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Resolution, Singular

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I received a new calendar in the mail, and I’m very excited about it. It’s huge, shows the whole year, and I slapped it up on the giant corkboard right next to my kitchen.

2016 had its ups and downs for many people, including me, and while 2017  will be spent cleaning up some of 2016, it still smells like promise. Which maybe smells like new shoes.

In 2015 and 2016, I set one goal for each year. In 2015 I met it, and, as someone who likes to reward myself a little too much, I celebrated with tapas and (two of) my favorite drink at a restaurant downtown.

In 2016, my goal was simply to pay a little more attention to my health. In retrospect, I failed to use easy-to-breakdown goals which might have made this more meaningful, but since the goal was fairly arbitrary, I’d say I met this one as well. I worked out way more in 2016 than in 2015 (although the last two months of the year, I didn’t work out at all, per doctor’s orders), saw a doctor or two, sorted some things out, and my eating habits nominally improved. I mean, reeeally nominally.

This year is tricky, because I can’t decide on just one goal.

I lamented to Sunnie when she came over. I cooked a Whole-30-friendly dinner (her commitment, not mine), and after dinner we sat on the couch with herbal tea instead of with drinks and dessert (Whole 30 rules, certainly not mine).

“I really want this to be the year we stick to a budget and hit some financial goals. But I also need to pay more attention to my health. But committing to one goal a year has really worked for me.”

“What if,” Sunnie said conspiratorially, feet up on my coffee table, “you made your broad goal to be healthy. But that means physically healthy, emotionally healthy, and financially healthy?”

“Like go to the gym, then get a massage, but use a coupon? Hmm.”

It’s cheating, right?

I don’t know.

I don’t do well with lofty and abstract. I like tangible, to-do list sort of goals.

For example, in the spirit of financial health, I decided to figure out a couple ways to slash line items on the budget. I logged into YNAB and made some updates (because it had been awhile), then I called and canceled my cable company. Then I logged into my bank account and signed up for automated weekly deposits into my savings account.

Yes, quantifiable things. Those I can do.

I texted a friend who, like me, enjoys challenges and goals. We previously did a month-long challenge, and that was fun. (Not a resolution, but a challenge. Semantics.) I ended up taking 12 yoga classes and finding out that I now like yoga. I raised my hand on one of his suggestions and I decided to commit to it.

“Advise x number of people each month and expect nothing back.”

Which is compelling and now I’m all in. So now, lookit, I have a specific — and limited — set of skills, like a really, really low-rent Liam Neeson. In lieu of a resume…

I’ve been working for myself — successfully! some years more than others — for the past seven years. Most of my work is surrounding writing. I’ve written for brands, secretly for celebrities, for Adweek, and on here. I like Twitter. Sometimes people invite me to speak at different events. I’ve spoken about branding, women in business, parenting, and social justice. I’ve consulted with businesses, I can hold my own with graphic design, and I’ve hit inbox zero almost every day for three months. I have three daughters (the eldest is 8), and I make my own laundry detergent.

Here’s my LinkedIn account and my professional website.

So if you’re an accountant with teenage sons, yes, chances are I am of no use to you. It’s very possible that I am of no use to most of you. But if you could use a monthly brainstorming session or weekly texts or even just someone to send you emojis and remind you about your New Year’s Resolutions, I’m happy to help.

If you’re interested, click here to punch in your info and leave a comment below (so I can contact you and put a face to a name … so to speak). I’m still ironing out the details (time, people, etc), but there are zero strings attached. Keep your money in your Venmo account, don’t donate to the charity of my choice, and no need to buy me pizza.

As a caveat, this is not a promise to write pro bono or tweet about your cool Etsy shop. It’s me and you getting chatty via Google Hangouts or text or the Voxer app (TBD! TBD!). And it’s definitely a “you’re doing this at your own risk” and a “there’s no way I can make all your dreams come true” kind of deal.

While I sort out who I’m going to be bothering regularly and what my resolution this year will be, are you a resolution maker? What are your plans for 2017?

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65 Comments

  • Reply Tiffany January 11, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    GAH. YOU ARE SO COOL. I like this. A lot. xo and all that.

    • Reply Roo January 11, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Just trying to get on your level, Tiffany! 😘

  • Reply Karianne January 11, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    I didn’t make any official resolutions this year. Last year I thought I would try and work on one part of my life each month but, as always, I didn’t keep them do I gave up on actually making any official resolutions.

    • Reply Roo January 11, 2017 at 10:18 pm

      I like the one part of your life each month idea! I heard in a podcast that even if you take three months to focus on one change, in ten years, that’s forty things you’ve changed. Good perspective even though I want it all now. 😉

      • Reply Karianne January 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm

        Yeah, having it all right now would be great! I figure baby steps might stick though.

  • Reply Elizabeth January 11, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    I like your skills. Let’s be friends 😁

  • Reply Sarah January 11, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I’m a micro resolution fan. “Eat healthy for a year?” Nah. I love tacos too much. “Give up red meat for a month?” Ok. I’ll play.

    This is a cool idea btw. It needs a cool catchy name.

    • Reply Roo January 11, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      Can we break this down to weekly? “This week I won’t eat any cheese danishes from Starbucks.” (Want to name it for me?)

  • Reply Jen C January 11, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Submitted! :)

    • Reply Roo January 11, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      Yessssssss.

  • Reply Emily January 11, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Love this 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  • Reply Lauren R January 11, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    I dig it. And submitted! Happy New Year!

  • Reply Katie Nelson January 11, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    I make a new things resolution each year. Like one year I had to learn to like tea, so I tried a million kinds of tea until I found one that was fun to drink (chai FTW!) Last year I learned to like brussel sprouts (roasted with bacon). This year in an effort to share a vice with my hubby, I’m trying to learn to like beer. Should be a fun year!

  • Reply AJ January 11, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I’m in! This seems like the coolest resolution!

    • Reply Magda April 30, 2017 at 11:54 am

      The Absent Ga#&;m8230eInvolving me and my husband we’ve owned additional MP3 gamers over the years than I can count, like Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few several years I’ve settled down to one line of players….

  • Reply Sarah Misicka January 11, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    I have decided to officially use 2017 with monthly resolutions similar to Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. Each day check off the goals for the month and next month add to it while still keeping all the previous months goals. wish me luck!

    Also, I did til out the form.

    • Reply Mandy January 11, 2017 at 11:54 pm

      Have you listened to her podcast?! I really enjoy it :)

  • Reply Alyssa Brown January 11, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Submitted! I dubbed 2016 “Get my Shit Together 2016” as an all encompassing goal to budget, lose weight, be healthier, write more, etc. Did approximately none of that, so I guess it’s “Get my Shit Together 2017” now.

    • Reply Maggs January 13, 2017 at 3:11 am

      Even if you HAD accomplished that goal, there always seems to be MORE SHIT…ya know???

      I bet you may not have accomplished the expected stuff but you likely did things you’d not expected at the beginning of the year. Hooray for being proactive, then!

  • Reply Denise January 11, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Just submitted. I have secretly wanted to be your BFF for longer than I care to admit. I hope that doesn’t sound too stalker-y. Just a long time admirer of what you’ve been doing here in this space

    • Reply Heather Laura Clarke January 12, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Roo’s cool with admirers and never makes us feel like stalkers. :)

    • Reply Maggs January 13, 2017 at 3:13 am

      RIGHT??? So glad I’m not the only one. 😂😂😂

  • Reply Hiromi January 11, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    This is interesting! I’ve submitted:)

  • Reply Kirsten January 11, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    I submitted! Sounds like a really cool project. Hope it’s successful all around!

    • Reply Roo January 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Thanks, Kirsten! Me too!

  • Reply Lisa S January 11, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    I submitted!

  • Reply Mandy January 11, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    I hope I win! 🎉😊

  • Reply Rachel January 11, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    This is a really cool idea- I submitted :-)

  • Reply Alexandra January 12, 2017 at 12:01 am

    This is the best idea. I may use this (somehow) in my classroom. Also this is the best idea because why is it easier to talk to strangers? HONY? Humans that love GIFs and sarcasm? I’m sold.

  • Reply Danielle I. January 12, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Submitted :)

  • Reply Alanna January 12, 2017 at 1:21 am

    Roo, I love your writing and your take on issues from Santa to money. I don’t remember the last time I made resolutions but maybe this is the year to get back into it. I’m a new mom and about to officially be free of my office job. Looks like 2017 is the year I learn to hustle so I’m totally on board with this idea of yours!

  • Reply Jessica E. January 12, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Wait, it’s 2017?! Crap!

    • Reply Roo January 12, 2017 at 8:37 am

      It is, my friend. Bananas.

  • Reply Lisa January 12, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I submitted. Can German gals play, too? :)
    I would mostly love to exchange fun gifs and pictures via text. Maybe lift each other up when it’s been a bad day or send each other some encouragement. :)

    • Reply Roo January 12, 2017 at 8:55 am

      Of course! Texts have an international reach. 😉

    • Reply Maggs January 13, 2017 at 4:07 am

      Hey there, Lisa! I’m in Berlin…if you’re interested, I’m always down for new friends in my time zone. Just be warned that I have a seriously unhealthy appetite for GIFs. 😉

      Tschüss!

      • Reply Lisa January 14, 2017 at 6:28 am

        Hi there Maggs! I just checked out your blog! I don’t blog but I’m nice :D I’ll try to contact you :)

        • Reply Maggs January 14, 2017 at 6:49 am

          Well, THAT’S embarrassing, Lisa…I actually ended the blog a bit abruptly (as can be noted by the severe lack of updates) due to being lazy.

          But if you reach out to me there, I’ll get it! :)

  • Reply Heather Laura Clarke January 12, 2017 at 8:55 am

    This is SUCH a great idea, Roo. Just submitted! xo

  • Reply Meghan Parker January 12, 2017 at 10:05 am

    My resolutions are pretty vague too. They’re mostly centered around staying active throughout my pregnancy, getting back out there once the baby comes, and setting up healthy boundaries with the new grandparents. I was just about to start training for a 10K when the baby (and terrible morning sickness) derailed those plans. My main goal is to not let myself lose momentum, because it turns out I really like walking! Slash jogging….but more walking than jogging right now.

    • Reply Liz January 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Love the healthy boundaries idea. My son is 6 months, and almost everyday I wish we had done that!

  • Reply Bri Odom January 12, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Love this. I’m hoping this year I meet my goal! And maybe sleep more

  • Reply Caron January 12, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Pretty sure I’d just want to chat it up friend-style but if that’s okay then I’m game for your new resolution! XO

  • Reply Carey January 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    What a great thing – submitted! Super curious to see how this goes over the year, I hope you’ll keep us posted!

  • Reply Sarah Guerrero January 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Submitted! Yes, keep us posted!!

  • Reply Rebecca January 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Love this! My resolutions are to keep trucking along on financial goals and maybe up some of my health goals this year too.

    My sister recently sent me a message talking about 4 types of people: people that subtract from you, people that divide, people that multiply and people that add to you. I’m sure you’ve heard something similar, but the point is to get rid of people or diminish contact with people that subtract from your experiences or divide you negatively; we should instead turn to those that multiply the goodness in our life and add to our experiences. :-)

  • Reply Meg Sneed January 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I’d love insight onnhow to transition from a FREE writer to a freelance writer!

  • Reply Lynn January 12, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Always love your resolution posts!

  • Reply Meghan January 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Yup. I just want to wade through options and figure out what’s even important to worry about right now. Maybe I’m already half-assing too many things and in the words of Ron Swanson I should just whole-ass one thing. I DON’T KNOW. (Which is my point.) Plus, you already have my number.

  • Reply Jennifer January 12, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I just submitted! A little behind…. Maybe we should talk about my inability to stay up to date and manage my time

  • Reply Rachel January 12, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I submitted. Very intriguing.

  • Reply Maggs January 13, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Oh, Roo…at it again with the awesome, I see! I truly love this idea, and not so just because I’d love to get in on it.

    …I’m going to use this as an inspiration to make myself more accessible to others. If nothing else, being more friendly couldn’t possibly be a bad thing, right?

  • Reply Daniela January 13, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Subscribed!

  • Reply Alexis January 14, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Everyone should do this! So much easier to cheer someone else on. :) Submitted.

  • Reply Justin Phelps January 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I’d love to do this!

  • Reply Katie January 17, 2017 at 11:21 am

    An hour ago my Feedly refreshed itself to reveal your last 5 posts for the first time since July, 2016. I thought you hadn’t written since then! Now I’ve spent the last hour or so catching up, which is precisely why I need your help. I’ve wanted to be a freelance writer. And a novelist. And a screen writer. And a travel blogger. I currently have a part-time work-from-home job for a startup that connects travel bloggers with brands, and it’s a fantastic gig to bring in some hourly cash and appease my interest in some of the above. But the problem is that I use it — and editing my friend’s novel, and learning Italian, and [insert any ludicrous procrastination excuse you can think of here] to put off doing the work required to finish any of the projects that would give me a great sense of professional accomplishment to complete. I also think I’m not charging enough for my work.

    And now I’m pregnant with my first child. I’m 34, my husband and I have been married over 10 years, and I’m freaking out. If I can’t commit to my dreams now, how can I do it when I have a baby attached to my boob? And I really — really — want to be a good mom. But also not a slave to my child. So. I’m not 100% sure what you’re offering here, but as someone who’s actually succeeding at the writing, the working for yourself, the being there for your kids, I know you can offer me some advice (or at least the swift kick in the ass) I need to get my sh*t together. No pressure though. It’s just that you’re the only person I “know” who is doing what I’m trying to do.

    I’m pretty sure this answers your resolution question, but yeah. I’m pretty bad at them. So maybe my resolution this year will be to get better at resolutions.

  • Reply Aya January 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    My feedly just refreshed itself with a bunch of posts from you too! This makes me both sad (that I’ve been missing your posts) and happy (so many posts to read!) I need to say that I really, really, really, really, really missed you. Your blog has always been my favorite!!!! I don’t really have many goals beyond surviving my life in it’s current state, but I would love to have an acceptable, non annoying reason to get random texts from you!!!!!! So I’ve submitted the form and hope to hear from you sometimes :)

  • Reply Christine Martinez January 18, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Fillled out the form and rambled on. Don’t think I’ve written that much in over a year! It was also very late so forgive me if I don’t make any sense:) Very cool idea!

  • Reply Emily January 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I submitted just now (late to the game), but I have other strengths :)

  • Reply Liz January 19, 2017 at 6:08 am

    My Feedly just refreshed too! I was actually randomly wondering the other day what happened to This Is How I Feel, I needed more GIFs in my life. I had my first baby 6 months ago, and have been my own worst enemy with losing all the weight and getting healthier again. This is a great idea!

  • Reply Kel January 20, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Response submitted. I rambled a bit. Thanks for giving the space for the rambles.

  • Reply Shelly Rzewuski January 20, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Such a nice idea, Roo! Also, thanks for fixing your feed! I didn’t realize I had been missing you for months (only looking at cute pictures of your girls on Instagram) until this week! I had to go back and catch up. So glad to have you back and Happy New Year!

  • Reply One Month of Budgeting - Semiproper February 1, 2017 at 11:33 am

    […] the spirit of my “one goal per year” rule, I had picked working on our finances, but wanted to set goals for health and […]

  • Reply Emmaline Eble February 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I don’t know if you’re still taking submissions, but I wrote a response just in case. This is such a cool, generous thing for you to do.

  • Reply Emily March 13, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Better late than never? Just submitted the form!

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