Happy New Year Crew! I hope you had a raging time ringing in 2019! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I spent the holidays visiting family in the US until the 31st. Which means in the jetlag vs Kate battle, jetlag was coming out on top on New Year’s Eve. So, Robin and I decided to forgo a party for an “intimate” celebration in Paris. Intimate is the chosen word I like to use to feel less guilty about staying in together doing a whole lotta nothin’. We drank 5-dollar wine out Tervis cups. We shared a kebab from our favorite Algerian bakery around the corner. I got sucked into the black hole that is “recommended videos” on YouTube for 2 hours, while Robin started playing Assassins Creed: Odyssey. Safe to say the 100 hours of game time needed to finish Odyssey means that I won’t have a husband for the next 6 weeks. :0 But no matter which way you celebrated the New Year, trading saliva with random clubbers, dining with friends, or sleeping through the unwanted noise, a new year has announced itself whether or not you want it.
I think everyone approaches a New Year & New Year’s resolutions in a different way. Some people like to ignore it completely, often pretending there is nothing they want to work on because the thought of actually working on something is already too big a task to ponder. While others unabashedly throw themselves into the “exhilarating” task of creating lists and lists of resolutions vowing that this year, is finally the year for change.
I’m personally a goal setter by nature. I get a sweet satisfaction out of creating daily to-do lists and crossing each sucker task off as I go along. When I set my mind to do something and I really want to succeed, I get a nagging feeling that follows me throughout the day and makes it hard to sleep at night until I’ve followed through. Plus, I think there are oodles of things I could tweak or improve about myself. For starters, I’ve got the patience of a mosquito (apparently, these are the least patient animals on earth), I guzzle coke zero, I’m addicted to my telephone, but constantly forget to message people back and I’m 10 minutes late to everything I do.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not bashing myself. I’m a confident woman and I fully embrace the amazingness I possess, but I’m far from blind to my many imperfections and the endless possibilities I have to grow and improve. So, you’d probably guess with my need to set goals and my strong belief on self-improvement, I’d be the perfect candidate for diving head first into the “exhilarating” task of creating New Year’s resolutions.
If you guessed right, than you deserve a fat, gooey, chocolate chip cookie for being so dang on point. I love New Year’s resolutions and I set them every year without fail. But since I take goals serious AF, and since I tend to have emotional blowups that unfairly target my video game obsessed husband when I feel like I’m under too much pressure, I like to do things slightly differently than the average Resolutioner.
I start by choosing a word for the year. One word that I feel so strong about that I want to define my year by it. One year it was “courage” (learning to say no and stand up for myself) and another year it was “creative” (learning to sew, taking new language classes etc…) Once I’ve narrowed down my word for the year, I make a preliminary list of as many resolutions that come to mind. There is no minimum or maximum number, nor a more important or less important resolution. Everything I’m thinking gets written down and my only rule is that each resolution must correlate to my chosen word.
This year, I choose a pretty intimidating word if I do say so myself: COMMITTED. When I told Robin my chosen word for 2019 was committed, he raised an eyebrow and asked if there was something I was trying to tell him…. LOL. Not exactly Obi-Wan. In all seriousness, I do want to be more committed to Robin in 2019, but I’m thinking more along the lines of my time, energy and presence when we are together rather than then my fidelity 🙂
I split my word into three different compartments in my mind that I wanted to attack:
- Be more committed to slaying at corporate life.
- Commit to being 100% present when I’m with my family and friends.
- Commit to making myself a priority
Then I jotted down the different things that I thought would make these resolutions my reality if I changed.
Committed to Slaying at Corporate Life
- Give all of my energy at work, for work: it’s so easy to get distracted, waste time and take moments to do personal things at work. Then I end up staying later than necessary at the office to finish up actual work. Split yo time better! Work is for work unless it’s urgent.
- Respect normal office hours unless it’s an emergency: After a particularly rough 2018 at my job due to overcommitting, I realized that setting personal limits on what I was capable of and what I wanted to give to my career is the only way I can keep a good balance between my professional life and personal life. Work hours are set in place for a reason. Respect them unless it’s an emergency otherwise the abnormal hours will become the normal hours people expect you to put in.
- Positive Vibes: I’m the poster child of a positive American. Or at least I used to be before I moved to Cheeseland. I didn’t leave 2018 as positively as I would have liked, even for a watered down version of me. It’s the right moment to change my attitude about work and get rollin.’ You’re in charge of being the positive change you want in your life and I’m ready to see more positivity than negativity.
Committed to being 100% present with family and friends
- Keep in touch from afar: all you expats or readers living away from home know what i’m talking about. FaceTime is my new norm for communicating with most of my family and childhood friends and the time difference can make it REAL rough. But that’s not a reason to not prioritize enough the special people in my life. Voice messages, texts, WhatsApp & emails are all ways to stay in touch until I can get that 1 on 1 video time.
- Don’t put off responding: I’m an absolutely Q-Q-Queen about seeing a text message or email and thinking, I’ll respond when I’m “fill in the blank.” On the bus, at my desk, doing my nails etc… You name it, I’ve got an excuse for why I should respond later. And normally I just forget to respond all together. Snap out of it Kate. It’s so rude.
- Get out of the apartment more: Robin and I can be real homebodies during the winter. I come from the Midwest people!! Paris winter is NOTHING compared to the winters I had growing up. There is absolutely no excuse to always stay indoors, declining invitations and ordering food in. Hello to a year of restaurant atmosphere, museums, walks and afternoons out. You can’t get us down gray PAH-REE.
Committed to making myself a priority
- Reading and writing regularly: reading books and writing on my blog are single handily my most favorite way to spend my “me moments.” And it’s about time I commit to writing regularly and reading regularly rather than wasting my time watching videos of baby llamas. Slight correction: I will still watch those videos, but 10 minutes a day is a pleasure. Anything more is too much of a good thing.
- Wake up earlier every morning: I want an hour of me time in the mornings. I can spend it reading, writing, going to the gym, having a breakfast with Robin or testing out Yoga for the 50th time in my living room and still hating it. I don’t care what it is, but here’s a hard no to waking up 20 minutes before I need to leave and starting my day rushed and lookin’ a cray cray mess.
- Telephone be gone: the invention of the smartphone is life changing and I think our world is better with it. BUT, too much of anything is not a good thing, if I quote my faboosh grandma Carole. No more phones in the bedroom when we sleep (I got us an alarm clock from 1989), no more texting or instagramming during movies, dinners or moments when I should be present with Robin or friends. There is always an appropriate time for something and an inappropriate time. Stop abusing the system and use your noggin’.
I happened to write down 9 resolutions this year. Depending on which side of the resolution spectrum you fall, this could seem like a lot, or like nothing at all. For me, it’s all the small ideas behind each resolution that makes it picture perfect. There are so many minute changes that I can put in place to follow a resolution that it seems impossible not to hit at least some of my goals.
Of course, I won’t succeed every time. I’s sure to forget and perform some non-urgent personal task at work or accidentally grab my phone during a movie and need to shove it under a pillow to stop myself from scrolling. But who likes a Perfect Penny anyways? For me, resolutions aren’t about 100% success, 100% percent of the time. It’s more about making a commitment to myself, to try every day to achieve some part of my resolutions, because deep down, I know it makes me a happier camper.
How do you guys attack resolutions? Do you have a unique way for approaching the New Year? Don’t hesitate to share in the comments! I would love to try something next year if you’ve got any great ideas! 🙂
I’ll update you all on how things are going after a couple months!