New Year’s Eve is my favorite day of the year. Years ago, once Tim and I tired of the pressure of going downtown, fighting the crowds, and spending too much money on overpriced dinners and cocktails, we started a tradition of having a tiny group of friends over for fondue and champagne. Later, thanks to my friend Candace, we added a tradition of making vision boards, which is one of my favorite things to do every year.
Some people hate resolutions. I saw a funny meme the other day that showed the gym on Jan 1, packed with people on treadmills, and a picture of the gym on Jan 4, completely empty. It’s funny because we all know it’s true. For some people, the expectation of failure or the pressure of setting resolutions isn’t appealing, but I love the chance to use Jan 1 as a fresh start.
2016 was a crappy year in several ways and I’m thankful it’s behind us. Every year, I set 10 resolutions (sometimes 11 for a bonus goal), and I try to achieve as many as I can so at the end of each year, I have a sense of accomplishment. On New Year’s Eve, I like to grab last year’s vision board and see how well I did.
In 2016, my #1 goal was “There will be dancing.” I’m a terrible dancer, but I wanted to get past years of insecurities about it and dance like no one was watching even though I know fully that when I dance, people watch because it’s funny. As I look back on 2016, I didn’t dance enough, but I did have one important dance experience that had a big impact. One of my dear friends invited me to go with her to a thing called “Ecstatic Dance.” It’s absolutely as hippy dippy as it sounds, and it’s an experience that I can’t fully describe except to that afterwards, my friend laughed very hard and said, “Your face looked like a combination of pure joy, pure fear, and ‘wtf am I doing here?'”
Other 2016 goals included:
- “Book.” This one actually happened! I’ve had a book in the works for years, and in 2016, I re-worked it completely and changed it from a book on step parenting to a book of entertaining essays. There are plenty of step parenting stories there, but the book fits better to my style than what I was originally writing. A lot of friends are asking, “When can we read this book?” And my answer is, “When someone publishes it.” Here’s the scoop. I am going to submit it to 100 agents, and if I get rejected by all of them, which is absolutely a possibility, then I may self-publish it. Or, I’ll burn it because if 100 agents reject it, it’s probably a crappy book. 2017 will be about finding the right person to help me get it published. I’ll keep you posted.
- “Library vs. screens.” Oops. I am embarrassed to admit I didn’t set foot inside a single library in 2016. I also spent a lot of time in front of a screen finishing the book. Next!
- “Lose pounds.” This one makes me laugh because I didn’t specify how many. 2 would have met the criteria, but I actually lost close to 20. I did it the right way this time, nice and slow, and it was the result of consistent exercise and cutting back. I’m happy about that.
- “Swimming in Mexico.” I did that! I intentionally set that goal up for success, since my sister got married and a bunch of us followed the newlyweds to Tulum for their “funnymoon.”
- “Marfa.” I didn’t go to Marfa, but Tim ended up going instead when he went to pick up his daughter Stephanie, who spent a semester in LA and needed to drive her car home. I like that one of my goals was transferred to other people that I love.
- “Better work life.” Man, this is a good one and I had no idea when I wrote it what would happen in 2016. At the start of the year, I was working at a job that managed to suck most of my soul bone dry, but in February, I left that job to finish my book and spend 8 months freelance writing and writing resumes, then in October, I accepted an offer at Marketo, working alongside several of my former coworkers and taking on a challenging, rewarding situation. Hashtag blessed!
- “Cuss less.” Well, shit. That one didn’t exactly pan out because have you driven in Austin? Were you awake during the presidential election?
2017 has some lofty goals in store. I hope to eat less meat, though I’m not ready to commit to a completely vegetarian lifestyle because I will always eat a hot dog when I travel. One of these days, I’m going to publish a coffee table booked titled, “Amy Eats a Hot Dog,” so I can’t quit hot dogs for that very important reason. I also want to “eat right,” which is nice and vague so I can reduce meat and sugar but not be crazy obsessive over every bite I shovel into my gullet, and also because my definition of “eating right” includes queso. “Eating right” might also include movie theater popcorn. I’m still deciding.
I want to work on my spirituality, whatever that means, and for some crazy reason I want to attempt a half-marathon, but if there is even any smidgen of a nipple bleeding or toenail loss I’m crossing that one off the list and taking up swimming. This is the benefit of a long list of resolutions! No pressure to make it all happen.
Also, I made 10 goals last night with room to add a bonus goal this morning, which is more than likely going to be: “There will be dancing”again because I really hope that someone hosts a George Michael/David Bowie/Prince dance party. We need that.
What are your 2017 goals? Please share in the comments! I would love to hear from you.