I like to think that my past New Year’s resolutions were easy goals for myself, but I have never been able to keep a single one. My typical resolution is something along the lines of “start making my bed in the mornings” or “start being organized and stop keeping old movie tickets in your wallet” or “cut back on the buffalo wings, you lazy cow.” But deep down I know that it is not in my DNA to do any of those things.
I desperately want to be that girl who eats salads, has a clean room and a cute planner from J.Crew or the nice part of Staples or something, but I really can’t be that person. I have nothing against girls who are actually like that, but I cannot pass up a good root beer float and since I am usually busy, I rush out in the morning with only time to make coffee and put my contacts in. On a good day, I’ll have time to fix my hair. So New Year’s resolutions have never quite stuck with me.
When I was younger, I had a huge girl crush on Anne Hathaway (I still do). I remember in an interview, she said her New Year’s resolution was to “find her inner rock star and liberate her”. I remember this because I cut that quote out of Teen Vogue and put it under the clear cover in the front of my school binder. I didn’t know what that resolution meant exactly and I had no intention of becoming a liberated rock star, but I thought it was fun and for some reason, I also thought displaying the quote in my binder was an unbelievably cool thing to do.
I don’t think Anne Hathaway meant for that quote to stick with me years later, but it did and I have thought about it about it every New Year’s Eve since. I realized that New Year’s resolutions aren’t meant to be things like “eat more salad” or “finally tone my arms”; resolutions should be more along the lines of finding your inner rock star and being confident with who you are. We need resolutions that are less about changing ourselves and more about being comfortable with ourselves. My mom once read, “no amount of self improvement makes up for self acceptance” and I think that is an incredibly important thing to realize.
With that in mind, here is a short list of some resolutions that I would encourage, none of which require you to change yourself:
- Smile more – You know that incredibly worn out phrase about how it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile? This may be the only time you are encouraged to do less work. Warning: you may attract a weird creepy guy. I know I always somehow manage to do this on the Staten Island Ferry, but what’s so bad about one awkward conversation?
- Do something that scares you - It’s really important to do something you may be afraid of. I do not condone doing anything potentially dangerous but I do suggest doing something you have been too nervous to try. You may find something you really love to do.
- Work together – I like to think that if I surround myself with people who I admire and like, then I might become more like them. Amy Poehler (I have a huge girl crush on her too) said it best in her Harvard commencement speech that other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Be open to the suggestions of others, you may learn some really valuable things.
- Make it more positive – Amy Poehler also said that she started to replace the word nervous with excited. Saying “I’m nervous” sounds negative but saying “I’m excited” is way less frightening. (You can do this while you are doing something that scares you!)
- Find your inner rock star and liberate her - I do not mean start doing drugs in a bathroom or die in your late twenties. Rock stars do more than that. It’s about being confident in yourself and working hard to achieve your goals. Everyone has a rock star to liberate and stars aren’t born overnight.
Happy New Year!