I have two very simple new year's resolutions: do more of what makes me happy and healthy and do less of what doesn’t. Cliché and oversimplified? Yeah, kind of. Impossible to keep track of? Maybe. But I’m going to try. Before I do anything this year, I aim to ask myself, no matter how briefly, “is this something that will have a positive impact on me?” Obviously, I’ll skip this step countless times and order those damn delicious biscuits and gravy or sit on my butt and bingewatch “Jane the Virgin” for way too long, but that’s fine. Hell, those indulgences might even get a “yes” sometimes, when I’ve been religiously counting calories and need a break, or if I’m in need a couple hours of hilarious telenovela-inspired hijinks after a tough week at work.

This isn’t a vow to not ever do those things, it’s a promise to do them for the right reasons. I don’t want to mindlessly chow down on comfort food because I’m bored or sad or stressed. I don’t want to waste hours on TV shows or Facebook or reading books I hate just because I’m too lazy to do anything else. Sure, new year’s resolutions can be silly and overwrought and too-easily broken, but let’s at least try. My well-being is too important to me not to at least try use a "fresh start" for all it's worth.

Here’s the list of what I’m striving for in 2016:

  • Volunteer routinely again. I’m already tackling this by applying to volunteer at the Dane County Humane Society to play with kitties — a win-win, really.
  • Read more of what matters to me. It’s too easy to waste brain cells and thinking power scrolling through Facebook and clicking into bottomless Twitter link-holes.
  • Eat better and work out more. So original, right? It’s been an ongoing struggle for me, and it never hurts to write it down once more with more good intention.
  • Stop caring so damn much what other people think. Here’s a recent example: I suffered a moderate allergic reaction to an unknown substance, rendering my eyes red and puffy, and me unable to wear makeup. I spent the day at work self-conscious and offering apologetic explanations for my bare face. I mean, really? Apologizing for my face’s existence? Not in 2016.
  • Travel more. Trips to San Francisco and Hong Kong are already in the works, so that promises to be plenty of adventure for this gal. I’m hoping to fill in a couple long weekends with short road trips, and I’m enthusiastically hoping for visitors. C’mon over, friends.
  • Blog consistently. I started off pretty solidly with this thing last year and then life happened, and I let it slide. I’m working on a plan to make this a habit. Yell at me if you haven’t seen a post in awhile.

2016, let’s kick some ass.