I didn’t make any “physical” new years resolutions this year (exercise more, stop eating sweets, read this many books, do this every day, etc). I’ve learned that when I make those types of resolutions, they last a month, if I’m lucky, and then the rest of the year is a free for all.

Instead, I made some mental resolutions. I read an article a few weeks ago that said while physical resolutions rarely stick, mental ones do. It got me thinking, how will I change my actions if I haven’t changed my heart and mind? It’s a mental shift that’s going to influence my actions, and so those are the types of resolutions I’m focusing on instead. Things like, focus on what I’m grateful for, be okay with not pleasing people, learn to say no, set boundaries, have more confidence, have more empathy, be intentional. Little goals inside of myself that I think, with time and practice, will start to feel more natural to me and then will influence my actual actions. There’s no way in hell I’m going to lose baby weight and work out every morning until I actually believe I am worth it, I am important and that I am happy with any “flaws” on my body because it gave me my daughter. The mental shift will be what inspires me to create the physical goal, because it will be something I want to do and truly believe in, not something I feel obligated to achieve.

A big one for me is to stop being a people pleaser. I’ve been trying to figure out where this desire to please people (thus jeopardizing myself) comes from. Where did it start? Why and when did I start only finding value in myself by pleasing people? I’ve written about this before, but I think being a ballet dancer partly caused this. When you stare at yourself in the mirror 15 to 20 hours a week for half of your life, seeing exactly how you look and move and are presenting yourself to others in order to please them, it affects you. When you’re taught to have a “stage face” and sell a certain mood and act to an audience, you start doing things for them and not for you . I was taught how to perform and I’ve seen myself perform in more areas than just through dance.

Maybe it’s being a woman. I know it’s partly from being a woman, but focusing on any wrong done to me is useless, so I don’t dwell on it. Instead, I’ve worked on standing up to any sexism I encounter. It’s much more empowering.

Maybe it’s from being a pastor’s kid and having an entire congregation judge my actions (and my family’s actions) but not their own actions. I think we all do this, though, myself included.

Truthfully, I’m less concerned about the why’s. I don’t believe I am a victim and we all have things that happen to us that bring positive or negative energy into our life. It’s what we do with that energy that is important.

And besides, maybe it’s that I simply love people. I love connection. I love relationships. I want people to be happy and I want to help make them happy. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as I’m caring for my own happiness, too.

You know what they say on an airplane about putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting others with their oxygen mask?

I guess this is what I’m doing. Learning to care and stand up for myself, first, so that I can then help those around me care and stand up for themselves.

I’ve prayed over and over and over for my daughter to be confident, to always stand up for herself, to not care about pleasing people or what they think about her, to say no and not feel the need to justify herself. And then I realized, I’m praying these things over her because they’re things I struggle with myself. How will I ever teach her these things if I don’t first practice them?

And so that is what I’m doing instead.


I have to admit that the first thing I thought when I woke up this morning was, I am so glad I didn’t make any new years resolutions, you know, the daily kind, which would summon me out the wonderful sleep I was having and possibly awaken the hangover I felt looming over my body despite only having half a homemade drink last night but oh no, it’s not a hangover, it’s just called staying up two hours past my regular bed time which causes me to feel like death the following day, also known as, aging, and yet, I'm still young. I rolled over and closed my eyes again, knowing I could fall back asleep, guilt free(!), not having broken the first day of any resolution.

But when I rolled over closer to where my husband should have been sleeping (ah! I love calling him my husband!), he wasn’t there, and instead, I heard him working tediously at the kitchen table on his own new years resolution. Inspired, or maybe it was the two dogs jumping on top of me to WAKE UP, I got out of bed, made some tea, and here I am now, writing.

Writing every day, this has been my new years resolution for the past several years and it goes like this: January, strong, February, twice, March, non-existent, the rest of the year, a few more times, and I’ve tried every kind of motivator or action plan there is. I’ve tried different times of the day, different computer apps, phone apps, the old fashion pen and paper. It simply never happens. And so this morning when I opened my eyes, I felt such a sense of relief knowing I wouldn’t fail this year, or even that very day, for I hadn't made any new years resolutions.

And here I am writing. Day 1

I think I’ve grown tired of trying to become a new person each and every year. Some years are better than others. Some years I accomplish the majority of my new years goals (having only set three) and other years I don’t accomplish any of them (whether having set one goal or ten). But yesterday when I was reflecting on 2015, and how it most definitely has been filed as the best year of my life–this best year being the year I got married, the year I graduated from my degree, the year I moved to Seattle, and more–I realized that I didn’t want to become a new person tomorrow because today (being yesterday) is part of the best year of my life and I don’t want to file it away and forget about it. I want it to continue. I don’t want to think that I was married last year in 2015 when really it was only two weeks ago. I only want to continue doing life how it’s been flowing each day, with magical twists and frustrating turns, the best highs and the worst lows, the ups and downs and spinning around, the all-of-its. I want all of it.

There’s this wonderful book I read many years ago called Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It and ever since merely glancing at this book title I’ve been determined to live my life that way. Not in a way where I think I am entitled to whatever I want, but rather in a way where I want to work so hard that it’s possible for me to accomplish this dream and this dream too, no matter how far apart or complex they are from one another. I want both ways, all of it, thegoodthebadtheinbetweens. 

That’s what I want for this next year. To simply keep going, keep dreaming, pursuing, working, fighting, imagining, creating, doing, giving, loving, being, feeling, breathing. I want to be the best version I can possibly be of myself and be the best person I can be for those around me not because it’s the new year but because I have, too, this is the only life I have and ever will live. 

And so, as I write these words and soon close my laptop, as I take my cup of tea back to the kitchen, stopping to kiss my husband (eee!, my husband!), put on socks, do the dishes, take a shower, run some errands, make lunch and so on and so on and so on, I want to do each of these things wholly, and to the best of my ability, because this day, this very moment, is all I have. Whether January 1st or May 28th or December 20th or whatever day it is, it is the only right now I have and may ever have. I want that moment, this moment, to be whole, no matter how complex it is, because it is wholly real, wholly happening, and wholly time. The time is right now.