5 Unconventional New Year's Resolutions You Should Try In 2018

5 Unconventional New Year's Resolutions You Should Try In 2018

Note to reader: Going to the gym and eating healthier are not included.
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Every New Year we seem to convince ourselves that it will be the year, this will be the year that we finally live by those changes we’ve been trying to get ourselves to adopt.

We say, “it’s okay, I’ll start in January” and we build up this enormous expectation that we will indeed start in January. Which, the majority of us probably do, but then that permanent change we were seeking turns into a burden, and then a hobby, and then into another “it’s okay, I’ll start in January.”

In reality, a year is a very long time to hold yourself to do this thing that you so strongly believe will change your new year in some way. I’ve done it with the cliché “go to the gym at least 3 times a week,” or “cut out x, y, and z out of your meal plan.”

Do they work? Nope, I usually quit by March. And I don’t think it’s a question of work ethic or perseverance, but maybe more of just the reality that life hits us at all times of the year. So, today I’ve thought of five unconventional and realistic New Year resolutions that will hopefully help you grow as a person, and stick with you enough that they’ll become permanent routines of your life instead of another “I’ll start in January.”

1. Own your decisions, and be proud of them.

It’s time to start making certain decisions because you want to. Not because of other people who tell you that doing something this way will be best, or that doing something that way will make the most people happy. What about your happiness?

Yes, seeing other people pleased with your actions does feel good. But, you know what also feels good? Having complete and unequivocal control over what will happen next. The hard part is being proud of what you’ve done afterward. It’s not easy seeing people react in a manner you were hoping to avoid, and it will make you question the next time you have that option of choosing between what you want to do and what others think you should do.

It’s something that you’ll have to learn to deal with and accept, and to own and grow from. And if you have friends that keep badgering you because they think you made a decision that was wrong, or mean, or dramatic, or “stupid”, then go ahead and get you some friends that will love you for you and support you and your decisions.

Although, it is important to keep in mind that making your own decisions also comes with the responsibility of owning whatever the resulting consequences may be.

But I’m telling you, as someone who recently learned and accepted that I truly can make my own decisions and be happy with them, there’s nothing that makes you feel more confident going into each day than knowing that you’ll have more control over it than you think.

Why did I say no to doing someone a favor who in reality has never treated me like a decent human being? Because I motherf***ing can.

2. Get rid of the people in your life that make you question who you are every day. Drop 'em. Do it right now.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should cut every person out of your life that has done you wrong. But, if there is a persistent person in your life that seems to be dragging around this toxic dark cloud over your head and their presence in your life seems to have more cons than pros, then I think it’s time to exert your energy towards other people that actually care about your wellbeing.

I told myself I was going start doing this a year ago and I have done it. But it is sad, and it does sting when you realize that a relationship you had with someone was, in reality, one that was more of a one-way street that was filled with responding to needs and wants and getting no reciprocation in return. It is not a good feeling. It actually overwhelmingly blows.

But, now I can give my energy and attention to the people who actually make me feel good about myself, to the people who actually deserve it, and to the people that I know for a fact will still be in my life after college.

3. Give yourself more credit.

You are more capable than you believe. As the year goes on and the days and the weeks seem to get longer, it gets easier to blame our inability to accomplish something on the fact that we’re tired, or that we don’t think we can do it, or that we’ve already had a long year (it’s March).

But, know and understand that you have more in you than you think. You are that smart. You are that athletic. You are that good of a person. You are that beautiful. So, here’s to a year of owning all of who you are and believing in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will?

4. Start doing the things you've always been too scared to do.

What do you have to lose? Seriously what is the worst that is going to happen? Someone will say no. Someone will laugh. Someone will disagree with what you said or did. Well, I hope I’m not the first person to tell you this, but people saying no, people laughing, people disagreeing with what you do, are things that will happen to you for the rest of your life simply because it is impossible to please everyone.

So you might as well please yourself. In reality, you’re only scared because of the possibility of the unknown. You’re only scared because you don’t know what kind of response you’ll get or what will happen next. But if you don’t do the things you’re too scared to do, then how will you ever know what could have happened? Not knowing what response you’ll get and not knowing what could have happened will have the same consequences.

So, send the stupid text. Ask your professor for help with your grade. Go apply to that job. Yes the worst that can happen may in fact happen, but life will go on. The next minute will pass, the next hour will fade away, and the next day will be a new day.

5. Be kind to everyone.

My life motto. Be kind to everyone. Even to the people that have treated you like the dirt beneath their feet. To the people that you thought of when you were reading New Year Resolution #2. To the people that seem to be out to get you. To the people that you cross on the street that you’ve never seen before. To the people that you’ve never spoken to, but hear strange things about.

One of my idols Roger Federer once said, “It is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice.” I don’t care how important you feel, how much better you feel than the person standing next to you, how much more deserving you feel than everyone else, how much higher you walk with your head, be kind to everyone. You never know what kind of day someone is having.

You never know the type of life someone has been through. I don’t care if you think you know. You simply don’t. So, be kind to everyone, because you never know whose day or life you’ll change just because you decided to share a smile, say “hello”, or ask “how have you been.”

Five unconventional New Year resolutions. They may seem easy or they may seem like you already do them, but after reading this rather lengthy article (sorry, I didn’t realize how passionate I was about new year resolutions), go through your day and apply one or a couple of these resolutions. I promise you will feel outstandingly better on this day than on any other day you had to remind yourself to go to the gym or to cut x, y, and z out of your meal plan.

Welcome 2018 and Happy New Year everyone.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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My Goals for 2019

I'm not really into resolutions, but I am into goals. Here are my top ones for 2019.

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I dont think I've ever actually made a new year's resolution. Since my birthday is the second day of the year, it doesn't really ever make sense to do one for diet, because on your birthday, diets don't exist. Despite not having any resolutions, this year included, I do have a lot of plans for the year in terms of what goals I want to achieve. Mainly, they include getting in the habit of taking care of myself in every aspect of my life.

The Basic One, Fitness

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I don't have any set numerical goals about how many pounds or inches I need to lose, I simply want to focus on taking care of myself every day as I should. Water, exercise, cute gym fits, adequate sleep, low sugar, and high protein. I think when you focus on taking care of yourself daily instead of stressing about the results, the results happen naturally. I've been doing this for the past few months and a lot of my clothes are basically falling off of me. But as long as you're eating enough and are healthy, nothing should be about a number on a scale. 2019 isn't about being a certain size or looking like a Barbie- It's about self care. For me, this looks like staying hydrated all day, working out at least five days a week, keeping my gym bag stocked with clean and cute gym clothes, and eating vegan protein, complex carbohydrates, and lots of veggies!!

My Career Goals

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My first goal is to absolutely kill it at my internship and learn as much as I can in my position as a Salesforce Administrator. I'll be attending OU's next career fair in February and talking to the only other company in OKC that I would be interested in working for outside of where I intern, so I can ask about what they most typically hire for MIS students in entry-level jobs. That will give me enough time to prepare before September when I actually start applying! It's so crazy to think that in 8 months I'll be preparing for jobs after graduation. I would LOVE to work for Dell in OKC, so I'm excited to see if it's a good fit for me to hopefully work my way up to Microsoft!! I really want to live at home for the first few years after I graduate because it's only 20-30 minutes to the city and close to where I will hopefully be going to get my OU MBA!!

School Goals

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I'm shooting to graduate with a 3.75 GPA, so I basically need all A's outside of one class this semester (which will be calc 2). I'm also working to be as time efficient as possible in 2019. This means quitting my side retail job, planning out the week's outfits, meal prepping a little bit more, and studying early in the semester. ALSO I have to complete 10 seminar hours a semester in Price School of Business, so my goal is to attend 5 hours per week in the first 3 weeks of school to get everything done ASAP! That is what I did last semester, and it was so worth it to be done with my hours by the time I started my internship- which of course was entry-level- but getting used to my internship time commitment was hectic. I want to work hard this year by studying EVERY week and spending time in office hours, because that is where A's are made!!

Social Goals

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This year I will be in Norman every Sunday for Green Week Committee, so I'm shooting to be at LifeChurch in Norman on Sunday mornings. Even though I live at home and commute, I want to be even more plugged in to Norman than I already am, because Norman is one of my favorite places ever. I feel completely at home at OU and love the people so much, so I'm excited to make my church my home while I'm there. You don't need a religious organization to accomplish being more social, but when you frequent places that involve your interests, you'll meet people you can relate to.

I also am so excited to continue going to my younglife bible study at OU that we formed last semester. We're the only group that's continuing into '19 because we all had such a good connection. The girls are super sweet and amazing and are just another reason that I feel so grateful for how things are going in my life at the moment. I have my St. Louis and Illinois besties, but I'm so excited to also have close besties in Norman and OKC! .

Internet Goals

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I've been wanting to do YouTube since I was literally 14 years old but have always had reasons that have held me back. In 2017 and 2018, I felt like I needed to do more growing as a person, and in my life, before I started posting. I think I'm finally at the point where I'm ready to start creating, and it's only from watching some of my favorite channels kill it from people who are honestly not much different than I am. I'm a perfectionist, and probably won't post much until I can afford to splurge 10's of thousands on equipment, but this year I want to post 2-3 videos that I'm really proud of. I love watching videos about style and design, and these are the niches I want to move into eventually. So I'm going to try to make videos about shopping and dorm room transformations! It's 2019, so why not *cue that song by hilary duff from literally 15 years ago*.

On Instagram, I want to start posting and creating a cohesive theme that I'm really proud of, and that accurately matches my aesthetic. This past year I've realized that my favorite clothing pieces are light pink, white, and pale blue, so I'm going to be working on a wardrobe and Insta feed that matches this. I'll be using Snapchat and Insta stories strategically to post anything I love that doesn't match my Insta feed on those to keep things cohesive. I've already got some ideas of what I want to shoot for my Instagram photos in 2019, but you'll have to follow to find out! (xsarahbryanne ;) )Oklahoma City has so many murals and cute places for photo-ops that I think I'm set until I move to Dallas Fort Worth and tackle Deep Ellum. (The murals there are INSANE!)

Style Goals

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This year I want to redo my bedroom, and continue dressing in a way that makes me feel confident and happy. I've noticed from my iPhone screenshots that my favorite outfits mix pinks and blues- whether it be with denim jackets, cute booties, or lace bralettes. I'm also really into neutrals at the moment; specifically cool neutrals like black, grey, and ivory. Having a wardrobe that you're obsessed with isn't about spending thousands, it's about finding out what you like and finding it for as cheap as possible. I'm a big supporter of window shopping Pottery Barn campaigns for room decor, and finding cheaper options on Amazon. I'm also planning on DIY-ing furniture from Goodwill for my room this year, because the price differences are insane. Redoing furniture from Goodwill just takes a few Youtube videos, creativity, and vision, and you will save HUNDREDS. I'll let you know when I have videos to prove it!

BIG ways that I'm shopping this year include frequenting LOFT clearance, Dainty Hooligan (a Norman boutique that always has GOOD sales online if you search), Target, Goodwill, and cute OKC boutiques! LOFT takes care of a lot of the essentials and classy trends, but they also have insane markdowns on anything that's been in the store for awhile. I worked there for about a year and a half, and during that time, I got so many things for $5 or less; cute jeans for $3, a $100 coat for $5, a $100 blazer that I got for $13...there's seriously so much that goes to final sale that's super adorable. A lot of times it's thrift store prices for things that are new! Dainty Hooligan is trendy boutique that doesn't really advertise their clearance, but honestly, that's better because it means more for YOU. I look at all the dresses and find a lot that are $20 or less. I got my NYE dress for $10 and I'm going to a prom for teens with special abilities soon, so I've picked out a dress only $15. In terms of prices, it kind of puts Goodwill to shame. Goodwill has a lot of options, but this year I'm going to try and only buy things that I know are within my streamlined aesthetic. Going in with an idea of what you want, like a color scheme or a list of items that you need, is super helpful and keeps you on track. It can be fun to find things that are outside of your box, but it's easy to buy things while thrifting that you don't love because they simply stand out from the pack. Don't buy something unless you can really picture how you will use it.

Overall, I am really, really excited for 2019. I'm ready to go after these goals and make them a reality. I don't know what it is, but I have a feeling like it's going to be the best yet. Here's to being a girl boss and making my own dreams come true.

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