It’s almost a month into 2016, and I can already tell this year is going to be extraordinary. Don’t get me wrong: I always anticipate the next 365 days following January 1st to be filled with growth (big and small), but I had the strangest sensation right before the holidays that something substantial was on the horizon. Sure enough, so much has changed already and I could not be more grateful for the friends and family by my side.
I had the most remarkable trip through Spain, Portugal, Morocco (not to mention a 15 hour layover in Paris to watch the sunrise at Montmartre followed by a petit déjeuner at Cafe de Floré with my college friend, Danielle, who lives there)…
Competed in my first pageant (more on those two adventures later); and landed an incredible opportunity at an iconic fashion house.
Although all of this change is happily welcomed, it also makes me focus on all the things I want to alter for the better. Particularly, on how I want to spend my time and who I wanted to spend it with. I always find myself saying yes to almost anything – I’m a sucker for new experiences – or making excuses/giving out third or fourth chances to people I shouldn’t. With my new schedule and goals, I have to be especially careful how I spend my time so that I do get more satisfaction and less stress.
On that note, see my complete list of 2016 resolutions below:
- Be vocal. You are never going to gain the respect you deserve, or anything for that matter, if you don’t demand it. I’ve struggled in the past over the line on which I believed was polite versus rude (this applies to anything from jobs to relationships), but I feel as if I’ve really come to understand that the only person who can stand up for you is yourself.
- Keep traveling. Montreal, Croatia, Istanbul, Austin, TX, Bruges, South Africa, Austin, southeast Asia… there are so many on my list!
- Write as often as possible.
- Surround yourself with people who pump you up and make you feel good. You don’t need a relationship (friend or otherwise) that is toxic, draining, or even just bumming you out.
- Value sleep and don’t feel guilty about it. It is your body’s way of recharging and essential for your brain and nervous system.
- Get into an exercise routine that suits your schedule and makes you happy.
- Stop sweating over the little things.
- Stay focused on your goals (short-term and long-term). Write them down. Talk about them. Be mindful of them when making decisions to help make them happen.
- Wear your glasses often (this is just for me, or any other contacts wearer out there!).
- Keep trusting the process. I truly believe that there is a reason to everything, even if it’s not clear yet.
- Challenge yourself by putting yourself in those situations that excite and scare you a little bit — the more you do, the easier it’ll become.
Here’s to an exciting new year full of exciting challenges and fun!
P.s. A few honorable mentions for the best moments of 2015, hands down:
- Starting 2015 in London and spending the 1st in Marrakech – my 1st time in Africa
- A Sullivan family reunion including handfuls and handfuls of cousins.
- Sipping a glass of rosé at the Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island.
- Labor Day Weekend in . Thank you, Nana and Jay!
- A complimentary cooking class on top of the Plaza Hotel with my friend, Angie.
- Munching on lobster rolls in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
- Enjoying a beach weekend on Kiawah Island with my dad and Logan.
- Moving to a completely new neighborhood with one of my best friends, Steph.
- Joining a local boxing gym that I absolutely love.
- Boating and cookouts in Annapolis, MD at my Uncle’s and Aunt’s River House.
- Keeping the list of restaurants/bars to visit going:
- Brunch: The crab eggs benedict at Gardenia or the appetizers at Jacob’s Pickles
- Lunch: Anything from By Chloe
- Dinner: Share everything off the menu at The Tipsy Parsons or Rosemary’s
- Treats: Milkshakes at Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer
- Post-work drinks: The rooftop at The Viceroy Hotel (beautiful views of Central Park) or underneath Chelsea Market at The Tipler
- Speakeasies: Bathtub Gin, Fig 19 or Raines Law Room
- Tacos: Tacombi, El Mitote and Tijuana Picnic
- Seeing not one, but two festivals this year (Governor’s Ball with Maggie and Michelle then Landmark Music Festival with Michelle and Caitlin, my Chi Omega Big Sister!)
- The night before my birthday – not just the celebration at Gallow Green, but the fun afterwards at dinner as we toasted to my 25th birthday.
- The Guggenheim Young Collector’s Party with Steph.
- I actually worked a second job as a bartender. Yes, you heard that right.
- Spontaneous tea and croissants dates, always.
- Our annual extended family ski trip – this year in beautiful Breckenridge, CO.
- Seeing my name printed on the masthead of a magazine.
- New York Fashion Week (I left the Marchesa f/w ’15 show amazed).
- Exploring Vermont on my first “leaf peeping” trip. My Burberry trench proved well-worth the buy. It was my favorite purchase for all of 2015.
- The Gotham City Gala – such an incredible night for a wonderful cause!
- Seeing Sheena Iyengar speak at one of the Ivy Connect events. You can see her TedTalk here.
- Spending Christmas with my older brother’s family including my darling niece, younger brother, Danny and mother in Florida.
- Celebrating the start of 2016 in Lisbon amongst bubbly, the most incredible firework show and old/new friends.
- And so many, many more