Oh JoyOh Joy

2014, i'm into you...

Oh Joy

While I typically dislike resolutions, last year I started making mine more simple, and focusing on just a few things I want to work on in the new year, as well as some things I've already been doing and want to continue. I feel like improving yourself should be a continual thing—not just something you do at the beginning of the year—but a new year always helps shed light on how we want to make this one even better than the last. 

And while it can be hard to admit the things you don't like about yourself, I think that sharing your dreams/fears/goals with others helps make you more accountable—so I want to share a few things I'm working on for 2014...

1. Kick envy in the face. Jealousy of any kind is not good...and we never want to admit that we feel jealous of others. But we do—at least, I do. Envy doesn't mean that you're not happy for someone else, it means you want what they have. Yes, I want to be able to have enough saved to buy a great house or land that amazing project. But what I'm going to try and work on in 2014 is to turn those jealous feelings into motivation. I want to own a house, too? Well, then I'll work my butt off to save and save and get one of my very own.

2. Ask for help. I was talking to a good friend about this the other day. In Asian culture, we're taught to just do what needs to be done, not to complain, and make things happen ourselves. In some ways, that's taught me to be a go-getter, but in other ways it's caused me to have a hard time asking for help when I really need it. No one can do it all, and we all need help from those that love us. But they don't know if we don't ask.

3. Make phone calls. In these days of texting, email, social media, and instant everything, we communicate more often than ever with people we know, yet rarely actually talk to them on the phone. Every year when my birthday comes around, the wishes that mean the most are the ones where I get to hear my loved ones' voices and make a real connection with them, even if just for a minute or two. So I'm going to try and pick up the phone more often and make a real connection through the sound of our voices instead of the sound of a text message.

4. Have more fun. Oh boy, I can be so serious sometimes that it kills me. It's the conservative part of me that doesn't want to show too much excitement or just let loose a little. Having a toddler has made me get over that real quick, because you'll be as silly as you need to be to make your kid happy. But I want to instill this in my own life, too. I've been taking fun dance classes for exercise that remind me that I don't have to be good at it, I can just dance because it's fun and makes me happy.

Oh Joy

And because I think you should always pat yourself on the back for at least one thing you've been doing well, I want to continue to...

Surround myself with inspiring people. At some point you reach an age where you feel like you have enough friends and don't need any more social obligations to add to your list. But when someone new comes along who gives you joy in some way, they are worth making the time for. I feel I have been lucky to find an amazing group of friends who inspire me and keep pushing me to a better mother/designer/blogger/wife/person through the examples they set in their own lives.

So tell me, friends: What's one thing you're working on improving this year and one thing you can pat yourself on the back for? I'd love to hear! 

{Top photo by Bonnie Tsang, bottom photo by Jennifer Young.}