There are plenty of things I'd like to change about myself, and this list often comes to a head at the start of each year. In an ideal world, I'd work out more, up my vegetable intake, consume less sugar, and get through my must read/see/visit list. There isn't a year that's gone by when I haven't sworn this will be the one when I get into a regular workout routine and eat more vegetables—then promptly ditch both. I've always felt torn about resolutions—for me, they're ultimately more detrimental than they are inspiring—which is why I'm trying something new this year.
Instead of creating a list of my shortcomings, I'm taking a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the things I did well last year, and want to continue doing this year. It's a simple exercise in reframing things, but it's already changed the way I'm approaching 2018. That's not to say I won't be working towards bettering myself—I have a ton of inspiring wellness content planned this month, including a 'Fitness Week' next week—but I won't be setting unachievable expectations, then chastising myself when they fall through. Here are 10 things I resolve to continue doing in 2018:
Last year on Valentine's Day, I dropped off red rose arrangements to two of my single girlfriends and while they were thrilled, I felt even better knowing that they were reminded of how much they're loved. It's sometimes easy to forget to do little things, but sending old-fashioned mail, picking up 'just because' gifts, or baking someone's favorite cookies makes everyone feel great.
I've come to realize that the whole balancing act that's often put upon working mothers is really unfair. The older Sloan gets, the more I realize just how impractical that goal truly is and how instead, I should just focus on doing my best, knowing that it's not always going to be done perfectly. This past year was a tough one and what always served me well was remembering what's truly important, spending quality time with my family.
A few months back, a friend recommended a therapist to me that had been enormously beneficial to her. He was out-of-network and a far away enough drive that I found myself making excuses to put off the whole thing. It then dawned on me that my mental health should be the priority, traffic and all, and it's been the most rewarding thing I've done. As for meditation, I find that even a few minutes each day can completely reframe my state of mind.
I started Cupcakes and Cashmere as a creative outlet and now, nearly ten years later, we're a team of seven with a separate Editorial and E-commerce team. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such smart, creative, hard-working employees and am excited about all of the exciting things to come in the new year.
I took a Politics course my senior year in college because I'd never been someone who'd had a good grasp on the subject. While it certainly helped, I still find myself less aware of current events than some of my friends and colleagues. In the past year, I made a conscious effort to educate myself on what was going on, which made me feel good to be more informed (and then take action whenever I could).
Ever since I was a young kid, I've been been particularly hard on myself. I rarely take time to recognize things I'm proud of and instead choose to focus on things I could have done differently. Besides that being a particularly exhausting way to go through life, I've made significant changes to how I view myself mainly to be a positive role model for Sloan. I originally made those adjustments for her, but in the process, I've also found that I'm now a lot more accepting of myself.
I'm not particularly fond of change, but over the past year I've continued to embrace things that make me nervous. Whether that's in the form of a new dance class or sharing more of a vulnerable side of myself on social media, I try to push myself past my comfort zone. Now I kind of follow the motto that if something makes me nervous, it's probably a good idea to at least give it a try.
I used to find myself shopping for things that I didn't need (or sometimes even want), at times when I wasn't feeling my best. I try to recognize those moments in which I'm most likely compensating for something else—either insecurity or frustration—and instead deal with those feelings head-on rather than covering them up by accumulating new things. The most obvious change has been to my closet (and home) that are now significantly more edited. I take my time when making purchases so that when I find myself actually committing to something, it's something I truly love.
I've never been one to put others down, but when I see other entrepreneurs achieving success, my instinct is to belittle what I've accomplished. Last year, I addressed this in therapy (which I wrote about in this post) and became better at realizing that, when I'm feeling bitter over someone else's accomplishments, rather than celebrating that person, it's because of my own insecurities. And most importantly, there's room for us all to be successful in our own ways.
I'm always going to be someone who's happiest in my sweats at home, but I've also come to realize the importance of pushing myself to go out. Once I'm there—whether it's drinks with colleagues in Santa Monica, or meeting old friends for dinner—I'm always reminded of how worthwhile it is to get out.