New Year’s Resolution: Self-Develop

By now you know my heart beats a little faster for New Year’s Resolutions. This post rounds out my three-part 2018 resolution breakdown.

As a teen with a developing body my yearly goal was always to lose weight. It was one of those classic scenarios where now, looking back on it, I was totally fit and looked fine and would be happy to look like that again. The funny thing is, even though I’m probably the least ~well shaped~ I’ve ever been, I have no goals about weight loss or measurements or eating those awful fat-free diet foods that I was super “into” at 14. I’m somehow the most happy with myself and don’t view myself very negatively. Yes, obviously there are days when I regret having love handles and feel uncomfortable. But on the whole I am super content.

Learning to manage my anxiety means that I went through a long process of discovering what makes me feel content, happy, safe, and free, and then actually practicing those things. It’s surprisingly harder — or perhaps more time-consuming — than it sounds, and I’m still discovering and evolving those practices. A recent one: Having a skincare routine. I think a lot of people agree that their skin has a major impact on their confidence. That’s always been true of me. I never had a big interest in skincare because I thought it took too long and it was impractical to have all those products when I travel so frequently. But last month I took a skincare class at Sephora — it was surprisingly educational — and I have found that in the morning, it makes me feel like I’ve done something good for myself to start the day, and at night it reassures my brain that I’m totally unwound and ready to sleep. It’s awesome. And bonus, my skin looks and feels fantastic.


As you can see in my journal page, my “self-develop” goal is not centered around one aspect of myself. I’ll break down what each one means to me.

  • Read: I hesitated to put this on my goal because I thought I would fail. But then I realized, it feeds into other areas of my goal, like relaxing. And even better: I’ve already read one book this year!
  • Having fun with health: I dread going to the gym when I’m not inspired. If you do a workout and it totally sucks, you’re pretty unlikely to return, right? Instead, I’m prioritizing workouts that I enjoy. I love Barre3 and it’s only a short drive from my place. I also really like doing spin classes, which I can do in my building’s gym. (We have an awesome virtual system, kind of like Peleton.) And Tim and I love hiking and going out into nature, or traveling to a new city and seeing it by foot. It’s FUN, and I want to do it.
  • Relax: I’m a highly strung person. I am super organized, was born with a self-imposed perfectionist tendency (s/o to my therapist who’s helped me tame this!), and feel most satisfied when I experience lots. But over the course of my life, I’ve rarely remembered to make time for relaxing and unwinding. It’s not self-indulgent. It’s necessary for mental health and honestly for spiritual, physical, and all the other healths.
  • Español: I tried to use Duolingo to learn some Spanish before our South American honeymoon last year. It was a fabulous mini-foundation but I saw how much I’d barely scratched the surface of this whole language. Learning a language is satisfying intellectually, adds to my understanding of my own language, and it opens up a huge door for communicating with people I normally wouldn’t be able to. (There was a lot of miming to taxi drivers when I didn’t know exactly how to say what I needed to.)

So how’s it going so far, now that we’re a month and a half into the new year? You already know I’ve read a book (and I can’t shut up about it — please read ‘The Girl with Seven Names’ so we can discuss it). I am writing this not long after a workout at my building’s gym, during which I read the March issue of Martha Stewart Living. I went to Kauai to have a relaxing trip, and I’ve been trying to build it into our everyday lives a bit more. (And thankfully my husband provides regular reminders with his own, more finely-tuned need for relaxation.) I am still searching for some things in this life, but how to develop myself to be even happier is not one of them. It’s the best, most peaceful feeling. Now, time to go find my next book.

What do you want to work on this year? Any book recos?

PS: I’ve been getting a LOT of comments on my bullet journal. I’m obsessed! I got all my gear on Amazon: dot-matrix notebook | fine-point markers | stencils (MUST!) | washi tape

Visiting your parents is the best

Yesterday morning I flew from the Bay Area to Southern California to visit my parents in the Palm Springs area. I’ve been in a nonstop great mood since I’ve been here. What is that? Why does their home placate me into a sort of floaty bliss, where the Easter candy I’ve been eating has no consequence and I am not worried about the fact that I spend six hours in my bathing suit before actually going into the pool?

At dinner last night we were all obviously thrilled to have our photos taken.

We went to one of my favorite places in the desert called Cork & Fork. It’s tapas style, and since everything is small and shareable, it’s generally all super rich. Example: pork belly potstickers, aka fatty meat inside fried wonton papers. #explode

After dinner, my folks headed out to Downtown Palm Springs with one of their friends to see a local band perform. My father LOVES live music, especially anything bluesy. Whenever we went to a street fair or flea market, he was bound to leave with a new CD. That’s why he has so many cover band albums and a few of those windpipe/wind chime style sort of Native American Indian (is that the correct term?) inspired CDs.

Meanwhile I went out for a couple drinks with friends and got home at midnight… TO AN EMPTY HOUSE. My parents are party animals.

Today is Relaxation Day. We steered off with coffee and waffles, because that is my father’s specialty.

That also means hours in the pool (with sunscreen!) and enjoying this little number:

Yep, it’s a floating cooler shaped like a pineapple. It was marked $15 but my mother got it on clearance for 90 cents. She’s the deal master.

Oh, and apparently cat videos are the #1 way to make my mother laugh hard. She laughs easily and often, but this laugh is a true delight. I wish I could just insert the audio, but I don’t know how, so please forgive my filming job. I was trying to be discreet since she didn’t know I filmed her… 😳😬

And for your reference, this is what we were watching.

Have a relaxing weekend!!!

– What is everyone else doing?

– What is your parents’ specialty in the kitchen?

– Any hilarious cat videos I need to show Pam (my cute mother)?