Sixteen In 2016

I read somewhere in a horoscope that this year, Geminis will spend the year looking back and moving thoughtfully forward. I’ve been thinking about what comes next, all while taking a look back at my achievements, challenges, passions, and skills. If you’ve found yourself staring at a blank piece of paper and wondering, ‘what now?’, you’re not alone. Putting these goals in writing brings me one step closer bringing them to fruition. I’d love to hear what you’re focusing on this year – care to share in the comments below?

  1. Be nicer to myself: My toughest critic is the voice inside my head that is constantly looking for a way to do better, be better, and achieve more. Not only is it exhausting, but it keeps me from seeing things through. I’ve got a 1,000,000 ideas, but none of them are worth a damn if I can’t see them through to completion.
  2. Pay off at least one debt: I haven’t always been the best with money, to say that I’m playing catch up is an understatement. In addition to making some poor life choices (UGH), I have been seriously undervaluing myself. I made a dent in one of my bills at the end of 2015 and the relief that washed over me was better than any shopping-related high. I hope this trend continues.
  3. Spend less time on social media: Even as I write this, that phrase feels counterintuitive. After all, social media consulting is one of my primary sources of income! Every time I sign into Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, not only do I get sucked into a mindless vortex, but I lose confidence in whatever I should be working on. I’ll start thinking about what others are doing or what their opinions of that project might be, and that allows the doubt to creep in. As my friend Kristin said, it’s time to keep my eyes on my own paper.
  4. Cook more: Living in NYC requires trading traditional conveniences, like a dishwasher or washer/dryer, for the privilege of having almost anything delivered, 24 hours a day. Everything is small in my studio apartment, including my stove, refrigerator, and counter space. Achieving my #2 goal not only requires me to value myself more, but to be more conservative so I can put more of my income to work. I’m already cooking at home more, and being more conscious of my food expenses. It’s a simple goal with a complex ripple effect, so making this a habit can have wide-reaching effects.
  5. Do more of what scares me: These days it feels like I’m afraid of a lot of things, from social settings to walking down stairs, and especially medical professionals of any kind. As a result, I’ve developed a lot of coping mechanisms that have left me living a very limited life. It’s time to change all that, especially now that I have health insurance (thanks Obama). Shoutout to all my friends who have volunteered to hold my hand anytime needles are involved. <3
  6. Be a better friend: Because of the issues I’ve been dealing with over the past few years, I have spent a lot of time by myself. I’ve missed birthday parties, important milestones, and many times in between. Taking better care of myself means I can take better care of my friends.
  7. Take my own advice: Looking back on the past two years, there are a lot of reasons for me to be proud. The times I could have done better were all opportunities for me to take my own advice. Stand up for myself. Have confidence in my work. Value myself. Frankly, if I can’t take my own advice how can I expect anyone else to?
  8. Smile more: It’s really that simple Sure, there are a lot of reasons to be sad, but you only need one to smile.
  9. Write every day: I could say that I’ve never been consistent, but that would be an understatement. It’s one of the reasons I love being a freelancer so much – I’m in control of my time and my tasks. Writing for myself always gets pushed to the bottom of the list in favor of tasks that are more tangibly tied to monetary gain. Many of my professional goals are tied to writing projects, so it’s time to get to typing. (Shoutout to my friend Kristina who is reading this post & yelling ‘I told you so!’ at her screen.)
  10. Play with color: Whether it be with my makeup or style choices, I’ve gotten way too comfortable reaching for all black. It’s time to mix it up, play around, and have a little fun.
  11. Make fewer plans: Some days my life is so tightly scheduled that there’s barely any time for work (like writing) in between subway rides, meetings, and events. Some weeks I wonder how I got anything done at all! A sense of obligation won’t pay my rent, and neither will coffee dates where people ‘pick my brain‘.
  12. Regain my confidence: All of the things I’ve been struggling with (alluded to in #5) have stripped away my confidence. It’s not something I talk about openly, but I feel like it’s been easy to tell if you look close enough. I don’t want another year to go by where I feel less than my best.
  13. Learn to code: Code is quickly becoming a fundamental part of our world, yet it’s rarely a part of our education system. Learning to code seems so intimidating, but it’s actually easy – and free. I’ll be exploring this more in the coming weeks, but there are a lot of free resources to help you get off to a great start. If Karlie Kloss can code, you can too!
  14. Volunteer: The only way we truly grow is to open ourselves up to new opportunities and experiences. Sharing the skills and education we’ve been so fortunate to have with others not only helps them to grow, but it just might help you grow in the process. It’s very important to me to give back this year in every way that I can.
  15. Unplug regularly: Our devices help us learn so much about the world (and beyond), but they also keep us from experiencing the present world around us. Spending less time on social media (#3) is a great first step, but spending a weekend unattached to screens is my ultimate goal. There are books, museums, and real life all waiting for us beyond the edge of our screens.
  16. Dream bigger: One of the strangest things that I’ve experienced in the past few years is people believing in me more than I believe in myself. It’s an incredible feeling that can easily become overwhelming. I want to feel like the person they see and believe in. This wouldn’t feel so daunting if I dreamed beyond the boundaries of my mind. Anything is possible.
  • The Glossier

    So, we might be the same person! I relate, so deeply, to all of these things. I’m a HUGE introvert, yet I love being social (sometimes), but just the idea of going out into the world makes me exhausted. Now that it’s a new year, I just feel like after so many years of being in my own world, I definitely would like to join the actual world, and meet new people, go more places, and do more things I haven’t done—I might even call my friends back, finally.

    Baby steps though.

  • The Glossier

    So, we might be the same person! I relate, so deeply, to all of these things. I’m a HUGE introvert, yet I love being social (sometimes), but just the idea of going out into the world makes me exhausted. Now that it’s a new year, I just feel like after so many years of being in my own world, I definitely would like to join the actual world, and meet new people, go more places, and do more things I haven’t done—I might even call my friends back, finally.

    Baby steps though.

  • kristinbooker

    ALL OF THIS. All of it. You deserve to become your own best advocate, cheerleader, health coach, best friend, private chef, and counsel. We have to fill ourselves up first. It makes us smarter businesswomen and better human beings. So proud of you. Love you. Here to support you.

  • kristinbooker

    ALL OF THIS. All of it. You deserve to become your own best advocate, cheerleader, health coach, best friend, private chef, and counsel. We have to fill ourselves up first. It makes us smarter businesswomen and better human beings. So proud of you. Love you. Here to support you.

  • Kristina Libby

    Such an amazing list! At the very least we can get you coding! 🙂 Let me know how else I can help!

  • <3 Did you like #9? 😉

  • Thank you so much for always being my cheerleader!

  • I’m 1,000% convinced that we’re the same.

    I’m also determined to figure out if I’m an introvert because I have depression or if my depression made me an introvert. 2016 is the year we find out!

  • Kristina Libby

    Bahahaha – Yes. 🙂 And for the record I did do a small fist pump when I read it. (as I’m procrastinating from doing my own writing!)

  • The Glossier

    That is such a great question! I’m fairly certain mine is a result of feeling outcasted as a kid, and also, partly when I WAS around others, having to suppress aspects of my personality people picked on me for, which was rather tiring. Over the years, I just found it easier (and safer) to retreat and be alone—and now, when I try to step out of that, it causes all sorts of anxiety, followed by guilt of not going out, followed by a monthly depressive episode due to being a recluse, rinse and repeat. *le sigh*

    (Also, I agree—we is twins.)

  • The Glossier

    That is such a great question! I’m fairly certain mine is a result of feeling outcasted as a kid, and also, partly when I WAS around others, having to suppress aspects of my personality people picked on me for, which was rather tiring. Over the years, I just found it easier (and safer) to retreat and be alone—and now, when I try to step out of that, it causes all sorts of anxiety, followed by guilt of not going out, followed by a monthly depressive episode due to being a recluse, rinse and repeat. *le sigh*

    (Also, I agree—we is twins.)

  • Your comments have given me so much to think about this weekend, and I’m so grateful. Thank you for sharing! I relate to so much of what you’re saying. For me, I’ve been able to trace a lot of my anxiety from interactions (especially with strangers) to fear, which is just awful. I definitely feel you on the guilt of not going out and SO MANY other forms of guilt.

    Seriously, we are so alike. This is incredible!