Photo cred Janice Liew
Last year I decided to keep my resolutions private – many of them were very personal or work-related, and I tend to keep that subject matter off the blog. This year I thought I’d share at least a few of the resolutions I’m looking forward to keeping, especially because posting them here will help keep me accountable!
Here we go:
Do something fun twice a month
Last year, I made a resolution to go to one artsy fartsy affair (read: cultural event) each month. I did a pretty good job! I enjoyed the beautiful Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the AGO, took my little cousins to the ROM, and listened to numerous wonderful concerts at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
This year, I’d like to up the ante to include trying NEW restaurants and bars. I live in a really cool neighbourhood in Toronto, but I end up going to my tried and true spots every time. I am spoiled for choice and must take advantage. Some places on my list? Mad Crush Wine Bar, The Walton, La Palma, Alo, Brothers, White Brick Kitchen, Patois, and Bacchanal.
As for those artsy events – I don’t have any upcoming seats at the TSO, but I am excited for tonight’s Lana del Rey concert, and the Christian Dior exhibit at the ROM!
Read 35 books
Last year I resolved to read 40 books, which was an ambitious goal. Previously I’d been able to hit 35 in a year, so I thought setting a stretch-goal would be a good challenge. Sadly, last year was a fairly packed one for me (moving, wedding, traveling, too much screen time), and I only read 29.
I’m certain I can hit 35 this year. I’ve already read 4 since January 1! One of them being a new favourite – Tell the Wolves I’m Home. I couldn’t put it down, I loved it SO much. SO, so much. In a nutshell: it’s a heartbreaking coming-of-age story about the complications of love.
Travel 6 times
I think this is a pretty attainable goal, and one that is important to me. When I face up to it and answer that question: “What would you do if money were no object?” The answer is always:
2) Write about it.
I already have Japan and Australia on the list – and unfortunately, vacation days do play a factor in where else I’ll be able to go. Let’s spin the globe and see where else 2018 takes me!
Exercise for health vs. image
Too often I’ve gone through periods of working out for the sole purpose of achieving a visual goal, and then proceed to fall off the wagon. It’s not sustainable, and it’s detrimental to my body image (something I’ve struggled with a lot). I’m going to make a concerted effort to work out now for my health.
One major difference for me this time will be doing exercises I enjoy, and not being so hard on myself if I can’t keep up. I have been to some tough HIIT classes, and followed along with challenging online programs, and I used to really beat myself up if I couldn’t match EXACTLY what the instructor was doing. In 2018 I am going to strive to work out at a pace that suits me, and be kinder to myself!
Work on and continue to live mindfully
Ok, this is going to sound like a lot of new-age bull to some of you, but I really believe that living mindfully is the key to…happiness! Or at least, less stress and anxiety.
Last year I learned as much about mindfulness as I could. Not out of any special interest at first, but because it kept popping up in my life. I read about the topic, listened to podcasts, watched TED talks, discussed it with people…and for the longest time I just didn’t get it. I mean, I understood the concept of it, but it didn’t register with me.
One of my favourite definitions of mindfulness comes from scientist and author Jon Kabat-Zinn who says mindfulness is simply the act of practicing awareness of the moment you are currently in. Being mindful, he says, can unlock a lifetime of small pleasures.
Sounds pretty easy, right? Surprisingly, it isn’t. The concept of mindfulness really clicked with me when I realized I wasn’t living mindfully at all. I’d be walking home from work, totally zoned out. I’d be trying to carry on 3 whatsapp conversations, and not remembering what I’d said two seconds previously. I’d be scrolling on a website, not really sure why I was on it or what purpose it served. I really wasn’t staying present in the moment at all.
Staying present in the moment is actually hard work, but I’ve been practicing a lot over the past couple of months, and I can’t even tell you how incredible the results have been.
I’m not saying that I’m a zen master levitating over rainbows – I definitely have stressful days. But on those stressful days, I am more aware of the feeling and the causes. I acknowledge the stress, find a way to address it (call my mom, text my best friend, leave the room), and then make peace with it.
And my happier moments are even more joyful. Moments that would I would have previously considered to be unremarkable, have instead become delightful experiences. This is starting to sound drippy, but honestly I could write an entire blog post about mindfulness.
What I really want to convey is that it’s made a difference in my life and I’m going to keep it up.
Get alterations, dry-cleaning, and restoration done
This is kind of a boring resolution, but an important one for me! I love my clothes so much, but I don’t always respect them as best I should. I have a few pieces that would be “perfect” if I just altered them a little. I also have a pile of dry-cleaning that I haven’t done anything about in a reaaaallly long time, and some pairs of shoes that need to be restored. Specifically, my favourite pair of Ralph Lauren loafers that I walked all over France in…they’re looking pretty sad. I’m a big believer in restoring vs. re-buying, and I think it makes all the difference in elevating one’s wardrobe.
Thanks for reading! I would really really love to know what some of your goals are for the year! Please share in the comments below 🙂 xo