5 New Year’s Resolutions for You (Yes, YOU!)

January 1, 2015

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Happy 2015, you guys!

Have you figured out all your resolutions yet?

No?

Great! Because I’ve come up with a whole bunch of awesome resolutions for you.

Yes, YOU!

Now, I realize that according to tradition I should be coming up with resolutions for myself. But that sounds really, Idon’tknow, selfish. And, umm, like a lot of hard work on my part.

And before you get all worried that my resolutions for you are going to be super-duper hard and impossible for you to achieve in the next 365-days-excluding-weekends-because-we-all-know-those-don’t-count, I assure you that you can totally do these. Because all of these resolutions are things that I have either already done or already do on a regular basis. And, you guys, I’m pretty much the laziest, most unmotivated person on the planet.

Seriously.

I consider binge-watching episodes of Scandal a sport. So, really, if I can do these resolutions, you can, too. I PROMISE.

1. Do that-thing-you-really-want-to-do-but-you-can’t-find-anyone-to-do-it-with by yourself.

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The other weekend when I was on a walking tour of Detroit, the tour guide started telling us about this super-awesome-but-possibly-traumatizing Underground Railroad tour, where the tour participants are shackled together and basically get to re-enact being runaway slaves. SUPER AWESOME BUT PROBABLY NIGHTMARE-INDUCING, RIGHT?

When I asked the guide if she’d ever done the tour, she told me, “I’ve always wanted to do it, but I’ve never been able to find someone to do it with.”

She seemed like a really lovely woman, but, at that point in time, I just kind of wanted to punch her.

You guys, if I waited around for someone to do stuff with, I would basically never ever do stuff.

I don’t have a boyfriend or partner I can forcibly drag along to things. I also don’t have a whole lot of friends or family members in the area where I live. And the ones that I do have are busy or have families or aren’t so interested in doing the things that I’m interested in doing. (Apparently, not everyone on the planet wants to drive two hours to go to festivals in honor of asparagus. Who knew?)

So... this is not everyone's idea of a good time.

So… this is not everyone’s idea of a good time.

So I just go do the stuff by myself.

And you should, too.

Because stuff is awesome. And “I don’t have someone to do stuff with” needs to stop being an excuse for not doing stuff, okay?

2. Stop bad-mouthing your body.

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About the time I bawled my brains out while writing this post, I had the realization that I had spent almost thirty years of my life saying bad things about my body.

THIRTY YEARS!

You guys, I have the attention span of two-year-old and usually can’t stick with anything longer than about twenty seconds. If this had been any other hobby, habit or obsession, I would have dropped it years ago. So why the heck was I holding on to this stupid habit of being a jerk to my body for so long?

So, that’s when I promised myself that I would stop saying mean things about my body out loud.

This does not mean that I’ve completely and totally been able to erase all un-nice thoughts about my thighs from my head. I just make a point of not speaking those un-nice thoughts out loud. And, oddly enough, this has actually reduced the number of un-nice thoughts I tend to have.

I also try really hard to stay out of conversations where other people are bad-mouthing their own bodies. And, if you’re a lady or work with ladies or have even met a lady before, you know how hard this is to do. Because, for real, us ladies like to bad-mouth our bodies like it’s OUR FREAKING JOB.

But it’s not.

So let’s stop it already.

3. Learn how to cook. Or stop pretending like you don’t know how to cook.

monster chili

I spent the majority of my twenties and early thirties not knowing how to cook.

Or at least I claimed I didn’t know how to cook and used it as an excuse to buy Amy’s frozen pizzas instead.

I thought it was sassy and feminist to not know how to cook, and if there was anything I wanted to be, it was a sassy feminist. Even if that meant I was broke because I was too busy buying Amy’s frozen pizzas. (Seriously, you guys, those things are EXPENSIVE.)

But, over the past year and a half, I’ve really made an effort to expand my cooking and baking skills. And I’ve learned that knowing how to cook is all about knowing how to take care of yourself. And it doesn’t really get sassier or feminist-er (totally a word) than that, does it?

Besides, cooking can be fun and is not really all that hard.

And, every once in a while, you make something truly beautiful and delicious, and, you feel so empowered because “HOLY DAMN, I JUST MADE THAT!”

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I MADE THIS!

Seriously, you guys, pie-making can be empowering.

After all, if you can make pie crust, you can do ANYTHING.

4. Start that blog already.

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Do you guys know how many people have told me or have emailed me to tell me that they want to start a blog, but they don’t know how?

Probably, like, ninety jillion, at least. I mean, I haven’t kept track because counting is stupid, but people have told me this A LOT.

I am here to tell you that you don’t need to know what you’re doing. Because, seriously, people, do I look like someone who knows what I’m doing?

Just start your blog already.

Don’t worry about what you’re going to name it.

Just start your blog already.

Don’t worry about about what you’re going to write or how you’re going to write it or when you’re going to write it.

Just start your blog already.

And, sweet baby Jesus, do not even worry one hot minute about who’s going to read it or what they’re going to think about you when they do read it.

Just start your blog already.

Ummm, have you started your blog already?

5. Be where you are right now.

#mittenselfie!

I know this sounds super hippie-dippy. Seriously, you guys, I can actually feel you rolling your eyes at me right now. In fact, I’m kind of rolling my eyes at me right now.

But hear me out.

This is the thing: Every two to three years since I graduated from college a-kind-of-long-time-ago, I’ve either changed my job or where I’m living — usually I’ve changed both.

This has meant I’ve spent the majority of my adulthood thinking about what’s next. What’s my next step? Where am I going to move to next? What’s my next job going to be?

And while it’s really exciting to think about the future and changes and possibilities and OMIGOD-THIS-IS-AWESOME-I-COULD-DO-ANYTHING, it can also be really anxiety-inducing.

You see, focusing all my time and energy on what’s next was preventing me from enjoying what’s now.

(Seriously, I know. Totally hippie-dippy. I apologize.)

I didn’t even realize this until recently when I applied for a new position at work  — a position with a bit more permanence, a position that would require me to stick around in one place for a lot longer than my usual two to three years.

I applied not even thinking I wanted the job.

Because permanence? Me? That’s not really a thing I do.

And then, much to my surprise, I got the job.

When I signed my new contract the other week, I wasn’t filled with doubt or dread like I thought I would be. I wasn’t worried that OMIGOD-I’M-GOING-TO-BE-STUCK-IN-THIS-PLACE-FOREVER-AND-EVER.

I felt happy. And relieved. I felt like this huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I felt like all the butterflies who usually live in my stomach had been set free.

I was no longer thinking OMIGOD-WHAT-AWESOME-THING-AM-I-GOING-TO-DO-NEXT?

I was thinking OMIGOD-NOW-IS-PRETTY-AWESOME.

And, now is pretty awesome.

So, let’s all enjoy it, shall we?

 

Hey folks, so now that I’m done telling you MY new year’s resolutions for you, what are your resolutions for you? Or, hey, maybe you have some resolutions for ME? Let me hear ’em!

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I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On January 1, 2015 at 5:07 pm Emiko said:

    So I don’t normally make resolutions, but I love these. For number one, I’m starting to learn I love doing things by myself (especially versus dragging someone along). I can totally geek out on what I want to do and if I get lonely, I can always make up an imaginary companion:) And thank you for writing #2. Something I’ve struggled with my whole life and what you write is spot on. Happy New Year!
    Emiko recently posted..Searching for Keanu Reeves in Medieval Italy

    • On January 2, 2015 at 11:38 am Sally said:

      So glad you enjoyed the list. And I hear you about being able to geek out when you do stuff on your own. My favorite thing to do when I do stuff on my own is take a MILLION, BILLION photos. If I do stuff with other people I’m kind of self conscious about the fact that I need to take 10 photos of everything from 10 different angles because you never know what’s going to turn out best, but when I’m on my own I can take all the photos I want and not have anyone be like, “Umm, are you done taking the photo of that flower that you’ve already taken FIVE HUNDRED photos of?”

  2. On January 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm Priya said:

    You Lovely Cat Lover You. Did you write this for me? You did, didn’t you?

    Here are my responses:

    1. Do that-thing-you-really-want-to-do-but-you-can’t-find-anyone-to-do-it-with by yourself.

    Done

    2. Stop bad-mouthing your body.

    It’s hard not to. But you know what’s even harder? Not punching the faces of all the people who are bad-mouthing Mariah Carey’s body. She had twins for goodness sake, and she looks AMAZING now, and is this how you speak of the woman who gave you “All I Want For Christmas Is You?” Well, is it?

    3. Learn how to cook. Or stop pretending like you don’t know how to cook.

    OK, you REALLY wrote this for me.

    4. Start that blog already.

    I was one of those people, wasn’t I?

    5. Be where you are right now.

    I’m kind of having trouble living in the now. For the past few months I’ve been thinking, where should I go next? Instead of enjoying where I am at the moment. So, yes, I’ll work on it 🙂
    Priya recently posted..My One Goal In 2015

    • On January 2, 2015 at 11:36 am Sally said:

      Actually, I think you had started your blog before you first contacted me. I remember you emailing me with a link to it. So, no #4 totally does not apply to you. But, yes, #3 totally does. 🙂

      • On January 2, 2015 at 7:03 pm Priya said:

        Not to sound stalker-ish or anything…. but I still have our very first email convo!

        And you said, on 8/20/11 “I would definitely suggest starting up a blog as a means to kick start your writing. (And because I REALLY want to read about your experience of working in a barn! THAT, my friend, sounds like a blog-worthy story.)”

        🙂
        Priya recently posted..My One Goal In 2015

  3. On January 1, 2015 at 8:41 pm deb d said:

    sally, how appropriate that the unbrave girl would write this particular list for her readers. perfect.thanks. deb

  4. On January 2, 2015 at 1:33 am zoe said:

    Love these, especially #5 which is something I’m particularly bad at doing myself 🙂
    zoe recently posted..12 100% fun, 100% self-improvement-free things to do in 2015

  5. On January 2, 2015 at 2:01 am Joanne said:

    1-usually referred to as shh…(sex.) Joking! (Don’t tell my husband.)

    My annual list includes losing weight and I really must buckle down this time.

    My last year’s list had about 20 things on it-for me, for the house, what I wanted to see/do/enroll in. But other things happened and took up my time. So I cut this year’s list down to diet, exercise. And the rest will happen if I have time. I go to many things on my own already, I can cook and bake, and can do a little bit of craft work and home repairs.

    One thing I am doing-using my teacups for a.m. tea and not mugs-feels so elegant; bought a second china cabinet (one in dining room, one in living room) that allowed me to get out all my fine things and display/store (instead of in the basement) and use! Feels very elegant.

  6. On January 2, 2015 at 6:01 am Heather said:

    I’m woefully behind in my reading and commenting, but just had to stop by to wish you a happy new year! I resolve to be a better blogging friend in the future 🙂 I also resolve to establish myself as a Baltic blogging expert, which will entail lots exploring of said Baltics by myself. Not everyone wants to hike through a frozen bog, it seems 🙂
    Heather recently posted..Top Ferreting Experiences of 2014

  7. On January 2, 2015 at 10:23 am Christy@SweetandSavoring said:

    I like the “OMIGOD-NOW-IS-PRETTY-AWESOME” part the best. I’m hoping to have more of that soon, dammit. And yes, thank you for talking about going out and doing stuff on your own! I’m sure you’ve inspired a lot of people, women in particular, to let go of that need for a buddy for dinner or the movies or a trip. Things get so much easier when you realize that you don’t need someone else to have a good time.

    • On January 2, 2015 at 11:32 am Sally said:

      I really hope I have inspired people to go out and do stuff by themselves. If there’s one thing I could change about the world, it would be that — stopping people from being afraid of doing stuff on their own. And, umm, curing world hunger, of course.

  8. On January 2, 2015 at 11:10 am Erik said:

    Happy New Year! All great suggestions. I do a ton of stuff by myself, always have, and I meet people everyday who tell me they can’t do something because no one will go with them. When they finally do, most people tell me how liberating it is to get over that fear.

    Badmouthing my body- that’s completely fair to do on my part because I haven’t done much to change it. If I do and I figure out that I might just always be a little overweight (as opposed to a lot overweight like now), then maybe I’ll stop 🙂
    Erik recently posted..Europe 2013- Germany- Days 10 & 11- Rhineland

    • On January 2, 2015 at 11:28 am Sally said:

      Okay, I get it that you feel that you “deserve” to bad-mouth your body because you aren’t doing anything to change it, but here’s the thing: it doesn’t help. In fact, in my experience, it tends to hurt any efforts I might make to exercise or eat healthy. When I’m having a “my body sucks” day, those are the days that I just want to sit on the couch and eat a barrel of ice cream because I might as well, what’s the point, my body sucks already, right? But on the days when I’m feeling happy and confident with my body, those are the days that I want to go take a long walk or make something really healthy and fabulous to eat. And since I stopped bashing my body out loud, I’ve noticed I have a lot more of the happy body days than I used to.

  9. On January 2, 2015 at 11:16 am Laura said:

    Love these! I especially like the first and last ones… I have such a hard time not worrying about the future. Even if it’s just what I’m going to have for dinner or figuring out weekend plans. I’ve been able to do more stuff alone in the last few years and it can be really great. Happy New Year!
    Laura recently posted..2014 Year in Review

    • On January 2, 2015 at 11:19 am Sally said:

      Laura, So glad you enjoyed them! And I hear you about worrying about dinner. There are days that I worry about dinner and I haven’t even had breakfast yet. Gah! I need to stop that.

  10. On January 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm Andrea Anastasiou said:

    Fab resolutions! I couldn’t agree with you more on number 2! I used to be guilty of it, but stopped doing it a few years ago now and I couldn’t be happier!

    Happy New Year 🙂
    Andrea Anastasiou recently posted..Top 10 Travel Shots From 2014

    • On January 5, 2015 at 11:06 am Sally said:

      It’s funny how when you stop saying the stuff out loud, you stop thinking it so much, right? I just wish I had started a lot earlier. I wasted so much time and energy on hating my body. And I look back at pictures of myself some 10 years ago and I think, “Gah! I looked great. Why was I always harping on about my thighs!”

  11. On January 3, 2015 at 6:28 pm becky hutner said:

    i’m a fan of all your posts but this is my favorite in a long time. i could dribble on about how each resolution speaks to me but i’ll just chime in on the last one…like you, i am so very future-oriented, always focused on the next fun trip/restaurant/party at the expense of the present moment. there are raised expectations & also a detachment that comes with that sort of thinking…and i wonder why i’m so often dissatisfied! once in awhile i do stop and acknowledge where i am in space & time & those times are some of my most gratifying. thanks for reminding me i need more of those in 2015 (perhaps with the help of daily meditation which has been on my resolutions list for far too long!).
    becky hutner recently posted..I N S T A W O R L D: Holiday Edition

    • On January 5, 2015 at 11:01 am Sally said:

      Let me know how the meditation works for you. I’ve always thought I should try it. But it sounds so HARD. I mean, emptying my head of thoughts and not worrying about a million things at once? Gah! That’s like the worst kind of impossible for me!

  12. On January 4, 2015 at 10:33 am Elizabeth said:

    Great post, these resolutions are fabulous!
    Elizabeth recently posted..The Blessings of Age 4

  13. On January 5, 2015 at 3:27 am Leslie in Oregon said:

    Congratulations on your new position. I well remember what a momentous step it was for me to go from a determinedly transient mind-set to committing to live in, and and become part of, a community for more than a sojourn. It turned out to be a very right decision for me, as I trust it will for you. Well done and best wishes!!

    • On January 5, 2015 at 10:59 am Sally said:

      I really hope it is the right decision — it certainly feels right at the moment. I keep on reading these blog posts by the “digital nomad” types talking about their travel plans for 2015 and I keep on expecting to feel jealous. And there definitely was a point in my life when I would have felt jealous. But, honestly, right now I don’t. I’m feeling really happy with my decision and excited to feel more connected with my community — which is something I’ve really missed out on the last few years while I was being itinerant.

  14. On January 5, 2015 at 9:01 am Laura said:

    Love this! I needed someone to make some resolutions for me – I certainly wasn’t getting around to making them for myself! I will definitely be working on being where I am right now.
    Laura recently posted..The Best of Sydney: New Year’s Eve

  15. On January 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm Micamyx|Senyorita said:

    Love this list! I can relate especially with #5. I got a job that requires me to stay in one place, but since my boss cares more about my output than my attendance, she allows me to take trips from time to time.

    I should learn how to cook though. Happy New Year!
    Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..My Travel Buddies: Meet Brenna Bustamante of PhilippineTravelogue.com

  16. On January 6, 2015 at 12:14 pm Sara @ The Let's Go Ladies said:

    Considering that my only resolution this year is to learn how to skateboard, this post it handy! (And considering that I screwed up dinner last night, it’s also timely…)
    Sara @ The Let’s Go Ladies recently posted..The Art of Disconnecting When You Travel

    • On January 7, 2015 at 11:38 am Sally said:

      Skateboard? Wow. I’m impressed. I had to long ago promise to never take up sports that involve my separating myself from the earth with a slippery surface (i.e. skis, snowboards, ice skates, rollerblades, skateboards, etc.) So I’m impressed by anyone who can do this… or can even try!

  17. On January 7, 2015 at 12:36 am Kaori said:

    OMIGOD-THIS-LIST-IS-AWESOME!!! I love it, thank you for being so unselfish 😉

    Happy New Years from Japan!
    Kaori recently posted..The January Link Love

    • On January 7, 2015 at 11:35 am Sally said:

      You’re welcome. And akemashite omedetou to you! (Okay, I totally had to Google search that because I can’t remember any of my Japanese. I hope that was right!).

  18. On January 9, 2015 at 12:21 am Sally Munt said:

    I love this ! Number two especially. It has taken me 30 years also… I panicked about turning 30 but it was the greatest ting to happen. 30s is where it is at !
    Sally Munt recently posted..10 common backpacker problems

  19. On January 26, 2015 at 2:14 am Anita said:

    I love this list! #5 is what I’m going to need to focus on – always planning my next big move and forgetting to enjoy the here and now. No NY resolutions for me this year, just focus on doing the things that I enjoy doing!
    Anita recently posted..BREAKFAST AT AUTOLYSE BAKERY BRADDON

  20. On January 29, 2015 at 5:22 pm Vasi said:

    I can checkmarked #4 ( although the blog is heeeh still lacks the content, it kinda stays in drafts) and 3 and 2 and 1 …so now I have to focus only on #5. And I feel I want to, but I just arranged my next move …and the fact that I worry worries me.

    But hey, I have to introduce myself. Hi Sally, I am Vasi and I have been reading your blog for a long time, but never seemed to find the courage to say things 🙂 now I do and ding it feels good!

    Cheers!

  21. On March 4, 2015 at 12:43 am Ceri said:

    Thank you for the NY resolutions, Sally. I’ve already got the first 4 down but am definitely trying to work on the 5th for this year. 🙂 Happy Belated New Year.
    Ceri recently posted..My Five Favourite Things in February

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