My Take on New Year’s Resolutions

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Happy New Year!!!! 2017 was a doozy for many, and I keep seeing that people are happy to put it behind them and are filled with hope for 2018.

Well, 2017 was an amazing year for me. It was filled with ups and down, but one thing for sure came to me in the latter half of the year: I was seeking joy, and I was serious about it. I’m not ready to talk about it yet, but I had a thing in the spring. A spring thing. And I had to stop and I had to deal. What came of it was a newfound appreciation of self-care and self-love. So, really what I’m saying is, I am choosing to look back at 2017 as being an amazing year, and although it truly was, it wasn’t without bumps along the way.

I thought I had a handle on self-care. I thought I had a pretty decent understanding of balance, in terms of time management and identity. And I did, I had a pretty good grasp on it. But I did feel a certain emptiness. And a lot of it came from the uncertainty of my future. Once I finally did leave my job (again, something I had wanted to do since I became a mom), all of a sudden my life didn’t revolve around the 180-day school year and conference days and sub plans and marking periods. All of a sudden, for the first time in my life, I looked ahead and saw a wild, untamed frontier. I felt like I just bought the entire Louisiana Purchase when I mailed in my resignation letter.

And, silly me, it indeed felt entirely different to have resigned than it did to be on leave. I didn’t want to believe that, but that truth became crystal clear to me the closer I got to stamping that letter!

So, moments of doubt and fear, lots of moments of pure ecstatic gratitude, like I had hit the lottery. Which, for me, I had! But like a lottery winner, I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do now. My identity had been music teacher/working mother, and changing identities was a bit more challenging than I thought. After some lows, I came out and I decided I was not going to lose a second. I will brag about myself for one thing: I have always felt that I was a liver of life, and I’ll be damned if I don’t suck in every single shred of joy that I can find, especially since I just won the lottery.

Enter: my path of enlightenment. Look, I totally get it, I am rolling my eyes, too, but honest to goodness, it is the best language for it. I have been on a path of enlightenment through a self-care journey, and the kicker is, not only am I benefitting, but so is everyone around me. It’s that whole analogy about how on an airplane, the emergency procedure says to secure your own oxygen mask first before helping anyone else (has any mother seen that pamphlet and thought they would ever give themselves the oxygen mask first and not their kid??!!). You can apply that to all parts of life, really. You can’t give to others if your own cup isn’t full.

Here is what I did/do to center myself. To find truer balance. To live more authentically. To beat down that voice of doubt and fear in my head. To live in joy.

I read self-help books. I do. It sounds weird, I guess? But I am admittedly a total self-help junkie. I love The Joy Plan and Loving My Actual Life and anything Rachel Macy Stafford, like Only Love Today and Hands Free Life. I’m also delving into Brene Brown and Danielle LaPorte, as of late.

I listen to great podcasts. This one is new for me, so I’m not an expert, but I have enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons and various interviews with Brene Brown and other authors I like.

I practice yoga. Everything they say about it is true. And now I don’t feel like a phony when I buy yoga pants! Although I have enjoyed your standard vinyasa type yoga, my yoga of choice is Kundalini. It is pure magic. You can read my post about my Kundalini Yoga experience here.

I follow awesome possums on social media. I follow the authors of the books I mentioned, and I surround especially my IG with positive thinkers. I have really curated my IG to be full of good stuff. Here is my blog post about my IG faves.

I started a gratitude journal. Yup, did that, too. Seems dumb. But when you really dwell on, and name, the abundance in your life, it is mind-blowing and life-changing. You begin to realize the less-obvious things to be thankful for, and you begin to take less for granted.

I meditate. There’s an app for that! I use Insight Timer a lot, you can search by topic, length, both unguided and guided (I certainly prefer guided at this stage), and there’s even talks. Headspace is very popular, too.

I practice mindfulness. I dabble a bit, every day. It’s really just awareness, and it keeps you in yourself instead of out of yourself. Here’s my post about mindfulness.

I believe that I am entitled to joy. I’ve always been okay at having good self-esteem, but now I have more intentionality to it. I think out loud to myself that I am deserving of love from myself, love from others, and living in joy. I go so far as to believe that I am entitled to joy. And, I believe in my creativity. I think my blog has helped me with that. I was inspired to start one, I let inspiration court me (very Elizabeth Gilbert-ish), and I jumped in and did it. No one gave me permission to do it, I just did it. It’s pretty empowering when you listen to inspiration and follow it.

Which leads me to what I want to give you for 2018. When you think about the new year, and you’ll inevitably think about resolutions because people are talking about it, may your intention to be to live your best life. Allow yourself to feel entitled to joy. Dwell on that, and on gratitude, and follow inspiration where it takes you.

As for my New Year’s Resolutions, here’s what I got:

  • I need to figure out what the heck I’m doing with my blog. My self-love journey has been great and all but I’m kind of all over the place here, and I want The Shortest Tallman to be too legit to quit. In a practical sense, I am determined to carve out time in the early morning (I know… so not me LOL), and write every day. So I don’t overwhelm myself, my goal is to write every day of January. I’ll reevaluate at the end of the month and go from there!
  • I want to drink enough water every day. Why is this so hard??? It should be the easiest thing ever. I’ll be using my Water Minder app to help.
  • I want to give attention to inspiration and follow it where it leads me. I’ve got a couple of hunches, but I’m not going to kiss and tell 😊😊😊
  • I’m going to keep going with my self-care journey, and maybe even kick it up a notch. In a simple sense, my intention for the year is JOY! Along with carving out time in the morning to write, I am going to indulge in the big three every morning: Gratitude, Yoga, and Meditation. If it doesn’t happen in the morning, I’ll squeeze it in somewhere. This doesn’t mean I’m eating bon bons and making myself a latte and doing a 50 minute yoga session every morning… I have 3 kids, people! I might only squeeze in a couple of poses and deep breaths, but that is still something!

As you can see, I am not partaking in the typical resolutions. My intention for the year is Joy, and I am trying to align my choices to bring me to joy as much as possible. For me, that looks like redesigning my days to include more centering activities like yoga and meditation, and carving out time to explore my creativity. By seeking joy, I’ll be seeking a more authentic me, a truer self. The bulk of my day will look exactly the same as it always has, but hopefully it will feel more fulfilling and satisfying. I’m pretty psyched. Life is so good, you know? You never know when your card is going to be pulled for something terrible, so I am intent on focusing joy. I refuse to live with anything other than maximum joy. I am entitled to it. And so are you!

What about your thoughts about the new year? How about resolutions?


photo credit: GoDaddy stock photos

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