As of today...

I’ve never made a New Years resolution before. Nor did I make one this year, but something changed in me this morning when I woke up, and I thought, “I want a change.”

I like to think that I am someone who has made changes throughout my life whenever I haven’t been happy with something, but the truth is I have just been going through the motions. Following someone else’s lead. Trying to justify why I did something for myself when in large part it was for someone else. Today that changes. Today I actually write down things I want myself to do more or less of, and hold myself accountable. Today I better my body, mind and soul. Today is a new beginning. Today “it” starts. 

As of today I will drink at least two cups of water when I wake up to hydrate my body and put the main component of what I am made up of back into myself.

It is a commonly known fact that water is the key to great skin, great health, great energy, but for some reason so many of us ignore this fact.

As of today I will moisture daily.

Lathering lotion onto your face and body can prevent years and years of aging, but it just feels like another long step in a routine that must be quick. I feel like especially with men, we don’t think of this step enough because it isn’t really engraved in us to have silky skin like women, but the truth is that silky skin will help you preserve longer. My doctor friends even say it is their number one recommendation behind drinking more water.

As of today I will brush my teeth every morning, not just every night.

You may think ew gross, but unless all my friends have been hiding something from me, you haven’t noticed because I make sure I have chewed gum, had a mint or somehow masked the fact that I wasn’t brushing consistently every morning.

It is also proven that a healthy mouth equals a healthy body. To do something so simple and save yourself headaches, money and stress seems a no-brainer.

It’s weird that this new behavior sparked a thought in me. I realized that when I have someone in bed next to me when I wake up, I automatically brush my teeth in the morning because I want to be able to greet the day with a kiss. I am worried about someone’s “wellbeing.” However, if I wake up alone, I don’t find this to be of chief importance because there is no one essentially to hold me responsible to the fact that I must do this. I’d like to use the excuse it’s a matter of time, but the truth is that is just an excuse. No more.

This leads me to my next resolution.

As of today I will not have to have someone else hold me responsible to do something.

I will be the boss in my own life and I will hold myself responsible for everything. This is something I have done forever. I mean I have had a job since I was 14. But I don’t think I have been truly holding myself as accountable as I could. I haven’t been pushing hard enough to make the life I want to have because until today I didn’t know what life that was.

I think this idea of holding one’s self responsible, first saw some sparks of ignition one morning my senior year of college as I laid in bed, and realized that no one will fix things for you except you. I was in massive credit card debt because my parents fed me bullshit that they would take care of my bills and then didn’t, which lead to further debt. I woke up that morning and just said, “today we fix things for us,” and you know what, I did. It took some time and patience, but eventually I straightened things out for myself. I am continuously doing this, as I think we all are, but it is an amazing feeling to know that you are working towards a bigger picture. A picture that is your own happiness and stress-free life.

The moment you realize you hold the power to making your life what you want it to be, you become infinite with power. I guess what this resolution truly is, is staying on this path and remembering each day that I hold the pandora key.

While I feel like I may have not been hard enough on myself in certain aspects of my life, I have definitely been too hard on myself in many other ways.

As of today I will not beat myself up.

I will not be sorry that I am not as tall as all the super models in the world. I will not be sorry that my voice isn’t grizzly and super macho. I will not be sorry that I have a bump in my nose, which is the result of breaking it three times. As of today I will not be ashamed at how I look because it makes other people feel certain ways about me. I will be proud and bask in my individuality. 

As of today I will not be the person everyone else wants me to be. I will be Barrett. The Barrett I want to be.

I have tried to do this my whole life, as I think we all do, but it’s hard. For some dumb reason it feels impossible to be 100% true to ourselves in this day and age. There are so many pressures coming at us from friends, family, society, media, etc that push us into endless abysses of not holding 100% true to us. I am done with that. I have been Barrett for a long time, today I become Barrett.

As of today I will be confident.

I will walk tall, shoulders back, head held high and be grounded in who I am. I will be proud that I am me. I will let my white light shine.

As of today I will spend time on me.

I will allow myself to not only have me time when it is laid out. I will make the time for myself to not feel rushed, so that I can enjoy the little things I find so pleasing. I will give myself the time I give so many others without thinking.

As of today I will not feel guilty about not doing something I thought I should do, but didn’t want to.

I find that guilt is something that is imbedded in us from such a young age, mostly by our parents, Jewish or not, and creates an anxious feeling inside of us that is just unnecessary. Yes, you should go to the gym, but not going two days a week or even five days one week should not be something to kill yourself over. (Side note: go to the gym).

This goes along with the idea of F.O.M.O. the fear of missing out. I will not feel like I have to go to some stupid bar, club, party, dinner etc because I am worried I will miss out on something that most likely won’t happen. What we are told as we get older is true, it’s the same thing just a different day. Nothing is going to happen at X event that is different than any other event, and if Barack Obama, Beyonce, or whoever you may love does for some reason show up to X event that fuck that sucks, but chances are you weren’t destined to be besties anyways.

As of today I will not stress so much over money.

Money it seems has been an endless burden on my shoulder. I grew up in the upper middle class and I was never lacking the basics for survival: food, water, clothes, shelter, but money was always a stress on my family. Things were never easy to put it nicely, so I grew up to stress about money. However, every time I stress about money all I am doing is stressing myself out, which in the end serves no purpose. Stress only wears on us. It makes us sick. It creates an unnecessary uneasiness. It tailspins you into a frenzy, and in the end it all seems to work out. Maybe not how I had planned, but it does and that’s all the really matters.

As of today I will be more patient.

I am someone who has a hard time waiting for things. I like so many people crave instantaneousness, but the problem is when we rush we usually make mistakes. We read situations wrong. We overlook important details. We don’t fully analyze. Letting things run their course usually means that things are building to something bigger and better. Take a moment, check yourself, and proceed. This goes back to the idea that everything works out in the end.

As of today, I will not do things I do not want to do.

Or rather do things on someone else’s time, plan, or beliefs if it doesn’t match up with what I truly want to do. Of course, we all have to do things we do not want to do, but what I mean in saying this is that I will no longer bend over backwards for people, who do not give a shit about me. I will not meet with you because now you need something and it is the well-mannered thing to do.

“You don’t know how good something is till it is gone,” is beyond true and I refuse to have that be my problem for someone else. I will continue to be polite, gracious and mannered, but I will not be yours to abuse. For anyone to do this is insane.

I once was told a story about why someone I know doesn’t wear a watch, and I think this story really explains what I am trying to get at. This friend said that her father had never worn a watch, and told her that he would never because it meant you were doing things on someone else’s time. If you are enjoying someone or something than why should you stop yourself in order to go do something else? Life is too short and precious to do things that we feel obligated to do, but in the big picture serve no purpose. Yes, what about things like work? Well the truth is if you don’t love your job, or are not at least somewhat happy doing it, than I question you.

I think the Europeans have really found a balance to this idea; it was extremely present when I lived in France and traveled all over Europe. Everything shuts down on Sundays, people have really long dinners, and the amount of vacation time is crazy, but shit still gets done and everyone survives. P.S. they are as countries for the most part doing better than us in every way. According to a study done by the United Nations, the world is a happier place than it was five years ago, but the United States ranking 17th this year has only been falling in terms of overall happiness each year. Just something to consider.

Lastly, as of today I will continue to be gracious, thankful and happy that I am alive.

I have been given the gift to wake up this glorious morning and have endless opportunities await me. I am beyond lucky enough to have people in my life that make my days brighter and that I can call family whether they are blood or not.

I hope in reading my own personal resolutions, you have identified with some ideas and take this as a catalyst to make the changes you want today, not tomorrow. There will always be a tomorrow. There will always be another excuse. I say no more. Today is the only day. 

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Posted on January 31, 2014 .