Resolutionized 2.0

Resolutionized2.0rovingstone.com_.pngA year ago, when I started this blog, I made myself a few New Year’s Resolutions. I resolved to write – and post – more regularly. I resolved to be better with money. And, last but not least, I resolved to travel more. I intended to keep the first and do my best on the final two, knowing that I would (in true Kaitlin fashion) likely let them all slide as the year wore on. Well, for those of you who follow me, you know I did sort of drop the ball here. I did my best to post with semi-regularity, but seven posts in one year is not exactly what I’d call a major accomplishment.

Here’s the thing, though. I killed it with the other two. Since July of this year, I’ve taken a trip almost every month. The silver lining to long-distance relationships, I suppose. I traveled to Denver in July (read more about that here) and had an amazing (if emotional) adventure with my boyfriend, Shane. We went to aquariums and ate Mexican food on the Fourth of July and he held me while I cried about losing my cat. Then, in August, he traveled here to visit me in Montana for my birthday. We celebrated and he met some of my family and we saw The Lion King at an inexplicable 9:00 PM showing at the movie theater. In September, I flew to North Carolina to visit him. We celebrated our six-monthiversary a little early (yes we are that gross, thank you) and went roller skating, and neither one of us fell down a single time. In October, he and I met my dad, stepmom, stepbrother and his girlfriend, and my grandparents in Utah to see a few shows at Tuacahn Amphitheater in Saint George. From there, Shane and I took a shuttle to Vegas where we spent a few days. More on that trip later (or perhaps not, it was Vegas after all). In November, I flew back to North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with Shane and his amazing family. We ate a lot of food and I fought through my overwhelming nerves to get to know his incredible parents, brother, uncle, and grandmother. Shane came back to Montana to spend Christmas with me in December, and that rounds out the year.

I’ve also been working toward the goal of having an Adult Credit Score Number™, which has involved a lot of panic attacks, pep talks, and not stopping at Target for “just one quick thing.” With some help, I’ve put in a lot of work and am finally seeing actual results. There may come a day in my life where I can actually get a mortgage. Big stuff, people. So, for the most part, I’ve actually lived up to my resolutions this year, for the first time in maybe ever. 2018 has some big shoes to fill, but I’ve got a plan to fill them.

I’m a big fan of titles. I like the power behind a strong name, and the positive visualization it allows. In 2017, The Year of Travel became a mantra of sorts, and it carried me through a year of adventure, excitement, and total happiness. So, instead of focusing on big resolutions, I’ve been trying to come up with a name for 2018. I thought about The Year of Big Moves, The Year of Change, The Year of Kindness… Nothing seemed quite right until my boyfriend suggested 2018: This One’s For Me. Cheesy? Maybe. Will I be getting a custom-made t-shirt and bumper sticker ordered immediately? You bet.

So much of what I ended up working on throughout the past year (the traveling, straightening out my finances, starting therapy, etc.) was in the pursuit of becoming the happiest version of myself – I just didn’t realize that at the time. I never set out to be a happier me in 2017. I simply started the process of learning how to make choices for myself, rather than for the benefit of everyone else. Someone very wise told me that “selfish” doesn’t have to be a bad word, and that it’s okay to make decisions in my own best interest. So, in the new year, I’m going to take what I learned in 2017 and act on it more deliberately. This one’s for me.

Resolutionized

Well, it’s finally here. 2017 is upon us. A new year has begun. You’ve already suffered through several of your “comedian” friends calling you to say “we haven’t spoken all year! ohmygod!” If you’re lucky (or maybe not so lucky), you got a kiss when the clock struck midnight, Cinderella-style. And, if you’re anything like me and just about everyone else, you’ve already written out some New Year’s Resolutions.

They may be silly, but I love New Year’s Resolutions. I love holidays in general, with their joyful celebrations and cheesy themes. I love that they are consistent – you can count on them coming around at the same time each year. Most of all, I love the corny traditions. I love singing Christmas carols and sharing what I’m thankful for and making gooey cards in the shape of hearts. So, of course, I love making a list of resolutions. It’s probably my favorite holiday tradition of all because it combines two of my favorite things in the world: festiveness and list-making. It’s my Type-A dream-come-true. I sit down, make a list of everything I want to improve about myself or my lifestyle, and enjoy the rest of the New Year’s Eve festivities feeling incredibly productive and self-congratulatory.

And I wake up the next day and don’t do a single thing.

And that’s the rub, isn’t it? We spend time making these lists of goals for the new year and then promptly forget everything we’ve said until the next New Year’s Eve comes along. But for me, this isn’t just an issue with resolutions. I have a really hard time following through with goals or commitments any time of the year. I go through phases of inspiring productivity, but as soon as the initial excitement wears off or an excuse to wane pops up, I am donezo.

For an entire month, I got up every other morning at 4:45 to do hot yoga before work. The last class of the month, I let myself skip because I had worked late the night before, and I haven’t been back since. One year, I signed on for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month) and dutifully tracked my word count for exactly three days, and on the fourth decided to watch a movie before working on the novel. To this day, the unfinished word document sits on my hard drive, mocking my lack of initiative. And, the biggest example of all, I have started about four blogs in the last five years. I get a boost of creativity, churn out posts for a good month or so, and slowly allow it to slip away. Then, when I’m ready to start again, I’m so ashamed at my own laziness that I just start a new blog so I don’t have to think about the old, neglected one. It’s pathetic, honestly.

Which brings us to here, today. January something. The first month of 2017. The start of something new. I’m posting what will hopefully be my last first blog post. I’ve made three New Year’s Resolutions for 2017, and following through on a creative project is one of them. Finally sticking with a resolution is another (so technically, if I actually do this thing, I can kill two birds with one stone – one roving stone). The last one is managing my money better, but I’m going to fudge a little and start that one tomorrow so I don’t have to feel guilty about spending startup money on a blog I may not ever look at again. See? I’m already off to a great start!

So, here’s to a great 2017. I hope you all stick with me, if nothing else to help me stick with this. I’m not sure what this year will have in store for me, or for this blog. I’m hoping for new adventures. I’m betting on many new lessons. I’m crossing my fingers for a little growth for good measure. And, starting today, I’m resolving for some dedication.

I’ve failed at twenty-two years’ worth of resolutions at this point, though, so maybe don’t hold your breath.

What are your Resolutions? Share them in the comments!