It’s that time of year when everyone is starting to think about New Year’s Resolutions. You know the goals you set for yourself on January 1 and abandon by March 1. The resolutions that you swear are going to make the next year better than the current year. The list that create to make you happier, skinnier, richer, more peaceful, etc.
I gave up on New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. Who says you have to start at the beginning of the year? Why can you start now to take the necessary steps to be a better version of yourself? You don’t need the marketing folks to tell you that it’s a good time to go join a gym, start a diet plan or assess your net worth. Do it now.
When you are on a plane, the flight crew tell you that in case of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask before you try to help someone else. A never truer statement has ever been made! My year-around resolutions are based on making sure that I take care of myself first. And because I tend to be a bit non-traditional, all of my resolutions are based on what I WILL NOT do:
#1 – Put anything or anyone before my physical and mental health. It’s not about trying to be a size 2, it’s about being the healthiest mother and wife I can be. I do not want another woman raising my girls or taking care of my husband just because I was too lazy to exercise and make better food choices. And honestly, from a vanity standpoint, I want to walk past my reflection and say to myself, “Girl, you look good!”
#2 – Waste my time, energy, love, affection, devotion, loyalty, support or concern on people who don’t do the same for me. If you haven’t been there for me, then kick rocks. Enough with the emotion and energy vampires.
#3 – Shed another tear over people/situations/issues that aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. You can learn a lesson from each tear but I don’t need a repeat course.
#4 – Wait for someone else to validate who I am. I mentioned to someone that I thought I might have been an anomaly for gaining clarity on a vision in my dreams. Their response was, “There are 7 billion people in this world. You are not an anomaly.” Did the words sting? At the moment it was said, yes. But anomaly is something that is unusual or unexpected. My experiences, knowledge, characteristics, personality quirks, talents and creativity cannot be duplicated by any of the 7 billion people on this earth. Ask me if their offhanded comment bug me now. Yeah, um…that would be a big fat NO.
#5 – Have kind and loving words for others, but beat myself up for being human. I exhibit an enormous amount of patience for people and their imperfections yet I tend to have zero patience with myself. Every now and then you just have to say to yourself, “It’s okay. Tomorrow is another day.”
#6 – Say “yes” when what I really mean is “Hell no, do it yourself”. I struggle with this DAILY. It’s in my nature to help and assist. However, what I’ve done is a create an expectation by those who know and love me that I will ALWAYS be there when they call or need something. I’ll say it again…I STRUGGLE WITH THIS DAILY because underneath all of the “Hell no, do it yourself” is a recovering people-pleaser addict.
#7 – Expect the same level of support in return in my times of need. My pride and unrealistic vision of me being perfect in every way keeps me from asking for help but I offer it to others freely. The level of support I give varies not on the length of the relationship but rather on the connection I have with the person in need. When giving help, you have to be prepared not to receive it when you ask for it. One of my sisters offered this analogy: If you give someone $1 everyday for four years and on a random day in the 4th year you ask for $5, the logical expectation would be that the person would give you $5…no questions asked. The reality is, not everyone is going to be the same friend to you that you are to them. I will cut people some slack the first or maybe the second time but if on the third time I come to you for help and there’s always an excuse why you can’t assist me…See #2.
#8 – Forget that I’m a work in progress or forget to thank God each and everyday for who I am. I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I once was and that’s progress. I go through bouts of Success Envy, but I’m learning to embrace the unique gifts that I alone have been chosen to give to the world. It’s okay for the spotlight to be on others. It’s not time for my gift to be shared. But while I wait, I will continue to work on me so that only the best will be presented.