New year’s resolutions have taken a lot of flack in the past few years. And I can see why. We are constantly bombarded with messages that we aren’t enough, and resolutions can feel like just another brick on the pile of ways we’re told we need to be more/better/smaller/bigger/quieter/louder—just different from how we are.
I think the backlash against resolutions has been positive in a lot of ways. It makes me so happy that folks are now more mindful of how goal-setting fits in the bigger picture of self-love and self-respect. That being said, girrrrrrrllll, I love me some new year’s resolutions!
For me, gone are the days where I set outlandish goals without much substance (“be a size 8 by my birthday!”) and instead, resolutions for me have become a way of gently guiding my upcoming year. It’s not about drastically changing who I am, what I look like, or what I do—it’s about giving myself some clear concepts to focus my energy on. I think there is real value in having a general set of guiding principles, and I see new year’s resolutions just as that—a set of flexible guidelines to help me rock the next 365 days of my life.
Most important for me and my mental health, there is no “failure” when it comes to my resolutions. As long as I am following the general map, enjoying the journey, growing, and evolving—I’m a success. Period. There is no all-or-nothing when it comes to my new year’s resolutions.
Ready to hear what I’m focusing on in 2018?
Get back to nature with gardening.
After 10 straight seasons of vegetable gardens of varying sizes, we didn’t put in a garden this past summer. We, honestly, needed the break from the weeds and the bugs and the compost shoveling. I try not to let myself regret my life decisions (because even the poor decisions led me to where I am now), but I wish we had put in a garden last year—although, I’m not sure I would have realized how much gardening meant to me without the break.
A lot of my physical, emotional, and spiritual health comes from tending a robust garden. I know a lot of folks don’t get it, but gardening is about so much more than just growing your own food (which, admittedly, is awesome in it’s own right).
And, let me tell you, with my illness, I needed my garden last year in a way I don’t think I ever needed it before. I needed that outlet, and it wasn’t there. My connection to nature and my roots is almost entirely fueled by my activities in the vegetable garden. I have yet to find another activity that comes even close. We have big plans for our 2018 garden, and I can’t wait to share them with you guys.
Donate my time and money generously.
Being a good philanthropist ends up on my resolutions list every year, not because I don’t do it already (I do), but because I always think I can do more to help other folks. Thanks in part to the current socio-political landscape, my desire to help other folks really skyrocketed this past year. I’m a proud bleeding heart, and at my core, I want to be a force for good. And this year, I want to do even more. Whether that be doing work through charities or donating my skills to political causes I support.
I have big ideas for a Wholefully community philanthropy project coming up in the Spring. And I definitely want to be involved with my friends at AmpleHarvest.org again now that we’re planning a garden. I also want to figure out some way to get involved in the Lyme advocacy community—I was helped so much this past year by volunteers from both of my local Lyme advocacy groups (Indiana Lyme Connect and the Kentucky Lyme Disease Association). I’d love to pay it forward and help spread the word about this epidemic.
Embrace my healing journey in whatever form it takes.
There was a while there, back in the late summer, that I was so sick that I stopped thinking about the future. I couldn’t even talk with my husband about what we were doing next week, because my thought was always, “but what if I don’t make it to next week?” My healing journey has gotten me to a place where I don’t feel like death is on my doorstep, and I’m honestly excited to see how my healing continues to unfold over the next year.
In hindsight, I used to be pretty close-minded with how I approached medical care. I knew eating vegetables was a good thing. I drank echinacea tea when I had a cold. I tried to only take Excedrin when I *really* needed it. But beyond that, I was a pretty by-the-book with my health care.
I truly believed that mainstream medicine held all the answers for “big” health problems. I’d seen mainstream medicine cure my Mom of breast cancer. I’d seen mainstream medicine replace my Dad’s knee and make him almost pain free. I’d seen mainstream medicine make sure the tiny preemie born to my brother and sister-in-law back in 2001 had the chance to grow up into my creative, funny, compassionate 16 year old niece. I’d seen mainstream medicine prevent me from becoming eclamptic during labor. I’d seen mainstream medicine do miraculous, amazing things. I’d witnessed it with my own eyes (and my own body).
So it seemed only logical for me to assume that mainstream medicine would always have all the answers. Until they didn’t. Until I had very intelligent, very compassionate, very educated allopathic doctors look at me and say, “We know something is wrong, but we don’t know what, and we don’t know how to fix it.”
At the time, it was terrifying. But now, I’m really grateful they didn’t have the answers, because that experience has opened up my mind to a whole new world of healing. It was do or die (I believe literally). Necessity breeds innovation, and all that. And I innovated the crapola out of my philosophy on healthcare. I’ve taken herbs and done treatments and gone to practitioners I never would have even imagined before. I am so excited to keep exploring healing in 2018. Mainstream medicine, herbalism, mental health, homeopathy, diet, exercise, massage, yoga, antibiotics, meditation—whatever healing looks like in 2018, I’m here for it. My rule for this year: if it can’t make me worse, it’s worth trying to make me better.
When your hobby becomes your career, the transition is somehow both slow and terrifyingly sudden. Slow, because your hobby grows incrementally over the months or years—so slowly sometimes, you don’t notice it’s growing at all. And then sudden, because almost always some single event happens that makes you realize, “HOLY CRAP, this is actually a thing now. I should probably run it like a business.”
I had the original hobby-to-career epiphany about three years ago, but it was reiterated this past summer. I couldn’t work for months. And, guess what? If I can’t work, my business can’t either. Thankfully, a well-established website can “coast” for a few months thanks to your awesome shares and pins and some behind-the-scenes work from the ahhhh-mazing Wholefully office assistant/community manager Julie.
But I didn’t like checking out. And checking out definitely isn’t a sustainable business model. I didn’t like the idea that Wholefully lives and dies with my ability to get out of bed in the morning (that’s a lot of pressure, yo!). So 2018 is the year of delegation for me!
I’m bringing on more people. I’m divvying out more tasks. I’m building a Wholefully team in a way I haven’t before. Not only does this make for a much more stable and sustainable future for Wholefully, but it also frees me up to implement some of the bigger ideas I’ve always wanted to pursue, but could never fit in. You know what made it possible for the 2018 Wellness Calendar to be published again this year? Delegation. That’s what. Working the way I did six months ago, I never could have fit in creating and launching that calendar. But because I had my friend Isabel shoot the video for my egg cups and my friend Becky retest the recipe for Chewy Lemon Snowdrops, I was able to bring something new onto my plate (pun intended).
There you have it, my 2018 in a nutshell (hopefully). I’d love to hear if you’re pro or anti resolutions, and if you’re pro, I want to know what you have in store for 2018! Happy new year, beautiful friends. <3