Hello friends, and Happy New Year. I write this as I sip on a banana-strawberry smoothie from a retired beer stein, nursing my numb mouth after having a wisdom tooth yanked from it. What an amazing way to start 2020. If you follow my Instagram (@the_sober_climb), you might have already seen my resolutions for this year. I want to discuss how you can make your resolutions work FOR you, instead of being an uphill climb you need to struggle through.
I used to the be the person who would roll their eyes at resolutions. They were always unoriginal, stupid, and pointless. I wouldn’t make any, or I’d give them up right away. But last year something shifted in my brain. You grow up when you want to grow up, and I was finally ready to take those steps and stop fucking around. And because I was willing to put in the hard (but attainable) work, something miraculous happened: I did everything I wanted to do in 2019. (Sure, some of those goals took a while…Despite trying a few Dry Months, it still took me 6 months to get sober in 2019. But the point is that I got there, even if it wasn’t immediate.)
So, here are my resolutions for this year:
• take a trip somewhere brand-new
• learn to lead climb
• take driving lessons
• finish writing another novel (ideally one in a different genre)
• drastically limit my sugar intake
• take the next steps in my recovery, whatever that might look like
And here are the tips and advice I can give on how to make your resolutions come true in just 365 days:
- Note that none of my goals for either this year or last say, “Get published”. That is my greatest dream, but I’m being rational and realistic about the chances of that happening. Publishing is a very long road. There are hills to get over, and stretches of boring, dusty paths to traverse. Even if my agent can sell my next novel this year, it wouldn’t be published for at least another. So if, for example, your dream is to run a marathon but you’ve never ran for longer than 2 city blocks, maybe make your 2020 goal to run a 10K or a half-marathon. Set achievable goals, but not ones that will crush you because they’re legit impossible.
Know Your Worth
- Several of my resolutions had/have to do with finally taking the things I deserve. I spent a lot of time fucking around and wasting my life with shitty jobs or shitty people who didn’t deserve me. If there’s something in your life that is causing you grief, you need to take a moment and figure out if it’s warranted or not. And by that I mean, are you getting respect from your loved ones, job, and society? If you’re not, if you’re allowing people to walk over you, or treat you poorly, or limit your growth, FIX THAT. Make your happiness a priority.
Be Prepared to Work Hard
- I think one of the reasons people give up on their resolutions is because we live in a society of instant gratification. If something takes hard work, people lose interest. They want things to be easy, simple, and immediate. But the best things in life are things you need to WORK for, so be prepared to get what you give. Last year I wanted to eat better and start seriously exercising to get in shape. It was really tough. Especially for someone with BDD. I wanted to see the results of working out right away, but it took a variety of different exercises over a period of 7 months to find what really worked for me, and to see that it was working. (Not to mention that it was sobriety that really helped me get in shape.) The harder you’re willing to work, the better your results will be.
- This might sound obvious, but your goals should ALL be positive. No backhanded compliments to yourself like, “I want to settle for someone who can deal with my crazy shit”. Your resolutions should be things that will increase the happiness and healthiness of your life. Are you happy with your body? Are you physically healthy? Then don’t make “Exercise every day” a resolution if you know it’ll make you miserable! It’s that easy. If you hate reading, don’t put “Read 40 books” on your list. Try new things, sure, but avoid things that you genuinely know you don’t like, that will not improve your life. Don’t worry about what other people are putting on their lists. This is YOUR life. Find something that will make you happy, while at the same time improving the quality of your life (and hopefully, the quality of life of the people around you).
What suggestions do you have for completing New Years Resolutions?
Make 2020 work for you this year. If I can do it, so can you.