There’s something I have always truly loathed about New Years. I hate the build up to NYE. The pressure to have plans. The pressure for the plans to not suck. Everything costs a ton of money. It’s never as fun as you think it’s going to be. Somehow people always end up crying. I always hated the rush to change yourself dramatically starting the very next day. Like having cheap champagne in some itchy sequin/lurex/polyester get-up while being bitter about being alone and tired from being up past midnight was a good time to make a new life plan? No thanks. Trying to make NYE epic and memorable while simulataneously turning around your life was like trying to make fetch happen (as Regina George pointed out, it wasn’t going to happen). The whole business wasn’t for me.
I gave up grand resolutions (and trying to make NYE plans) a while back. I never stuck to them, half the time I didn’t remember them. But last year I took a different approach to the same old, tired “New Year, New Me” mantra. I made a to-do list. I personally feel like the word “resolutions” just sets everyone up for failure. Do you know anyone who has ever completely adhered to their resolutions for 12 months? Probably not. Do you know people that mark things off their to-do lists? More than likely. It’s something that many of us practice in our day-to-day lives. I love a list. I love a to-do list even more. I’m one of those psychos that will make a list, maybe re-writes the list in a more organized manner, and then adds things to the list that I already completed just for the pure and unadulterated joy of physically marking something as “done”. When I set out to create my list for last year, I approached it like I would any list on any other day. For example, this is what my 2018 to-do list looked like:
Solve my chronic back pain issues
Get my TSA pre-check
Read 20 books
This list isn’t sexy. It’s not glamorous. No major self improvement. No lofty aspirations. No celebrity fad diets. Nothing to beat myself up over if I didn’t finish. Just things that would make my daily life easier and more enjoyable. For the first time ever, I ended a year with a 100% completion rate. I got into a regular work out routine which solved my back pain issues. I trekked out to Newark one afternoon and took care of my TSA pre-check appointment. And I not only met my reading challenge for the first time ever, but exceeded it by reading 27 books. All in all, a quiet success.
I am adopting the same mentality when approaching the upcoming year. So after some not-at-all serious consideration, I present my 2019 to do’s. A published list, forever on the internet, to keep me accountable:
Drink more water
Deal with my sinus issues
Read 30 books
I’ve already started working on my to-do’s (aka, we ordered a humidifier on Amazon while I wrote this for my sinus issues. Maybe I should add “remember to use and clean humidifier” to the list?). And it follows roughly the same format as last year (health, life improvement, reading). There are always things I need to work on that people love to add to their “resolutions”. And I definitely have things, on a bigger/short term/long term goal level that I plan on improving. Goals that revolve around finances, personal style, and even this blog. But I don’t want to make them something I check off a list. I want them to happen organically, as a form of self care and self expression, something that I practice regularly, a personal journey that I don’t want quantified to a single year. I’ve learned that is how I best respond to change.
So take it easy in 2019. Be kind to yourself. Figure out what works for you. Set yourself up for success. Don’t make life plans in cheap fabric.
What’s your 2019 to-do list?