We all make them. Some try to say they tossed their resolutions out before the ball even dropped. Then there are those who realize that they need a change. Very few stick to those resolutions just a day into the new year. Others go two to three weeks into the new year. Some see it through for the first three months and then give up. Then there are those who truly stick to their resolutions because they wanted to see it through until the end.
Over these last couple of years, I’ve tried to make resolutions, but because I was a little stuck in life, I just didn’t care about those resolutions because I wasn’t quite sure what it was about me that I wanted to change.
For those who don’t know, I was faced with my own mortality back in 2013 when I was told I had a tumor in my parathyroid gland (the gland that synthesizes calcium). The gland and the tumor had to come out. I was told to prepare for the worst. The worst was death. I found out in August 2013. On October 22, 2013, I went under the knife and woke up a very different person.
I’ve been pushing myself since then to try to get back to some sort of normalcy. But it just wouldn’t come. That normalcy is about finding out who you are now that everything in your universe has changed. This is normal for people who have had a major surgery or are faced with their own mortality (like a heart attack, an accident, cancer, etc.). Your life before that moment means nothing to you. It’s who you are after the surgery or life threatening moment that you are trying to define. Just who are you now and what do you want out of life?
Since the surgery, I’ve had friends so absorbed in their own worlds that the second they can stop and ask what is going on they are shocked to discover just how much I’ve been struggling since the surgery and what I’ve been doing to get back to being normal again. I can tell you one thing…it has not been easy.
But this year, I feel like it is time to evolve into the person I am trying to become, and in some cases, get back to.
This past year, I’ve been sharing a few of the things I’ve been doing on Instagram and Twitter. It’s a way to take a glimpse at the path I’m ultimately following. I’ve found that when you are on the right path, everything works out more magically for you than you can ever imagine. I’ve made a lot of new friends this past year and have met and spoken to a lot of incredible people this past year. When I got the invitation to Martha Stewart’s conference, I was shocked.
That was synchronicity. It was the defining moment of 2015 that helped me understand what I was going to do with my life. What direction my life was heading was all laid before me in that conference. It was like I could finally connect the dots stretching across the universe before me to create a new destiny. In other words, I finally saw the person I was to become.
When people ask me what my resolution this year is, I say it’s to work on my Type-A personality. People laugh like that’s absolutely crazy. Who wants to work on being Type-A? Well, I’ve been lingering between Type-A and B and I’m kind of sick and tired of being stuck in the middle there, gravitating between getting shit done and being too lazy to do it.
My friend said to me after Thanksgiving that she had read that the way you can tell if a person is Type-A or Type-B all falls under when they put their Christmas tree up. Type-A’s have the tree up no later than the day after Thanksgiving. Type-B’s procrastinate. They get their trees up no later than Christmas Eve. My tree was up the day after Thanksgiving. Waiting until Christmas Eve would have driven me crazy since there’s so much to do between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Now, I’m going nuts because the tree is still up and it’s January 2. No worries…it’s coming down at some point today. I only kept it up until now because Matthew Lucifer’s birthday was yesterday and he loves hiding out under the tree.
Getting back to being Type-A, it falls under being a Perfectionist Wannabe. Martha Stewart is the epitome of the Perfectionist. After all, when it comes to home stuff, don’t we ask, “What would Martha do?” One thing I learned at the conference is that we all need to be just as good as Martha, so that one day people will say, “What would ______ do?”
So this year, at the top of my list is to work on being a Type-A for one simple reason…because focusing on being that Type-A is what drives the motivation behind doing all of the things I want to do in life. I’m tired of dreaming or just trying to figure out what I want to do. Being a Type-A motivates me to stop thinking about it and just do it already. Meandering between Type-A and Type-B to me means thinking about it, thinking about doing it, and then coming up with a lot of reasons on why I can’t do it. When you do that, you find you start to suffer.
So I’m going to take you through each resolution one at a time.
FOCUS ON BEING THE TYPE-A PERSONALITY.
KON MARI (DECLUTTER) THE HELL OUT OF MY LIFE IN ALL ASPECTS: HOME, MIND, BODY, FINANCES, AND LIFE.
Over the next five months, I’ll be sharing how I’m decluttering the various aspects of my life. The reason why I chose to make this a major resolution is because I found that I was buried under so much stuff that each weekend when I told myself I was going to write, I’d find myself spending the entire weekend cleaning and taking care of stuff around the house. I never got around to doing the things I wanted to do to advance my life because I was too busy taking care of the shit I already had in my life. In November, I learned about the Japanese art of decluttering and started to apply it to my life. I feel so much better now that I’ve started to create the right kind of change in my life. I’m getting rid of things so I don’t have to take care of them anymore. The less tidying I have to do, the more time I have to do the things I really want to be doing with my life.
I learned over these last couple of months that decluttering doesn’t just happen with your things, but it should also happen with the things you keep in your heart and your mind. It should happen with your finances. You have to clean house in every single aspect.
One thing I didn’t expect out of this were the emotions that come out of nowhere. They’re emotions you never knew you had. It can be pretty ugly to face, but it gets to the root of the problem with why you stockpile so many things around you…why you shop so much…why you do X, Y and Z until you are drowning in it. When you face it, it will help you move forward to living with only the things you need in order to be happy.
PRACTICE YOGA REGULARLY.
This year will mark my 40th year of life. One of the goals I’ve had for myself since I was in my early 20s was to have a yogalicious body. Well, that Type-B in me has procrastinated until now. So this is the year I want to finally make that change a permanent change.
DEVELOP CONTENT DAILY FOR PERFECTIONIST WANNABE. WORK HARD AT MAKING THE SITE SUCCESSFUL.
One thing I’ve discovered over these last few months is that the thing I wanted to do most was create more content and make this site successful. But being bogged down with so many other things (like stuff) made me realize it’s time to be that Type-A, declutter the stuff that doesn’t bring me joy, and really bust my ass to do the things I want to do for this site.
Two days in a row of posting in 2016. You can say I’m off to a good start.
I’ve been promoting my work, researching and putting things together to make sure I turn this site in the direction I want it to go into.
READ 52+ BOOKS THIS YEAR. 12 OF WHICH NEED TO BE A CLASSIC (1 CLASSIC A MONTH).
This is a resolution I make every year. These last two years, it’s fallen to the wayside. I decided to really to get things moving this year, especially since I’ve been talking to publishers these last six months.
These past few days, I’ve been following a lot of Instagram accounts for people who love books. I’ve followed a January Instagram challenge. I’ve sorted through and picked the books I want to read and review this month. Photographed it. Posted it. More importantly, I’ve spent plenty of time reading, so I know I’ll cross one book off my ‘to be read’ list later today. That’s one book down by the second day in 2016. That is huge progress, especially since that’s a book I was supposed to review months ago.
52 books may seem like a lot, but I hope to read over 100. There were a few Instagram accounts I followed that read over 100 books in 2015! If they can make it possible, I know I can at least attempt to read over 52 books this year. I’d feel like I accomplished something HUGE!
I do listen to audio books at the office and while I’m commuting or walking. I’ve cracked out a few books this past year that way. Now that I feel passionate about reading again and have started following a community with that same passion, I believe this is definitely a resolution that will be completed by the end of 2016.
[NOTE: If you have a resolution you need help with, follow inspiring accounts on Instagram of people with that same goal in mind. A lot of times seeing something visually beautiful and stimulating, sharing your progress and joining challenges will help inspire you to complete your goal.]
GO ON A SPENDING DIET (SEE #2). HAVE FEWER, BUT BETTER THINGS.
I carry a piece of paper in my wallet that says “Have Fewer, But Better Things.” At first, figuring out what ‘better things’ was netted me a lot of stuff just to pare it down to figure out what was ‘better.’ In the process, I discovered what I truly loved. I kept only the things I knew would last for a very, very long time. These were the things that I enjoyed. In the process, I started to find my own sense of style. No more are the things that don’t fit, pinch a little, or I don’t feel absolutely amazing in. They were donated or sold.
I also have a large entertainment collection consisting of videos and books. I learned new ways to pare those things down, and go digital. That meant getting with the times and investing in new technology that would allow me to simplify my life, organize everything, and help me to get rid of things that would only require maintenance and space in my home. The goal is essentially to have fewer, but better things.
That means…for the next 6 months, while I am saving for another resolution, I’ll be focused on a spending diet so I don’t accumulate while I’m trying to declutter and get things under control. The focus is fewer, but better things. I already have the better things, I just need to pare all the other stuff out just to make sure that’s all I have. I don’t want to add to it anymore.
PHOTOGRAPH MORE. RELEASE THE WORKS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS (like the Pete Yorn photo collection like the photo that appears above).
So when I met Pete Yorn after one of his concerts in NYC, I mentioned I was a photographer, because I had been photographing him all night in front of the stage. He asked me where my studio was (I had a good laugh).
I promised him a couple of years ago I’d release my photo collection of him from that night. Yeah. It’s been two years. That Type-A in me from here on out will be getting that collection, as well as all of the others, out this year. After all, there are some photos out there that is available for sale through stock photography already. I just have to work on a few more of my relationships with a few other stock photography companies this year. Trust me, it’s on my TO DO list.
The stuff like this Pete Yorn photo are treated a little differently. When the collection is released, it’s not available for stock photography. It will be available in more of the art photography form. A little pricier than licensing to publish a photo. His photos are part of the Rockstar collection. I would like to continue the Rockstar collection this year. We’ll see who I add to the collection…
FINISH THE NOVEL. NO EXCUSES.
No more procrastinating. Just finish it.
LIVE EACH DAY FULLY. WORK HARD. PLAY HARD. ENJOY IT ALL, EVEN THE TOUGH STUFF.
WRITE, WRITE AND WRITE. THEN WRITE SOME MORE BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO WRITE.
TRY TO EAT MORE FRUITS/VEGETABLES WITH EACH MEAL. SNEAK IT IN SOMEHOW.
Since the surgery in 2013, I gravitate between being a foodie and a kiddie. That first year, you couldn’t ask me to get beyond eating what you’d feed your 5 year old child. Grilled cheese. Chicken nuggets. Tater tots. Spaghetti with meat sauce. You know, the simple stuff.
I couldn’t enjoy the finer things that first year after the surgery. Now, I either have a foodie moment, or I eat kid food. There’s no in between. When people say they’re on a diet, I look at them like…what’s that?
I don’t eat a lot of food. I only eat as much as my body is interested in eating (which isn’t much). What I would like to do is in that little amount of food I consume, that my veggies be more than ketchup with my chicken nuggets. I would like to enjoy fruits and vegetables again. This is a 2 year struggle post-op. I’m hoping this is the year I get beyond the protein and carbs and can really add in fruits/vegetables on a regular basis.
MAKE MORE FRIENDS AND CONTACTS. GET TO KNOW YOUR FOLLOWERS.
Over the years, I have tried not to get close to people. I’ve tried to make sure there was that barrier. You can say there were a few too many stalkers and weirdos in my past that contributed to that decision.
Over these last couple of years, I’ve learned that I can handle the crazies and the fans that call me all the time, text me, message me to the point of…ok…you’re being a little awkward and weird. I can handle it now.
Why punish everyone because there are a few people that get a little nutso? There are a lot of great people out there. I’ve made some great friends over this last year in the various industry events I’ve attended. I’ve been learning to start being friendlier to complete strangers on social media, and not so guarded. Kindness gets you so much farther in the world these days. Besides, being kind and just talking to people (including the homeless) has made me really see life in a whole new perspective. It’s helped me to finally see humanity in everyone…including the forgotten and ignored.
FIND A SITTER FOR MATTHEW SO YOU CAN GO ON VACATION THIS YEAR.
So the main reason why I have not been able to travel in these last two years was because I was under a medical travel restriction the first year post-op. After that, I adopted Matthew Lucifer. He’s my sweet, adorable, can turn into Lucifer himself, Maine Coon cat. He’s not a normal cat. He is HIGH MAINTENANCE.
I can leave the other cat home for a week…no problem. Matthew…I can’t leave alone for one night. Both cats would be dehydrated if I left them alone a whole day, because Matthew plays with water. He dumps out his water bowl so he can play in the water. I have not been able to kick him of this habit. He literally picks the heavy container up using his entire body weight to dump out the contents. I fill his water bowl 3 times every morning. Usually, there’s no water in the bowl when I get home.
Matthew is like a 4-year old child (he turned 4 yesterday). You can’t leave him alone unattended for too long. He is very social, but he’s not good with sleepovers because he is known to bite and keep people up all night long. I had mom brain the whole first year I had him. He’s been sleeping from 8PM-5:30AM for only 3 months now. He wakes at 5:30AM, wakes mom up, and doesn’t stop until 6AM when it’s time for breakfast. If you don’t rise to feed him at 6AM, plan on dealing with Lucifer until you get out of bed. Full on cat attack while you’re trying to sleep. Every morning it is like this.
If only I could find him a sitter so I can go to South America…I could really begin to travel again.
BUY YOUR NEW HOME BY THE END OF THE YEAR.
I’ve been tossing between buying/building for the last two years. This is the year I’ll make that decision. I am tired of living where I’m living now, being bothered by other people. I just want a place all my own without crazy landlords calling me up about apartments that have nothing to do with me. Like I care the person next to me is moving out. Why are you telling me to list their apartment? It has nothing to do with me. [Yes, this did happen just last month.]
HIT ALL MONTHLY FINANCIAL GOALS YOU’VE SET FOR YOURSELF. HUSTLE.
If you want to reach your own financial goals, you have to buckle down and get serious about it. If I want to build my dream house, it requires the right funds. If I want this site to do what I want it to do, I have to hustle. If I want my own personal success and dreams to come true, I have to hustle. The goal this year is to make sure all of those goals are met, especially financially. It is not cheap to do the things I do. There is a lot of money vested into the success of this site. Between events, appearances, the correct wardrobe to go with it, conferences, etc. it costs a lot to go and do these things.
I have a certain audience and they are my peers. Who are my peers? The same people who understand that if you want a dream to come true, it takes a lot of your own capital. You have to really invest in that life in order to make yourself successful. If you want to be a millionaire, you have to surround yourself with millionaires. You want to be an artist, you have to surround yourself with other artists. You want to be a writer, you have to surround yourself with people in the industry.
When you have money and invest in putting yourself among those people that are the influencers and will inspire you to make your dream happen, it’s easier. Most people think that success comes from luck, busting your ass, etc. I’ll let you in on a secret…it is a whole lot easier when you have the money that can put you in the same audience as those people you admire and strive to be like.
What I plan to do over the course of this next year requires some serious hustle in order for this site (and my life) to turn into what I envision it to be.
All of the previous resolutions, especially the Type-A resolution, is what will fuel me in making sure that the ultimate goal for 2016 for this site comes to fruition.
So over this year, I’ll be sharing this Type-A hustle journey with you. There are so many aspects to it, especially with the decluttering over these next 5 months.
If you love to read books, follow my Instagram: diaryofaperfectionistwannabe. I’ll be joining a lot of the reading challenges and discussing books there, since there is a pretty huge community there discussing it. I’ll also look for other avenues to discuss books/movies, etc. with everyone if I see there’s an interest.
At any rate, I look forward to talking to everybody. Feel free to share your resolutions or thoughts below. Is there anything you’d like to see from the site this year? Just let me know. I already have one request in re: Justin Bieber…