Our take on 2020 resolutions

We're not into concrete resolutions this year. Instead we're embracing words like "courageous" to guide us through 2020.
Woman's hand holding a martini glass with confetti spilling out
Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

We have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes we’re really into them, other times we’re totally apathetic. But one thing’s certain: any goals we set for ourselves have to ease and enrich (or improve) our lives, not complicate them. We’ve got enough to manage as it is.

And with that, we give you The Juggle founders’ 2020 resolutions.

Sarah’s resolution: prioritize my energy

For the last few years, I’ve chosen one word to embrace for the year. I’m way too prone to being hard on myself to set firm goals that could result in a shame spiral if I don’t meet them. A word feels more doable and inspiring.

Last year my word was authentic: I resolved to be my true self more often and it went really well. For example, I barely dated because I simply didn’t feel like it, even though I sometimes felt like I “should.” And it was awesome. I had so much fun by myself and with my friends and feel like I set the foundation for a deep lifelong love affair with myself. Overall, I care a lot less about what people think about me than I did a year ago and am almost never faking anything to please others.

This year my word is energy. My natural tendency is to run my body and brain into the ground with overactivity, so I resolve to make my physical, emotional and creative energy my priority. I anticipate saying no to more things that feel like energy sucks, taking social media breaks and going to bed earlier (I often get a weird second wind at 10:00 pm and am then exhausted the next day).

Amy’s resolution: be direct and courageous

I’ve never set an intention as my New Year’s resolution before and want to give that a go. So being direct and courageous is my goal for 2020. I want to communicate more directly in general, and I want to be more courageous about having uncomfortable conversations and speaking up when I have a different perspective. I especially want to exercise more courage in my interactions with people who have more power than I do in the workplace.

Last year: I took a different approach and set three concrete goals: (1) cook a new recipe with my husband every month to increase the amount of quality time we spend together and to revive our shared interest in cooking yummy interesting meals; (2) practice doing handstands for a few minutes every day because I love them and want to get better; and (3) actually USE the action-oriented 2019 planner I purchased instead of just carrying it around guiltily thinking I’ll pop it open on my lunch break. If I were to assign myself a grade for how I did on each of these they’d be C-minus, C and F, respectively. 

We started out strong on the cooking front but fell off the wagon in May and never got back on. The reason is simple: we stopped putting it on the calendar, so I forgot. Clearly, scheduling activities that aren’t part of our regular routine is necessary if not sexy. Handstands were similar in that I was pretty consistent the first half of the year and then fell off a cliff. For goals like this and using a planner (which I barely touched, sigh), I think I need an accountability buddy to check in with and share progress in order to be more successful. And maybe I need to stop buying planners because I never finish them. 

Alyssa’s resolution: laugh more

I win! No, but really, for the first year in my life, I accomplished my New Year’s resolution because I didn’t make one. Last year, I resolved to resolve less and just see what 2019 had in store for me. I couldn’t be more grateful for the choice to take it easy because the end of 2018 was a shit show. I quit my job, moved to a city I am still learning to love and had a few (okay, a lot of) relationship struggles. I was SO over 2018 that I vowed to just be.

This year, I’m feeling inspired by Sarah’s word of the year. For 2020, I choose laughter because sometimes I take life a litttttle too seriously. Whether it’s prepping for a meeting for hours into the evening, overthinking my weekend plans or meticulously crossing off things on my to-do list, I can be zealously serious. The result is often a hunched back over a laptop for far more hours than I would like to admit. Or disappointment when something doesn’t go EXACTLY as I planned. In 2020, my goal is to find joy and laughter in the little things. We started the Juggle Joy slack channel, inspired by Jen’s efforts to be more positive and I need more of that in my life. I might even try my hand at a stand-up routine!

And fuck it, I have a nice smile and I need to use it more.

Jen’s resolution: embrace my impulsive, adventurous nature

I failed at my resolution from last year to be more intentional — to set intentions and actually follow through with them. And if I’m honest, I only chose it in response to criticism I’d received at work for not taking more ownership and for my tendency to just sort of let things happen.

I’m OK with failing to meet 2019’s resolution — in fact, on some level I knew it was inevitable. Of course, I’d have a hard time being more intentional — the resolution had nothing to do with the person I actually am. I am not an intention setter, a planner or a long-term goal envisioner. I’m impulsive, spontaneous and adaptable. I’m the one you want on your team when an urgent project pops up, when there’s a tight deadline or when everything is going wrong. I mobilize quickly, thrive under pressure, solve problems and do my best work while stressed and making jokes about it. And I’d like to be more comfortable with those things as strengths, instead of making a doomed resolution that would require changing my very nature.

So this year, I’m choosing a different resolution strategy. Instead of trying to mold myself into someone else, I’d like to go all-in on my own nature and roll with things as they happen. Unless I have to create a plan for work or something, I’d rather embrace the world around me and the things it brings me — to tackle the obstacles, ride the currents and live in the moment.

And I’m going to view it all as an adventure. In fact, I might just take a cue from Sarah’s word thing and make my word for 2020: adventure. To me, this means embracing my circumstances instead of kicking myself for never planning or preparing enough. 

Because if life isn’t an adventure, then what’s the point? Instead of stressing over trying to be someone I’m not, this year I’m going to enjoy myself more. 

Bring it, 2020.

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