Ohh myyy goodness, issa whole new decade! Happy New Year everybody! I hope everyone isn’t struggling too hard today from last night’s festivities. Full disclosure, as seen above, my plans included bubbly and Chinese food with the Hubs in fuzzy slippers and a full face beat. Chinese food has been our tradition for years. The glam even though I’m staying in? That was simply because I wanted to. More on that later…
But first, while many would view this as an opportune to share the highlights of the year and reflect on all the blessings and lessons that 2019 bestowed upon me, I do not. Frankly, I think romanticized recaps can tend to encourage the grossly toxic comparison culture that is breeding insecurity and low self-esteem in all of us, whether we realize it or not. Do I think that people intentionally share their best times to make other people feel bad? Of course not…but how many of us have looked at the plethora of 2019 “summaries” on the Instagram feeds of the friends, family, acquaintances, influencers, and celebrities we follow and immediately compared our lives, selves, and experiences to what’s displayed in those tiny squares? I’ve done it. I’m sure you have too. We all do it. But guys, its unhealthy and unproductive, and I think it’s best we leave that in the previous decade, yeah?
Which is why in 2020, I am actively choosing to “stay in my own lane,” and I kindly invite you to join me—in your own lane, of course. What does that mean exactly? It means I want to actively focus my time, energy, and resources on things that are important to me and not allow my thoughts or actions to be influenced by internal anxieties and doubts brought on by external sources. As the wise Cara Alwill Leyba says, “You will do your best work when you stop looking around and start looking within.” Essentially, I’m putting my blinders on…I am declaring that I am no longer available for the negativity, guilt, and complexes that often come hand-in-hand with these outside distractions. I’m, quite simply, going to live for me.
Alright Em, this all sounds like something I can get behind, but how do I even get into my lane?
Well, where does anything start? With a vision. This year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution, try making a New Year’s intention. What’s the difference? A resolution is, by definition, something that needs to be “resolved” or “fixed.” Let’s address how gosh darn problematic that is right off the bat. A “resolution” insinuates that there is a problem with you that needs to be fixed. Look, I’m not going to get all Kumbaya on your assess, but like, we’ve all got our shit, and these flaws, struggles, and issues don’t make us broken, they make us human. Read that as many times as you need to for it to stick, I’ll wait. While I fully embrace the idea of constant growth and transformation in the quest to operate as our best self, any notion of “fixing” yourself because there is something “wrong” with you should be cast aside immediately. Let’s plan to leave that mindset behind with the comparison B.S., sound good?
An intention, however, is “an aim or a plan.” It’s the why behind all of the choices you make. It’s been proven time and time again that the strategies and changes required for effective and sustainable transformation must be rooted in a clear purpose or motivation that will generate a positive impact. Therefore, before we can even begin to make goals—or take action in support of those goals—we need to determine our own personal objective to serve as the foundation of the new thoughts and actions we hope to manifest. Today, instead of sitting down to bang out a list of all the things you want to change, choose two or three words that are going to serve as sort your personal life mantras for the year. These words should reflect the person you want to be, the energy you want to exude, or the priorities you want to nurture. For example, if you’re looking to be more active or eat healthier, maybe one of your words is “commitment” or “discipline.” Looking to strengthen personal relationships? Maybe “love,” “patience,” or “forgiveness.” Trying to stress less or be more present? Maybe “laughter” or “perspective.” Literally, there’s no right or wrong here, just choose whatever will serve you and your journey best. These words will act as your baseline. They are always available to you. When you are feeling like your losing sight of your goals or feeling a little lost or out of control use these words to ground yourself and refocus your energy.
So, while I won’t break down my triumphs and tribulations over the course of the past year, because, honestly, it serves zero purpose, I am happy to share my vision for the coming year in case it helps you generate your own intentions. My two 2020 mantras are “joy” and “learning.” As I touched upon earlier, something I really want to focus on is choosing to do what will make me happy instead of what I think I “should” be doing. I want to make decisions based on what feels good and right, not on expectations placed on me by myself or others. I want to constantly be asking myself: does this bring me joy? If it does, I’m giving myself permission to embrace it. If it doesn’t, I’m giving myself permission to move on without guilt. One such thing I’ve really realized brings me so. much. joy? You guessed it. Learning. I want to invest more time in things that interest me, plain and simple. I want to read and listen more—and talk less. I want to expand my perspective by taking in and digesting the perspectives of others. Now that I’ve set these broad, overarching intentions, I can use them to generate targeted goals or action steps every day, week, month, whatever that will help me accomplish the vision I’ve set for myself.
Finally, as we go into the new year, I just want to take a minute to thank you all for your support on this little journey of mine. Whether you check out my Insta posts, read the blog, or just send me positive vibes with regard to this space, it’s all very much appreciated. Creating content for Meal Prepping In Heels, whether it be a blog post or picture on social media, brings me so much joy, and I’m excited to see how these platforms evolve and change along with me over the course of the next 365 days and beyond.
Now let’s all go make 2020 an amazing year. Remember, it’s only up to us.