Every December new year’s eve catches me totally off guard. After the heyday of the Christmas holiday, I barely feel as though I have my life put back together before December 31st rolls around. This year in particular I decided to take the time to make a few resolutions for the upcoming year. I have to say that with all honestly 2013 was one of the best years of my life. I moved to a new city, met wonderful friends, was exposed to different cultures and backgrounds, and met the love of my life. I truly believe that a lot of those things happened because I made a conscious effort to be positive, open to new opportunities and aware of how I was spending my time. Before I start making goals for the next year I wanted to take a moment and reflect on everything I had made an effort to improve on over the last 12 months and the good that came of it.
- Cut out cable. I cut off my cable connection last year mainly due to financial reasons. I figured I was in a new city and paying an exorbitant amount in rent to live in the downtown area – I should take advantage of that and not sit around watching TV! The truth is that I haven’t even really missed it. I still watch a few of my shows online on the network websites (I love Grey’s Anatomy even though it is absolutely awful at this point) but really the time that I used to spend wasting away watching bad TV has been put to better use going out with friends, walking around my new neighborhood and organizing my home.
- Find a workout routine. I am not one of those people who loves working out. I hate running more than anything and I often leave the weight room feeling more tired than when I arrived. But I’ve made an effort to incorporate working out into my weekly routine. I’m finally at the point where consistently for the past year I work out 3-4 times a week. And you know what? I haven’t lost a large amount of weight. My body hasn’t changed drastically. I’ve maybe dropped a size or two and a few inches. But in general I feel better, I’m happier with my body, and I have more energy in the evenings.
- Make an effort to be positive. At first this goal felt very forced. Mindfully ticking off the items I was grateful for each day, taking a deep breath when frustrated instead of getting worked up, and smiling when I was really annoyed. All of these things felt extremely fake. But the age old adage is true – fake it until you make it. After months and months of purposely being positive, I’ve started to notice that I’m now a happier person without trying as hard. There are days of course that I still need to make a conscious effort to think happy thoughts. And trust me I still a bit of a cynic when the moment is right. But those forced actions of thinking about the positive trickled their way into my subconscious and I’m in general more content each day.
- Don’t settle for anything less than magic. This year I dated and was open to meeting new people, but I had a major realization in that I deserved to be extremely happy with my partner, and that it couldn’t be forced. For years I forced myself to go on countless dates and give my relationships a chance, even when in my heart and mind I knew it wasn’t right. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t date and keep an open mind. I still strongly believe you have to give someone a chance (i.e. at least a handful of dates) before counting them out. But in the past year I cut out a relationship that I knew deep down wasn’t a good fit, I ended my interactions with another guy who liked me but couldn’t get his act together to ask me out, and I quickly ended things with a few men that after 2 or 3 dates I knew weren’t the one. There is a fine balance between not forcing it and staying open to new opportunities. I got my ultimate reward when I asked a coworker to set me up on a blind date and ultimately met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. It could have gone either way (in fact I had 2 other blind dates this year that were total duds) but I’m so thankful I stayed open to that possibility.