‘Tis that time of year again. Time for New Year’s Resolutions to abound. I’m not usually one to make a huge deal about Resolutions–some years I do, some years I don’t. But this year, I have had a lot on my mind about what I want 2020 to look like so I figured putting some pen to paper might not be a bad idea. While I was writing out what I wanted to focus on this year, I realized that the practical things that I was listing actually had much deeper roots of issues that I had been putting off actually facing. So, without further ado, here are my 2020 New Year’s Resolutions: both the practical and the more meaningful.
Stop Biting My Nails/Picking My Cuticles
AKA: Find what makes me anxious and address it
I have a horrible habit of biting my nails and, more so, of picking my cuticles. I have been this way every since I can remember. Probably from maybe middle school on. I can pick the skin around my cuticles so bad until I bleed. I can pull skin back so far down my finger that it legitimately looks like my thumb got caught in the garbage disposal. My fingers can be so raw and sore that simple things like snapping onesie buttons, opening mail, or even washing the dishes can be very painful. As soon as I feel the slightest bit of hard skin around my nails, I start picking at it obsessively. I know on a logical level this is some variation of obsessive compulsion, but I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a very anxious person. I wouldn’t describe myself as “suffering from anxiety.” But as I began to notice when I picked my fingers the most, I noticed it was in circumstances that would probably be classified as “stressful” to some degree. For example, when I am in a work meeting, driving in traffic, or when I am at a table with people I don’t know very well. Or, to be honest, right now when I am writing a blog that is kind of vulnerable and exposing a weakness of mine.
So, my first blush reaction is to say “stop biting my nails and picking my fingers.” But to really address this habit, I am going to try to take mental inventory of when I feel the urge to pick my fingers and determine what about that situation is causing me distress. And once that is identified, find ways to address it.
Work meeting? Am I afraid that I’m not performing well? Ask my boss for a review and take construction criticism as opportunities to improve. New table of ladies? Remind myself that I don’t have to impress anyone; we’re all new here and getting to know people takes times. Traffic? Put on a podcast or my favorite playlist and just enjoy the time alone. Vulnerable blog post? Look, we have enough Insta-perfection floating around online. A little realness will only help connect us in more authentic ways.
Also, whenever I feel like picking my cuticles or even when I realize that I’m actually doing that, I’m going to treat it as if I’ve set an alarm on my phone reminding me to pray. I’m a woman of faith, and finding myself in prayer is always a surefire way to sustain me through my struggles.
Do It Anyway
AKA: Don’t let fear stop you from doing little, everyday things
I recently read “Have More Fun” by MOPS CEO Mandy Arioto, and one passage really stuck out to me”
“Here is the motto I want you to embrace anytime you start talking yourself out of doing something fun because you think your body isn’t perfect: Do it anyway.
‘I would love to play in the ocean with my kid, but I don’t feel confident in a bathing suit.’ Do it anyway.
‘I have always wanted to take a ballroom dance class, but I don’t think I am coordinated enough.’ Do it anyway.
‘I really want to go camping with friends but don’t want anyone to see me without makeup on.’ Do it anyway.”
I love this! But I feel like the one is on repeat for many of us every year. “Appearances don’t matter. Start loving the skin you’re in!” or “Don’t let fear stop you from doing big things. Go for it!” And I totally agree. But guys, for real–I let fear stop me from doing really stupid, little everyday things. My list might look something like this.
“I want to wear these new earrings, but I think they make me look like I’m trying too hard.” Do it anyway.
“I want to invite people over for dinner, but my husband and I eat lots of Keto things that most people would probably find weird or unappetizing.” Do it anyway.
“I want to say hi to this person I just met once or twice, but I don’t want them to think that I think that we’re good friends if they don’t think of us that way.” (Seriously. This is what goes through my mind!)** Do it anyway.
**Sidenote: I don’t know. Maybe I would classify myself as a little anxious. LOL
These are really trivial things that I’ve been giving way too much brain energy to. I need to remember that I’m probably not the focus of most people’s day and they more than likely couldn’t care less about what earrings I have on. News flash, self: You’re not really that important. And that is not self-deprecating. That is so unbelievably freeing!
This one also has a two-fold benefit in that it will serve as kind of a Discomfort Immersion Therapy. The more I force myself to do little things that I’m not totally comfortable doing, the more used to discomfort I get. And the more used to discomfort I get, the more I will feel like I can do bigger things that make me uncomfortable.
So, there you have it. My 2020 New Year’s Resolutions! What is something that you’re going to be focusing on in 2020? What deeper things could those resolutions actually be a symptom of?