“I’m so full”, I said as I stuffed my face with more pizza on Dec 30th 2017.

I guess last year’s resolution of “stop eating when I’m full” wasn’t really working out for me.

But you know, new year, new plans, and last but definitely never the least – NEW LISTS.

Oh, I love making lists.


  1. Be more independent

This needs to be #1. If there’s one thing I want to continuously improve on this year, it’ll be to be more independent. Last year, I told myself that I need to be nicer to myself. It’s clear that even last year, I knew that this problem existed – the self-judgment, the imposter syndrome (thinking I’m a fraud), the impulse to satisfy others, and the uncontrollable need to keep everyone happy.

My fiancé will sometimes say, “always put yourself first, not as the second”, and I’d be thinking “second?” I don’t put myself second. Or third. Or even 15th. In fact, I’m not quite sure I’m even on my list of people to satisfy. This past year has shown me that I don’t know how to put myself first and it comes extremely unnaturally to me. Why this is the case may or may not be important for future learning, but the more important thing is to improve on this.

I learned that it is not easy for me to remember that I should put myself first. And whenever I am cognizant that I should do that, my first thought is that I’m being an asshole to others. I don’t want to become mean and selfish. I don’t want to become someone I am not, act rudely, and then lose my friends, and then my life will be a disaster (etc. etc.)

This resolution goes against all the “New Year Resolution rules” that I’ve written about using behavioral science. It’s not concrete. It’s not measurable. It’s not a goal with quantity (like going to the gym 3 times a week, or losing 5 pounds). I guess there’s the goal, and then there’s the execution of the goal.

Here’s my vague thoughts on executing the goal of being more independent, organized into three categories:

*spend some time physically away from fiancé*

  • Continue with daily meditation and attend weekend retreats
  • Have weekend trips or extended trips with my girl friends
  • Go to a WWOOF (its like farming Airbnb) to be close to nature and learn something

*do things I used to normally do but have stopped because of this relationship* (note: important)

  • Schedule calls with my friends independent of what my fiancé will be or might be doing. Should not just wait for him to make his schedule and them schedule my own to fit his.
  • Go workout regardless of whether he’s going with you.
  • Find the time to read more books, listen to TED talks, actively learn about something (and not only watch YouTube videos that he plays…)
  • Schedule dinners with friends and acquaintances, people who I haven’t connected with for a while
  • Attend events

*just general good things to improve on…*

  • Ask for what I want (tell my fiancé what I want and then he can just say no if it doesn’t work for him)
  • Try new things even though you might think it’s a shock to people (I have a tendency to not pivot because I think people around me are used to me doing something and that if I do something crazy and out of the blue then it’s weird and I’ll have to explain myself. don’t do that. people can just adjust to what you do.)

Well, I already feel like a mean person writing those executions. People can just adjust to you? I don’t know about that…but maybe that’s a good barometer to measure myself by. If I’m feeling uncomfortable about it and think that it’s a mean or rude thing to do, it means I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. I even bought myself a nice keychain that says “didn’t please everyone” as a daily reminder to celebrate that. (friends, please give me an intervention if you think I’m changing for the worse…and really becoming a rude and awful person…)

That’s it then! Here’s to 2018 – a year full of challenges, probably with more ups and downs than last year, potentially more extreme emotions that I need to balance, and more adulting struggles coming my way. I know for a fact that I’ll learn so much this year – about myself, at home, and in school. I think I’m going into this year a bit more centered than I was last year. Finally, I’m very excited for the year of wedding planning (and future planning), prepping for PhD applications, and putting myself first.


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