Writing My Own Rules for the New Year:: 2016 Resolutions

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you!) if you make a purchase using any of these links.*

Happy New Year, 2016, Cheers, Stephanie Ziajka, Diary of a Debutante, New Year's Eve, Confetti


Happy New Year, y’all! Instead of setting 100+ specific goals with low obtainability percentages like I’ve done so many years in the past, I’m following the Recovery Warriors’ lead and am committing to making successful New Year’s resolutions. According to the experts, “Resolutions should be flexible and malleable. They should have wiggle room and the ability to grow and evolve. Integrating small changes can have a snowball effect.” Elsewise, you run the risk of developing personal disappointment and disdain the second you cave and reach for whatever contraband you’ve sworn off (a soda, cheeseburger, glass of wine, etc). To avoid making such damaging personal promises that will likely be broken within the first two weeks of the new year– and could inevitably taint my outlook on the coming months, I’ve broken down my 2016 resolutions into open-ended lifestyle goals, and I think I’ve effectively scaled them enough to ensure success. I’m writing my own rules for the new year, and I’m so excited to see what 2016 has in store.

Focus on getting healthy.

2015 put a lot of things in perspective, and I’ve realized none of these other goals and aspirations matter if I don’t take better care of myself. It’s an old adage, but it’s never been so perfectly aligned with my current outlook on life– the greatest wealth is health. I’ve seen the adverse effects of my battle with an eating disorder manifest themselves more than ever over the past 12 months, so I’ve got a lot of lost ground to make up for. Luckily, there’s no better time than now to start living a healthier lifestyle. Here are my 2016 health and fitness goals:

Trade in my 2nd or 3rd morning cup of coffee for an extra few glasses of water a day.

Get outside more often.

Take tennis lessons and yoga classes when time and budget permits.

Wear my fitbit as much as possible.

Commit to regular doctor and therapist visits.


Spend less on things, invest more in experiences. I usually specify the destinations I hope to visit, but the most gratifying trip I took in 2015, which was a two-week stay in The Big Island, Hawaii, was booked 5 days in advance. I want to go where the wind takes me– and I’m not limiting myself to domestic locations, either. I’ve always said that my life goal is to visit all 7 continents, and so far I’m only 2 for 7. Time to start closing that gap. Here are my 2016 goals for expanding my geographical horizons:

Write at least 1 new travel post per month.

Allocate 10-20% of my expendable income to a traveling fund.

 Don’t be afraid to travel alone.

Use mint.com regularly to gauge mid-month finances.

Shop online through eBates when possible to get cash back.

Make a difference.

The most rewarding thing about my job as an advocate for eating disorder awareness is connecting with readers who’ve also experienced mental health issues. My mission in life has become very clear, and it’s inspiring young adults to embrace their bodies and minds for each and every quirk, imperfection, and perceived deficiency. It’s so important for us to change the way we think about mental health, and with today’s generation plagued by cyber bullies, standards of unobtainable perfection, and societal pressure, I’ve come forward with my own story in an attempt to reach anyone who may be currently suffering and am in the early stages of creating a local non-profit to generate support and cultivate grant money for those who need treatment. Here are my community goals for 2016:

File a formal 501(c)3 application for my organization.

Commit to at least one major fundraiser to benefit eating disorder awareness.

Connect with fellow “recovery warriors” in the Tampa Bay area to give and receive support on a more regular basis.

Post about mental health awareness weekly on both my blog and social media.

 Read about self improvement more often, watch TV less.

Try new things.

I want to say that I’ll try one new thing every day; however, that’s not realistic or sustainable. I just want to experience as much as I possibly can. There’s a quote from the movie Country Strong that I’ve always loved– “Don’t be afraid to fall in love; it’s the only thing that matters in life. The only thing. You just fall in love with as many things as possible.” When presented with the opportunity, I will seek new adventures and stray away from my beaten path of SVU re-runs and frequenting the same old dive bars in downtown Orlando. I’ll say no to the destructive relationships and negative self talk which deter me from pursuing my dreams. These are my lifestyle goals for encouraging new adventures:

 Dedicate more time to exploring the Tampa Bay area.

Get ahead on my editorial calendar, so I can afford to spontaneously take days off.

Learn to cook more of my own meals.

Take more risks with the investments for my blog. Try new tactics. Eliminate anything that’s proven unsuccessful.

Collaborate with different brands and bloggers. Offer to guest post more often. Accept guest posts more often.

Delete the drama.

Drama? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Life is too short to waste time on things and people who don’t matter. I will invest my energy in the ones I love and the ones who add value to my quality of life. You are the company you keep, and I, for one, want to only keep the best company so that I can be the best I can be. Here are my goals for securing a quality circle of trust (yes, that was a Robert DeNiro reference):

Start each morning with a devotional and reflection of gratitude.

 Learn it’s okay to say no.

Send less texts, more handwritten notes.

Answer more phone calls.

Follow through on my verbal commitments. If I say yes to something, I need to hold myself accountable.

Happy New Year, 2016, Cheers, Stephanie Ziajka, Diary of a Debutante

This is going to be a great year– I can feel it. What are some of your 2016 resolutions?




2 thoughts on “Writing My Own Rules for the New Year:: 2016 Resolutions

  1. Shane

    I am so proud of you, particularly for your health goals, some of the very same for me as I continue to battle with disordered eating. We are in this together <3


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *