Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Reflections and Intentions

WOW! My last post (likely due to its keywords, like "Birchbox," and Facebook sharing) had 109 page views...according to the shifty Google stats, anyway. No matter how many times I tell it NOT to count my own pageviews, it still does. Even though I only looked at the actual blog page twice after posting it, still throws the numbers off and makes me wonder just how inaccurate it is. Anyway, the most views my posts have EVER had! Pretty cool :)

In light of the new year, I have been thinking a lot about everything that happened in 2013. How cliche, right? (p.s. I wish I knew keyboard shortcuts for accents and stuff that go on letters...alas, I don't have those skills yet. Sorry for improper grammar.) SO MANY things happened this year:
I took (and passed!) my board exams
I graduated from dental school
We moved across the country (again)
We celebrated our first wedding anniversary
We found a fantastic apartment exactly where we want to be
We did some super fun tourist-y things and enjoyed the amazing summer weather
I began paying down my student debt (a long road ahead, for sure...)
I tried so hard for so long to find my "ideal" work situation, and failed
I experienced several different offices on a temporary basis
I officially started my own practice, in a pretty much ideal situation
We spent a lot of time with friends we have missed, and a lot of time with family as well

I'm sure there are a lot of other notable things I could list, but they aren't coming to me at the moment. There are several things that need loose ends tied up as well, such as finishing my business plan and receiving the last paycheck I am owed from a job that ended over two months ago. So, 2014 will see some BIG things happen - namely, (hopefully...) the growth of my practice and everything that entails.

I'm not really one for New Year's Resolutions. I think I've addressed this before, but I'm not sure if it was here on this blog or not. At any rate, in my opinion New Year's Resolutions always end up being the afterthought during the holiday hangover that goes something like this: "hmm, I better come up with a resolution to start off the new year...ya, I think going to the gym EVERY DAY should be my resolution. I'm going to sign up for a membership (on a whim...) and then MAKE MYSELF go every day, and then I'll be happy with myself for achieving this empty goal." Whether the resolution actually is going to the gym every day or not, I feel like so often resolutions are forgotten about after the first two weeks. Then the membership (or whatever investment went into the resolution) keeps costing the same month after month, and life gets in the way of achieving the goal that requires overextension of an already hectic life. So then there's that feeling that comes in a few months later when you realize you gave up on your resolution after three weeks, and you feel like poo about yourself. Self-esteem? Out the window. Mull that over in your head a little bit, and feel even worse about yourself.

I've experienced this multiple times in the last couple of years, and never once did I make a New Year's resolution. I just set goals for myself, without STATING the reasons behind them or planning out the logistics, and then when I realize I didn't achieve them - wow, talk about a downer. So, this year is going to be different (we always say that, don't we?). Now that we're officially adults and live life by the actual calendar year, I figured it was time to address some of the things that need changing - with a change in the calendar, so here we are.

I came across this post that was shared by one of my Facebook friends yesterday: 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person. It's pretty fantastic. It's a swift kick in the butt, that's for sure. But let's be honest - that's what some of us need. Even if you can't admit that you need it - you probably do. Great post.

I decided that instead of "resolutions," a better term would be "intentions." I feel like "intentions" is more open-ended. It's not finite, and it encompasses change as necessary. "Resolutions" reminds me of legislation or bylaws or whatever - I've been in enough House of Delegates meetings for dental societies that the word "resolutions" just is much too binding and specific for me to use to describe the goals I want to achieve. "Be it resolved that...this is our opinion on this matter, and changes to the wording or anything else must be presented for a vote in the House of Delegates and thereafter be very official." That's not how I want my goals to be.

Whatever you or I call them, the goals we want to achieve at the turn of the new year will be difficult. If they aren't, you haven't improved yourself or your life all that much, so what was the point? Achieving life-altering goals requires a new perspective, intentional living, re-prioritizing, know, all of those hard grown-up things we all know we need to do, yet have such a hard time actually DOING. Well, the 6 Harsh Truths above emphasize just that - you have to actually DO SOMETHING. Why is that actually so hard? I don't know. But I need to knock it off and DO IT. There is absolutely no reason I am unable to do SOMETHING. Just something. Move forward. Get on with it.

Doing something, just about anything, improves self-worth SO MUCH! I listened to a great podcast yesterday, one of my favorites, and the topic was fantastic - body-loathing and how to change it. Why do we loathe our bodies? Because our self-worth is severely diminished (I get that there are complications with all of these psychological and emotional issues, but for the sake of this synopsis, bear with me). How do we change that? DO SOMETHING. Volunteer. That's a big one - what can you do to help another person - THAT is your self worth. What can you do that is of worth to another human - it might sound superficial, but it's SO TRUE! Think about that for a minute. Volunteer. Create. Write. Work. Produce something. DO something. Right in line with the 6 Harsh Truths.

Listen to the first 18 minutes of this podcast. If you want, continue listening as they address a listener-submitted question about carb requirement for running. Interesting, though definitely not shocking.

Also, listen to this entire thing. They have an awesome guest on this episode.

Sarah and Jason of the Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness podcast are AMAZING, they are by far my favorite podcast. I highly recommend listening to them on a regular basis. I had forgotten how influential they are on my general attitude, and yesterday was reminded of how important this single hour per week is to my wellbeing. I feel like they are close friends of mine, and we have never met. They have no idea who I am. But that's ok - their podcast is a big part of my life, and needs to be.

I realize I kind of went off on a couple of tangents here...again, another reminder that I'm not a writer like some of my blogger friends are. I didn't even list my intentions for 2014. Oops. Suffice it to say that this girl needs to start out by simply DOING SOMETHING. Holy cow, I need to WORK. And CREATE. So, first things first, finish my damn business plan and finalize my loan situation. That will be one HUGE step towards improving the state of my sanity.

Welp, I think it's about time to wrap this one up, kids. I need to get going to a classified location to shove myself in a corner until sufficient work has been done on my made-up financial statements for my business plan. If that doesn't sound like a party to're right. It sucks. But I need to DO SOMETHING. For real.

See y'all next time, and thanks for reading.


  1. The past several years, I've decided on a 3-word "theme" for the year, rather than creating specific resolutions. 2012's theme was "Create, Validate & Simplify". 2013's was "Intention, Courage & Grace." I like doing this because it gives me a general direction for the year, while leaving the interpretation somewhat open.

    I haven't decided on 2014's theme yet...we shall see :)

    1. I LOVE that idea! My "theme" this year would definitely be "DO SOMETHING!" I'd love to read about your 2014 theme when you've decided :)


Thanks for your thoughts!