Tory: Reflecting and Resolving


So I’d like to preface this entire post by saying that I don’t particularly believe in making “new year’s resolutions.” As I posted in the comments of Theresa’s blog of the same nature yesterday, I am a firm believer that if a habit is worth starting, it’s not worth saving for any particular day. If you’re putting off starting something for the new year, how long have you been just avoiding doing it? The longer you wait to start doing something, the less chance you have of actually doing it! Plus, 99% of adults are too hungover on January 1st to even think about starting anything new, more or less remember their resolutions, or the date, at all (this year, I am not one of those people, because I got the stomach flu for my birthday on the 30th, and I celebrated NYE from Los Angeles via snap chat with my friends and family in east coast time zones so I could crash by 10PM, HA) (Side note: it feels great to be not hungover, will elaborate below).

That being said, I do love the chance for reflection this time of year allows. The new year is a great benchmark for your goals, it’s an easy time to look back at exactly one year and think of the highs and lows, and what you’ve accomplished, as well as things that have maybe slipped your mind. So I’m going to organize this post by first reflecting on my past year, my highs and lows, and then looking ahead to the things I’m going to continue doing, and the benchmarks I set for myself to make sure I’ve achieved them. So here goes!

Looking back on 2015

  • One year ago, I made the move to Los Angeles from Orange County. Then I moved within Los Angeles again in July. I became a master mover, and a master Craigslist apartment filterer, and a master awesome-roommate-finder. (ACCOMPLISHMENT)
  • I joined an adult soccer league. This meant I was not only playing soccer again (my favorite!) but I also made a bunch of friends. I’m still friends with these people, and I still play soccer with these people. (ACCOMPLISHMENT)
  • I drank way too much in 2015. Just like, way too much. I drank way too frequently, and way too much. I won’t get into the details, but it’s pretty obvious that you just feel better when you don’t drink all the time. I have picked up so many other healthy habits, but drinking incessantly has put a little bit of a stopper on how great those habits feel. (PITFALL)
  • I became a morning person. I wake up early every morning, go for a run, make my bed, shower, make myself some breakfast and a coffee, get dressed, and feel like a badass bitch walking out the door every morning. And I love the look on peoples’ faces when I tell them I wake up at 5AM. (ACCOMPLISHMENT)
  • I have been at my job full-time for 14 months, I got a raise, a real holiday bonus, and survived my first employee review! (ACCOMPLISHMENT)
  • I didn’t read as much as I wanted to. Chalk it up to spending my days staring at two computer screens, but when I get home, I make dinner, clean up, and then it’s usually bedtime. I subsequently have a stack of unread, or just unfinished, books on my nightstand. (PITFALL)
  • I didn’t create as much “art” as I have in the past. For some reason, I’m not particularly upset about it, but I’d love to take more photos and continue developing my stenciling skills so I’ll be a little harsh on myself and call this a (PITFALL)
  • I ended the year with approximately the same amount of money that I started with. Now, I want to call this an accomplishment, because I am surviving in Los Angeles on an entry-level salary, but when I think about how I spent my money, and how I didn’t save my money, I think I could do better with a tighter budget and more limited spending. (PITFALL)
  • I wrote a lot, much more than in 2014, but for some reason I’m still unsatisfied with the amount I’ve written. We’ll call this a (PITFALL) and remember that sometimes, our goals can shift over the course of the year, and we shouldn’t settle just because we’ve met our original goals, we should always strive to be more and do more than we can, because at that rate, soon you’ll be able to.
  • I STARTED THE SUNDAZE! I started it originally to write about music, but look at what it’s expanded to, I have 5 awesome friends who write here with me, and slowly but surely, we’re starting a community of awesome young people just chomping at the bit to experience the world around us. This is a huge (ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!)

Looking ahead to 2016

  • Carrying my momentum from 2015, I’m going to continue being a “morning person.” I’ve reaped so many great benefits of just getting up and starting the day, that I’m going to resolve to continue. Plus, there’s nothing better than getting home after work, being exhausted, seeing your perfectly made bed, and knowing you’ve already slayed your workout for the day so you don’t have to feel guilty about crawling in early!
  • As well as that, I started a much healthier diet toward the end of the year. In between gorging myself with my family at holiday parties (duh), I was eating a lot more vegetables, a lot fewer carbs, and much leaner meats. I cut out a lot of cheese, which, I know it sounds hard, but it’s good, people, it’s good. I discovered some new favorite healthy snacks and meals which I’ll definitely also resolve to share with you here this year!
  • And to top off health goals, I’m definitely going to drink less. I’m not going to cut it out completely, and I’m still working on how to “benchmark” this one, but I’ll let you know as it comes to me. Plus, this can’t be a bad thing for my wallet.
  • I started thinking about stand-up comedy toward the end of the year, and with all the madness that is the holiday season, I only had time to scribble a few notes here and there re: what I’d stand up and comede about. So I’m definitely working toward getting onto a stage sometime in 2016 and seeing whether or not people actually think I’m funny. (Related: I’m also working toward building a much larger Twitter following. I rebranded my twitter to be anonymous and more geared toward joke-telling. I’ve managed to add about 200 in the past 2 months, and realistically I think I can surpass 5k by the end of 2016, so maybe that’s my benchmark as well).
  • Professionally, I think 2016 will be the year of a new job for me. I’ve begun the early phases of redesigning myself, and getting my portfolio together, so then it’ll just be about networking, networking, networking, and finding a good fit for me!
  • Re: The Sundaze. Obviously I’m going to keep the blog alive for all of 2016 (and forever after that). I started doing interviews in 2015, and I have an idea of specific individuals, and also types of individuals I’d like to interview in 2016 (basically I want to start getting more people involved). I’m going to continue building a following of readers and creating a community of like-minded individuals.
  • I have my eye on a few writing classes that I’m working on saving up to attend, I’d love the opportunity to write for other outlets as well as The Sundaze (obviously), and it would be amazing to see my writing in a widely-respected publication. So once again we’re back to networking, networking, networking, learning from the best, and continuing to find my voice.
  • I want to take more photographs. I have a camera that I love and while I do get a lot of use out of it, I’m always finding myself in situations where I wish I had it. So just, more.
  • I’m going to rework my budget. I “use” Mint. And I put sarcastic air quotes on “use” because basically Mint just sends me emails every week telling me how much I spend and how much I didn’t save and how much money I don’t have. So Mint, I’m resolving to use you, and not just “use” you.
  • And sadly, I guess my 2016 reading resolution is to finish my 2015 reading list.
  • And the rapidfire list: Go to the beach more, drink more good coffee, ride my bike more places, get rid of more stuff, hike more miles, laugh more, spend more time with awesome people, stop worrying about dating, help people every day, hear (even) more good music (I heard so much in 2015), be my best self every day, and KEEP ON SLAYING. Because through all my highs and lows in 2015, I was still a boss. And I plan on keeping it that way.

Bring in the new year right, people, and keep on keepin’ on. reflecting and resolving

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