Photo by Jennie McKeon
Girls Off the Record wants to inspire our readers this year.
The members of this team of female writers have different experiences, interests, goals and passions. So, we decided to share with you our 2018 resolutions in hopes that it will inspire yours.
My 2017 was a year of saying yes to new adventures and living boldly – I graduated from university and moved abroad to volunteer for 12 months with an NGO working in rights-based development.
Now in Cambodia, I’m living life with a focus on building relationships with others. However, moving to a new country on my own plus being fresh out of college, I am learning even more about my relationship with myself.
With the coming of 2018, I resolve to listen to my body more by slowing down and tuning into my needs. Losing weight or achieving a perfect physical image may be a more measurable (and common) resolution, but this year, I want to approach health from a perspective of self-respect. My Buddhist host country seems like the perfect backdrop for a year of breathing, reflection and treating my body like the temple it is.
In 2018, I will improve my connection with words. I will read novels, poems, plays, nonfiction, tweets, short stories, news stories and horror stories. I will write everyday, even if it’s short or bad or doesn’t make sense. I will expand my vocabulary.
I will use words to communicate with the important people in my life about the important things in my life. This will all be difficult. But, if there’s one thing 2017 taught me, it’s that difficult usually means worth it.
Every year, I focus on self-improvement in every facet — diet, exercise, generosity, self-care. With that being said, 2018 will be no different. I won't make any of those my New Year’s resolution, because I want them to characterize my entire life.
This year, I decided to be specific, in hopes I will stick to the plan.
Resolution No. 1: Call and text my siblings more frequently. When I come home for the holidays, I walk in the place like I’m the freaking Ghost of Christmas’ past. Next year, I want to be grounded in the present.
Resolution No. 2: Do one pull-up at the gym. Ten would be nice, but let’s be realistic here. If chants arise or Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” starts playing when I accomplish this feat, so be it.
Resolution No. 3: Read three freaking books. This past year, I read three books, and it was only because I had to write book reviews. In 2018, I want to read three books for pleasure, which I hope will inspire me to read 10 or more.
So, really it’s kind of a goal within a goal … within a goal. It’s a lot like the movie “Inception.”
My new year’s resolution is more of a series of daily reminders. It’s good for the soul to remove unwanted negativity from your life and to remember you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Remember to take risks, no matter what. And, remember that it’s okay to fail, because failure is the greatest teacher of all.
I also constantly remind myself to stop comparing myself to others. We all have our own successes and talents that make us unique, but the moment we start to compare those talents is the moment we begin to doubt our greatness and our confidence dwindles. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
We should all remind ourselves that we’re human. We fail and we make mistakes. Whatever the reason, give yourself time to grieve. Nothing good ever comes from being hard on yourself. Don’t bottle up your emotions. Embrace them instead, and learn how to love yourself through sadness to find happiness.
And my favorite reminder of all, “Just keep living.”