I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but I do think that the clear end/beginning offers a good marking point to evaluate goals from the previous year, and set new ones. I realize this might sound like the exact same thing as setting a resolution, but don’t worry, we’ll dig into the semantics because I am ALL about being pedantic, y’all.
First, a lot of resolutions are basically digs at the personality aspects/flaws we all have, because they amount to DON’T BE A GARBAGE PERSON. Except they’re are vague, unmeasurable, and most people seem to just pile them on. Like, hey in 2017 I ate too many burritos, didn’t write a bestseller, was fat, and cried a lot over the news, so I’m going to only eat salad, write the best book anyone has ever written, diet until I hate myself even more, and smash my phone with a hammer so the news can’t hurt me again.
A goal is something like, I am going to run a half marathon this year. (Not me, you. I have no interest in that shit.) My goals for this year, building on some work from last year are:
- Make Syntax & Salt Magazine more accessible and increase author pay
- Swim regularly and take a break from high impact exercise until my body is cool with it again
- Write a novel*
I like to set goals where I can measure my progress, I know can attain the desired outcome, and I have control over the desired outcome. With some of these, there will be a lot of planning, work, measuring, and adjustment, which is why I assume there will be times when one will supersede the others. As someone who routinely takes on a lot of projects or tasks at once, this is very much a part of me working to be more focused on the work I do, and has been slowly improving over FIVE YEARS.
The end of a year does not always mark the end of a goal, or a clean slate. The problems of 2017 do not disappear with the birth of 2018, whether we are looking at politics, or say my own personal inability to stop letting perfect get in the way of great (which is this is pretty much good enough for all other people SO PUT IT DOWN AND MOVE THE FUCK ON, JFC).
I spent a good portion of 2017 focused on a few pretty bad habits. Chief among them, smoking. And I won’t lie, I definitely rang 2018 in with a fuck you, don’t tell me what do smoke. And I would bet it happens again, but I am not smoking 99% of the time, so back off, okay? My blood pressure and blood sugar were creeping up there, and for the first time in over five years, I managed to get them both, plus all the other things into a normal range. It was hard, satisfying work, but it was also exhausting. While the benefits outweigh a few minor negatives, this did lead to straining my shoulder, injuring my knee, and a possible addiction to pre-made kale caesar salads, so you tell me if it was worth all that. (It was. The salads are delicious.)
So this year, I’m adapting to the results of last year. I’m being a little gentler with my body, except did y’all know that swimming is a lot of fucking work? But it’s new work, and it’s a new challenge, so I’m not burnt out on it, yet. Never fear, I will probably over do it, and everyone will know.
In closing, if you swim in a chlorine pool it will fuck your skin up, so have this excellent body wash recipe, which has been adapted from many other recipes, probably by those more qualified than I am, but seriously, this will make your skin happier than if you just stopped submerging it in bleach, or stopped going outside until the temperatures are tolerable again. (Stay safe, stay warm, everyone.)
- 32oz Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap – I use the unscented because I like to smell pretty neutral.
- 12oz Raw Honey – it’s cheaper to find this locally if you can, but really, just use what you can afford or find.
- 3oz Liquid Coconut Oil – maybe just trust me on this being better than the solid stuff.
- 2T Vitamin E Oil – this is both for skin happies and acts as a preservative for the honey.
From this point, everything is pretty much up to taste or individual skin needs. As I near forty, my skin is basically in need of all the oil, and I could probably sit in a vat of crisco and not break out. Something for all y’all younger folks to look forward to, right? But my staples are argon oil, rosehip oil, lavender oil. They don’t have a strong smell and are pretty nourishing. If you want to learn more about which oils work better for specific skin needs Google is gonna tell you what you need.
- 3 – 4 Droppers Argon Oil
- 3 – 4 Droppers Rosehip Oil
- A lot of Lavender Oil. Maybe 50 drops? Maybe more? I dunno, I’ve usually stopped counting stuff at this point. I use the L’Occitane oil because that smell makes me swoon. You can also use really any lavender oil in this, it just comes down to preference.
Mix the whole mess up GENTLY with a whisk, and then use it on your body. Let me know if you love it. Buy something else if you hated it.
What are your goals for this coming year? Do you set resolutions instead? Does that work for you?
*We’re not talking about this yet.