all of us will fail. So what’s the deal? Are we just a bunch of flakes?
I’m sure that’s true to a certain extent, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned this past year, it’s all about your mindset, and I think the biggest reason people fail to meet their own expectations is because they’re just not prepared to do so. Rather than focusing on the reason that we haven’t already met these goals, we just say, ‘Oh, well if I post about it on Facebook and think about it a few times a week, I’ll do it!’
Here’s the thing – you didn’t just wake up on New Year’s Eve and decided you wanted to drop 20 pounds – chances are, you’ve been thinking about it all year anyway, but you woke up, saw what day it was, and that motivated you to make a decision. It gave you a start date, it gave you a crowd of people setting goals similarly, and you jumped right in, all full of hope and optimism, and that’s okay, but let’s backtrack for a minute.
This is it, this is what makes the difference – the why. Do you want to lose 20 pounds to boost your self-esteem, or so you won’t have to buy a bunch of new clothes? Is it your health that is cause for concern? That extra 20 pounds might be a problem, but chances are, it’s just a symptom of a larger problem. Is it just the weight, or is it time to start loving yourself enough to care about what you eat and how you care for your body?
Figure it out – take that one thing that seems so important, and follow the thread back to the source of the problem. Maybe you’re too busy to make healthy meals, and maybe it’s time to start prioritizing your health above all else. Whatever your goal, until you determine the underlying cause of the problem (because let’s face it, we all know how to eat healthy), you won’t reach it, so figure out what you really need to do in 2017, and the rest will likely fall into place.
I don’t even remember what my resolution last year was, but I’m sure it was some half-hearted attempt at a healthy body overhaul. My son was about a year old, and I was still pretty deep in the throes of self-loathing of my new “mom bod”. I’ve since come full circle, and learned to appreciate the astoundingly awesome things this squishy, stretch-marked body of mine can do, but have stumbled onto the greater problem – not making my health and well-being a priority.
My resolution this year is to love myself enough to make time for self-care – that includes putting lotion on my feet at night so they don’t get try and horrible, chopping vegetables for the week’s lunches on Sundays, so I can always grab a healthy meal, and taking care of my mental state as well – setting aside at least one day a week for an activity I just enjoy, that may not necessarily have an end-result, like dinner or meeting a magazine deadline.
Kinky, wild, pillow-biting sex.
Nature walks with my toddler.
Doing things just because they make me happy and feel good, instead of because I’m too busy adulting to worry about anything else.
This year, make it about loving yourself, make the line you draw in the sand one you stand behind because it’s fundamentally important to who you are as a person – not some arbitrary number on the scale or in your bank account – and the rest will fall into place.
Here’s the thing, you don’t eat a cupcake because you hate yourself, just like you don’t get piercings because you’re impulsive or irresponsible – you do those things because they bring a moment of happiness, they make you shine. Stick to your goals, but remember the ultimate mindset that will put you on the path to those goals above all else, or you’ll spend a year meeting goals, and being miserable doing it.
There’s no need to lose who you are in the process of becoming a more efficient human being in 2017, but just make sure that every action you take aligns with your mindset, whether that’s loving yourself, remembering your family’s needs more, planning for a successful future…just make it a part of your daily routine.
I keep a cute little chalkboard in my bedroom, with an inspirational quote that I need to remember to get me through some challenges. It’s corny I know, but it’s a reminder of what I need to focus on, and it helps me get through some challenges with grace and patience, rather than crashing through like a bull in a china shop.
My affirmation for the past few months has been,
If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you’re fighting.
Awesome, right? Just keep your eye on the prize. Find a saying like this if it helps, and let your goal be your guiding beacon this year – not the monkey on your back.
I love my tattoos, but I would love to get another big one this year – nothing makes me feel more confident or sexy than these bad boys, and I think my legs are next. It’s all about self-care, because when I’m happy, I’m in a better place to take care of my family, and it’s high time I started prioritizing that.
What about you pierced and tatted homies – what is your resolution this year? Let’s work through these together, and figure out what your mindset needs to be to make you a raging success this year.