I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. So last year I picked a verb to guide me through 2012. Here’s my recap of 2012 and my verb for 2013.
I have to be honest: about five months in, I had already forgotten about my verb of 2012. But I still think it propelled me, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. My goal was to work on making smaller decisions (like where to eat lunch) so the big decisions would come more naturally. I still haven’t nailed the little stuff, but I have certainly learned to make my own big decisions.
Probably my biggest decision of the year came in July (though the decision happened sooner than that) when Josh and I decided to move in together. I got both positive and negative responses to my decision, but I was proud because it was MY decision (and Josh’s, of course–I can’t force him to live with me). And it was a pretty awesome decision.
This year, the holiday season was a huge moment of truth to prove whether I had actually learned to make decisions. Quite honestly, I’m a lot more broke this year than I have ever been (hello, recent grad life) and am trying to become more financially independent from my parents (which actually can make a kid more broke–go figure), so now I’m having to budget my money (something I’ve always kind of faked and somehow made it work).
Part of budgeting this holiday season was reducing gifts. I had to drop people from my gift list, decrease the amount I spent on each person and completely drop the idea of creating stockings for anyone. I love Christmas and I love gift-giving, so the gift-related decisions I had to make this holiday season were tough–and, quite honestly, making those decisions sucked. But those tough decisions proved that, yes, I can make a solid decision, even if I don’t like it.
There were also times when I had to choose between spending time with friends, family or Josh. And there were times when I had to choose whether to take time off work to go see my family. (These probably seem trivial to most people, but that first choice has often had my stomach in knots.)
My decision-making skills have even improved my stress levels because Josh and I now plan weekly meals. (I totally recommend this, by the way.)
Though my verb of 2012 still can use a little work, I think 2012 was pretty darn successful. And now, with a new year comes a chance to push myself a little more.
This year, I’ve chosen “dedicate” as the word to propel me through 2013.
So often, I’ll start something–a DIY project, a piece of writing, an exercise routine, or even reading a book–and just leave it unfinished. This year, I’m going to push myself to dedicate to the things I start. Some specifics I have in mind are:
- Job hunt. I graduated in May and still need to find a permanent job. I feel like I haven’t fully dedicated myself to my job hunt, or I’d have a job by now. Finding a job is my number one goal this year, and I know it’s going to take some serious dedication to get what I want when I want it. (I have personal goals in mind for this.)
- Writing. When I graduated, I made a personal goal to write here at least three times a week. Other than the week of Christmas, I think I’ve mostly accomplished that goal. Now, it’s time to expand my writing and work on some freelancing–something I’ve been talking about for months but have yet to actually do. Another thought on writing: I’d like to carve out some time each week to work on the poetry book I’ve been talking about for the past few years.
- Reading. I have never been able to finish a book. Like, ever. I love reading, so I’m kind of baffled why I can’t just read a book all the way through. (Remember how excited I was about “How to Be a Woman?” Yeah, my bookmark is still sitting smack in the middle of it.) So, really, all I want is to read a book cover to cover before the end of the year.
- Exercise. I cringe at adding this because it’s so cliche, but I know it’s something I need to do to feel better physically and mentally. I’m still working on a long-term game plan (Mixing things up? Bribing myself with shiny things?), but for now I’ll try to stick with the yoga supplies Josh and Hilary gave me for Christmas.
I still have some other ideas floating in my head, but I certainly don’t want to overwhelm myself with to-do lists and specific resolutions. After all, the verb is about so much more than that. So here’s to dedicating in 2013.
Do you make resolutions? If so, what are they this year?