New Year… New Me..?

What a cliche, right? The idea of the start of a new calendar year is some how signifying that I will become a whole new person. While I understand that it’s not meant to be taken so literally, I still think that phrase could feel daunting to some, and could be a recipe for failure — or at least feeling like one. As a person with a lot of ambition and high standards for herself, I can tell you that when I feel I fall short of something, I am very hard on myself. I cannot imagine that I am alone in this, and so it started making me seriously re-think these “new year, new me” resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of always striving to do better for yourself and to always work toward being a better version of yourself. However, my disagreement lies within the words “new me.” Those two little words just feel so harmful. Instead, why not just pick a couple smaller, more manageable personal projects to help guide yourself to a more realistic goal. I believe if your list is too long, your journey may be off to a very rough start, if you ever find the motivation to start. Look for the little things, change something even ever so small to help motivate you to get to those bigger goals.

As I reflect on previous years and try to dream up how 2017 might go, here are some of my personal goals for myself:

New Year… Healthier Me.
Ah, the infamous “This year I’m going to be healthy and work out and diet…” and blah blah blah. Let’s be real: we all say this to ourselves. I say it all the time — right before I get that delicious chocolate milkshake and tell myself this is my “last one, I promise.”
However, my goal isn’t necessarily about dieting, but rather taking better care of myself. Years ago I was diagnosed with scoliosis. As I’ve gotten older, I am now in constant pain every single day from muscle spasms in my back, to my neck sometimes locking up, and even severe pain in my hips because they are tilted. I know that being active, toning those muscles and working on my core is going to help manage my pain. I’ve decided to make Bettie Page Fitness the start to my plan, and I will be posting updates as I work through it!
Being honest with yourself is important. Recognizing your strengths and admitting your weaknesses to yourself is just the beginning. I will probably never give up drinking milkshakes. But, I cannot deny my physical health needs attention, and I am excited to get back into a routine workout.

New Year… More Productive Me.
This is especially a hard task because I suffer from depression and anxiety. My depression leaves me with a lack of motivation to do much, and my anxiety is constantly bouncing around listing the five-hundred-and-one-million things I need to get done. Honestly, it affects so much of my life, including my work with Perfectly Pinned Up. All of those feelings end up weighing heavily on my mind, and become a vicious cycle.
So, I am going to start listening to myself and take things easier. I am not going to put a lot of weight on my shoulders with daily tasks, wedding planning, housework, and the pressures that come with being a step-parent. I am going to set a list of priorities for myself, and easy-to-accomplish goals so that I do not feel bad at the end of my days that I did not get everything done. I know that if I can find the motivation, I can accomplish a lot, but I have to get to that point first. Baby steps.

New Year… Kinder to Myself Me.
As I mentioned before, I can be extremely hard on myself. I keep to myself a lot of times, over-analyze my words and actions, and often feel so weird and awkward (especially in social situations) because I sometimes can’t just “let go.” When I shy away from speaking to someone, let someone down, or don’t meet my own expectations for the day, I will get very upset with myself and beat myself up over it. It isn’t healthy, nor does it make me very happy, so I am going to work on this. Instead of analyzing the negatives of who I didn’t talk to or what I didn’t get done, I’ll start promoting all of the things I actually did accomplish. Even if it was one thing, I will cheer that on instead of starting the downward spiral of judgement: “I can’t believe I only did this one thing all day.”
I will also forgive myself for doing the things I enjoy instead of the things that I feel I should be doing. Creating art, be it painting, drawing, sewing or crafting, is an activity that I love to do, yet often gets put on the back burner because of laundry or some other form of domestic torture. (Really, laundry is the worst chore in the history of chores). So, let the laundry pile up and let the creating begin!

Be Positive, and Love Yourself in 2017.
I hope that 2017 has many amazing things to offer. I have high hopes and dreams, and I’ll continue to work toward them to the best of my ability. I know that everyone, certainly including myself, has little things they’d like to work on about themselves — and that’s a good thing. I hope that you find that inspiration and motivation to do those things you want to do, but I hope that you take them one step at a time and do not get caught up in torturing yourself.
Dieting and exercising can be necessary, for all sorts of reasons. But, don’t short change yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s harder than you thought. It’s absolutely okay to struggle, it’s okay if you want to take things a little at a time, you will get to where you want to be.
Being more active and setting goals for productivity or dreams to come true is a very real thing for many people. It can also be a very scary thing, and quite overwhelming. But, again, don’t get so hard on yourself that you lose sight of what you want and why you wanted it in the first place. Things will happen for you, just keep pressing on.
As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and you will not become a “new” person over night. Have patience with yourself, remember to love yourself as you pursue your resolutions, and I promise that if you have patience and love for yourself, anything you want to accomplish is possible.

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