Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Checking In On New Year's Resolutions

Today marks the 60th day since I shared my 2015 New Year's Resolutions with you all.  In my own life, I've found that there was something magically transcendent about 60 days.   If I commit myself to doing something for 2 months, whether it be picking up a healthy habit or dropping a negative one, I find that I can usually stick with it from there.  When I stopped eating meat in 2008, I promised myself I'd give my new-found vegetarianism 60 days before throwing in the towel.  To my amazement, I was pretty hooked on a meat-free lifestyle from day 1, but it wasn't until 2 months in that it felt natural (note:  I introduced fish back in to my diet in 2010 after a summer in Barcelona, so now I'm technically a pescatarian). Also, I've  always instituted the no-contact-for-60-days rule after tough breakups.  Even if I have really wanted to clear the air or talk over something with an ex, I find that once the dust settles and you give yourself some distance from the situation (i.e. 1440 hours- 60 days!) you can communicate much more authentically and without the weight of fresh emotion.

So, where's this post going, you ask?  Well I'm here to check in on my resolutions, as the post title explains- and now that I've been working on them for 60+ days, they're becoming more and more a part of who I am.

Resolution 1.)  Read a New Book Each Month

Since 2014 was pretty dismal in terms of my extracurricular reading activity, I decided to set a goal of reading as many books as possible "for fun" this year, with the minimum being 1 a month.  This month's book was Scary Close by Donald Miller, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone.  If you aren't familiar with Donald Miller, he wrote two of my other favorites, New York Times bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  I love Donald for his gut-wrenching honesty and transparency, and his ability to transpose very raw and relatable human experiences in such a beautiful way.  Because I've often struggled to identify clearly with Christianity (or any religion for that matter), I always feel so relieved to read Miller's own personal stories and struggles with his faith.

Favorite quotes from Scary Close:

 "The whole experience made me wonder if the time we spend trying to become somebody people will love isn't wasted because the most powerful, most attractive person we can be is who we already are, an ever-changing being that is becoming and will never arrive, but has opinions about what is seen along the journey." 


 “Frankl theorized a sense of meaning was existential, that it was something that passed through us not unlike the recognition of beauty or a feeling of gratitude. And he believed life could be structured in such a way people would experience meaning. 
His prescription to experience a deep sense of meaning, then, was remarkably pragmatic. He had three recommendations: 
1. Have a project to work on, some reason to get out of bed in the morning and preferably something that serves other people. 
2. Have a redemptive perspective on life’s challenges. That is, when something difficult happens, recognize the ways that difficulty also serves you. 
3. Share your life with a person or people who love you unconditionally.”

The other books I've read this year are Daring Greatly, The Empathy Exams, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, and Not That Kind of Girl with a few other shorter books sprinkled in.  I've enjoyed all of them, but especially Daring Greatly.

Resolution 2.) Workout 4 Times a Week

Ok, so admittedly, it's been closer to 3 times a week.  No one's perfect, right?!  But I feel healthy and love my Define classes, which offset my occasional Dr. Pepper.  Nothing is better than a Dr. Pepper, people.  It's also been discovered as the fountain of youth.

Resolution 3.)  Buy Less, Choose Well

I am doing very well with this resolution.  I read this book, which gave me a new perspective on cleaning out my closet and helped me let go of items I felt a connection to but hadn't worn in years.  I haven't bought any "trendy" clothes this year, which was my goal, but have invested in a few great pieces.  As you can tell from my closet below, I am almost always in a dress.  Right now I'm saving up for these flats.

Resolution 4.) Embrace solitude

I have been getting better at this, but I still need to work at it.  I'm starting to feel more comfortable spending extending periods of time alone, but it doesn't yet feel natural or relaxed.  It actually still makes me a bit nervous and a bit sad- and I don't want it to!  I think it's been conditioned in me to always be talking/texting/communicating/driving from one activity to the next, so it feels odd to be alone with my thoughts for long enough to examine them.  I've been thinking about starting a meditation practice.  Anyone out there have words of wisdom on this?

Did you have any resolutions in 2015?  If so, let me know how they're going!

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