Happy new year! My "in-with-the-new (and not so new) and out-with-the-old lists - recommendations welcome

In honor of the new year, this month’s theme is “out with the old, in with the new.” 

Personally, I’m all about working on being a better, more-balanced version of myself, so I’m sharing here a list of things I’d like to bring into the new year (as well as some items I’d like to continue improving upon). I’m also sharing a list of things that need to simply go from my life. Advice and recommendations on any of what’s here is greatly appreciated.  


My “in-with-the-new (and not so new)” list:

1.     Eating clean and healthy. I’ve been vegan for eighteen years and try to only eat whole food, minimally processed. I watch my intake of sugar and have a no-nonsense rule regarding GMOs, partially hydrogenated oils, and enriched products. BUT, I do make exceptions for special occasions and/or if there’s chocolate or french fries involved. I can always do better in this department. This girl likes to snack and she love, love, LOVES her salt. Let me know if you have any healthy-ish snack ideas to share. I’m particularly intrigued by the idea of healthy shakes to get more whole-food vitamins in.

2.     Working out better. For me, working out is the cheapest form of therapy and way healthier than french fries, (though fries are amazingly soothing and, let’s face it, really no comparison.) I say working out better because I need to remind myself to change things up. I mostly attend a choreographed dance class (because it doesn’t really feel like “exercise,” but I need to stretch more and also add in weight-bearing activities (which I HATE but which are good for me).

3.     Taking more personal time for myself. This is an ongoing struggle and I need to try to do better. Recommendations welcome. What do you all do and how do you fit it in? Do you schedule it on the calendar?

4.     Meditation. This has been on my “new year’s resolution” list for years and I’m a big fat failure. I’m not really into silence, but I don’t like guided meditation either. Recommendations welcome.

5.     Journaling. I’m doing better in this area. I bought myself a pretty notebook and filled a few of the pages.

6.     Practicing gratitude. I need to continue to be grateful, even when things suck. It’s all a matter of perspective.

7.     Making time for friends. Nurturing relationships, spending time with friends – finding that time – can be tough, especially as life gets busy and there are a billion other things to do, but it’s so important and so worth it. My friends challenge me and help make me a better person, so this is time so well spent. 

8.     Not judging others. I think I’ve been pretty good in this department. I remind myself we’re all on our own paths in “life school.” J

9.     Not being so hard on myself. This has been a lifelong struggle, but it’s getting easier. When things get rough, I ask myself if I’d be as hard on others as I am on myself. The answer is almost always no.

10.  Actually using – not just walking by – the inversion table I purchased for my lower back issues. Intervention is needed here, but at least I have not been tempted to use the device to hang clothes. 

11.  Reading more. Recommendations for un-put-downable books are always welcome. What are you reading that’s so beyond mind-blowing I have to get it now?

12.  Keeping a dream journal. I’ve always felt somewhat intuitive. I experience deja-vu on a fairly regular basis, am empathetic to a fault, and can “read” a room like nobody’s business. Part of me thinks these things have developed as a result of being a writer, studying people and situations so that I can be sensitive to my characters and create authentic stories. Another part suspects we can all develop these abilities – or this awareness - over time with practice and consciousness. I shall keep you posted. My journal currently has four items.


My “out with the old” list:

1.     Catching myself from over-explaining; instead, trying to feel more confident in my choices. Does anyone else do this?

2.     Feeling guilty for taking advantage of downtime. Why do I do this? It’s perfectly okay to sit and watch TV, or read a book, or listen to a podcast. Right? I don’t have to be working or tending to something/someone all the time. Right?

3.     Mentally beating myself up for things beyond my control.

4.     Mentally beating myself up for things within my control that I feel bad about after-the-fact, (i.e. eating all of the aforementioned french fries).

5.     Maintaining one-sided relationships with those who zap my energy. Why do I do this? I need to have the courage to let go.

6.     People pleasing. It needs to stop. I can say no (really, I can.) Recommendations welcome.

7.     Fear of change. I need to embrace its inevitability and welcome the opportunities it brings. Wish me luck. 

8.     Night snacking. I read recently that it’s good for the body to fast for at least 12 hours. Clearly, I have some work to do in this department, especially since I do a lot of my writing at night and snacking and writing goes so much smoother than writing and drinking water.

9.     Comparing myself and/or my career to others. Just no.

10.  Obsessively checking Goodreads, B&N, and Amazon for ranks and reviews (It’s just not healthy and not kind to myself because I tend to zero in on the negative. 

11.  A spoonful of flax oil a day. It gives me gag-reflex, but still I torture myself by downing it. I’m saying no to this.

12.  Taking everything so seriously. I need to chill. Mantras and/or words of affirmation greatly appreciated.


Happy new year! Best wishes for health, love, and peace! 

- Laurie 






  1. This is such a great list. My biggest resolution is to do something the moment the job comes to me: balance the checkbook, do the dishes, etc. Then I don't get to the end of the day feeling swamped.

  2. Excellent lists. For the in list #3,4-I find letting my mind drift in the heated pool at our local YMCA does wonders for these. #6-remember gratitude is a two way beast, be grateful for what you're NOT as well as for what you are. #9-Years ago a very wise therapist teaching a class on recovery issues told us we all needed to hire an inner defense attorney to go up against the prosecutor the world flung at us all the time.
    As for the second list, the world would be so much better if everyone strived for these. It's okay to outgrow people who are stuck in place while you're moving ahead. As for nighttime eating, that's my biggest personal demon, and for #7, I still remember a poster ad for a workshop on change with the headline "The only person who welcomes change is a baby with a wet diaper." As for #11, I take a capsule of extra virgin olive oil morning and night. Don't know if it makes a difference, but it sure can't hurt. Hope you make progress with every one of these.


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