Some New Year’s Resolutions can (and should, in my opinion) be skipped over. Losing all the baby weight? Undue pressure, y’all. Working on your unhealthy and/or toxic relationship? Nah, better to just let it go. However, there are some goals you can set at the start of the year that will vastly improve your quality of life. If you’re the type of person that lives to check stuff off a list, the following is especially for you. These aren’t just any resolutions; they're New Year’s Resolutions all grown-ass women should make.
I’d like to consider myself on the cusp of grown-ass womanhood. I could definitely do better in regards to certain aspects of my life (however, I don't think that'll change, as there's always room for improvement, right?). For example, I could learn to budget my finances more efficiently. My health is, well, another area of improvement.
However, as we’re almost into 2017 I must admit I’m feeling good about where my life is going and where it's taking me. I’m already starting on a better foot than I did last year, so despite the losses (of friends and celebrities), despite the election results, and despite the fact that my bank account isn’t flourishing just yet, I am hopeful and optimistic of what’s to come. I’m making my resolutions and I’m gonna work hard to stick to them, and you should, too.
Develop A Good Morning Routine...
Starting your morning on the right foot is key to setting the tone for your day. If you’re skipping breakfast and going straight to coffee, or you’re waking up late and ending up frazzled, I think it's safe to say your current routine isn't necessarily working. Set your alarm clock an hour earlier, get in some meditation or exercise, make a nutritious breakfast, and then go, go, go!
...As Well As A Relaxing Evening Routine
If you’re like me, you’re glued to your phone (even when in bed), and well past what would constitute a appropriate "bedtime." Yeah, I need to cut that out.
Disconnect from your devices an hour prior to bedtime, is possible. Just like in the morning, take time to unwind by reading, meditating, doing some restorative yoga, masturbating (or having sex), knitting, drinking tea; whatever assists you in getting back to neutral. Then don’t forget to brush your teeth, wash up, put on some fresh pajamas, and hop into bed.
Take Time Out For Self-Care
As women, we are constantly performing emotional labor for others. We are also doing the best we can to juggle work, life, and family. This can cause undue stress, so you need to make sure to steal some time away for you. Get a mani/pedi, go to a barre class (or just meet friends at the bar), do some jogging, go to therapy or your support group, whatever. Put it on your schedule and don’t let anyone take it from you.
Be Vocal When You Need Help
I am very bad at asking my husband for help when I need it. I tend to take on more than I can handle, then freak out because I later realize I am not actually Wonder Woman.
If you need help, whether it’s with chores and childcare, or at work or school, or if you’re struggling with your mental health, reach out and ask for help.
Be Vocal When You Want Something
We should also be vocal when it comes to our needs. This is especially true of our sex lives. Find a partner who understands what you want and how you like it. If they’re not doing something you’d like them to try, ask and find a happy medium so you’re all happy and satisfied. This also goes for other things, too, but having a healthy sex life (whether that be with a partner, with multiple partners, or on your own) is important in the grand scheme of things.
Read, Then Read Some More
Considering we’re about to get a president that doesn’t pride himself on reading, it feels more important than ever to up our collective literacy count. There are so many wonderful feminist reading lists that it’s hard to choose just one. Empower yourself with books and your life is guaranteed to change for the better.
Get Your Finances In Order
Unless you are one of those fortunate few with a trust fund, you need to get your finances in order. That means making a realistic budget (involving all members of your family), and sticking to it. That means cutting back on splurges, minimizing your debt, and hell, even using coupons. That means opening a savings account and making sure you put in at least 10% of your pay into it. That means diversifying your savings by getting a 401K or an IRA or sticking it in a damn piggy bank, and investing once you have enough cash. You don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck.
Demand What You’re Worth
Are you stuck in a job that doesn’t pay enough? When was the last time you asked for a raise? It’s not always as simple as asking, but if you have the ability to, speak up and demand more money. No one is going to do it for you. If you are able to, be ready to walk if they can’t meet your demands.
Create Alliances And Network-Work-Work-Work-Work
In case no one has told you yet, a large part of getting ahead in life involves who you know. Cast as wide a net as possible. Join online groups, go to networking events, hand out your business cards; do it all.
I also suggest you make sure to be active and help others in your alliance. We have to support one another so we can all rise together.
Nurture Positive Relationships
When was the last time you told a friend or relative (or partner) how much they mean to you? Or thanked them for all the times they were there for you? Do you always make sure to attend birthday parties and give gifts (no matter how small) to show people you care about them? If people are giving you their love, support, and friendship, make sure to reciprocate. It’s so easy to forget to be there, but if you keep doing it, you’ll eventually find your circle shrinks.
Cut Out Toxic Folks, Online And Off
If someone is gaslighting you; if someone hits you; if someone emotionally abuses you; if someone is simply never there for you; if someone is constantly negative around you, feel free to cut them off. Sometimes it’s hard because you might love these people, but at the end of the day you need to watch out for yourself. If these people are bringing you down, not allowing you to rise, or making you feel lousy, do like N’Sync and say, “Bye-bye-bye” (did I just give away my age here?)
Get Woke, Stay Woke
You’ve probably heard these terms before, but if you don’t understand them, here’s a basic definition. To be “woke” is to be aware of and involved in what is happening around you; in your immediate community as well as throughout the country and world. It has to do with getting involved in social justice, understanding and checking your privilege, and fighting for the rights of all. It has to do with our responsibility to help one another and raise each other up, and elevate the voices of the marginalized: black folks and queer folks and disabled folks and folks with mental health issues and low income folks and immigrants and other people of color.
So dust off your copies of Women, Race, and Class and A People’s History of the United States of America (two great ones for your reading resolution!), start watching (or reading, or listening to) the news regularly, find some local activist groups, and make a damn difference.
Invoke The Confidence Of The Mediocre White Man
Want to be successful in 2017? Start acting like all the entitled cis-het white dudes out there. Make your voice heard, make your demands known, walk tall and proud, and never apologize for who you are. There will always be people looking to tear you down or keep you down. And you’ll often end up doing it to yourself, not believing in your work, or feeling as though your opinions don’t matter, but it does. We all matter. Brush your shoulders off, get into formation, and make 2017 your year (and kudos if you got all those references).