My 2020 Takeaways So Far- My Resolutions Update
Life has its ups and downs.
But, honestly, these past few months have been CRAZY!
January brought with it some serious depression. I don’t know about you all, but I am always on like the opposite of the collective emotions around the New Year, New Life. I pride myself in being a positivity queen, but for some reason, the new year brings about new spurts of sadness for me. I think it’s the comparison that outshines the excitement for me. I catch myself almost feeling pressured and overwhelmed to take on new tasks, change my entire physical appearance or rewrite every bad habit in my personal book in an instant of time. I just find it to be so scary for some reason and it never fails that December/January makes me the saddest I feel year-round (a little out of the ordinary, but it’s true!) I also think this comes from being a perfectionist. I like guaranteed answers and results or I don’t try, which is why my blog/business is so insane to me because the old Emily would have NEVER started a blog unless she knew it would take off, make a million dollars, and be number one on the charts, baby!
Not because I’m narcissistic, but because my standards for myself are so unreachably high that it’s a problem because usually they keep me from ever trying things in the first place. If I’m not going to be the best, I fear failure and won’t try in the first place. I fear failure and judgement more than anything else in the world.
So, with all that negative backstory behind us→ January then makes me feel anxious around what I will accomplish in the coming year or what I won’t. I feel pushed to change my entire life in the first week and heartbroken when I realize that I’m not ‘doing the new me’ right when I begin to compare myself to others online who moved states, dyed their hair, gained the most beautiful bum ever, whatever! I don’t like January.
So, January 2020, I was prepared for the storm. Rain pour down on me, baby! Break out the oversized sweatshirts and snacks and let’s do this thing! Did a lot of snacking happen in January? Always:) But, did the storm clouds hit as hard this year? Not exactly.
This past January I felt different. I felt motivated. I felt strong. I felt empowered. I felt determined. And you may be saying to yourself, “Well, Em, didn’t you always feel these things in January? That’s the point of the New Year, New Me Hallmark holiday!” Nope, never. Because I was always trying to change my life or my image or my finances or my situation, relationship, career, environment for others and not myself. So, I never really made resolutions that were my own. I never really checked in with my head queen *me* and asked her what she wanted to be or do or go or accomplish this year because all resolutions always came with an agenda→ make others notice me. And also there are so many more important and incredible things about you than the number on a piece of plastic under the soles of your feet on your dirty bathroom floor (just saying!).
Make resolutions that will bring about positive compliments or acknowledgement from others and make sure they are SUPER uncomfortable, scary and overwhelming for myself. In other words, my resolutions always had a secret, dark twist. I wanted to lose weight so the boys would notice me. Okay, so I didn’t want to lose weight for myself? Nope. PS You should never create a New Year's resolution just to lose weight because there is always a hidden agenda behind that like mine had. Instead, I could have made my resolution: I want to get in better shape to take care of my body for years to come.
Do you see other people hiding in that resolution? No, ma’am, you do not!
So this past January, I made it a priority of mine to create MY goals, MY dreams, MY desires… and it was hard!! I didn’t even know what I truly wanted to do or be or chase! Or did I? Oh, that’s the kicker, I fully knew, but I didn’t want to admit them to myself, or out loud, and certainly not to a piece of paper or another person! Because if I chased my own resolutions, I was open to criticism and failure and judgement. If I chased what I actually wanted I could fail. And if I failed life would be over and the world would explode.
Then, here is the kicker, I realized something… my not living my life the way I want to live it, by not embracing my body and loving the parts of it I love unapologetically (while still working through the ones that are harder for me to accept--hey we all have body image insecurities, but we also all have the opportunity to challenge and change them) I was already failing, in fact, I had been for quite some time. I was failing myself.
I was failing myself each time I said no to joy or happiness or self-celebration, respect, appreciation. I was failing every time I made a goal for another person. Each time I chased something to try to chase someone else. Each time I succumbed to the pressure of perfection for people around me and never for myself… F.
So, the first change this year brought me was a new understanding of what I wanted to do with the 365 days coming my way and coming fast! I wanted to focus on me. Myself. Mwah. Emily! Em! Queen;)
I vowed to make my resolutions, life changes, new habits and most importantly new beliefs all for the improvement of myself and never, not once, for the acknowledgement of other people. When I wrote out my resolutions if I ever found a hidden meaning or agenda, it was scrapped from my list.
“I want to grow my business.” Why? To get the acknowledgement of other people, so I will finally feel worthy of love and like I matter.
“I want to serve girls who need me to the best of my ability.” Why? Because I want to be the coach and leader that women struggling from eating disorders can turn to and use as a beacon of hope for themselves and their recovery.
Now that’s a freaking New Year’s Resolution… okay… how will I do that? “I’ll get the dream body and whiten my teeth!” Why? So, I look like a model and people will take me more seriously.
Scratched! “I will take care of my own mental health and invest in my own recovery and education, so I can best serve my girls.”
Your goals and desires need THE RIGHT AGENDA PEOPLE! You can include others, but you can’t include their opinions about you! I included other people in a lot of my dreams this year, but my value was never placed in their hands!
The other side of this coin is understanding that true self-improvement SUCKS and it won’t be any different for you! I think in January's past, I had this misconception that if I just made my mind up that I was going to rewrite my entire life, it should be easy and it should be fast… that doesn’t make much sense when you write it on paper does it?
Your resolutions or dreams or goals or ‘glow up’ or self-growth journey is going to be:
So, buckle up, my love, because we won’t let all of that stop us!
Let go of the idea that changing yourself for the better is easy. It’s not. I used to always think that if I was working on my own self-improvement it SHOULD be simple, right? If I’m trying to be better or do better or achieve better it should be better?
But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.
I try to explain it like this: Your climbing a hill and the higher you climb, the steeper the hill gets until right near the top you don’t even think you’ll ever make it! But, the moment you see that view, the moment you stand tall on top of that hill, everything becomes crystal clear and the whole journey was worth it all!
Your life is millions of hill climbs.
I know, I sort of want to cry also! But, that’s not how life works! You are always going to be faced with hills, some easier and less steep, some seemingly impossible to ever even attempt to climb, but the other fact of life is the hardest hills bring about the greatest views.
You can choose to not climb a hill ever again, but that means you’re also choosing to never watch a sunset from the perfect position on top of the perfect, mystical angle of the greatest view of your life *dramatic, yes, but wrong, no* You can choose to keep living your life and going about your days walking the same path and passing the same hills by or you can tie on your sneakers and get to trekking.
Maybe the first time you attempted the hill, you gave up and sulked back home. Maybe it took you three years to build up the stamina to really master the climb head on. Maybe the thought of even climbing certain ones makes you queasy.
Ignoring a hill won’t make it go away, it simply prolongs the fulfillment of accomplishing the climb.
January 2020 taught me that I had a lot of hills, like a crap ton, and the more I ignored them or wished they would go away or the more I tried for quick fixes, distractions, finding the fulfillment in other things or people, the more I was simply prolonging my hike.
This year, I decided to actually hike. And it hasn’t been easy. I’ve triumphed over some hills and some I still ignore and pretend like if I squint enough and hang upside down they’ll go away, but this all takes time. It all takes energy. It all takes determination and honesty with oneself that the hill is there in the first place.
And no matter how many diet pills or diet plans I tried, the hill of me loving my body never seemed to shrink, it just prolonged the joy of achieving that climb.
Do the work.
Do the climb.
Take the risk.
Make sure you’re working on the right hills in the first place.
Buy new shoes.
Tie them up tight.