In recent years, I’ve started to treat New Year’s resolutions differently. I typically pick a word for the upcoming year, reflect on the past year, and meditate on a few areas where I’d like to improve. This new approach is more like setting out a map for my new year instead of making hard and fast rules. And since it’s a gentler method, I’m more successful in remembering my word and desired areas of improvement well beyond February. I’m going to be making some changes in the new year.
Here are the changes I’m looking to incorporate into 2023:
I’m no longer following debt gurus.
For the last nine years, I’ve religiously followed people who preach all things budgeting and living debt-free (recovering Dave Ramsey follower here). I’d say while I may have learned some valuable tips along the way, I’d argue my mental health suffered tremendously because of it. Cutting out all extra costs in the name of snowballing . . . while you have kids, student loans, etc. led me to unhealthy self-deprivation that I’m still trying to unlearn years later in therapy.
I’ve come to realize so many of these “debt gurus” expect life to unfold in this linear way and don’t account for bad luck, curve balls, continuous kid expenses while managing student debt, familial responsibilities, etc. that I’m a follower no longer. I’ve turned into quite the budgeter over the years; I’ll be trusting me, myself, and I moving forward.
I’m tapping into my teenage self.
I couldn’t be happier to have my teenage years behind me (who isn’t?). But there is a part of me that misses my confidence from that late-teen era. I’m far more in my head as a 30-year-old than I ever was at 17 which is, like I said, largely a good thing (yay thoughtful consideration and decision making).
But at that age, I wore what I wore, I liked what I liked, I did what I did, and it really was as simple as that. Now, in my early 30s, it seems I have a continuous, running dialogue over every decision and ruminate over everything. So going into 2023, I’m going to try to call back to 15 years ago and live a little more for me and a little less for pleasing others.
As a teen, I was devoted to my journal. It really was my trusty, little confidant. Over the years I’ve tried to take to a notebook again at various points but inevitably have fallen off the routine.
Since September, when life got particularly chaotic and painful, I’ve found profound comfort in taking to a notebook, and I’m finally seeing in real time why so many therapists recommend journaling as a practice. It can in fact be life changing for our mental health. Big plans to continue to fill pages in 2023.
I’m learning to be okay with people talking about me behind my back.
Y’all. Y’ALL. This is my biggest insecurity. It stems from people assuming various things about my upbringing, no doubt. I’ve always worked to control my own narrative. But I’m coming to learn—for the first time in my life—that people will likely talk about me behind my back, and it doesn’t have anything to do with me. For some, they will believe what they want to believe despite any attempt to control the narrative, so why be imprisoned by this fear?
Mapping out how I’d like to improve in the new year doesn’t guarantee improvement, right? This we know. And frankly, I’m not interested in beating myself up if I don’t implement these changes flawlessly, but I’m happy to have a written guide post that can hopefully anchor me to improvement in 2023.