Remember that 2011 Resolutions list that I did back in January? As the year ends, I'd like to take a look back to see what lessons I've learned this year. I think it's important to look back to see what you've been through, what made you stronger, what you learned and use it to go forward in life. Here is what I learned this year, hopefully it'll help you in some way. What did you learn?
Getting married in May, so a newlywed of 6 months, it's amazing how much I've already learned about marriage. My husband and I had been together for 4 years before we were married and I thought I knew it all- his faults, my frustrations, what I was getting into, etc. And I do. However, the difference is that before we were married there would be these ridiculous arguments and wasted energy. Now, I know to pick my battles, make sure it's worth the energy and have a set solution in mind. Marriage is work, we've all heard that but, it's also the best reward to know that you have someone there for you no matter what.
I've had a rough year for friends- two of my good friends I lost due to stupidity, selfishness and misunderstanding. They got into a fight at my bachelorette party and that was that. Three weeks before my wedding, "my best friend" told me she was taking herself out of the wedding, after she made me end my other friendship. I've also made some great friends that I probably wouldn't have made if I was still wasting energy on someone that was a taker (never gave back). With these new friends, I can see how I impact people and how my actions speak much louder than words ever could. I've learned to honor what I want in a relationship and to give as much as I get. I'm more honest with these new friends than I was with the friend of 18 years and it's amazing what that'll do for you.
Family, what can you say about it? This year I gained a whole other family and I'm lucky enough to have the most amazing in-laws. No, that's not the newlywed high speaking, it's the truth. With two weddings this year (mine and my little brother's), I learned that people that love you will want to be there for you for all the big stuff in life. Sometimes, though you expect people to obey the golden rule, they won't always do so. It's hard but, you have to just rise above it and accept that there's always two sides to a story, just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean it's wrong. In the end, they're your family and, unlike friends, you're stuck with them for the rest of your life.
Midway through the year, I committed the cardinal sin and lent who I thought was a good friend $500. At the time, I had the money and she was in tears, her grandfather was dying and he was in San Diego, we're in the Bay. I lent it to her with the understanding that I'd get it back, at a measly $50/month. She hasn't paid me one red cent and she recently posted in Facebook that she went to San Diego. Suffice to say, I should've known better. Suffice to say, I'll NEVER do it again. Take this example and NEVER lend a friend money. Not only has she not paid me back but, she's disappeared out of my life even though I've invited her to events, birthday parties, etc.
I also learned that I need to really make a habit of managing my money. It's not good enough to enroll and use Mint.com, which is an ingenious invention by the way, and set up alerts with your bank. You need to be on top and stay on top of what you spend, where you spend it and if you need to spend as much.
This needs to be put at the top of my 2012 resolutions list because I need help finding my motivation- somewhere after all the weddings, travel, fighting, money lending, stress, I lost it. Each new day is a chance to make things right in your life but, that doesn't mean you're guaranteed a brand new day for the rest of your life. The lesson I learned is that you can't lose your motivation because it's REALLY hard to get it back! What motivates you?
You can do/be whatever/whoever you want to be. You should never let the what if's or lack of motivation or anything else get in your way. Many times throughout my life, I have realized this. I could've been that woman that I admire, I could've been what I had dreamed my entire life...if only...If only, I was motivated and never let anything take my eye off the prize. So, #6 goes with #5- without motivation and with a load of self-doubt, you're not going to go anywhere and you'll end up wasting your life. Set goals in life, whatever you dream of being/doing, and go for it with all you have.
The one resolution that I didn't complete on my list and really need to start engaging in is exercise. Your health is so, so important and you're never really aware of how much until you're faced with friends or family that are robbed of it. Why wait until you have no choice to start? On the occasions where I have exercised (yes, I haven't been a couch bum ALL year long), it has been instant gratification but, the problem with me is that I'm thin naturally and I need to make sure that I eat 3000 calories in order to have fuel to burn.
What I mean by diet, is not starving yourself. Like I said in #7, I was told that if I was going to exercise I would have to eat 2500-3000 calories in order to have fuel to burn. I have the worst eating habits of anyone I know and often I don't eat until I'm hungry. The problem? I don't tend to eat the daily nutritional caloric intake of 2000 that's necessary to live, according to most nutritionists. I'm usually around 1000-1500. This has really zapped my motivation, energy, will to do anything, and has at times affected me physically, making me feel light headed, dizzy, etc. Often I eat a lot of pasta, red meats, sushi, sugar...which aren't always the best dietary choices when they're the only things your eating. Your body needs variety.
I've learned that it's much better to set a healthy diet for you. Planning meals for the week and shopping on Sundays, help. Getting your food from local farms, whenever possible or at least, getting your meat from Whole Foods- helps make a huge difference in your contribution to the world and your health. Keeping a journal is a good idea- not only to cut out what is extra (if that's your problem) but, to keep track that you're eating enough is helpful. They have an app for that ;p Or at least being mindful of what you put into your mouth is of huge importance.