Playing Nice and Dropping the Drama : Birthday Resolutions Worth Sticking To

Photo by Will Clayton, via FlickrI’ve never really been one for setting New Year’s resolutions. The truth is, we’ve been told to set them, then inundated with all these facts and figures about why they don’t actually work — so what’s the point? 

It’s the same mentality that goes along with, “I’ll start the diet on Monday – ya know, after the weekend.” This is a spoken hall pass of sorts – one that gives the speaker permission to eat Big Macs and a pound of fries in the meantime.

So in between February (the month when all hope of receiving fantastic results from these New Years resolutions has dissipated) and December (when it comes time to start the fruitless cycle all over again) we let ourselves wallow in the habits of last year. The same ones that will probably continue the year after — if we rely on these resolutions to spur the house cleaning.

I do, however, believe that every birthday is a chance to start fresh. Maybe it’s because birthdays are a little more personal (and less of the “one size fits all” variety). Either way, this is when I like to re-evaluate the “me” I’d like to see in the coming year.

So with the big 2-4 looming around the corner, here are my list of intentions:

1. I intend on no longer entertaining the “my world is falling apart” mentality.

If I feel like things are off track in my work, relationships, etc., etc., etc., I am one dramatic bitch. My fear is that if I don’t express the dire nature of the situation to those around me, I may never be taken seriously. So I often speak as if my world as I know it is crumbling – and there’s no hope of anything getting better. Ever.

Clearly I need to take a chill pill on this. 

2. I intend on being kinder to others (translation: not so judgmental).

Ok, so we all judge. I’m just really, really good at it. If you are ever wondering why you should judge someone, just ask me. I’ll come up with a spectacular reason — and convince you of it’s validity while we’re at it. 

I realize I can’t make this go away at the drop of the hat, but I know that if I make an attempt to be more aware of when I’m doing it, eventually I’ll slow it down — until it stops altogether.

3. I intend on staring failure in the face.

I’ve realized over the course of the year that I am petrified of being told “no” — being turned down for another job, looked over for another opportunity — the list goes on and on. So in some aspects of my life I’ve stopped trying altogether. 

Yet I know that all of those huge accomplishments come with the threat of being turned down. So if I’m not willing to experience that, I’ll be shutting the door to some really great experiences.

It’s time to go big or go home. I’ll choose to go big.

4. I intend on being more grateful (no matter how sucky things are).

Perspective is a powerful thing — and mine needs some shifting. It’s so easy to get caught up in how things aren’t going according to plan (i.e. still making only pennies when my dreams were of the millionaire variety). But in the grand scheme of things I have it pretty great: I have a home, supportive friends and family, and the chance to actually pursue something I’m passionate about. 

How can I really be upset when I think about it that way? 

5. I intend on looking towards the possibilities.

Staring at the “what is” of a situation is not much fun. Looking at what is possible, on the other hand, is magical. Like driving past your dream home and imagining what kind of furniture you’ll buy for it when it’s yours. Or thinking about what it will feel like to board a plane bound for some tropical location you’ve only seen in posh travel magazines. 

This is where I want my focus to be for the next 365 days.

Now where’s the champagne??