I did not make any resolutions this year. Honestly, it just feels so phony for me to do it. I know myself very well and I know that creating this new version of myself on the 1st of the year, with lofty goals and dreams of perfection, is just not realistic or honest.
I will not miraculously start doing things that I’ve never done in the past, and that I have not taken the time to create a pathway of success for.
I didn’t create a vision board, because honestly, for me, it’s just cool pictures and no action plan.
But I did say to myself that I’d like to do better with my finances this year, I’d like to not wake up super hung over after happy hours, and I’d love to stop relying so much on coffee. I decided to try out some new habits, I didn’t set any timelines or expectations, and I just decided to see if I liked these things and if they were things I wanted to continue doing.
So long as I like doing them, I will continue to do them. If I decide that they no longer serve me or that they are of no interest to me, I will stop. I am not going to pressure myself about any of it.
Here are six things I have tried in January, that have now become regular habits.
- Balance my checkbook daily: How old school can I get, right? I’ve tried various ways to track my finances over the years. I’ve used various excel spreadsheets and I’ve used a planners and paper, but I still felt like I was sort of caught off guard by some payments that came out of my account. I wanted to get back to entering purchases and bills into my bank register, and reconciling the difference with the amount in my account. For me, there is power in looking at my account in this way every single day. Every day, it got easier to go through the reconciliation process. And then it became something that I couldn’t wait to do each night. So now it’s just part of my nighttime routine, just like brushing my teeth and taking my medications.
- Not drinking alcohol: I went into this one knowing that it would not be a forever habit. Lately I have noticed that my body was not springing back after happy hour the way it had always done. I noticed I was not sleeping well on nights when I drank, and I was starting to make some bad decisions when I was drinking. Nothing super major, just maybe saying things I wouldn’t otherwise say, or being a little more rambunctious than I would prefer. So I decided to stop drinking for a while, and then make a decision about the relationship I want to have with alcohol going forward. So for now, drinking is on a pause for me. I have been leaning on mocktails, apple juice and ginger beer when I do go out, though I did have some wine this week.
- Drinking tea instead of coffee: I had already managed to scale back to decaf coffee with zero sugar creamer a few months ago. This was already a huge step for me. But for January, I gave up coffee all together. This was actually not an intentional habit, but I got sick the first week of January and drank tea during that time. Once I got better, I did not go back to coffee, and surprisingly, I’m actually ok with it. So I believe this is a habit I will stick with. My daily hot beverage will be tea, and I will have coffee occasionally when I’m in the mood for it.
- Listening to podcasts: I finally took the plunge and found some podcasts that interest me. I’ve now found intentional space in my day for podcasts. I have found a few podcasts that I absolutely love ranging from budgeting to mindfulness to true crime stories. I feel motivated to take action or inspired to think differently about something every time I listen. They really give me food for thought, or at the very least, I get some entertainment out of it.
- Taking walks: At some point in January, I realized that neighborhood walks were the perfect time to listen to podcasts. So I started really looking forward to daily walks just so I could zone out and listen to podcasts. The walks aren’t anything major–usually about 20 minutes or so, and about a mile and some change. I don’t walk super fast, and I didn’t start off with any sort of fitness expectations. I just wanted to get out of the house, get some sun on my face, and get some fresh air into my lungs. But in January, I really leaned into the activity, and I decided to challenge myself to walk 30 miles in February.
- Attending church (virtually): A local church was recommended to me, so I decided to attend virtually in January. I truly enjoy it and I take so many notes during each sermon. And I even refer back to them throughout the week. I love having practical action items and I love feeling like I am taking steps to being a better person.
Did you make any resolutions this year? How are they going for you?