To Kicking Ass and Taking Names in 2017
Resolutions. You're either creating them or trashing them, but it seems like everyone's talking about them. Well not today suckers — we're going to talk about being a badass in 2017 without scribbling goals on strips of paper and checking our progress in 364 days.
I spent a good amount of time this week scrolling through my social accounts and saw person after person bashing 2016. To be completely honest, when I started this draft a few days ago, the first line read, "Let's just come out and say it, 2016 was shit." I was in agreement that this past year was the worst and needed to be ushered out (and quickly.) I did go on to discuss the good things that happened also — but scrapped the entire thing after an experience I had this week; and what an eye-opener it was.
Let's rewind for just a second
You see, I dated someone for a while a couple of years back. The timing never aligned correctly and we weren't exactly made for each other, but it was fun while it lasted (sort of.) So, right around the time that things between the two of us was getting a little shaky, I decided that I wanted to try living a life without being on anxiety medication. I made the ridiculous decision to go against my doctor's recommendation and ceased taking them without weening down my dosage. [Disclaimer: do not go against your doctor's wishes. They are likely wiser than you are when it comes to this kind of stuff — lesson learned]
While I didn't froth at the mouth and bounce off the walls like I thought I was going to, it was incredibly difficult to manage my own emotions for a few weeks. While I thought that I would be able to maintain an even keel and stay sane, it was a complete roller coaster. Ironic for a very rational person to say. I thought the medication was making things worse, still do — but the chemical upset of changing that on a dime was a bit much.
Long story short, things didn't end well and I ended up on his blocked caller's list. 😬 While I tried to reach out once my mood evened out, the damage was done. (I'm not the only one that's gone a little cray back in the day, so put those judgy eyes away and grab some popcorn.) For the past 24 months, I was unable to let it go, and I held onto this immense anger deep within. Why couldn't I just explain what happened? Why was he being such a prick about it? Why couldn't I let it go?
Back with your popcorn? Good.
Driving back home from celebrating Christmas this year, I drove through his hometown. I sent a very generic message wishing him a happy holiday — and got a response. It was the olive branch I never saw coming; after all, I assumed I was still blocked. Well, that thought faded quicker than me at the company Christmas party, when my two texts after that were ignored. I wasn't looking for reconciliation, just a chance to speak my piece and hopefully find some closure — to let go of the anger and move on.
I'd like to think that I've grown a considerable amount mentally and emotionally in the past two years, but it was like a rubber band snapped me right back into being a lunatic. So naturally, I called him. After a quick and all-too-casual voicemail, I came to in time to observe the wake of what had just happened. I felt nauseous, defeated and disappointed in myself. I spent the rest of the day in a funk that I just couldn’t shake.
How does all this relate to being a badass?
Yeah, I sound pretty lame at this point, but the magic happened the morning after. How many of you can say that? 😉 But really, I awoke with a newfound sense of calm about the entire situation. It was like I was waking up and seeing through that rosy-cheeked Snapchat filter that really knows how to smooth things out. While I didn’t grasp it immediately, I realized over the next day or so that it was my perspective that shifted. It didn’t matter what happened in the past — I couldn’t go back, I couldn’t force him to talk to me, let alone see things from my point of view. And that’s okay.
After this “aha moment”, my perspective began to shift in more areas than one. It was like a domino effect, and let me tell you honey, that filter is gold. While I had felt similarly to those bashing 2016 just days before, I now felt saddened by it. Granted, we lost too many of the greats, the election tore the country in two and global morale isn’t exactly at an all time high… But by begging 2017 to come early, we not only discount the good that happened this past year but we also fill ourselves up with false hope — ultimately setting the new year up for failure before it’s even begun.
Want to leave your baggage behind as you step into the new year? You’re going to need more than the ball drop, a sip of champagne and a few sparklers — you need to shift your way of thinking. A new year isn’t going to save you from life’s dramas, hauntings of decisions past or even turn your luck around, only you and your mind are capable of such change. When it comes to goal setting, try something new this year. Rather than writing “Get in shape” for the fifth year in a row, add a little more detail and set yourself up for success.
For example, I’m going to lose thirty-five pounds by the end of the summer by working out no less than four days a week, pushing myself to go further while cycling, making wiser food choices and getting to bed by 9:30 on weeknights. I’m going to check-in and log my progress weekly and reward myself with a trip to Hawaii when I achieve my goal.
By converting my NYE one-liner into a SMART goal, I feel that I have a better chance at attaining them. For those unfamiliar with SMART goal setting, I urge you to give it a try. It feels a little pre-k when you first start, but it really begins to click once you get going. Take it from someone who’s now seen the light of a perspective shift, 2016 was not the worst year on record. Do I wish for a better new year, absolutely; but I’m now trying to find the silver linings on cloudy days.
I’m looking forward to achieving more this year than in years past and I can’t do that without a positive attitude and a set of strategic goals. Do me a favor — learn from my embarrassing but enlightening lesson and breeze into the new year with your head high, your goals set and your best foot forward. Beyonce doesn’t appear to be losing any sleep over the opinions of others or mistakes she made, so why should you?