Full disclosure – I have always liked Lauren Conrad. I liked her on Laguna Beach, and I liked her on The Hills. But I liked her even more when she decided to leave reality TV for the real world. Now she’s a fashion designer and entrepreneur, and I like her best. I knew she had a website and a blog, but I don’t think I realized how much I would enjoy reading what it says. And while she is older than me, it isn’t by much, and she makes the things I am going through in my life right now make more sense. So, to sum up – I love Lauren Conrad.
Now, it seems a little late to be making New Year’s Resolutions, but I am a firm believer that it is never too late to decide to change something. Lauren Conrad posted two different articles about resolutions at the beginning of the year, and I’ve decided to combine them and make an executive list of resolutions, goals, and dreams for 2014.
Fill in the blank resolutions:
- Bad habit I’m going to break: hitting the snooze button! Seriously, I need to start getting out of bed when my first alarm goes off. Or second, at the very least.
- Destination I’d like to visit: Southern California – where one of my good friends relocated to for grad school. I’m thinking of trying to find a race to run and plan the trip around that.
- I’m going to work harder at: being positive. About everything – my job, my life, my car[i], my future. Life is beautiful, and I need to keep that in mind on a daily basis.
- A project I’d like to finish: You Better Run, a novel-length story I’ve been working on for almost a year. It’s an alternating perspective story following two sisters and their grandmother. That sounds lame, but I promise, if the ideas in my head actually come to life, it will have a better tagline than whatever I just wrote.
- A class I’d like to take: Editing. I’ve done a lot of editing on my own, but I’m looking forward to the structured editing course I will be taking for my Master’s degree in the fall.
- I’d like to spend more time doing: productive things. When I think about all the time I waste at work on Buzzfeed, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Netflix, you name it… it’s ridiculous. I want to be better about getting things done early, about writing more often, and about setting deadlines for myself that I actually stick to.
- Food I want to eat more of: Fresh foods. Being with H has improved my diet immensely, simply because he has some allergies to preservatives. But I would really like to commit to eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. They can spice up just about anything.
- I want to wear more: dresses. Because I love them, and I love how I feel when I’m wearing them. Now, if I could just find more occasions for dresses, then I would be set.
Lauren Conrad’s 10 Resolutions Everyone Should Make in 2014, and why I agree:
- Change the way you think about diet. I could not agree with this more wholeheartedly.[ii] “Diet” doesn’t have to be a dirty word, doesn’t have to mean that you’re doing some crash course in fasting so that you can fit into the bikini you want in the summer. For me, diet is simply what you eat. And I need to be better about my diet, simply because I have a medical condition that makes it tough sometimes. I have reactive hypoglycemia, which means that, depending on what I eat, sometimes my blood sugar crashes quicker than most people’s. And while that is unfortunate, and I have been dealing with it for a lot longer than I realized,[iii] it is largely preventable with the proper diet. There’s that word again, see? It doesn’t have to be a bad thing! It’s just another word, another way to take care of yourself, another way to stay healthy.
- Think a positive thought every morning. This comes right after saying that I want to be more positive this year than last year and the year before. I will definitely need to work on this, because usually my first thought in the morning is “is my alarm seriously going off already?” But I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m happy and healthy. I have a wonderful man in my life who loves me. I have a dog who licks my face whenever he can. I have a family who cares about me and wants what’s best for me. I have a job with great benefits. I have the ability and the means to pursue the career I want by going back to school for my Master’s Degree. I have a lot of things that I take for granted. And I need to remember them, and think those positive thoughts before I get out of bed in the morning.
- Volunteer once a month. This has not been part of my life yet, but I want to make it part of my life. I have always wanted to volunteer at the Humane Society – maybe 2014 is the year to make that a part of my monthly calendar cycle.
- Get seven hours of sleep. I keep myself very busy, and that often means getting up before the sun. But in order to keep that kind of lifestyle going, I need to start going to bed earlier, so that I can actually feel rested during the day. H and I have started a fairly regular routine where we go to bed earlier than we used to, and then I read a chapter from a book aloud to him.[iv] He says that it helps him get sleepy to listen to someone read, and I certainly get sleepy when I read at night. So it’s a win-win for both of us.
- Take a daily walk. When the weather is decent[v], one of my favorite things to do after dinner is take Ole on a walk. It’s the time of the day when H and I can talk about whatever – we can unwind while we get a little bit of exercise. And it helps the puppy to be outside, too. He’s a hunting dog, after all, and the bunnies and squirrels come out when the sun starts to set.
- Unplug for an hour a day. I constantly have my phone within arm’s reach. I can’t help it – it connects me to my friends, my family, to social media, to the world around me. But here’s the thing – how can I experience the world around me if I’m always staring at my phone? So I am going to be better this year about not bringing my phone to dinner, for example. And H got me an iPod nano for Christmas, so I don’t need to bring it on my runs anymore either.[vi] I can truly unplug for that time, and use it to unwind.
- Cut out soda. Okay, so I don’t have to work on this at all. I already don’t drink any pop[vii], but I’m including this on the list so others can read it too. All the sugar and caffeine in pop isn’t good for you, just in general. Replace it with fruit juice, or flavored water. You’ll feel better, trust me.
- Read for pleasure. I love to read, so the fact that this was on Lauren Conrad’s list made me so happy. While it’s not something that I particularly have to work on, it is something I want to keep in my life. I love books. I love artificial worlds and faraway places. I love everything about getting lost in another person’s life. So yes, read for pleasure. And if you can’t find anything you want to read, feel free to ask me. I’ve read a lot of things, and could probably find something that would be up anyone’s alley.
- Stop wasting food. This is something that H and I have been talking about for months, and finally did for the first time a couple of weeks ago – we planned a menu for the coming week, and then bought only what we needed for those dishes. And we’re both big on bringing leftovers to work, so our food waste does keep decreasing. But we could still be better.
- Just do it already. This is my favorite item on this list. Is there something that you’ve been thinking about doing for a really long time, but haven’t had the nerve? Now is the time! As for me, I’ve wanted to be a published author for as long as I can remember, and I have a completed manuscript and the 2014 Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents. At this point, I have nothing to lose. So I’m going to spend 2014 pursuing my dream. And maybe next year, I can say that my name was (or is going to be!) on a book jacket in Barnes and Nobel. We shall see!
2014 is going to be a big year. It’s already been exciting, because I am loving this blog and the way writing every day is making me feel. And I know there is more to come. I just know it.[viii]
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
[i] Who am I kidding, I’m never going to be able to be positive about my car.
[ii] In fact, I am going to be talking more about how weight is viewed by the general public in my post on Friday.
[iii] I was diagnosed at my college health center during my sophomore year there. But after they told me the symptoms, I realized that it had been affecting my life for as long as I can remember. The more you know, right?
[iv] We decided to start with the Harry Potter series – just last weekend we finished Sorcerer’s Stone, and we’re getting into Chamber of Secrets now. #harrypotternerdforlife
[v] As in, not a bajillion degrees below zero. I’m looking at you, Polar Vortex.
[vi] I realize that makes it so I can no longer call anyone in an emergency, but H also got me a RoadID for Christmas. You know, a bracelet with my name and important phone numbers on it, in case I get hit by a bus.
[vii] Yes, it’s pop, because I’m from Minnesota. Ya sure, you betcha.
[viii] Don’t worry, we’ll get to recap. I already have a day set aside in my blog calendar to review these resolutions and see what I accomplished throughout the year, and what I still have to work on in 2015.