At the start of the New Year, I was very determined to sit down and evaluate myself and my life up to the current point. As everyone has, I’ve had my ups and my downs. But recently, within the last semester, I’ve let myself go—in more ways than one. Maybe it is the impending reality of life outside of school. Maybe it is my new-forming comfort in the home I’m creating in Chicago. Maybe it’s the fear of where my life will take me in the years to come.
Whatever it is, I have started realizing that no matter where I am in my life currently, or where I am headed, there are three little things I can do for myself in the year to come that should put me on track for a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life!
I made a small list of things that I want to change for myself. I don’t think of this as a New Year’s resolution so much as a way to keep my focus and drive, a way to ground myself in the reality of my existence and the reality of my future.
1. Read more voraciously
This is perhaps the one goal I am most excited for in the coming months and years. When I was younger, I would practically devour books. I think this is what stimulated my creativity. Going to school, working, being on set, and all the other adult things I am dealing with have given me little to no time to focus on one of my favorite pastimes. In order to combat this, I have organized a 2016 Reading Challenge for myself that will motivate me to not only read more, but also to broaden my horizons. A lover of fiction, I hope to delve more into nonfiction writing as well.
Reading isn’t limited to novels or books, though. I will read the news more actively, and even venture into scientific journals and magazines as a way to expand my horizons. It is said, after all, that we can find stories anywhere. Reading is a great place to start.
2. Eat healthier
I know this is perhaps the most clichéd of goals, but it is time to really commit to a healthier lifestyle. I was motivated after seeing my uncle finish a marathon. I thought that if he has the drive to run a marathon, then I have the drive to not only stick to a rigid workout regimen, but also to eat foods beneficial to my lifelong health.
Sometimes it is easy to forget about how important your body is to your ability to function creatively. With the chaos of every day life overwhelming you, it’s sometimes hard to get to the grocery store, or to shell out a few extra bucks for fresh fruits and vegetables. I’ve recently found that my desire to create has waned, and I believe it’s due to the poor health choices I’ve been making. If I can care for my body, then I can care for my mind.
One thing I have always struggled with (ALWAYS!!) is my organization. I am the type of person who tries to stay as organized as possible, but ultimately I forget my organization tactics, which hurts me in the long run. If you know me personally, you know that I’m always relying on others to help me remember deadlines and meetings.
This year will be different. My dependence on others, though sometimes OK, has become too much of a crutch. I hate looking people in the eye and knowing they see my inability to maintain my appointments and deadlines as a weakness. I recently began reading a self-help book that will help my organization around my apartment, but I know the same tactics will translate into my professional life as well.
In the field I am in, it is extremely important to be on top of your game. Otherwise you risk the consequences of being fired, let go, or overlooked for someone else. If you can prove that you have a handle on your life and that you know how to handle increasing stress levels, you will always be able to find work, and people will respect you for it.
I hope this year proves to be a fulfilling one. I know that my most fulfilling years were the ones where I was actively working on MYSELF and not on the extraneous details. A healthy self is the key to health and success in every other field, after all.