I do these differently every year. As explained in my previous post, I’m rolling out a nine month plan focused on nine different areas of health. The last three months of 2023, I will take my learnings to establish which habits work best for me.
But what do I want to achieve? Well, perfect(ish)ism, yes. But defined by what?
I just happened to have listened to this episode, “We Give Away 7 Profitable Side Hustle Ideas for 2023”, of The Crazy Ones podcast. I’m a new listener to this pod, hosted by Alex Lieberman, Sophia Amoruso, and Jesse Pujji, and have been enjoying their banter on business. At 24:08, they each share their approaches on year-end reflection/new year resolutions and I’m using some of that as a way to gauge the start and finish of my own quest for this year.
Amoruso, whom I know and admire as the founder of Nasty Gal, shared her six questions to track 2023 intentions. Here they are below, with my answers. (The start of each question being, what do you want to ______.):
- QUIT: Being nice. I already mentioned how being nice is getting in my way, both professionally and personally.
- LEARN: How to gamify credit card points. Okay, so I had a lot of items that I want to learn, but when I looked at them altogether, most of them cost time or money. I figured that learning how to exploit credit cards would not only be fun, but would create a financial platform for those other interests down the road. I always hear about the “Points Guy” or colleagues who book crazy trips totally paid for by points—I’m certain I’m missing out on something. I have excellent credit and no debt so I feel safe diving into this subject more.
- START: Losing weight. Speaking my truth here, despite this being such a tired resolution and despite my having a good, healthy body as it is. It’s all vanity pounds at this point, but damn it, I want to fit the cute clothes I bought when I was ten pounds lighter. I’m in objectively good shape, but let’s just say I’d like to “tidy” some things up here and there. I’m talking about lasting weight loss and body definition that is a result of a lifestyle change, and not from extreme, get-thin-fast dieting.
- STOP: Drinking to cope. I waffled on how to fit my alcohol consumption into my resolutions. The facts tell us that there is absolutely nothing redeemable about drinking alcohol, yet the idea of truly never drinking again sounds sad. I don’t want to move into a space of deprivation. However, I have so much to blame my past overconsumption for—the two-day hangovers, the hangxiety, the shame, the depressing thoughts, poor choices, missed goals and commitments, lack of energy, breakouts and wrinkles, extra pounds, illness… Yet, I definitely have had healthy relationships with alcohol, too—celebrations, relaxations, giggles, dancing, freed inhibitions for the better, amazing flavors and meals, special rituals, big experiences. Things go south when the drinking comes as a symptom of something deeper that’s going wrong, so this intention felt like the right compromise. Lately, I’ve been drinking to cope with stress and loneliness. To reset my system, I’m doing Dry January, and then plan to abstain through March.
- HAVE: a posse. Pretty simple—I’m an extrovert who’s too cool to be this lonely. Pandemic took its toll on me: people moved out of the city in droves (or stayed in the city and had babies), I went through two breakups, work became WFH, and I was cutoff from my dance community when the studios were shutdown. A lot of friendships and routine run-ins with people were lost. When the world reopened, it was like I was back to zero. Not to mention that my upward career move put me at the very top of my company, and as they say, it’s lonely at the top.
- BE: the center of attention. I think this one is a double down on not being afraid to take up space (aka stop being so nice) and wanting to have a posse. I’m extraverted but considerate. I’ll take up as much attention as I can before feeling guilty about it, then will make sure to share it with others in the room. No more! If people want that attention, they can try to take it for themselves. I’m not the guardian saint of wallflowers or the insipid.
Lieberman, co-founder of the Morning Brew, shares how he creates a compass of how he wants to spend his time in the new year. He also mentioned this idea of habits versus goals, and the effectiveness of creating “keystone habits” that support the achievement of any goals we want to introduce. Similarly, I’m hoping my nine month health plan (I need a name for it!) will do.
Sharing his “compass” questions and my answers here:
- What gave me energy in 2022? I had a new relationship at the beginning of the year, and I loved all the planning that went along with it. Plans for the summer, plans for vacation, plans for dinner, meal plans, plans to socialize and meet people, plans for hosting. Anticipating bringing a vision to life.
- What did not give me energy in 2022? My job started to feel like it was sucking me dry when, across, the business, I started rescuing instead of resourcing. My instinct was to pour more of myself indiscriminately into any detail because it made me feel useful and secure in my loyalty to the brand; yet, it provided diminishing returns, which only made me feel worse. Secondly, being around people whose creative energies or social graces just didn’t match mine.
- What do I want to do more of in 2023? Allow myself to experience pauses and downtime without feeling guilt or anxiety. Host things — parties, outings, dinners, classes — that bring people I enjoy together and close to me.
- Where do I see myself in ten years? I plan to be financially independent / retired early. It’s funny as I’ve talked to some people about FIRE who say they couldn’t not work because they need structure. I’m naturally structured and have so many ideas I want to work on that I truly look forward to keeping myself busy. By this time, I’ll have my vacation home in my happy place and look forward to hosting friends and being a part of the local community.
- What would a successful 2023 look like? Having internalized what my role’s true purpose at my job so that my decision-making has a clear compass, leading to some truly uplifting, great moments to not only be proud of but significantly improved our business. Having a healthy routine filled with sunshine, downtime, friendships, and social interactions.
- What would an unsuccessful 2023 look like? Besides the inverse of everything stated here, feeling like I kept doing the same habits while expecting the same results.