My New Year's Resolutions, And How I'm Sticking to Them

The month that feels like 100 months is almost over, so it's time I take a breather to talk about New Year's Resolutions. In between travel, work projects and moving apartments, it's been a challenge to stop and have a talk with myself about what I want to get out of 2018.

But, here we are, list at hand, and if you're like me and waited until the last minute to get your sh*t together then I hope this inspires your list, too. One helpful tool I used was a New York Times piece about setting resolutions by looking at the habits you want to change and addressing the root cause.

I also decided to take a little bit of a tweaked approach -- inspired by my dear friend Chelsea Henriquez -- where I have 5 themes to address alongside 5 statements, or mantras, that I am going to incorporate into my daily life. Without further ado:

Resolutions

  1. Connected Mind: Working in media means I'm constantly glued to my phone (you're welcome for my speedy texts back!) and this year I'm making an effort to connect more with my mind over the screen. I started by creating a ritual space in my new home that's going to solely be used for disconnecting. It's a little nook with Affirmators!, healing crystals, a journal, greenery and more. All of this to feel more connected and grounded, understanding myself in ways I hadn't done so before.
  2. Family and Relationships: Last year, I spent a lot of time and energy learning to love myself fully. It was important. I had come off of a relationship that left me with significant identity and self-confidence issues, and needed to remind myself of who I was -- and who I could be. This year, I want to take all that self-love and apply it to my family and friendships. That means: I'm calling more, I'm appreciating more, and I'm finding new ways to connect with people. 
  3. Food for Life: For the last 4 years I've been struggling with issues from IBS to H. Pylori, now working through SIBO. What all this science talk has led me to realize is how much all of my chronic issues -- in the gut and beyond -- are affected by what I eat. This is the year to take charge of diet choices, learn as much as I can about nutrition, and apply it to life my best, and healthiest, life.
  4. Financial Health: I'm a millennial, I'm in that sensitive financial time of my life where I am making money and learning how to better spend and manage it. That starts with being transparent about the state of my wallet. I created this document to help guide me and take a look at all my money talk (you can download and save or copy into your own Google Sheet). Everything from how much I earn, how much I save, how much I pay, where I'm in debt, etc. The formulas and goals sections are incredibly helpful to getting a better grasp on my finances.
  5. Climate Change: If you don't believe global warming is real, this is moment to press the unfollow button. Whatever your level of belief is to the human effect on climate, I'm happy to take a listen and learn more, but I can't sit here and continue to disrespect our planet any longer. This is the year I learn more, but I'm taking the small step and cutting out plastic bags completely. That means I'm shopping with my Apolis Bag and going reusable everything when I make the grocery store trip.

Statements

  1. I am enough: This is the year to entirely stop judging myself. Progress is my new perfection, and as long as I'm giving my best that is enough. I will not wait for someone or something to validate the person I am. Because I know, and love, the person I am.
  2. I am strong: Taking this one physical and mental. I am focusing on nourishing my body with what it needs to perform and sustain my lifestyle. That means I am engaging more in physical activity, practicing a clean diet, and working my brain muscle so that I don't sweat the small stuff. 
  3. I am balanced: It's not just my diet that's staying balanced this year, it's also the way I live my life. I work hard, I play hard. I make time for me, I make time for others. I connect, I disconnect. And I am more mindful of all these things. 
  4. Trust the process: There will be ups and downs, like with any year, so as long as I trust that all things are happening for a reason (*yawn*), then all things will fall into place. This also plays into my newfound self-confidence and acknowledgement of my support system.
  5. To whom much is given, much is required: This has been a mantra of mine for a while, and I'm elevating it more and more each year. I consider myself a very fortunate person, so I know I have a duty to give back and leave things -- and people -- better than I found them. For every blessing that comes my way, I've got to send the universe something right back at it.

How to Keep Them?

  1. Write them down, literally. It wasn't until I sat down to write my list that they truly started to register. I had a visual reminder of the promise I was making to myself.
  2. Make them achievable, realistic. No one likes to be let down, including you by you. Don't make a resolution that isn't realistic and you won't be able to handle. Make it challenging if you want the thrill of that, but don't set yourself up for failure either.
  3. Find commonalities with friends. Two is better than one! And a way to make sure you're keeping these promises is to collaborate with friends who are asking similar things of themselves.
  4. Make small steps to kick them off, then try one by one. Somewhere along my college education I learned that "going cold turkey" doesn't work. It's the same for resolutions. If you ask a lot out of yourself on day one, you're likely to burn out or get discouraged and miss out on completing your promises. Make a dent on each one, and work each month to further elevate what you're doing.
  5. Find ways to keep yourself accountable. When it's you measuring you, you have to create systems to keep yourself in check. Whether that means keeping a journal, a reward system, or a "do good when you mess up system," little treats can condition you to staying on track. For example, every time I use a plastic bag (by accident, or force), I am donating $5 to the Environmental Defense Fund.

But truly, these goals, intentions, statements, tips and tricks, etc., are all to just encourage me to raise my vibration this year.

What are your New Year's Resolutions for 2018?

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Been trying hard not to get into trouble, but, I’ve got a war in my mind.

Character flaw No. 8: I am vengeful, by nature, and can hold a grudge for eons.

grudge (noun): a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury

Synonyms: spite, malice, resentment, negativity and plain stupidity

I’ve been trying this new thing called “being a better person” and I come to a roadblock every time I’m stuck thinking about ways to “get back at someone.” Maybe it’s the fact that shows like Gossip Girl and Dexter are among my top 10, maybe it’s the fact that I was raised to “stand up for myself” to the point where I’ve become extremely vengeful, or maybe it’s my screwed up notion that the universe needs to be in constant balance.

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But, lately, I’ve realized that these lingering grudges are what have been preventing me from moving forward.

For example: I’m feeling good, I’m feeling happy. I read a tweet from someone I am not fond of. I “subtweet” them back. They subtweet me back. I’m angered. I’m childish. I’ve taken a step backward.

It’s said that “holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” I couldn’t agree more! By holding on to a grudge I am poisoning my very being. I become dark, vengeful, angry and negative in every form. In reality, I make a fool out of myself in an attempt to make a fool out of someone else.

But wait, what about the benefits of holding a grudge?

Some argue that by holding a grudge you “burn your past” or prevent yourself from getting hurt once more. I mean, think about it, if you tell yourself time and time again that someone is a “horrible person,” you will consciously and subconsciously avoid all interaction with this person and potentially eliminate that pain from your life. Also, if people know you’re vengeful and great at taking things deep and to the heart, they will probably steer clear from your path.

SAY “HELLO” TO A LIFETIME OF NO MORE PAIN AND SUFFERING

No. No. That’s actually impossible.

See, I quickly started to realize that the cons of holding a grudge definitely outweighed the benefits. What if the person I was holding a grudge toward had the potential to transform into a great friend? What if people are so afraid to “cross my path” that I miss the opportunity for new experiences and friendships? What if holding a grudge is preventing me from living as an optimist? Most importantly, aside from all of those wishy-washy questions, how is holding a grudge affecting me physically?

That’s an interesting concept Mayo Clinic had a lot to say about. According to them, by “letting go” you can experience:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

Well, that explains my general anxiety disorder and desire for drink specials…

Clearly, I came to the conclusion that grudges are bad for you. But that didn’t mean I’d stop holding on to them.

I started by eliminating my social network wrongdoings. I blocked a couple of people I knew would cause my heart some trouble. The thing about grudges, too, is the fact that it came to the point where I only held them out of emotional backfire. The moment I saw someone offend me via the internet I immediately sent out some sort of comeback because of some silly frustration.

All was well until someone gave me some intense “baby momma” news.

“This girl must hate me back so she did it on purpose. Let’s make fun of her and torture her life some more.”

FREEZE.

Dear Lissette, you sound immensely crazy. Please stop.

I am so thankful for the fact that my phone was blasted with the news. This really became a turning point in my life.

“Holding a grudge is like picking up a piece of red, hot coal in your bare hand and throwing it at the person you are holding the grudge towards. There is certainly the possibility that you will hit, and hurt the other person. But in order to achieve that potential end you are definitely going to hurt yourself in the process.”

I had a choice. And I chose to let the coal burn from the pit it came from and walk over to this person empty-handed and open-hearted. I wrote to her congratulating her and acknowledging that regardless of all the pain we’ve caused each other the time had come to move forward.

How to let go, you ask?

1. Acknowledge the pain: Denying the fact that you were hurt can only make things worse. 

2. Speak to the offender: Let the person know how you feel and the process you are going through.

3. Eliminate high expectations: Learn to accept the fact that people can, and will, make mistakes.

4. Choose peaceful and productive thoughts: Think happy thoughts. Attract happy moments.

5. Let go: Move forward knowing you have made a positive impact in your life, and someone else’s.

As cliché as this sounds, life is definitely too short to let negativity hold you back from being living a healthy and happy life. All the time we spend thinking of ways to harm others that have harmed us, we can spend laughing and building bright memories with those we love and those we have yet learned to love.

And with that, I say: Cheers to a future without hate, negativity and grudges.

What are your thoughts?