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A New Year, A New Outlook

December 31, 2013, 10:30 PM

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By: Erin

 

 

Every year I, along with most of the population, make certain goals or “resolutions” for the new year that I always tell myself “I’m definitely going to do these things this year -no excuses- this is the year I’m sticking to my word!” But again, much like the rest of the population, it lasts for a little while then I start to slack off.

 

In 2012 I made my resolution to simply not make any resolutions. Let me explain. I decided to simply live my life day to day by doing the things that make me happy and not put these added pressures on myself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to set goals for yourself and I do, but I make small, personal and attainable goals.

 

Since I made this non-resolution resolution for myself, I like to start by reflecting back on the previous year and see where my weak points were or where I had struggles and how I dealt with my hardships and one of my goals for the new year can be to look for different ways to handle future hardships etc. Life is all about learning to grow and overcome so I think this is a great place to start.

 

Another big thing is when I allow myself to live my life without the added pressure of “oh I have to go to the gym for at least an hour today” or “I have to prepare all my meals for the following week.” I can just go day by day or a few days at a time. I set goals according to what’s going on in my life and my surroundings at that point in time and what my schedule allows me to do.

 

If you’re someone like me who works non-stop and has very little free time it is very hard to get things done. I guess you could say I am a bit of a workaholic. I have looked back and made one of my realistic goals for this year, at least for the next few months, is to have at least one full day off every two weeks to allow me to spend time with family and friends. Come spring I hope to broaden that goal and have one day off each week. Baby steps.

 

I am very proud of myself for this next one because after 29 years I have finally mastered the art of balancing my checkbook. I downloaded a simple app on my phone and I got into the habit of each time I make a transaction or write a check I immediately put it into my phone’s app. At the end of each week I call my bank and make sure all my transactions match theirs and then I add it into my actual checkbook. Pat on the back for me on that one. My dad would be proud.

 

My huge problem used to be making too many plans with too many people or trying to plan trips that I had every intention on making but then something would come up at work or the real world would get in the way and unfortunately I would have to cancel leaving many people disappointed in me. I’ve decided to handle these situations the same as I do others and not commit to plans in general unless I know 10000% I will be able to commit. Otherwise, expect true Sagittarius fashion of spontaneous trips, gatherings, etc.

 

As someone who has suffered a lot of loss, maybe too much for someone of my age, even though my schedule may not allow me to psychically see my friends or family as much as I would like to at the moment, I make it a point to send handwritten letters, texts, or calls as much as possible to the ones I love to catch up or say a simple “I love you.” or “I miss you.” or “Thinking of you.” We never know what tomorrow will bring so it’s important to not let hectic schedules get in the way of letting people know you care.

 

I have always been one to help others in any way I possibly can. I do it on a daily basis, weekly, monthly…whatever. A lot of people make resolutions to clean out their closets and donate all their clothes and I think that’s awesome! It might be a bit overwhelming though. As someone who has done a lot of that and many times, it does get stressful. And honestly, once you start digging out those clothes, there’s no going back and then you’re left with piles of clothes everywhere saying “I’ll finish it later, I’ve done enough for today. I need to get boxes.” etc… It’s a never ending cycle. You can make it easier on yourself by helping those in need in smaller ways that help out more than you will ever know. The next time you are at a dollar store grab some basic toiletries or even a couple pairs of socks, or the next time you stay at a hotel take those little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap (you can go to the front desk and say you forgot your razor and deodorant they often have these for free for guests) and bag them up and deliver them to a local homeless shelter. Dollar stores are stepping up their game nowadays so you can find great children’s toys and books and even baby stuff like clothes, bottles, pacifiers, etc. You can donate these to woman’s shelters too.

 

Obviously each person is different. Sometimes people work better under pressure. It is a terrible feeling though when we set these resolutions for ourselves each New Years Eve and then we get down on ourselves like we are failures if we do not follow through. I have loved living my life this way each year with the “come what may” attitude and I hope that you all have a great 2014 filled with success and happiness. Please do not give up on your dreams, but throw the time limits out the window!

 

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…” -Alfred Tennyson

 

 

 

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