My Five 2016 New Years Resolutions

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This month I gathered my list of New Year's resolutions and what I am going to focus on to help improve myself this year.  According to Gretchen Rubin, an author who studies happiness, I am an obliger, meaning I put others expectations in front of my inner expectations, and this year I want to focus on managing both outer and inner expectations equally. (Take the quiz here to find out what you are.)

I made a list of all the areas I want to improve upon and narrowed it down to my top five. I wanted to make sure the list was something manageable and achievable in the calendar year. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew! It’s important when you make your list that you consider things that you want to do and are ready for. If you know you should give up binge watching TV, but you don’t actually want to and feel dread instead of excitement at the thought, it’s good to acknowledge that. Maybe cut back, but don’t cut it out until it’s something that you are ready to do and excited to do. One day you will get a feeling, “a lightening moment,” as Gretchen Rubin calls it, when you will know you are ready and can achieve your goals. It will feel more like an exciting challenge than something that you dread and something that makes you miserable.

So here are my five in no particular order:

1. Learn to say no

I struggle to say no. When I want to go home and get stuff done around the house, but everyone is going out, I cave into peer pressure. I know that I will be happiest and feel best about myself if I go home and blog, clean, or read, but instead the fear of missing out can sometimes blur my vision. I do my best to always put others first, almost to a fault.  If someone asks me to do something I almost always feel compelled to say yes, even if I don’t want to. I always want to help, but I want to learn to help in moderation. Rather than always putting others first I want to focus on my life, my goals, and my well-being.  Almost like the cliché of being on an airplane and putting on my air mask first before assisting others.

I am a ‘social introvert’ (yes they do exist!) I love being social and getting to know people, but I need time to myself to recharge. If I do to many social activities, it drains me of all my energy. I start to feel irritated and mad at myself for not getting things done that I want to do. I am always concerned about what everyone else wants to do! I have a lot of goals and ambitions and I often get in my own way. I want to learn that it’s okay to say no just because I don’t want to do something. I don’t necessarily have to have an excuse or a reason, “I don’t want to” is reason enough.

2. Slow Down

I need to slow down in all aspects of my life. I am always rushing to get things done, meaning I get a lot done, but I tend not to focus on one thing at a time often resulting in mistakes. I don’t give what I am doing the attention it needs. For example, my last newsletter I wanted to send it out so fast, that I forgot to change a header from 6 Steps to Nailing an Interview to My Christmas Wish list. That’s embarrassing!

When I wake up in the morning I always stay in bed as long as I can until I HAVE to get up. So, I am usually rushing to leave the house on time. I want to wake up earlier, slow down, and take time to get ready for my day. When I start the day rushing, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. I want to get up, make coffee, make my lunch, and get together all the things I need to start the day off on the right foot instead of running out of the house, make-up bag in hand so that I can put on mascara in the Starbucks drive-thru.

Same goes for at night, usually I am up working on something until I am so dog-tired I only have the energy to brush my teeth, wash my face, and make it to the bed. Instead, I want to take the time to read before bed and take a moment to reflect on my day, relax, and unwind.

3. Simplify

I want to simplify my life allowing more time to focus on slowing down and on things that truly matter to me. I want to simplify my time commitments (another reason I need to learn to say no.) I want to simplify my goals (that is why this list is my top five instead of ten.) I want to simplify my thinking, to one thought at a time instead of thinking about the bagillion things at once.  When I am driving I want to focus on driving rather than what’s on my to do list and wind up missing my exit! I want to simplify my relationships; I want to give my time to the people I truly care about and the people that matter the most to me, rather than trying to divide my time amongst everyone and not giving the adequate amount of time to those I love.

4. Impulse Buying

I love to shop online, and I am an impulse buyer. If I get a marketing campaign to my inbox for something I really like, I click click click, and it’s mine. I want to only buy things that I really love and things that I need rather than impulsively buying something I like and only wearing it a couple times. I don’t want to regret any purchase, instead I want to shop with intent and purpose. I want to feel great about each and every purchase. This will also help me to save money and focus on spending my money on what truly matters to me as I touched in 22 things I wish I knew by 22.

5. Less TV 

My two addictions (if I don’t count online shopping) are Starbucks and binge watching TV.  As soon as I get home I need sound, so I quickly turn on the TV, and since there usually isn’t anything that I like on cable, I turn on a show on Netflix or Hulu. Then I sit down with my laptop and get to work (again always multitasking!) The problem is even when I am done working I continue to watch the show. I attribute it to the fact that I am always rushing, and multitasking; this is when I finally unwind. I don’t have to think, I can just watch mind-numbing TV. Even if I have seen an episode/ show already, I want to watch them all, one after the other, until I am so tired I fall asleep (see how these are all connected?) Right now I am currently watching Law and Order SVU, and I have watched Gilmore Girls so many times I can recite it.

If I slow down throughout the day, focus on one thing at a time, and start each day with intent and purpose, this will help me get to a place where I am no longer binge watching shows, but instead each night I can focus on my goals. I can read, journal, or blog.  Then I won’t wake up feeling seedy for having watched 6 episodes of Law and Order SVU.

Every year I make a list of goals for the New Year and I save it somewhere so I can look back and see the progress I made. One year I had a list of twelve, and I found my list the next year and I had achieved each and every one of them! Including backpacking Europe, it was an incredible feeling. I would highly recommend just paying attention to what truly makes you happy or unhappy and making a list of things you can do each and everyday to help you achieve your goals or make you happier!

I would love to hear from you!

Do you have any advice on making these goals attainable? What are your New Year's resolutions?