Feather & Flint

10 Honest New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

January 2, 2017 25 Comments 5 Photos

Hello, dear friends—happy New Year to you and your loved ones! I genuinely hope that 2017 is a better year for all of us. While I’m not deluding myself into thinking that all of last year’s problems vanished when the clock struck midnight, I do see January 1 as the perfect time to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned and the goals I’d like to focus on.

10 Honest New Year's Resolutions for 2017

For much of 2016, I had a job that was slowly killing me… and then in November, I quit, took a trip to Iceland, and started a new job that’s far less stressful but way more rewarding.

Also in 2016, of course, I launched this blog! I’ve enjoyed the last 4 months so much, and I’m genuinely looking forward to connecting more, writing more, and learning more in 2017.

Without further ado, here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2017!

10 Honest New Year's Resolutions for 2017

My New Year’s Resolutions

Procrastinate less. I’m motivated by deadlines… to the point where I’ll put things off until the eleventh hour. Working under pressure can be exhilarating—it forces me to focus, and it sometimes results in innovative ideas. However, over the last year, I became far too familiar with the feeling of my heart pounding in my chest as I looked over an impossibly long to-do list, the minutes ticking away at a frightening pace. This year, I need to do myself a favor and start projects before I’m forced to so that I can enjoy my work, come up with better ideas, and (literally) give my heart a break.

Create more. One of my favorite ways to pretend that I’m not procrastinating is to spend time on tasks that are related to my work, but that aren’t actually essential. I do this when I’m feeling uncertain about a project, whether I have lingering questions about what needs to be done, haven’t come up with the perfect idea yet, or doubt my ability to do a good job. This year, I need to spend more time actually writing, and less time preparing to write. Instead of spinning my wheels, I need to tackle my uncertainty head-on so that I can move on to the most important (but most difficult) part: Creating. Related to this, I’m excited to have 3 guest blog posts lined up in the next month and a half, and I want to keep this up in 2017! It keeps me from getting into a rut with topics, builds lovely relationships with other bloggers, and opens me up to a wider audience. I can’t wait to show you!

Respond quicker. I’m notoriously bad at keeping in touch with the people that I care about. I think about my friends and family every single day, no matter how busy I am; I wonder how they’re doing, and I think, “We should really catch up soon,” but then I forget to actually ask. It’s a vicious cycle—I put it off, then I feel guilty, which makes me avoid it even more. This year, I need to just answer my damn messages when I read them, rather than always waiting for the right time to give each response the thought I think it deserves. Perhaps, I’m realizing, crafting the perfect response is less important than just responding.

10 Honest New Year's Resolutions for 2017

Walk more. At my last two jobs, I’d spend my lunch breaks taking an hour-long walk with my coworkers. It was the perfect way to get some exercise, sunlight, and fresh air, while also getting to know each other, talking through work-related issues, and taking some gorgeous pictures. I stopped doing this at my new job because I feel weird leaving the office for an hour by myself—what if I miss out on a chance to get to know my new coworkers? However, I could really use the exercise, and I’m dying to explore my new neighborhood… so it’s probably time to set aside my fears of appearing aloof in favor of doing something that’s good for me. Hopefully, I’ll discover that I’m not the only one interested in lunchtime walks!

Take vacations. In 2016, it took quitting my job for me to finally book a vacation to Iceland. I felt like I couldn’t step away from my desk long enough to get away for a few days, even though I desperately needed to take a break. However, let’s be honest: My work can wait for a week while I take a damn vacation. Traveling is when I feel the most alive—nothing makes me happier than exploring the winding streets of a new city, taking thousands of pictures, and trying incredible food with my husband. I’m making it a priority to take one weeklong vacation a year, and a handful of three day weekends here and there, no matter how important my work might seem at the time—because if not now, when?

Stop hitting snooze. I’ve been very bad about this lately, but a new year is the perfect time to change my ways. Either I need to set my alarm later, so I actually get 20 minutes of sleep rather than 5-minute increments of restless dozing; or I need to get up when the alarm goes off and enjoy getting ready at a less frantic pace.

Stop shoppingDid you know that credit card debt still exists when you avoid looking at your bank statements? I guess I knew that too, but I’ve been living in an alternate reality lately, and it’s time to snap out of it. I have a bad habit of convincing myself that I “deserve” things—whether I’m stressed out and need comfort or distraction, or I’ve done something great and crave a reward. However, while it might make me feel good, buying new things because I “deserve” them doesn’t negate the financial cost. I need to stop spending money on non-essential things when my closet is already bursting at the seams, and do a better job of appreciating what I already own.

10 Honest New Year's Resolutions for 2017

Started in 2016: Spend time intentionally. Early last year, when I was in a bad place with my job, I was working almost every waking hour—workdays, nights, weekends, commutes, lunch breaks, holidays. It was hell—and because I was so miserable, whenever I had a spare moment, I spent that time doing whatever I could to feel a tiny bit better. I binge-watched Scandal and Bones. I did a lot of my favorite time-wasting activity: obsessively curating my Pinterest boards. But I didn’t actually feel better—I was just occupying every moment with distractions so I didn’t have to face how much I hated my life. And then my team hired some additional writers, so my hellish workload abated a little bit, and I got to reclaim my free time and—gasp—take a day off here and there. That’s when I started this blog, and it gave me a legitimate reason to use my nights, weekends, and commutes for something else. I now have an unofficial rule that I can’t watch TV without simultaneously doing something productive, like editing photos or responding to comments. My commutes are my dedicated social media time—two hours a day that I’d otherwise be wasting. This is something that I will absolutely carry into 2017, because not only am I doing more with the same amount of time than ever before—I also love doing it.

Started in 2016: Prep weekly meals. For the first half of 2016, I was spending a lot of money on breakfasts and lunches out. I believe in (reasonably) spending money if the cost is proportional to the amount of enjoyment I get as a result. But $6 soy lattes from Starbucks and $10 salads from Sweetgreen? Probably not worth it on a daily basis. When I found out how much of my sad paycheck I was actually spending in a given month on transient things that weren’t bringing me joy, I gave up Starbucks completely and started prepping my breakfasts and lunches for the week every Sunday. While coming up with ideas every week is challenging, I’m eating healthier, saving money for better things, and enjoying the ritual of spending every Sunday doing creative things in the kitchen.

Started in 2016: Sleep 8 hours. Last year, I started going to bed at 9:30 every night. At first, it felt like a luxury; but I noticed immediately that I was literally a better human being after sleeping 8 hours. Now, it’s non-negotiable for me.

10 Honest New Year's Resolutions for 2017

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2017? What are you most looking forward to in the new year, and what were you most excited to leave behind in 2016? Let me know in the comments!

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25 Comments

  1. Reply

    Karen

    January 2, 2017

    Walking more and stop hitting snooze really resonate with me. Happy new year!

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 2, 2017

      Happy New Year, Karen!! Those are 2 things that are just so easy to lose track of when you’re busy, but hitting reset at the beginning of the year gets me to rethink the tiny ways I’m probably not helping myself 🙂

  2. Reply

    Alyssa

    January 3, 2017

    Hey girl! This is awesome! I can’t tell you the million things we have in common from me just reading this post! I recently got a new job, I’m a writer and photographer, I need to move more and the list goes on! Love your work, and good luck in the New Year! Hope we can connect soon! -Alyssa

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 3, 2017

      I’m so glad we found each other! Sending you a message right now 😉 Happy New Year!

  3. Reply

    kelly

    January 3, 2017

    Haha love the stop shopping one…I am so with you there! These all seem very doable I hope they are all as successful as your ones from 2016!

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 3, 2017

      Thanks, Kelly – happy new year! I definitely try to set goals that are reasonable but give me a better mindset every year, it’s served me well so far!

  4. Reply

    Bonnie McConaughy

    January 3, 2017

    Sleep is so important. I started focusing more on that in late 2013, but sometimes it’s difficult. I focus even more so on it now. Otherwise I feel like a beast lol. Walking more, creating more, and taking vacations are all great ways to give our minds a rest and/or do something we enjoy. Great resolutions!

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      Thank you, Bonnie! It really is difficult to make sleep a priority, but it’s also life-changing! I’m better at literally everything in my life when I’ve slept 8 hours!

  5. Reply

    Arnelle

    January 4, 2017

    Traveling more is one of my resolutions as well, but as a third year law student it never seems to be in the cards for me. Good luck and Happy New Year!

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      It’s true–there are times when it needs to be on the back burner… but how exciting to think about all of the things you’ll do when you’re done with school! Good luck, Arnelle 🙂

  6. Reply

    Tyane

    January 5, 2017

    Great list! They look easy to do and to stay focused with, too. I plan to prep my meals and walking more, too!

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      Thank you, Tyane! That’s what I was going for–because what’s the point of making resolutions if you don’t actually have a chance at achieving them? Sounds like a rough way to start off the new year, hahah!

  7. Reply

    margo

    January 5, 2017

    Good goals for the year! I need to add walking to mine as well! 🙂

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      Thanks, Margo! I’ve walked a coupled of times so far already and I feel better physically AND mentally. It’s worth braving the cold once in awhile 🙂

  8. Reply

    Callie K

    January 5, 2017

    Great resolutions! I have many of the same, and I’m excited for 2017 to be a better year for sure. 🙂

  9. Reply

    Lisa Sell

    January 5, 2017

    I don’t make resolutions as I like to make little changes every now and again. I do like the idea of spending time more intentionally – something I definitely need to work on!

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      That’s smart, because I definitely do find myself procrastinating on making positive life changes until January 1, haha! Spending time intentionally is one of those things that once you’re conscious of it, it changes everything. Best of luck to you in 2017, Lisa 🙂

  10. Reply

    Cristy

    January 5, 2017

    Wow sounds like you had a great 2016. Happy New Year. Thanks for the tips on resolutions.

    http://www.happyfamilyblog.com

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      Thanks, Cristy! As with many people, it seems, my 2016 wasn’t great, but it did teach me a lot about my priorities in life, which I’m now consciously implementing in 2017!

  11. Reply

    Anonymous

    January 5, 2017

    Great resolutions! I’m trying to meal plan too this year 🙂

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      Thank you – happy 2017! Best of luck with that – it definitely takes some thought & planning, but it’s really worth it in the end. Let me know if you need any help!

  12. Reply

    Ashley B.

    January 6, 2017

    I’ve decided to be more active and eat better as well! Meal prep is definitely a good idea but one that I’m probably going to fail at, so instead i’ll just vow to make sure I at least have a plan lol.

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      Good for you, Ashley! I definitely failed at meal prep before I finally figured out a way to go about it that works for me, so keep at it if it’s something you really want to do. I think it can be as flexible as you need it to be!

  13. Reply

    Dana

    January 8, 2017

    Happy New Year! I love these resolution’s and I think they’er all achievable. Even better, I think that as you start to completely one, you’ll see others start to fall into place.

    • Reply

      Robin

      January 10, 2017

      Thanks, Dana – glad you liked them! It’s true, they are all interrelated, so it’s about getting in the right mindset for 2017 more than anything else!

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