If you haven’t made your resolutions yet (or want to tack on a few more) you aren’t too late! One of the best things about New Year’s resolutions is that they encourage us to take command over our own lives. I certainly agree with the argument that we can choose to transform our lives any time of year, but the start of the year is motivating and I’m not against harnessing that motivation. Too often busy #GirlBosses (like you) are so overwhelmed with careers, classes, internships, and social obligations that it becomes far too easy to neglect personal growth. This year, commit to these New Year’s resolutions for personal growth.
New Year’s Resolutions for Personal Growth
1. Journal More Often:
Carving out a time a few times a week to reflect on your life, your feelings, your worries, and your dreams is proven to help you gain a broader understanding of yourself. Whether you journal your dreams, catalogue your day-to-day life, or write to alleviate stress, journaling is a resolution that is easy to stick to and offers immediate benefits.
If staring at a blank page is more daunting than motivating, a guided journal such as Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration might be helpful. If a cute notebook is all you need the Rifle Paper Co. Jardin Journal is both adorable and inexpensive.
2. Schedule Designated “Me” Time.
Set aside an evening, morning, or entire day once a week dedicated solely to you. Take advantage of “me” time not as a task based time, but rather as a chunk of time used to focus on your thoughts and emotions. What are your goals? How are you working toward your intentions? Are you happy with your relationships? Which areas of your life are causing you stress? How can you alleviate yourself from these concerns?
3. Break Out of Toxic Relationships:
Once you’ve identified unhealthy, toxic relationships (often identified during girl talk, “me” time, or journaling) find a way to get out! Do you have a friend that constantly puts you down or betrays your trust? Give yourself permission to let go of the friendship. Are you in a relationship that drains you? Talk to a close friend and ask her to help remind you what it is you deserve in a romantic relationship. As cliche as it sounds, life is far too short to be weighed down by people who don’t make you happier, stronger, or better.
4. Adopt a New Hobby:
How cool is it when you meet someone who explains that they adopted recreational ballet at age 25, or learned to crochet over winter holiday, or enrolled in an educational wine course? I know I’ve always admired people who have hobbies, the desire to pursue new hobbies indicates a desire for growth and a breadth of interests. If you don’t have much time to dedicate to a new craft, join a Sunday morning yoga class, take up jogging, or sign up for Blue Apron and learn to cook. Even if you discover downward facing dog, organic juice pressing, or calligraphy isn’t for you, you’ll learn something in the process. (Be sure to check out Brit & Co. for many hobby based online courses like watercolor illustration, embroidery and succulent gardening.)
5. Learn to Say No:
Though it’s a broad generalization, as women we tend to have trouble saying no. We juggle careers, organizations, side hustles, blogs, and more, then we have trouble skipping brunch and hot yoga even when it means feeling overwhelmed. Practice saying no even if you have no reason other than craving an evening snuggled up with your dog and a new book.
Saying no when you’re already pulled in fifty different directions means you’ll be able to fully commit yourself when you say yes. At first saying no can seem mean or offensive, but you’re likely to find that your friends, family, and coworkers will understand and respect your honesty.
6. Compliment Yourself Every Day:
In eighth grade, my junior high school counselor instructed me to look in the mirror every morning and recite one positive affirmation about myself. I’ll be honest, the entire process felt a little too cheesy. I couldn’t get on board with looking in the bathroom mirror and uttering “I am worthy” or “I don’t have to be perfect to be good,” yet, the exercise helped me to realize it is okay to compliment ourselves. Spend a day identifying your negative self talk, you might be surprised to find you’re putting yourself down a lot more than you think. Start to incorporate positive affirmations into your life.
Make a goal to focus on one positive aspect of yourself each day. Maybe that means jotting down a reason you’re grateful in your planner, maybe it means mentally reciting a compliment about yourself as you fall asleep, or maybe it does mean standing in the mirror and telling yourself you’re pretty and smart each morning. Find what works for you and allow yourself to be positive. You will probably feel corny at first, but positive affirmations do make a difference in your outlook on life and yourself.
7. Allow Yourself to Change Your Mind:
So often we set goals as children or teenagers and feel compelled to stick with them because we believe these goals define who we are. Your seventeen year old self wanted to be a lawyer so you apply to law school even though you now realize being Elle Woods means more than just wearing pink. As a freshman in college you thought you wanted to be engaged by age 24 and now that you’re there you realize you don’t feel any more ready for marriage than you did at at 19.
Don’t sabotage your happiness by forcing yourself to live in the box you’ve constrained yourself to. Allow yourself to evolve, to change your mind, to grow. Changing your mind sometimes means abandoning a goal — recognize that giving up on a goal that no longer suits you doesn’t always equate to failure. This year vow to give yourself permission to change your mind, you’ll find the new mindset incredibly freeing and may just discover a goal more suited to your current life in the process.
What are your New Year’s resolutions for personal growth?
Jordyn Sifferman works at bridal boutique in the rainy city of Seattle. She believes in the power of great shoes, a daily mocha and above all else being true to yourself. She blogs at The Fairy Princess Diaries.