I´ve never been much of one for New Years´ Resolutions. My thoughts are that you can change and be who you want to be any ol’ time, so why wait for a new year?

(Full disclosure: I almost always wait until “Monday” to start any change or adopt any new routine. So…no judgement from this guy if you love yourself a NY Resolution!).

However I do like to check in with myself from time to time and give myself a task list, and this year it just so happens that I´m feeling like I need to get myself back on track in time for the new year.

So here they are, without further ado nor in any particular order. And hey, if you have any helpful suggestions on how I can best follow through with any or all of these, please let me know! I really need all the help I can get 🙂

Be kind

I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this in the last year, with regards to how easy it is to be unkind and contrarily also to simply choose kindness in any situation (what makes us choose one over the other, when one is clearly always the better option?).

I’ve also read some really interesting articles on how kindness kills and saves relationships and had that take on a whole new meaning in the closing of a chapter in my own life. Also, I’m really starting to realize the importance of being kind to myself – like, really kind – because I think that if I can be kinder to myself on a regular basis, it will be easier to be kind to everyone else.

To achieve this, I´m going to try to approach people with the same affection with which I approach animals (I’ve decided this could work, because I am almost unerringly empathetic towards animals) – which is to say, with a degree of caution but general trust in their desire to be good and kind themselves. Yup 🙂

And I´m going to be kinder to myself both mentally (hey man, don´t say mean things to you!) and in making time for myself. Because it´s hard to give to others when you´re not taking a time out for you. Or as Donna would say, “you gotta treat yo´self!”

Practice patience

Uhhhh…ya. This one´s hard. I am far from patient.

I am impatient with people – but WHY do you think that way? HOW can you not see that this is affecting others? Will you NEVER use your signal light?

I am impatient with myself – why am I not already the person I want to be? How long should it take for me to get comfortable switching cultures all the time? Why am I not reading more books?

And I am impatient with new cultures. Which is extra contrary when you consider the life I’ve chosen (and actually really love).

So I need to practice more patience and I´m thinking more mindful breathing and even a dose of meditation could help me with this one. Do any of you have any experience with these or other helpful suggestions? This is one of those ingrained, reflex actions that I find hardest to break. Help me!

Budget

Just the word makes me want to stick my head in the sand and hide until the mounting panic goes away. I have debt, I make very little money, and you know what? I´d be just fine if I could, once and for all, make a budget, stick to it, and learn to live within my means. If I accomplish only one thing this year, let it be this.

I have a budget outline made by my ex-accountant Dad so I´m all set there, but I´d happily take any of your tips, tricks and recommendations on being happier with less and what that could look like 🙂 Specifically, I like clothes. Too much. Waaaaayyy too much.

Eat less dairy

Specifically cheese. Until the last few years, I had not paid much attention to the impact of various foods on my body. However after a year in South Korea where cheese is in extremely limited supply, then coming back to Canada and keeping cheese from my diet as much as possible (though watching it slowly creep back in – nachos, I love you), to now living in Nicaragua where cheese is basically a staple with each meal, I´m really noticing some differences.

For starters, cheese makes my stomach hurt. It just does. And when it´s not hurting, it just makes me feel heavy. Plus, it makes my skin break out and after many years of narrowing down factors, I feel confident stating that dairy and sugar are the difference between feeling radiant make-up free, and wanting to hide my face. And while I´m not overly hellbent on worrying about weight (I decided to (try to) give up on that stress about a year ago), I noticed that my weight seemed to maintain itself a little more easily without the temptation of cheese lurking around every corner.

Also, while I’m not vegan (I’m vegetarian), I do like the idea of living a life that continues to progress toward animal abuse free. I´m not there yet, but I’m pursuing this step in the interest of myself and of lessening my contributions to an industry I don´t really like.

Relax

Or as many a person has told me in three months in Latin America…traaannqquiilllaaa. It will all be fine. It will all work out. You will adapt to your new boss/friend/coworker/roommate’s way of doing things. You will get used to the looks, the language, the culture, the food, the norms.

Just drink it all in and try to do what works to see the bright side. Which, as you may recall for me, is to imagine I am in some TV show and each incident is just one funny episode. I gotta relax and enjoy the ride! And then I´ll blog about it, so you can all share in the enjoyment of my fumbles 😉

As the saying goes, there´s no point in taking it all too seriously because you´ll never make it out alive.

Seriously laugh more

I don’t mean laugh seriously (obvs). I mean seriously laugh. I am the queen of the smirk, the snort, the chuckle and even occasionally the giggle. But I don´t guffaw a whole heckuva lot.

And really, what´s better than guffawing (I mean, other than writing the word and saying it out loud. Guffaw. It´s hilarious). In fact, my best friend is probably the only person in the world that makes me laugh out loud on a regular basis and that´s sometimes in part because we are laughing at our differences (no really, it´s wonderfully amazing that we are the bestest of friends because we are SO different). But you know what sucks? I only get to see her once or twice a year, so that´s a lot of time in between huge bouts of laughter.

Time to loosen up, lighten up, and find those things that make the laughter bubble out uncontrollably.

Let the year begin!

That´s my list! Is it exhaustive? No. Do I plan on cooking more and moving more and reading more? Yes. But those are things I aspire to and aim for on a perpetual basis anyways, and these are the things I need to re-familiarize myself with on the regular to keep them at the forefront of my brain. They´re the hard work, if you will, and I want to really dig into some of that hard work this year.

So tell me, what are your resolutions?  Or, if you prefer, what are you working on to better yourself and your life?  I´d love to hear all about them, and your suggestions!

Happy new year and lots of love from Honduras 🙂

Talk to me, yo!