Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you’re having a great 2017 so far. I’d like to kick off my first post of 2017 to say: thank you. Thank you for following me through this journey called blogging and my adventures (sometimes misadventures) in style, travel, food, and life. Having my blog has been an incredible creative outlet for me and I very much appreciate you reading and being a part of the process. If this is your first time reading my blog, I have a great New Year’s resolution for you: read more My Stiletto Life! Ha!
In any event, now that the holidays are over – phew! – life can resume. I know some people love the pomp and circumstance of the holidays but I personally am most satisfied when I am back in my routine and back to business.
And speaking of business, this year, instead of creating another set of New Year’s resolutions, I’m more interested in continuing resolutions and goals that I committed myself to in 2016. I find that new resolutions seem contrived and are seemingly pulled out of a hat. They often come without any basis or drive, which results in them not being fulfilled. The classic case being the gym or weight loss resolutions – both totally reasonable and good goals but they can’t just be randomly picked out of a hat – they need real grounding to be successful. So in order to give you some ideas and solutions to create and achieve those 2017 long-term resolutions, I’ve put together a list that is sure to get your 2017 off on the right (and bright) foot.
1. Revamp your wardrobe (a personal favorite of mine!):
This may seem somewhat silly or frivolous, especially if you’re not very interested in fashion or style but even if it’s not your forte, it is still important and I’ll tell you why. Feeling good is directly linked to the way you look. For instance when I leave the gym I always feel fresh and rejuvenated but I feel even better when I shower (yes I shower! Ha), get ready, and put on a new top, pair of pants, or shoes. Having a new piece of clothing or accessory will help you to feel confident throughout the day. And let’s be real: shopping gives you endorphins. Endorphins equal happy!
This year, try revamping your wardrobe every few months and you can do so without spending too much. Retailers like & Other Stories, ASOS, Boohoo, and Amazon have great pieces that will instantly give your wardrobe the facelift it needs.
2. Set up regular hair, nail, and other beauty appointments:
Maintaining your physical assets will also give you that extra pep in your step. A hair cut and wash (from someone else) is one of life’s great luxuries.
3. Have a plan of attack for getting out of town in 2017:
One of my goals and resolutions for last year (2016) was to travel more and I was up against some serious time constraints. Since I work full time in addition to blogging, I can’t just hop on a plane whenever I feel like it (even if my Instagram suggests otherwise!). In fact, to achieve my resolution for traveling more in 2016, I actually started working on it in 2015! I took a short a trip to London in the fall of 2015 and even though I only had about 4 days there I realized how important it was to incorporate more travel in my life. So I knew then that I would be committed to traveling more in 2016 and that would continue into 2017.
The best way to plan your travel is to review your calendar for the entire year (preferably your work one, so you know which days your company gives off) and start to mark it up. Highlight national holidays, personal milestones or events that would warrant a trip: birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings. Then start to work in your vacation days around those dates. This way you are taking advantage of an already paid holiday or a friend’s destination wedding – where are they having it? Can you make it a vacation for yourself as well and go somewhere else while there? I also motivated myself to travel more by finding friends and acquaintances that lived in the cities I wanted to visit. Since about half of my travel was solo, this was an especially good tactic. Use your network (social media or otherwise), as a resource because knowing someone at your destination, will enrich the experience that much more. By doing all of the above I was able to go to London, Berlin, Montreal, Italy, and Japan all in one year! It really was an accomplishment but let me tell you: you can do it too.
4. Professional Goals
Often times, when the New Year comes along we are thinking about a change in our professional career. Whether it’s a new job or an expansion to your role or pushing your business to the next level you have to have some tangible plans and goals. Write down what it is you want to achieve. For me, it’s continuing to partner with brands, restaurants and entrepreneurs to expand my professional network and take my personal brand to the next level. The end of 2016 was a great jumping off point for me in this area and because of that I am able to continue that growth in 2017.
I know a personal goal for me is to continue engaging in everything I do. This notion goes along with the previous point, but engaging IRL is really paramount to any form of connecting. Above all else, make time to meet with people you may have only chatted with via email or Instagram. Talk to the stranger in the café next to you (literally just did that this week and already have a new friend!). Chat up the owner of your neighborhood restaurant and start a rapport; I see a potential partnership down the line!
If you can’t engage IRL, starting connecting in other ways! Brands and people are social creatures. I can literally be reached via text, email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, phone, snail mail. That’s 10 different modes of communication. And remember, the more creative you get, usually the better results!
All of this is increasing your network and for people not so comfortable with these kinds of interactions, it will push you to new levels of comfort (which is an accomplishment in and of itself!). For me, engaging with new people is one of the skills in which I pride myself and I probably make it sound easy. But to give you some ease, here is an example of when I pushed my limits in other ways: when I was in Israel in 2010, there was an excursion for us to climb through these underground caves, the hole we had to climb into at the start was the width of my waist (ok so maybe not that small!). I was so nervous; climbing through little underground alleyways is not how I typically choose to spend my free time. Because of that, I actually didn’t do it, I was too scared — my nerves got the best of me. Afterward, I kept thinking, what if I had just done it – would it have been so bad? Luckily, six months later, I was able to travel to Israel again (second chances are real!) and I was faced with the same
excursion challenge, and this time, there was no backing out. It was quite scary at the start but once it was over there was a sense of relief (and not just because I was out of that hole!). I had pushed myself to try something new and my fears were relieved. So if you’re terrified of talking to a random person on the train or in a coffee shop, just think of Tillie (the stiletto chick) climbing through a tiny cave in Israel!
6. Read More
This is actually a a fairly new goal I am adding to my own list this year – it’s something I have been thinking about a lot and got the idea from another friend who chose a book to read every month. By the end of last year she had read 12 new books. Finding time to read is tough, I know that, especially with all our other activities and let’s face it: distractions (TV, social media, etc.). But I am really going to push myself to pick up some new books this year that will enrich my life.
So are you ready to tackle 2017?
Starting the year off on the right note is not just a short-term suggestion: it’s a long term one. I used to think of New Year’s resolutions as the kinds that were going to torture me and hang over my head the first couple of months of the year, until I threw in the towel. Instead, I switched the narrative on myself and realized that I could achieve goals in a reasonable and timely manner. This suddenly put me at ease and allowed me to focus. Remember: it’s not always easy and that’s OK. It’s not supposed to be easy – as Tom Hanks’ character in A League of Their Own would say: the hard is what makes it great.