I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions because in today’s society it’s a joke. New Year’s Resolutions have the reputation for being things that you’ll say you’ll do but don’t. And nowadays people go into it knowing they won’t keep them. I wish it wasn’t that way because I think we all could stand to make a few resolutions and mean it.
So these aren’t New Year’s Resolutions even though they’re resolutions, kinda, and they fall at the beginning of a new year. These are things I don’t like about myself or my life, that I want to change, and I’m choosing now to change them. Choosing to make this list now has less to do with the alignment of the new year and more to do with recently turning 30.
1. Take off my make-up every night before going to bed. My mom says your skin ages 7-10 days every night you go to sleep with make-up on. I’ve used the Mary Kay basic skin care since I was about 12 but I’ve never consistently done it right, the way they tell you to. I’m switching to the Mary Kay Timewise system and intend to follow the directions as it was intended. I’ve been doing it for a few weeks and can already tell a difference.
2. Hydrate my skin. I have dry skin and complain about it while doing nothing about it. I also have gobs of bottles of Bath & Body Works lotions sitting around the tub, the shower, the sink, under the sink, and so on. So I’m going to moisturize my legs and arms and every day.
3. Hydrate from within. I drink water. Some. But not enough. I don’t have an exact amount I’m targeting but I just want to drink more, as much more as I can. My plan is to replace some of the soft drinks I drink now with water. I’d like to say I’ll cut out soft drinks all together but I’m not there yet. I like Sprite. I especially like Sprite with Mexican. And I get headaches often enough that I need a little caffeine each day to keep the peace.
4. Floss. I want to take better care of my teeth. I’m good on brushing and even use the fancy-schmancy toothpaste that freshens, whitens, protects, with tartar control and cavity protection and fluoride. But I don’t consistently floss. So I’m gonna start.
5. Take a multi-vitamin everyday. I’ve taken vitamins off and on over the years. When I was pregnant with the boys I took my vitamin religiously because it was important enough to me. I made it a priority. Today, I forget. Between hurrying to get ready, get them up, get them ready, breakfast, lunch box, backpack, work bag, lunch, jackets, comb their hair … it’s easy for a vitamin for mom to get missed because it’s not a priority. Which is more important — packing Finn’s lunch or me taking my vitamin? In the short term, Finn’s lunch is more important. So to help me with this I’m not taking my vitamin during the morning mad dash. My vitamins are at work so I’ll take it there when I’m sitting, calmer, with a drink and something to eat.
6. Eat breakfast. Something. Anything. Well, not anything, but I need to eat something each morning to kick-off the day. I have the food at home it’s just a matter of getting it in my work bag so it’s with me in the car, at my desk, etc. where I’ll actually have time to eat it. I’m not going to kid myself and pretend I’ll sit down in the breakfast nook each morning and enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal, fresh fruit and a cup of juice. No, that’s not happening any time soon. Maybe someday. But for now I commit to eating, in the morning hours, a granola bar or dry cereal, or drinking an instant breakfast shake, to wake my body up and get it started right (or at least more right than eating nothing till lunch).
7. Recycle cans, plastics and newspapers. I’ve kinda been doing this but only the last couple months so I’m counting it as part of this. While there’s some debate about whether or not recycling actually creates more air pollution from the factories that process it, I believe in it because it keeps landfills cleaner and thus potentially the earth and water cleaner. Selfishly, recycling gallon-size milk jugs and two-liter bottles also keeps my kitchen trashcan from filling up as fast thus saving me time and trashbags too.
8. Switch to e-bills. On as many bills as possible I’m switching to paperless e-statements and in some cases automatic payments. This is twofold — one because the paper statements are a chore to manage. They sit unopened on the kitchen counter for a week, then when I open it, there’s all kind of promotions that I throw away, creating even more trash for landfills. Then it sits open on the counter for a few more days until I log it in the bill book. After the bill is paid the statement is stored in the “paid” section in the back of the bill book and some point has to be filed away in the filing cabinet. Right now, stacked on top of my filing cabinet, waiting to be filed is maybe six months worth of various credit card statements and bills. What a time waster, not to mention a major contributor to the clutter that at times seems to take over my house. The other part of this is better management of my finances — I anticipate it being easier to keep up with due dates and get bills paid on time if I manage e-statements with virtual file folders, etc. and use automatic payments.
9. Make my bed everyday. This is such a simple way to make my home look and feel cleaner. It’s on the short list of things realtors tell you to do when selling your house. And it’s such a simple act that takes hardly any time at all but has a huge return on investment.
I may, at some point, revisit these and update on how I’m doing, have any been harder than I thought, have any been easier, have I added any new ones, etc. And I challenge folks to make changes that will make you better, make life better, for yourself or the rest of us. It doesn’t have to be 9, it doesn’t have to be these 9, but certainly there’s at least one thing we could all change for the good of ourselves or those around us.