Oh, how I love new year’s resolutions–and being held accountable for achieving them! As much as I believe that we should be trying to change for the better every day, there’s nothing like a brand-new calendar year to offer that extra kick to achieve our goals.
I’m pretty stoked for 2013 (superstitiously, 13 was my lacrosse number in college, and it served me well). I’m feeling peaceful, grounded, stress-free in my life in New York City; I’m excited to continue to explore this city and this country. Other than committing to my fixed life, here’s what I want to achieve in 2013:
Get out of the city at least once a month
I adore New York City, and it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into the lifestyle here, particularly the weekend scene. I’d like to commit to getting OUT of the city at least once a month, whether that’s across oceans, across the country or just across the river. I’m particularly looking forward to a yoga and meditation retreat in upstate New York in February: it’s not too far physically, but it will be ages away from the stress and skyscrapers of the city.
Do an unassisted headstand
Up until 2012, I avoided inversion poses all together. I hated the sensation of being upside down and I was scared to kick my legs above my head, even when up against a wall. I’ve slowly started to appreciate the clarity that comes from having your heart above your head, but I still don’t have the core strength or mental stability to kick up without a wall.
Learn how to cook
I don’t eat out that much, but I also don’t do much of what you could consider “cooking.” My cooking repetoire consists of: things I like in a frying pan (onions + red pepper + garlic + eggs), things I like in a bowl (cottage cheese + avocado + siracha), things I like straight out of the container (namely eating peanut butter by the spoonful). I can follow a recipe just fine, but beyond that, all I can manage is milk plus cereal. To me, “growing up” means having a liquor cabinet and having a stocked-enough pantry that I can throw together a dinner party on short notice. I also need to learn how to cut things properly. To achieve this goal: one knife skills class (special thanks to my incredible boss at ONA who gave me a gift certificate for a class for Christmas after I mentioned it!), one basic cooking class, one pretty new cookbook (I like pictures and short ingredient lists–recommendations, please?) and cooking for more than one at least once a week. Bonus goal: make some of the recipes I learned in Southeast Asia for friends.
Learn how to use my camera and Adobe Creative Suite
I’ll just come out and say it: I don’t know how to use my camera settings and I don’t know how to use PhotoShop to edit photos. I’m stuck on automatic and iPhoto. Even though I love a lot of my photos, I know there’s potential to do more. My mom always says that if you’re not willing to invest in yourself, no one else will be. So before I move forward with my photography (and so I stop feeling like an imposter working in the photography industry), I’m going to invest in a basic DSLR course and a PhotoShop course.
Go to three new countries
I want to a) go to Canada; b) go to Iceland and c) continue my tradition of celebrating every birthday in my 20s in a brand-new country (most likely one with an excellent beach). Of course, more is always better, but I’ll be quite happy if I can manage at least three while also living and working in New York City and exploring New England.
Take better care of my body
I’ve suffered from tightness in my back and neck since I was a teenager: the result of stress, anxiety and spending too many hours at a computer. I also have a “snapping scapula,” a super-gross grating sensation of the scapula onto the back side of the thoracic area of the spine. Because of the weird pain I suffer in my upper and lower back, I’ve developed some weird tics and I’m pretty much constantly wanting to crack my neck and back. I don’t have health insurance, so I don’t go to a chiropractor or sports therapist nearly as often as I should (as in, not since I left my job in Silicon Valley in 2010). There are definitely stretches and strengthening exercises I could do on my own every day, and I need to commit at least 15 minutes a day to my health. I also need to stop prioritizing travel/socializing/material goods over my health and start going to a doctor/physical therapist/acupuncturist. Being “healed” by the end of 2013 would be the ultimate satisfaction.
Learn Spanish without forgetting French
Traveling in South America in 2012 just cemented my desire to learn Spanish, beyond just being able to order sangria on the beach in Barcelona. I’d love to spend more time in Central and South America, and I won’t feel comfortable doing that until I’m conversant in Spanish. I haven’t decided exactly how I’m going to go about this yet: Rosetta Stone? Community college course? Evening language school? But I do want to feel like a little less like the token gringa by the end of the year. I also don’t want to lose my French language skills; I studied French and German concurrently in high school, and it’s difficult unless you’re speaking and studying both regularly. To maintain my French, I want to go to more movies at the French cinema and get involved in conversation evenings with Alliance Française in New York City.
What are your new year’s resolutions?