I feel so superior this year as New Year's Eve approaches.
In past years I've mixed up my resolutions using a potent concoction of self-loathing and regret. Observe: 2012 was "Don't ever take shots again." 2011 was "Find a job." 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 was, "Lose weight. A lot of it. And stop eating so many cookies, you fatty."
I'm over that. Because let's be real, you are not going to become a better person starting with a hangover during the most depressing month of the year. Change comes gradually, and it's only through concerted effort week after week, a ton of non-fiction reading and introspection, self-love and adventure, that I've come to really like the way my life is going.
And I actually really liked 2013! I launched EcoCult. I started freelancing for other publications. I sailed around the British Virgin Islands with friends, and lazed on a Barbados beach with my family. I met my love. I ate and lived healthfully. I got better at managing my money. I made new friends. I dumped the dramatic and selfish ones. I'm sad that more of my friends left New York, but happy that I have new excuses to travel to new cities.
It's not like I don't have things to improve. I'll have things to improve until I hit 85, and then I can do whatever the hell I want. But for now, I've come up with three things I would like to see happen in 2014. (It helps that I interviewed some experts on getting your shit together--including Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project-- for Zady. Really good advice if you haven't yet picked resolutions.)
So here are my specific, actionable resolutions for this New Year's:
1. Meditate Every Day
Meditation has so many proven benefits--for yourself and those around you--that it's a no brainer. It helps with your managing a healthy weight, happiness, stress levels and more. Plus, helps you deal with people around you in a more generous and kind manner. Yet, I still find myself pushing it aside for weeks at a time. So this year, I'm going to integrate it into my morning routine so that it becomes a habit, like brushing my teeth. My goal is to sit down to meditate after every shower.
2. Go to the Farmer's Market Every Week
First of all, walking through the Union Square Farmer's market is such a pleasure. Compared to the jostling at Whole Foods, it's a peaceful, positive experience filled with friendly conversation. A moving meditation. Of course, it's also the most sustainable food choice, as all the food comes from the tri-state area, and much of it is organically grown or humanely raised. Finally, it's the healthiest choice. The produce, meat and fish is fresh and in season, unprocessed and free of pesticides. Getting most of my groceries there each week will no doubt improve my health and happiness.
3. Travel Somewhere Cool
My boyfriend just told me about what he calls a "silly" Venezuelan New Year's tradition. At midnight, he and his mom would grab an empty suitcase and run around the block yelling, "Happy New Year!" It's supposed to bring travel in the coming year. Hey, whatever works. And I have so many places on my list! Japan, Thailand, a tour of Europe, Burning Man, Detroit, San Francisco, more of South America ... so I'll be getting serious about the savings account! And buying a few carbon credits, too.
4. Raise EcoCult's Profile
EcoCult is just a baby, having launched just six months ago. But I'm a proud mama, and I have big plans for it. I want to reach and influence more readers with content that encourages a sustainable lifestyle. I want EcoCult to be a leader in the New York scene for people interested in all the eco-friendly design, food, and activities New York City has to offer. To be honest, in 2014, I want a stranger to stop me and say, "Are you from EcoCult? I love your stuff!" Yup, that would be pretty good.
There's a few ways to do this. I have a couple blogs in the pipeline ready to accept EcoCult contributions so I can spread the gospel. But I'm also happy to accept submissions from friends and readers for stories and spread the love. So if you have an idea for a story, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can't wait to read it!
What do you think of these resolutions? What are yours for 2014?