2014 is almost over and I don’t know about you, but for me, 2014 was amazing, liberating, frustrating and lot of other “-ings.” Here are a few ways to wrap a giant bow around 2014 and wish it well!
Create a Playlist
I have a weird tendency to live my life through song. For at least a month in 9th grade I couldn’t listen to Daniel Bedingfield’s “If You’re Not the One” because Aaron Clay dumped me via AIM. The fact that I still remember that speaks volumes about the power of Daniel Bedingfield. God, what an underrated pop singer. Anyway, maybe 2014 was the best year of your life, or maybe it wasn’t so great. Either way, I guarantee you have a song for each memory. So develop a playlist for the year and rather than dwell on the pain of the memory, listen to the song, observe the thoughts you have without judgement, and once the song is over, let it go (no song pun intended). Alternatively, if it was a stellar year, with amazing memories, relive that joy through song and welcome the feelings you had with gratitude. Creating a playlist creates an anchor for your memories and allows you to observe and reflect objectively. So go ahead and add that Taylor Swift song you listened to on repeat for a week. Do you!
Develop a Highlight Reel
Costa Rica. Vegetarian/Vegan Challenge. Tim Howard. UVA Basketball.
Think back on 2014 and develop a highlight reel of your favorite memories, moments, and growth experiences. Maybe you finally took that vacation you always talked about or ran a marathon, or both. Chances are you have at least 1 or 2 things you accomplished or at least feel good about. I love meat, but for one month I went vegetarian (vegan on Mondays). It was hard. I got hangry like every Monday. If not for the motivational poster of Tim Howard I hung in my cubicle I’m pretty sure I would have failed miserably. In the end, however, I can say I lived a completely different lifestyle for a month and learned a lot in the process. Vegan doughnuts are delicious, vegan mac and cheese is not. There is vegan soul food, seitan is not the devil, oreo cookies are vegan, and yes, I got to eat McDonalds french fries. Developing a highlight reel of things you’re proud of or accomplished will make setting achievable goals in 2015 seem like a piece of cake…not the vegan kind.
Drop Your Resolutions Before Writing Them
I hate new years resolutions. They’re not fun. The word resolution sounds too much like revolution which is a lot of hard, painful work. If I wrote “I want to be on time for work everyday” I’m pretty sure my co-workers would say “pssshhhh, yea, ok” and they’d be right. It’d pretty much be like having Ambien as an alarm clock. Wrong prescription for the problem. It’s not that I love being late for work. Feeling motivated to wake up when sleep is so lovely, is the real problem. So instead of resolving to being on time for work everyday, I’m looking to create a morning routine that includes doing things I love and only allowing myself to do those things in the morning. The result may or may not be being on time for work. But ultimately it corrects the underlying problem of overvaluing sleep by attaching value to an awesome morning routine. Maybe you want to lose weight? Throw that crappy resolution in the trash can and rewrite it. Try making it a goal to take a pole dancing class or to write a healthy recipe book instead. Not only are those great happy hour conversations, they’re also far more positive and motivating. Frame 2015 in gains, not losses. In the words of Kid President, be more awesome!
Treat Yourself With Compassion
Stop focusing on all of the things you wish you did or didn’t do this year. You’re being way too hard on yourself. You’re lovable, beautiful, fun, and probably a lot better at life than you think. Measure your life in moments. Express gratitude for the things you have, the people you’ve met, and the hopes, dreams, and goals you have for yourself. The fact that you still have dreams is half the battle. Develop a positive self-image and believe in yourself and others. At the end of the day, we’re all just little dots in this giant universe and the very fact that we’re human beings and not slugs or bed bugs (I mean could you imagine being a fuckin’ bed bug) is an amazing feat in and of itself. You are not your thoughts. Always remember that.
Create Your Vision
I know I’ve said this before, but create a vision board. Not just for 2015, but for the rest of your life. Years are arbitrary. Dream bigger than a year. Dream for the rest of your life. When you look at your life through a bigger lense, you’ll notice how many more awesome things you have to look forward to!