Stereotypical New Year's Post

As the indomitable Scarlett O'Hara once said, "tomorrow is another day." She'll literally never be wrong on that one, but tomorrow is also another year - 2016! I'm ready for 2016, but 2015 still had a lot to offer and a lot for me to take into the next year.

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Last year, my friend Rachel and I decided that years typically follow themes, at least in our group of friends. There was "the year everyone moved," "the year everyone was a hot mess," etc., etc. That was in hindsight, and for 2015 we decided to pick the theme before the year had even started. We decided that 2015's theme was "UNSTOPPABLE," because we felt like crazy things, both good and bad, would happen, but we would power through and ultimately be stronger at the end of it. 

Rachel and I are basically prophets, guys. Both personally and professionally I suffered from self-confidence issues and was a ball of nerves and negative emotions for the middle part of the year. I reminded myself to be "UNSTOPPABLE," though, and at the end of 2015, I find myself happy, healthy, and trying to live more in the moment instead of focusing so much on the past and the future. The year was full of many highs as well - full of new adventures, travels, and experiences that I will forever cherish. Thanks, 2015. It's been real. 

I don't like to use the word "resolution" when I make plans for the following year. It reminds me too much of a board of directors or a government making a decision instead of what I want to get at - a goal. The word "goal" makes me feel like it's a competition. I'm a competitive person, so making goals and meeting them, hopefully even exceeding them, is my bread and butter. With no further ado, here are my goals for 2016:

- Be kinder to myself and to others. I tend to be a bit too critical of people, always expecting them to behave a certain way and becoming angry or disappointed when they don't. There is a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby that I love and that I will try to take into consideration in my dealings with others throughout 2016 (and beyond): "whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." We're all coming from a different place, be it physically, emotionally, economically, mentally, etc. Remembering that we're all different and naturally operate in different ways will help me to be less critical of others. 

However, the person I am truly harshest on is myself. Even if I receive everyone's praises for something I've done, I still know every single thing I could have done to improve it. That's all I focus on, and I beat myself up for not being perfect. In 2016 (and beyond), I am going to accept the kind things people say and figuratively slap myself on the wrist when the things I tell myself are unkind. 

- Become a master chef. Just kidding, but I do want to spend more time in the kitchen cooking and baking. I watch a lot of cooking shows (current obsession: The Great British Baking Show) and pin a lot of recipes to Pinterest, but Tadd and I eat out way more than we should. My goal is to make at least one real meal at home each week, with "real meal" being defined as a meal that's more than just cooking up some Rice-a-Roni or throwing fish sticks in the oven. I also endeavor to bake a real dessert at least once a month, with real dessert being defined as a made from scratch dessert, not just eating a Fudge Round after consuming my Rice-a-Roni. This Christmas, I was gifted a smorgasbord of kitchen items, although I did not receive an actual smorgasbord, so it's time to kick my cooking into high gear!

I don't like to overburden myself with goals, so I think those will be plenty. If I had more, I'd be afraid I would not be able to focus enough on all of them. So, even though 2016 does not yet have a theme (Rachel and I will work on that), I hope to fill it with kindness and good food. 

Hipsters, thank you for sticking with me during the first few months of this blog. I appreciate you all! Happy New Year!

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