Seek out Joy: My Resolution for Every Year

 Wow, we made it. Even as I was enjoying my first ever midnight *smooch* it didn’t feel real that 2020 was ending. What a damn year it was. 

As I have made a practice of doing for the last several years, I have been reminding myself that the turn of a page in the calendar does not a new self make, nor does it alter my circumstances. Still, this year more than ever, I know we are all dying for a fresh start. How can we honor this desire while still treating ourselves with compassion and realism? Appreciate and take advantage of the symbolism of the new start without imposing unreasonable standards on ourselves? I am one scattered, self loving, ever striving witch, and I’ve been pondering these questions for the last several years. Here’s my plan for 2021. 

  • ALWAYS say yes to water when it’s offered 
If no one else is offering, offer it to yourself. Drink water! Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t drink enough, just try for one more glass tomorrow and then thank yourself if you achieve that goal.

  • Eat food that makes my body feel good
This is different for everyone! For me personally it includes a protein rich breakfast, lots of healthy fats, fruits and veg, and not too much starchy stuff. Honestly, it’s not that the starchy stuff makes my body feel bad, but I’ve noticed that when I’m eating a lot of starches, I end up cutting way back on more nutrient rich foods and this leaves me feeling lethargic and bloated. Then I’m too tired to make a balanced dinner, so I order pizza. Commence the vicious cycle! I’ve found my best way to combat the cycle is by cooking rich, delicious, nutrient rich meals that satisfy my cravings. I’ve gained a fair amount of weight over the last 9 months, and though a lot of Instagram ads are recommending keto diets, intermittent fasting, or excessive calorie restriction, I know from years of trying it all that my key to success is being full and satisfied so that I am ready to embrace the world. I have felt my best and most fit at 170, 210, or 250 lbs... it’s not about the number, it’s about how I nourish myself at any given time. I would never suggest any type of diet/eating plan to anyone, but I heartily recommend that anyone and everyone aim for a satisfying, hearty, nutritive and balanced diet overall! I’ve been overweight my entire life, have tried every diet, and it was not until taking this approach that I found l found myself feeling truly strong and maintaining a more “doctor approved” body size. 

  • Seek out opportunities for activity and movement that are celebratory rather than punishing    
Figure out what this means to you! I personally want to perish each time I attempt an at home workout video. It makes me feel silly, weak and like a big old loser. I’m not these things! Why should I do things that make me feel that way? I am naturally lethargic, and regular exercise is challenging for me. That said, I really get my kicks from seeing the view at the top of a hill, which motivates me to go hiking! I love getting to friends houses fast, which motivates me to hop on my bike. You get it! Do what feels good to you. Get those endorphins, we need them, but find a way that feels fulfilling.

  • Take on projects that are interesting and challenging, but obtainable
I’m going to knit a sweater! I’ve never finished a sweater, so it’s a new challenge, but I’ve really upped my knitting game and I feel ready for it! 

  • Say NO to everything I don’t want to do (not including dishes — *le sigh*)
This one is big for me. I’m a yes woman, through and through. I love to help, and I really desire positive feedback. This is great and all, but often leads me to agree to things I really don’t want to do because I perceive that my assistance is NEEDED, and just end up feeling super drained by something (or several things) I didn’t really need to be involved in. I know you’ve heard this, but if you’re anything like me you might actually need to basically* tattoo it on your right arm to remind yourself constantly: You can’t really be helpful to others if you are not taking care of yourself. *I threw the basically in because okay, I don’t have this tat. But maybe I should get it? 😉
  • Practice patience in all areas of my life, from the little things (are you ready to go yet?!) to the major (will I ever have a fulfilling career and a 401k?)
Need I say more? Stop rushing! If you have 3 minutes to spare to pick up a coffee, you don’t have time. There’s no need to rush the poor barista along by being impatient. Just skip it or be kind and be late. Honestly either way is probably gonna be okay. Also, don’t book that flight yet - this pandemic is still happening (GOD I WANT TO BOOK IT THOUGH UGH). Most importantly: be patient with your SELF. Inner work takes time. Do the work and take the time and things will be okay. I gotta believe it!

  • Actively show myself love every single day - remember that I am the only person who can be fairly expected to do this for myself, and appreciate when others do it too. 
Giving and receiving love brings so much joy. Give it to yourself! Give it give it give it! Enjoy the love you receive from others, give out as much as you can, and remember, you can always get it from yourself. If you can’t remember how to love yourself, phone a friend and ask them to remind you. I recently had that experience - I was feeling really down and couldn’t think of anything I liked about myself. Couldn’t stop with the negative self talk. I created a group chat with several close confidantes, told them how I was feeling, and asked them to just give me some positive feedback. Holy cow did this help me! Remember there is nothing wrong with asking for the love that you need. I recommend asking several people, assuming that some of them may be out of spoons and not available for me. If you don’t hear back from someone, reach out again later to check in on them. Keep the circle of love going!

I want every year of my life to be the best year ever - this one is no exception. I think every year can be better than the last in some ways, because I’m always growing and changing! Here’s to another year of the good stuff and here’s to using the tools you’ve collected to work through the bad stuff. 

How about you, have you got a plan for the year, or are you wingin’ it? I like to think of the above as one big New Years resolution that I make every single year: FIND THE JOY. I will be singing for it with every fiber of my being! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ 


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