Soon, we’ll be accidentally signing “2018” on everything before realizing it’s MARCH of 2019. Seriously, the saying should be “at the speed of life” not “light,” because wow where did 2018 go?
And with every new year comes notebooks and newsfeeds full of New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I’m skipping the resolutions.
Although 2018 was packed to the brim and profusely overflowing with joyful moments, challenging lessons, and endless adventures—I’m uber-excited to add to my pile of “good” in 2019. This upcoming year, instead of looking to get rid of “bad things,” I’m choosing to add some good.
Here are 8 positive changes I’ll be making in 2019, and I’d love for you to join me.
1.Volunteering more of my talents.
Currently, I volunteer on a regular basis—usually at schools as a mentor, with organizations that provide services to underprivileged people, or walking all the adorable doggos at the shelter. However, in 2019, I plan to volunteer in a totally new way: By giving my talents away for free.
There are a few things I’m decently good at: writing, editing, and health consulting. Two of those things (writing and editing) are in high demand for basically all organizations and foundations. However, most people find it easier to show up and donate their time or money instead of sacrificing their time AND money by doing work for free.
I’m challenging myself to look for opportunities where I can add value to an organization by freely doing work for them. Work that I’m good at and proud of. So, if you know of a good cause that could use my help—please send their contact my way.
PS: I’m in no way saying this is better or more valuable than any other type of volunteering!!!! They all matter and they’re all needed.
2. Actively healing broken relationships.
Relationships break apart. They shatter like grandma’s glass vase, a family heirloom, as it’s struck by a Lego during a Lego war. (Not that I have experience, purely assuming.) Anyway, relationships are delicate things—both romantic and platonic.
I’ve had my fair share of friendship go askew over the most ridiculous arguments: who should take out the trash, why personal information was shared without asking, and the breaking of promises. Yes—those last two should never happen—but they do, because we’re human.
Here’s the thing: Just because a friendship has gone south, doesn’t mean you can’t take the steps to rectify it—no matter how long it’s been. This year, I’m going to toss my pride aside, have some hard conversations, apologize profusely, and actively seek to heal some of my broken relationships.
Not because I don’t have enough good relationships, but because life is way too short to let the broken ones fester. Sure, some of them probably deserve to be left alone, but where I can, I plan to do some major healing.
3. Taking chances on blind faith (only if they’re authentic).
In 2017 I landed a highly respectable job. In 2018 I walked away from that job with no plan. And in 2019, I plan to do a whole lot more of that—going places without a plan.
This plan of having no plan is not what I’m used to—it makes me a tiny bit uncomfy if we’re honest. But here’s why I’m OK with it: I’ve got a decent sense of who I am, what I value, the skills I possess, and what I am/am not willing to do. And if I use that knowledge to make authentic decisions aligned with who I am, I believe I’ll end up where I need to be. And maybe I’ll discover a plan along the way. Or maybe I won’t. But one day I’ll look back on the wild maze that’s been my life and think to myself, “That’s why that happened!” And it’ll all make sense.
Phases in life that seem random and wrong today, end up making all the sense in the end. And in 2019 I plan on living my life rooted in that belief (and that’s the 1 plan I’m willing to stick to).
4. Singing and dancing daily.
I am not a gifted dancer, and I am certainly no better at singing. However, when I jump around my room wailing out the lyrics to my favorite songs, I feel alive. I feel rejuvenated and happy.
It’s not about getting it right or looking graceful, it’s about enjoying myself FOR myself. And I plan on doing a lot more of that in 2019. So, I apologize in advance to anyone who has to watch or listen. But I also encourage ya’ll to jam along.
5. Diving beneath the surface.
How many times have you walked by someone and the following conversation ensued:
Them: “Hi! How are you?”
You: *keeps walking*
Them: *keeps walking* *doesn’t wait for answer*
Them: “Hi! How are you?”
You: “Good. And you?”
Them: “Good, thanks.”
These are what I call surface conversations. They’re using words merely to fill a void, not to connect. We do this to avoid awkward silences or to seem friendly, when in all reality, it’s not friendly at all.
In 2019, I’m digging below the surface. I’m asking people how they really are—and them listening. I’m going to ask about their families, their vacations, their goals, what they’re reading, their fears, their passions, heck—I’m going to ask how their cat Henry is doing and if he’s still hacking up hairballs left and right.
Why? Because in a world littered with social media, we’re somehow lacking social connections. And quite frankly, it’s exhausting, it’s pathetic, and I’m done being a part of it.
People have stories to tell, lessons to teach, and voices that deserve to be heard—including yours! So next time you’re passing someone in the hall, stop, ask, and listen—dare to dive beneath the surface.
6. Trying more things outside my comfort (and skill) zone.
I’m one of those people who loves doing things I’m great at (don’t we all?) and avoiding things I’m not good at. For instance, my dad has been a golf pro my entire life. I on the other hand, am not gifted at golf—turns out it’s not genetic. Therefore, I spend very little time (if any) swinging a golf club or hitting the links. Because it’s embarrassing and I’m not the best at it.
I’m not promising to take up golf in 2019. What I am promising is that I’ll take up opportunities to participate in activities where I won’t be the best. Whether that means trying a new form of exercise like kickboxing or cycling, taking a public speaking class, or grabbing my Ping and taking some swings—I’m taking giant leaps outside my comfort zone. And maybe I’ll tuck a new skill under my belt.
7. Saying “Whoops, that was a mistake” and moving on.
Hi, my name is Kaili and I mess up a lot. I say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, or forget to do the “thing” at all. And a lot of times I let my mistakes stick with me—following me around all day and reminding me of my humanness.
2019 will be different. No, I’m not going to stop messing up. But I’m going to start acknowledging the mistakes, tossing my hands in the air saying “whoops!” and moving on. Because letting mistakes eat me alive has yet to improve one of my situations or rectify a single mistake. Unless the mistake was big and cruel—then I’ll probably beat myself up for a while because I’ll deserve it.
And I’m on team Give Yourself A Break. Because we could all go a little easier on ourselves.
8. Eating more dessert.
Chocolate lava cakes. Snickerdoodle cookies. Monster cookie dough. I’m coming for all of ya’ll in 2019 with no remorse, no tracking, and no looking back. Life is too short to constantly say “no” to foods that make me happy. And dessert makes me happy.
And to all ya’ll happiness-haters—I still plan on working out and eating my veggies, chill.
2019 is going to be a major jump-off year, I can feel it! Full of all the good things and all the positive vibes. 2018 was full of life-changing lessons and I can’t wait to apply them to the New Year. May your pile of good be ever growing.