Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Self Improvement Summer: My Personal Goals & Resolutions

Inspired by The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

Here are the goals I set for myself at the beginning of summer, and how I'm doing with them.
  1. Do what makes you happy & do whatever you want. And don't be afraid people will judge you for it. Let yourself be weird! If you want to wear that bank T-shirt for that band you don't listen to, go right ahead! If you want to wear all black from head to toe on day and then frilly pink the next day, go for it! I've been making good progress with this resolution. I now sometimes dress more grunge if I just feel like it one day. I'd been holding back because I thought I would look like a poser emo, but I just decided to do it because I want to. Also, I had my eye on a pair of adorably quirky cat tights at Hot Topic for many months, but they were $10 and I thought they might be too weird or just out of my comfort zone. Something I wished I could wear but probably couldn't pull off. I longed to wear them with skirts or even shorts, and especially with cat shirts. I finally bought them, and never looked back. I've been restraining myself from buying pins because I was afraid they were too hipster/basic/punk, but I decided "fuck it. I do what I want and I don't care if people think I'm basic." So I bought a new all-black backpack (not just for the pins. I actually needed a new backpack.) and stuck a ton of pins in it. It's exactly how I imagined. Next time I go to the mall, I plan on buying these black fake plugs from Hot Topic I've had my eye on (link). I hesitated to buy them because again, I feared looking like an emo poser, but I want them therefore I will buy them.
  2. Don't be ashamed. Don't be ashamed when you do what you want, even though some of those things might be weird. Don't be ashamed of the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, your quirks, or how you obsess over things and then move on and obsess over something else (let's face it, you're basically a fangirl. So what?). You want to listen to Fall Out Boy sometimes instead of Red Hot Chili Peppers? Do it and don't give a flying fuck when people give you crap for it. "Be unapologetic of who you are." -Dan Howell (sorry not sorry, just used a quote from a YouTuber, fight me). I've been doing this. I'm letting people judge me. And they do. And I'm trying not to care. Yesterday, on August 4th, three months from Halloween, I wore my jack o' lantern earrings and wore my hair behind my ears so they were particularly visible and went to the bank. I enjoyed every minute of it. And when my brother saw my backpack, he half jokingly said "now you're a real hipster!" but I don't care because I wanted to put some fucking pins on my backpack so I did.
  3. Don't be hungry for relationships. You always crave companionship (you might want to talk to a therapist about that) and you might not even get that out of a relationship. You have wonderful friends to fulfill that.
  4. Be open to other opinions and ideas. Don't be so opinionated. Allow other people to sway your opinions. Sometimes other people make good points, and you can change your mind based on them. I realized that I don't always have to be right. I think I'm on the right path with this, because I have started listening to other people's opinions. I now realize that I used to block people out when they voiced opinions that didn't align with mine, so now I have started actually listening to what people have to say, even if I don't agree with it. It turns out, sometimes people can persuade me into agreeing with them after all.
  5. Don't feel like you have to label yourself. I don't know if I like girls, or boys, or what. I couldn't choose, so I decided on pansexual for now. I guess the real terminology would be "bi-curious" but I don't like the way it sounds. I don't know. Whatever.
  6. Stop Googling your symptoms. They always tell you you have thyroid disorder or endometriosis or some obscure disease. Honestly, just stop.
  7. Don't feel obligated to hang out with people or do things when you don't want to. Sometimes you just need to say "sorry, I can't" when in reality, you're sitting in the sun in your backyard reading a good ass book. I actually did this a few times already. This seems like a mean and weird thing to want to do, especially because it involves lying by omission (like saying "I cant hang out" instead of "I'm busy"), but it has already helped boost my happiness because I have more me-time and less obligation-time.
  8. Not everything has to be done right now. Manage your time instead of finishing everything right away and suffering. I haven't gotten a chance to do this much because I'm not in school, therefore I don't have any assignments. But I'll work on it when school starts.
  9. Be nicer to the people you love and stop snapping at people. Sometimes when someone says something that you find annoying it's easy to snap at them, even when you know they have good intentions. But remember, they didn't mean to be annoying. I think I'm being nicer to friends and family now.
  10. Put your health before school. Maybe don't go to bed at ten instead of finishing your homework, but if there's a huge project and you decided to do it all tonight and it's due in three weeks, just do as much as you can tonight and finish it later.
  11. Tell people how you feel. If you're mad at someone instead of being passive aggressive for a day until you get tired of it, talk to them and tell them why you're mad and maybe they'll apologize or you'll find that it was all just a misunderstanding.
  12. However, if you're mad at someone for a stupid reason, just stop talking to them for a while until you cool down instead of troubling your friend with your stupid disagreements. I've been working on this. Sometimes I get mad at people for stupid reasons, and I know it's stupid but I can't help but be mad. So let myself be mad for a while, and then I get over it.
  13. Enjoy now instead of always looking ahead. (This is called the "arrival fallacy" according to The Happiness Project.) I have senioritis, and I really want to get out of high school and start my life and have kids and care for them. But I should learn to appreciate my life as is. I now revel in the time I spend babysitting (and as a bonus, I get paid for it!).
  14. Don't let other people push you around. Learn to say "no." I have been doing very well with  this actually! I learned how to tell creepy guys "I'm not interested."
  15. Take risks. Let yourself be scared, but do it. You'll thank me (you?) later. Or at least you'll be glad you did it later.  I did this with a sort of dangerous thing a month or two ago. Everyone was jumping off a slide at the beach, and it was too high for me. I took a few minutes, and then I did it. It was kind of disappointing, and not that fun, but I'm glad I did it because if I didn't, I might have thought I missed out.
  16. Stop judging people. Find something else to take pleasure. I actually realized that I don't judge people. I talk shit about people, but I don't judge them. I can't help it that I enjoy talking shit about people. It's normal for this age.
  17. Allow yourself not to enjoy things you don't enjoy. I went to a museum recently thinking it would be fun to look at the historical stuff. But while I was there, I did not enjoy it and I felt bored. At first I felt guilty for not enjoying it, because I felt it would further my education and be a good contribution to the Self Improvement Summer. But then I realized if it didn't make me happy, and I wasn't really getting much out it education-wise, how it was improving myself I don't like museums and that's that. I don't enjoy looking at and reading about old things, and that's okay.
  18. Be more confident. Other people tell you you're beautiful, so you probably are anyway. However, this is something you need to find within yourself. Looking back on it, I am a lot more confident now. Maybe it has to do with the feeling of summer joy, or maybe I just learned to love myself. The same thing happened last summer.
  19. Do what ought to be done. Stop procrastinating on things that you know absolutely need to be done eventually. Like folding clothes. I have made god progress with this. Chores suck, but I make them better and more appealing by turning on some music while doing them.
  20. Spend out. Don't be so cheap. Sometimes you'll want something but it will be a bit too expensive for your comfort. Get it anyway. You only live once, and right now you have a lot of disposable income. This will be even easier with my new debit card! I have started doing this, with the cat tights and the pins, for example.
  21. Get more sleep. It will make you feel more energized and happy. Well, it's summer and I have more time so I am.
  22. Improve the quality of your sleep. Turn off or cover all sources of light, including digital alarm clocks. Write down whatever is running through your mind preventing you from falling asleep. I got a new clock/radio, and you can turn off the light. I have started sleeping in complete darkness. It does help, but only to an extent.
  23. Give more hugs. You might forget how much you love administering hugs in the future. But trust me, hugs are a beautiful thing. They're proven to help bonding and improve happiness. I am doing this, and it does help. It provides temporary relief from sadness and stress, and it's a good bonding exercise.
  24. Make sure people know how much they mean to you. In case they drop dead tomorrow, you want people to know that you love them and care about them and value them. I did tell my brother how much I love and appreciate him a few months ago, and I have done the same to many of my friends. I make annual birthday Flipagrams for my friends, and I include heartfelt memories and appreciation of their friendship in the description.
  25. Stop doing things that hurt your back. Stop jumping on the trampoline. You have scoliosis, goddamnit. Do you want to spend the rest of your life in a back brace? I haven't stopped jumping on trampolines (hey, I only get to use a trampoline once in a while!), but I jump lighter and for less time to lessen the impact on my back.
  26. Don't let people push you into doing things you're not comfortable with, even if it doesn't look like stereotypical peer pressure. I had/have social anxiety, and I too often let people push me into talking to people I'm not comfortable talking to. You'll talk to them when you're ready, if ever. Don't let people rush you.
  27. Don't let your social anxiety interfere with your life. Push your limits a little bit. Sometimes if you pretend you don't have social anxiety, you forget to be anxious.
  28. Be more awake. Find a way to stop having those days where you're in a fog all day. I realized hat if I don't wake up to an alarm clock, this is more likely to happen. But I don't want to wake up to a stupid buzzer like I did during the school year. My solution was waking up to my newest favorite song! It has worked out so far. :)
  29. Stop waking up at noon or one in the afternoon and wasting your day. I now wake up to "Nine in the Afternoon" by Panic! At the Disco at 11am every morning.
  30. Go outside more. I did this a lot at the beginning of summer when the weather was nicest. I biked to the library alone or to meet friends and took out a book, then went and sat on the grass and enjoyed the sunshine while reading. This proved to be ineffective, because being outdoors while reading was distracting, and I felt unproductive because each page took ten minutes to read. However, it was great to go outside and enjoy nature and spend some time in the sun listening to the birds and the kids.
  31. Make people happy. I realized that I say the first thing that comes to mind without thinking about the impact it will have on the other person. But now I learned to think ahead and think about how the other person will feel if I say something to them.
  32. Don't be so stubborn. Sometimes you just have to be flexible and go with the flow if it will benefit other people and make other people happy. If my friend wants to make cupcakes, and I want to make a cake, but she really really wants to make cupcakes, I should just agree to make cupcakes. After all, cupcakes are just as good, they're just different!
  33. Sing more, and sing in public. You have a good voice, why are you embarrassed about it? This is a new resolution that I have only just begun working on. In chorus class near the end of the year last year, we had a voice test where we had to sing a song in front of just the male chorus teacher (that's a pretty bad idea now that I think about it. How did the school let that happen?), and all I could do was choke out a few notes. He had to put the recording on so I could sing to it. It was pretty embarrassing. I have started humming around other people more. I'm more comfortable singing in front of my friends when we're hanging out and not particularly trying to sing well.
  34. Stop painting your nails all the time. You're ruining your nails. I haven't painted my fingernails or toenails all summer!
  35. Admit when you're wrong. I just did this today, in fact (8/10/15 when I'm adding to this post). It's a glorious thing to say, "I was wrong. You were right." It usually makes the other person happy, and yes they might shove it in your face, which isn't good, but you can only change yourself.
  36. Remember that you can only change yourself. People do things I wouldn't agree with or do myself, but not everyone is going on a self-improvement journey and not everyone is acutely aware of their flaws. This helps a lot when someone is doing something I don't agree with.
  37. Try things that are life skills. So far, I learned how to use the library and the Dewey decimal system, learned how to take out an eBook from the library, started a bank account and improved my money management skills and learned how to use the bank, learned how to use the dishwasher, learned how to wash and dry my own clothes, learned how to water flowers, learned how to cook eggs (it's embarrassing. I just learned how to do this three months ago. I can now make eggs sunny side up, over easy, and scrambled.), got comfortable wearing earrings (I was always too scared because I've had multiple piercing infections. But I learned that and learned how to cook meat on the grill.
  38. Take opportunities and experience things. I tried audiobooks (it was a flop. I have to see it on paper or take notes to comprehend it.), almost went to Comic Con (but my friend cancelled on me. *cough*), jumped off a slide (see #15), and I'm going to a concert at a club (for a band I only like 4 songs from. I'm going for the experience. It's cheap anyway).
**if you noticed I edited in a few more, it's because these were resolutions I made in my head without writing them down on paper.

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