It’s just after 5:00pm in New York City on the first day of 2013 and if you’ve turned on your television, checked your emails, gone online or been to a store today you’ve already heard about people making resolutions or received offers for things to help you with yours. My gmail contained discounts on workout clothes, gym memberships, etc. My Facebook stream was full of declarations, jokes, and questions asking about resolutions. I was even quoted in an article about this topic completely by surprise today! So, I figured, it’s about time I give you my not-a-guru take on it all. It’s full of my usual blatant honesty. Poke fun at me.
I prepared southern slow cooker pork tenderloin and baked brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookies today and I’m making sauteed kale and spinach later to go with it. True story. If you’re like me, you’re not really all that domestic. Er, okay…I just hate cooking. I live in a city and browsing seamless web for takeout options is my equivalent of searching a cookbook for recipes. I do cook (not as often as I should) and bake (for some reason, only near the holidays) but yet I don’t find a lot of bliss or enjoyment in it. Sometimes I burn things. Sometimes I curse. However, I usually feel quite accomplished afterwards and there is a certain real joy in that. I’m patting myself on the back over the stove, and suddenly…what is this…I’m smiling?!
So, before you all fall asleep reading the lead up to this first tip, here it is: Do something that makes you feel accomplished. Saying you want to be happier, feel joy or find “happiness” this year is just too damn vague. (There I go with the cursing again). Try knocking things off your to do list, starting a project, destroying mundane tasks that needed to get done 6 months ago, or learning something new that may or may not bore you to the brink of insanity and then…boom! There is a good chance joy will find you just when you’re finally feelin’ proud of yourself. If not, at least you’ve got pork and cookies.
Second tip: Ignore everyone. You just have to. You must tune out the endless stream of chatter that’s coming your way every day from every one. I was having a conversation with a friend of a friend once and somehow we got on weight loss (ugh) and she said to me, “Oh my God, it is SO easy to lose 10 pounds, it really really is.” Even though I liked her hair I wanted to punch her in the face. It doesn’t matter if what people say to you is true or not, you just have to disconnect some times. How is up to you. Read, meditate, nap, write “Today is awesome and I’m so pretty” over and over on a sheet of paper if you have to. (What? I’ve
always never done that.) Whatever you do, just tune every one out for a while and see how much better you’ll feel almost instantly. This tip is like magic.
For the third and final tip, let’s get even more simple. Stop being so selfish. Yes, you. Even the most warm, giving, altruistic person usually leaves someone out. That person is usually themselves. If you help people all the time (this can be as simple as opening doors for strangers, picking up something someone dropped and giving directions to volunteering in shelters and joining the Peace Corps – you saints!) then you may be neglecting yourself a bit. How to fix this? Example: Listen to everyone’s woes? Find someone to tell yours to. The end. If you don’t frequently help your friends, family or strangers but do focus on yourself, maybe it’s time you give a little more of your goodness away. We’re pretty infinite and there is enough time in the day to send a kind text or tell one of your oldest friends how funny, gorgeous, wise and talented you think they are. (Eh hem. *cough cough*) It doesn’t take a scientific study to explain that you’ll feel good when you help someone else feel good. Do it.
I hope you’re feeling more hopeful about 2013 already. If not, here is a photo of me and Jason B. performing as The Parodivas and pretending to be The Grumpy Cat and Friend. Comment, tweet and share this entry if you’re digging these tips, or at least this photo, as much as I am.