This one’s going to be a little less dense, partly because I forgot I was even going to post this and partly because I was up until 3am sipping on champagne, eating SmartFood popcorn and dancing to Queen in the basement. A very niche New Years. I know.
I personally find it hard to look back on 2018 and not think of the shittiest moments that occurred, because let’s be honest here, it wasn’t a great time for the world. I also don’t think I thrived in my personal life. Despite all of this, I’d like to remind myself that there is room for growth and that although I don’t need a new year to do better, this is just another opportunity to be a better human.
Here are 19 things I need to do/improve this year.
Listen: I always listen but I don’t give it time to absorb without having already thought of an answer or a measly solution. Sometimes that means I forget things that other people care about. So I need to listen.
Stop thinking I’m stupid: Sometimes people will like to make you feel less than because they think it’s funny. It’s never funny. I’m not dumb, and I’ve got a track record to prove it.
Travel more: Not only do I want to see more of the world, I want to live like a local in more places around the world. I want an authentic experience over the tourist-y experience.
Understand money: If there’s one thing in the world that stresses me out more than ordering at restaurants, it’s money. I don’t understand it, I don’t understand how to invest, I don’t understand the terminology and I would like to get off the phone with my bank advisor without crying for once. I want to feel more in control of my money.
Communicate: One of my many strong suits is keeping things to myself and believing that I can deal with them on my own until I implode. It’s not cool (or healthy), so I need to communicate more.
Ask more questions: I’m a curious person by nature, but when it comes to asking for help, I sometimes hesitate because I’d rather figure things out on my own than have someone know that I needed help. If someone looks down on you for asking for help, well then they ain’t no friend. Like my dad says, “no question is a stupid question”.
Write/create more: It’s crazy to me that the one thing that fulfils me the most I do the least. Not in 2019. I want to create more.
Not be afraid of things I don’t understand: I have a tendency to avoid understanding topics that I don’t grasp easily, for example math and science. I’m sure if I took the time to understand these subjects I’d be more inclined to participated in conversations about them. Not that I want to get into the sciences as a career (for the sake of humanity, I will stick to the arts), however I would like to be less afraid to learn about it.
Wake up earlier: I was on a steady streak for a while where I would wake up at 6:30am and work on assignments until 11am. By one o’clock I was further ahead than I would have been if I started at noon, like I usually would. I need to do that again.
Forgive myself for past mistakes: I’m the master at replaying cringy, uncomfortable, humiliating and frustrating moments in my head on repeat. I don’t hold grudges on other people, but I sure can hold a mean ass grudge on myself. Sometimes I make mistakes, and that doesn’t make me a shitty human.
Make real connections: I know a lot of people but I don’t know a lot about them. I’ve noticed this a lot this year, be it personally or professionally. I want to put in more effort to keep in touch with the people I meet and allow myself to open up a bit more.
Share more: I mean this less in terms of sharing personal things, but more so sharing food, books and random things without feeling like something is being taken away from me.
Focus on “my people”: I spend so much time trying to impress people that I just don’t click with because I can’t stand the idea of people not liking me. I don’t want to be talked about behind my back, while I’m aware that people do it and hell, I do it too sometimes. Not everybody is going to like me and that’s okay. I was about to make a self-deprecating joke here, but in the spirit of the New Year, I will refrain.
Less gossip, more talking: “Spilling the tea”. If you know me, you know that I use that saying approximately every second of every day. While I’d like to think I say it more ironically than anything, it’s come to the point where I think I’m just trying to convince myself of that rather than admit that I’m just gossiping. Gossiping isn’t conversing. It’s just gossiping.
Thank people more often: I’ve caught myself several times this year having been provided something and not having thanked the person afterwards, even if it was a small gesture. I want to thank more people instead of apologizing. For example, “thanks for waiting for me” over “sorry I’m late”. More gratitude in 2019, folks!
Be more disciplined: This one is huge for me this year. I want to stick to my ideas and follow through with more plans and regiments for self-improvement. Whether that’s reading more, waking up earlier, walking instead of taking the elevator, etc. All of the small steps I could take to be healthier that I usually overlook, I want to do.
Be softer on myself: This one might seem like it contradicts the one above, but I really just mean that I want to be easier on myself for not being perfect and f*cking up sometimes (or a lot). So what I didn’t land my dream internship this year? It’s fine, what’s the rush? I focus too much on the qualities that could make a bad person over the qualities that make me a kind person. I’m 100% my worst critic.
Be less jealous: I compare myself to most people on the planet regarding all aspects of life. No more of that. It’s draining.
Be a little more proud of myself: I don’t know why it’s so difficult for me to be proud of the things I’ve done. I find it hard to accept compliments, praise and people being nice to me because I never feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything or that I deserve it. I seem to be inviting myself to too many pity parties and it’s boring. I want more dance parties with myself after I’ve done something cool. I just want to be more proud of myself.
And that’s it! I hope 2019 treats you all with kindness, excitement and opportunities to live your best life. At the same time, I hope you don’t put too much pressure on the new year. Expecting only positivity out of a new beginning can sometimes be our greatest mistake. So be excited and determined but also be aware and ready for the obstacles.
Saddle up 2019! We’re in for a yeehaw kinda year.