If you do a search for New Year's Resolutions on Google, you'll be met with plethora of results urging you not to partake in this age-old tradition. Forbes suggests ditching your New Year's Resolution for monthly goals; Power of Positivity want you to start your New Year's Resolution right now; Lifehack.org recommends waiting until February to start your resolutions. Personally, I used to be really into the idea of New Year's Resolutions when I was younger. The beginning of every new year was exciting and I couldn't wait to reinvent my identity and become hugely successful "this year." I'd work really hard for the first week of January, but then the new trimester would catch up to me and I would fall back into my old routines. In college, I thought that waiting until the new year to start new habits was pointless and everything needed to start right now. This resulted in a lot of new projects that would burn itself out at the first sign of adversity.
Lately, I've been watching a lot of Matt D'avella on Youtube. He's a minimalist who makes videos about self-improvements and habit-building. Those videos, along with several self-help books and lots of trial and error over the past year, have given me a new understanding of how to build new habits so that they'll stick. One of the first steps of successful habit building is to tell someone about what you want to do and why you want to do it. So that's what I'm going to do. Right now. On my blog. On the internet.
Here we go:
In 2020, I would like to make these improvements to my life:
Music: Build a sustainable and consistent practice schedule.
It's been difficult for me in the past to stick to a practice schedule. I always got it done, but it could be much better. This year, I am going to make it my absolute priority.
Personal: Write Morning Pages every morning when I wake up.
This is something I've done for periods in the past. The idea comes from Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way and consists of writing 3 pages of longhand first thing in the morning. I've felt the benefits when I've done it in the past, but for one reason or another, the practice always faded away in my life. This year, I'm going to attempt to make this habit stick. (Plus, it would keep me off of my phone for the first 30 minutes of the day, which I've heard is highly recommended.)
Health: Incorporate more fruits into my diet.
I lost 20 lbs in 2018 by counting calories. It completely changed my relationship with food (mostly for the better). Now that I'm happier with my weight, I am taking a deeper look at my diet. I have never been a big fan of fruits. Lately, though, I've been trying more varieties of fruits to try to figure out what I like. It's an exciting journey of food exploration and I'm ready for it.
I've been carefully planning out how exactly to execute these goals for the past few months, making micro-adjustments to my life along the way. Written down, they don't look like much, but I believe these habits will benefit me greatly in life. Now that my New Year's Resolutions are out in the universe, I've officially taken the first step. I'm filled with a giddy, nervous excitement. Thank you 2019, you've taught me so much. Welcome 2020, I can't wait to see what you have in store!
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed professional in nutrition or medicine. This is my personal story and journey. Consult a doctor before making major nutritional changes.
I have a confession: I'm a serial dieter. I've been hopping from fad diet to fad diet ever since the 5th grade. I've tried juice cleanses and single food diets and being vegetarian and cutting out carbs and even the Hollywood Cookie Diet that one time (I did it for 2 days before I quit, but I did end up with lots of yummy cookie snacks). All of this effort to try to achieve my perfect weight, which according to my mom, is always 20 pounds lighter than my current weight. Well, none of it had ever worked, not because the diets were crazy (well, the cookie diet was a little crazy), but because I never found one that I could stick to for one simple reason: I LOVE food. So, the years went by and my weight kept going up. I was never conventionally fat, but I was perpetually flirting with the line between healthy and overweight.
Last Christmas, 2017, I resolved to lose some weight. 10 lbs, not too crazy. Sure, I'd had weight loss as a resolution for the past 10 years, but I figured I'd give it another try. A real try this time. You see, I'd just graduated from college, I had a gym membership, a gym buddy (the boyfriend), and maximum control of what I put into my body. Armed with my Fitbit Alta and the matching app, I was ready.
Now, I've tried counting calories before, but those diets ended quickly due to 1) my lack of knowledge on how many calories are in any given food item, and 2) pure and simple laziness. But this time, I had help. The Fitbit app supplied me with all the information I needed including calories out, calories in, and a calorie counter set to losing one pound each week. For 4 months, I followed the app to a T. However, the results weren't so great. I was essentially binging and purging, but instead of throwing up, I'd walk laps around my building or in the hallway, just to earn that bubble tea. But I was obsessed. My Fitbit controlled my life.
It wasn't until I was in a performance that strictly prohibited jewelry that I was forced to part with my Fitbit device. Without the knowledge of how many calories I was putting out, I had to set a consistent calories-in value. That was when I stumbled onto Kathryn Morgan's Youtube Channel. She's a real life ballerina who danced with the New York City Ballet as a principle dancer. In one of her videos, she said that she eats about 1500 calories a day. And I decided if that's enough for a ballerina, then it's enough for me.
When I started limiting my calories to around 1500 each day, something unexpected happened. Something good: slowly but surely, the numbers on the scale started going down. To my surprise, the months of looking up calories for every food item and carefully measuring out food portions allowed me to eyeball food and get pretty darn close to it's caloric content. I started to gravitate toward whole foods and less processed foods because they are naturally lower in calories than their heavily-processed equivalents. I can have cheat days as long as at the end of the week, the average calories in clocked in at around 1500. And, best of all, it doesn't feel like a chore. It's completely sustainable for me.
Now, 7 months after my New Years resolution, I've lost 10 pounds. I wanted to share this story with you because counting calories generally gets a bad rap for causing obsessive behaviors. Or else, it's seen as a way to go on a junk food starvation diet. But I'm here to tell you that it is doable, and if you do it right, you'll think twice about grabbing that cupcake when you are in need of something sweet and reach for a peach instead. You may decide to wrap up half of a big meal and have the leftovers for another meal. Calorie counting is a tool to make you aware of what you are putting in your body. So if you would like to change your eating habits, don't blow off this method. Just be aware of why you are doing it and how this tool will help you. And if you try it and it doesn't work for you, that's great, too! Go on and experiment with other healthy diets and find the most sustainable one for you. And hey, good luck on your nutrition journey!
I did a thing this week! I moved to New York City with my boyfriend to pursue my dreams of being a successful musical theatre performer. It’s terrifying, I’m not going to lie. Now that I’m here, “living too far away” is no longer a valid reason to not go to auditions anymore. All that is left is my crippling fear of failure. *forced laugh turns into crying*
Now, I’ve moved many times (like… in the double digits times) in my 22 years of life. They’ve all been quite painful. But this time, I think I’ve finally figured the moving thing out, and I’m here to pass on my new-found knowledge. Here are 8 tips to make moving less painful for everyone involved.