Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A collection of resolutions

Anthony Quintano / Flickr
Goodbye, This Year. Hello, New Year.

Unlike most people, I've never been one to make a New Year's Resolution. Partly out of laziness, but also because I've never understood why the dawn of a New Year was the prime time to make big changes.

My biggest life changes, from deciding where I wanted to go to college to becoming a full-fledged vegetarian, came about not because I'd been imbued with resolve by a holiday, but because I felt ready to make a choice and then pursued it.

However, this year I feel is a pretty big turning point. I've done a lot of guesswork in the past 365 days, gone through a lot of change and really had to figure out what it is I want out of life. What I choose now will determine what my life looks like down the road, and I want to do everything in my power to send myself down a smooth path.

So, without further ado, here is the collection of resolutions for my 2015:

1. Combat the sticks and stones.

When I reference this "smooth path," I make the mistake of assuming that any path of life can be without its rough patches. 2014 has been a year I'd characterize more by struggle than by growth, and I'd like to turn that around in 2015. Rather than trip over the sticks and stones that inevitably fall along my path, I'd like to learn to react and recover from them with ease.

Instead of being the person who wallows in her own misery, I'd like to be the one who laughs in the face of adversity. Those moments spent focused on self-pity are moments wasted. The moments spent fixing a bad situation lead to better and better experiences.

2. Think less about what other people think.

While the saying goes "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," that doesn't spell truth for everyone. I couldn't begin to count the number of times I've been told I need to develop a "thicker skin" in response to people's words. Even that comment has become an emotional pain in my side.

If I'm ever going to grow as a person, I need to learn to accept criticism, and to recognize the difference between that which is constructive and that which is insensitive. Once that distinction is made, there's no longer a need to hide from the criticism anymore. You take the constructive and let it strengthen you, and you brush off the insensitive. Simple.

3. Read one book a month.

The idea here is that I'd like to become more creative, more thoughtful and more receptive to new concepts. While I may equate that with reading one book a month, my slow reading pace may limit me, and I give myself leeway to miss my quota.

When reading a new book each month isn't an option, there are alternatives. I can start a new project - for instance, I've wanted to start illustrating for a long time - or I can learn about a new subject, which could be as simple as watching a documentary.

I'll endeavor to report back on my findings on my blog to keep track of my progress and hold myself accountable.

4. Continue writing every day.

While I've gone back and forth on whether or not I'd like to blog every day for another year, I do believe that writing each and every day is an activity I can maintain confidently. In addition to a short daily journal entry, I'd like to spend at least a few minutes each day writing something creative - whether that be a non-fiction personal essay, a fictional story or a poem.

This, in addition to learning something new each month by way of reading or watching or doing will hopefully make more well-rounded in the long term.

5. Go outside.

Being home in Southern California where the weather is constantly sunny and hot, my Elsa-like "cold never bothered me anyway" personality has turned me into quite the shut-in. But even if it's just for a short time, I'd like to promise myself to take a moment to walk and collect my thoughts and feelings every day.

Some people have very meaningful thoughts in the shower, but I think my mind achieves the greatest clarity on a good long walk. Or maybe a run, if the weather is fitting.

With these five resolutions, I'll be working toward vastly improving my way of life. In doing so, I expect not only to become a better writer, creator and learner, but a better person. And as a better person, I believe I could learn to become an even better friend, which is really the ultimate resolution.

No comments:

Post a Comment