Call me crazy for making 14 New Year’s resolutions, since many people can’t keep even one, but I’m optimistic. My theory, the more little ways you can try to change your life, the better, either that or the more odds you have to actually stick to one resolution. Either way, here’s the path I want to take in 2014:
14. Make plans and stick to them.
It’s tough to stick to plans when you are exhausted, and would rather lay in your new queen size bed and binge watch “How I Met Your Mother,” (have I mentioned how quickly obsessed with the show I’ve become?) but I have realized that everyday that passes is a missed opportunity for some great memories and good laughs. My New Year’s wasn’t exactly the one I expected, but I have to say surrounded by some good friends for a couple minutes and spending some good quality time with family was what I needed to start the year off right. I could’ve sat home and had a pretty normal, lame night, but I decided to give the night a chance. It may have not been the best night of my life forever and ever, but I had fun and I gave the night a chance. Now I’m more determined to make sure I take advantage of every day I have, after all I can sleep when I’m dead.
13. Keep my love for reading going.
I hope my former English professors don’t take this the wrong way, but college completely killed my love for reading. It wasn’t necessarily the reading itself, because some of the best authors and works were introduced to me in college and opened up so many new areas of reading I’m exploring. But the time crunch, the paper deadlines, the limited discussion, completely killed the fun of reading for me. It was when I was one my own time, that I picked up a few books again, and completely fell in love all over again with reading. I fell in love with characters and places and experiences that created in me a dream to want to be a writer. I want to keep that experience going and see what other books can truly enlighten me.
12. Actually take (baby) steps to be healthier.
Well 2013 was the year I got fat. Not that I’m obese or hugely overweight by any means, but I began to see how the effects of a college lifestyle can leave your body not-so-stellar and you feeling like crap. Now I’m not going to make a resolution to cut out every single solitary junk food and go to the gym for hours everyday, I’m going to simply find small ways that I can improve my health and take those baby steps to make a difference. I’ve gotten back to running and the neighborhood I live in allows me to run a 5K any day of the week. Not to mention I’ve noticed how healthier eating has made me feel better from being more energetic to just feeling like I’m not weighed down. Green tea or black coffee instead of XL double triples (I know, but it used to be triple triples, so I am making progress), more home cooking and less Chipotle runs and more fruits and veggies instead of sweets and carbs. It is easier said than done, so I’ll try to make smaller steps when it comes to my health.
11. Take more pictures.
My Instagram has flatlined at the latter part of 2013. But looking back on the year and some of the best snapshots of a big year, I truly see how great it is to capture moments in your life. It can be a party, a family get-together, or some random, unexplainable night out with friends. Simply put, capturing moments is the perfect way to reflect on great memories. Even more it allows me to see the people who really matter and the great ways I have grown as a person, so here’s to taking more pictures and capturing (and appreciating) more moments in my life.
10. Embrace social media even more.
Yeah, I know what you may be thinking, with thousands of tweets and an overloaded Facebook page, what more could I do with social media? Well I want to take social media more serious. While so many people think of it as some way that teenagers talk about petty high school drama, I have seen how it is a great communication tool that allows people to connect. Whether it is improving my blog, figuring out LinkedIn, or just finding something new from someone I wouldn’t otherwise know, I want to embrace social media more to really see more of the world that’s out there–and if I’m lucky make myself more of a presence in the world.
9. Remove the word “busy” from my vocabulary.
The word “busy” for me is an excuse for people to sound important, or to get out of things that they feel aren’t important enough for them. I know I fall victim to the word all the time, but I need to remind myself that everything I am committed to, I am because they are in turn helping me. From going to graduate school to taking an internship to applying for a writing program, I know I have a lot on my plate. But I chose every single one of these opportunities, and I do not have the authority to use those as a crutch to make myself look better, or as an excuse to get out of things. After all, I want to stick to my plans more, so I need to not use the “busy” excuse so much. After all, everything I do is about creating myself and creating a good balance in my life, busy just means the imbalance has taken over, and what good is that anyway?
8. Quit over-thinking and planning, instead be more spontaneous and follow my gut.
If there is something I’m really good at it’s over thinking. It can be as simple as what I want to eat, to as complex as where I should take my life. Quite frankly, I over think so much that my brain becomes mush and I can’t make a decision if I tried. But I have really grown to learn that everything happens for a reason and that there are no right or wrong choices. Simply put whatever decision a person makes, their life shifts to make the best from that choice. For me, I need to live that realization and just follow my gut when it comes to making decisions. Being more spontaneous builds off this gut resolution as well. I’m a huge planner, trying to plan every aspect of my life, but we make plans and God laughs. Simply put, I can plan my life out as much as I want but I cannot control the future. This means that instead of cracking when plans go awry, being more spontaneous can only allow more fun into my life.
7. Be more committed to friendships new and old.
After having the epiphany that I’ve been graduated from high school for 5 years, and now each day passes is another further away from my college years, I want to be more committed to friendships both new and old. Friendships are one of the most vital relationships in our lives and I want to be more committed to those that have been apart of some of the biggest moments of my life so far. Sure, things are bound to get more difficult with so many of my friends moving away, but that doesn’t mean that a friendship needs to erode away. In fact, if those friendships are really important they will stay in my life, but only if I work at it. Nothing in life comes easy and that goes for the friends we have. As life just starts to take off, I want to support my friends for their big moments, and hope to get the same in return. Whether its keeping communication open, or simply planning more trips across the country, I want to make sure I’m committed to the most important friendships I’ve been blessed with.
6. Embrace the new and different.
This one kind of goes back to the spontaneity in #8, but I wanted to take more time to enjoy things I’ve never done before. I have my bucket list loaded with new and different experiences and I hope the list keeps growing. Why keep doing the same thing over and over, when I can explore something new and different? I could find something new I love to do, I can make an incredible memory, I can even meet new people. There is nothing better than just doing something different, I got a small taste of that last year and I hope to keep the momentum going.
5. Plunge into Buffalo and really see what makes this city the best.
A portion of my bucket list is dedicated to exploring Buffalo. I know the city gets a bad wrap, but honestly Buffalo is one of the best cities in the world. There is so much to do and sadly for my 22 years of living here, I have only scratched the surface of the city. There is so much improvement going on in Buffalo and many new things to explore. I want to have a deeper appreciation for the city I grew up in, especially because I can be here today and in a different city tomorrow, or at least until I finish my Master’s. New and different restaurants, different cultural events and the many sights and sounds of Buffalo are things I want to really explore and really understand the place I’ve called home for so long.
4. Take some necessary steps to build my career.
In my undergraduate years of college, I took some small steps to really see what I was interested in. But I never took many big leaps (besides working at the college paper) in order to build my career. This year, as I look at two huge paths my career can take, I am embarking on an internship in the nonprofit world as well as taking an extra writing class to prepare for applying for a screenwriting program out in Los Angeles. They may be two huge indicators of where I want to take my career, but either way, I hope to put myself out there more, say “yes” to more career building experiences and meet new people that can help shape my career. Right now, I am focused on myself and pushing my career and my passion to the top of my list, so I want to make sure I make 2014 the year to push my career to the max.
3. I’m single, like a pringle but I need to be more willing to mingle.
So yes, this may conflict with #4, seeing as I want 2014 to be the year my career soared to new heights, but I have been neglecting the dating scene for far too long. Not to say I’m looking for a wife or anything, but I’m not opposed to getting out there, meeting a young lady or two and just finding someone who shares the same thirst for life I do. Like I said, I’m not dead set on finding a wife, I’m just looking for practice for when I am ready for something serious. Who knows, I may be ready and not even realize, but I won’t know if I don’t give a lucky lady out there the chance.
2. Travel more, in addition to what is already planned.
As I write this, my trip to New Orleans got delayed several days, and may quite possibly not happen. It is disappointing, but I’m telling myself that if the trip doesn’t work out, I wasn’t supposed to be there at this moment. Instead, a trip to Los Angeles, Portland and Philadelphia are planned for 2014, and I hope to use some spare time to squeeze in a few more trips. One of my big regrets is that I never studied abroad in college, and the opportunities to travel a lot after graduate school may be slim, so I want to travel and see as much of the world while I have the time and energy. A customer at the store I work at commented on how she loved that she took advantage of her youth as a time to travel, see the world and really appreciate the it. I hope to use that advice to outline 2014. There’s no point in saving for trips that you want to take in a few years, after all if I don’t even know what will happen tomorrow, I better take advantage of today.
1. Make my writing my first priority.
I LOVE WRITING. I always said as long as I get to write in my career, I will love whatever job I end up with. Whether its a press release, a fundraising grant, a news article, a script, or a play, I love the opportunity to tell stories and that is where I want to take my career. So I want to make sure that I keep practicing. If practice makes perfect, I want to make sure I’m working my writing skills everyday. Whether it be journaling, or simply finding ways to incorporate writing more into my assistantship and internship, then I’m going to commit myself to polishing up what I love to do.
For all of these resolutions, many of which interweave one another, I’m hoping 2014 will be a highly focused, spontaneous and successful year!