It’s 2018. To be honest with you, I’ve never really been a resolution person. With my birthday at the end of January, you won’t find me doing a dry January or some crazy month-long cleanse. I also prefer focusing on balance over extremes, leaving room to splurge, but also focusing on making smart choices in between. That said, I also know we all like setting intentions for the new year. So, I’ve thought through some Marco Style New Year’s Resolutions that will have a positive impact, but that might be a bit different from the typical list. Most of my suggestions include adding something to your life instead of cutting something out and I bet if you try any of these, at this time next year your life will feel fuller.
Support More Local and Small Businesses
Yes, we all love the convenience of Amazon Prime, the thrifty cute finds at Target, and the automated magic of Kroger ClickList. But don’t you also love a walk through Carytown, discovering a hidden gem restaurant with amazing food, or stopping into a small shop and finding that perfect pair of shoes that no one else in town has? If you don’t support small businesses, all of these experiences will be harder and harder to find. Whether it’s seeking out a local coffee shop, choosing a non-chain restaurant, popping into a local market for a special dinner, or hitting a few local boutiques before defaulting to online shopping, think about supporting local more this year. Remember, every time you do this you’re also helping individuals in your community.
Little Saint is a new neighborhood restaurant I visited this year. Read my post about it.
Make Plans to See Your Friends In Person and Keep Them. When You’re There, Be Present.
We all are busy. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but it seems like with the world of constant phone connectivity, sometimes I see my friends in person less. It’s easy to stay at home, look at Instagram or Facebook, and think that’s the same as seeing people in real life. Make a point to get out, invite a friend to do something, and keep your plans. I also find that the world of constant Facebook and email invites seems to mean people are less likely to commit to events and slower to RSVP. This year I plan to be better about responding to invites, putting them on my calendar, and showing up on time.
The other half of this is being present. With texts, Facebook Messages, tweets, Snapchats, and the list goes on, it’s so easy to tune out the people in person and focus on your phone. I know I’m always snapping pictures everywhere I go, but beyond that I’ve been making an effort to stop looking at my phone when I’m out with friends and focus on the people I’m with. Whatever’s happening on the internet can wait a few hours. If you need a little help with this, don’t forget about Secco’s “Uncork and Unplug” happy hour weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Put your phone in a box, enjoy food and beverage discounts, and focus on the people you’re with.
Try New Flavors
Instead of cutting out foods or drinks, what if you committed to broadening your food horizons? One thing I love about Richmond is the variety of types of cuisine that are available throughout the city. You never know what you might really like if you don’t get out there and experience something new. Don’t know where to start? Check out my list of the best things I ate in Richmond in 2017 or my list of eating and drinking specials in RVA and go for an adventure!
Fill Your Home with Items You Love
Interior designers, fashion stylists, and pretty much all other “look your best” experts always give this advice: “If you don’t love it, don’t keep it.” Of course, if you don’t live on an unlimited budget and have Marco Style Champagne Taste, it might not always be perfectly feasible to have 100% items you 100% love all the time, but I’ve been slowly working on making this more of my life. Sometimes it means an extra splurge like buying a whimsical bottle opener that costs a little more because you love looking at it. Sometimes it means going through your closet and parting with items to make it easier to see your favorite pieces (don’t forget to call people like Minima or Chic Stripes if you want help with this).
My other tip for getting closer to the whole “love your space” thing is focusing on small areas so it feels more achievable. If you tell yourself “I have to fix my whole house this weekend,” you’re probably going to end up disappointed. If you say, “I have 30 minutes and I’m going to make this one room look less cluttered,” you just might succeed.
Another common resolution theme is “save money.” Of course, after the holidays we all are feeling a tad pinched. But while you’re making plans for a frugal year, don’t forget the Marco Style rule of leaving a little cushion to treat yourself. It could be money for a fancy dinner out with friends, spa treatment, fantastic designer bag that’s on sale, that silly thing that just makes you really happy when you look at it, or a bright new “I’m awesome” lipstick shade. People spend lots of time talking about not using things to make yourself feel better and I agree with this on a deep emotional level (New shoes will never fix serious issues in your life. I know, I’ve tried it numerous times.). However, I also think when you’ve had a crappy day or week or whatever, giving yourself a little treat to cheer yourself up or getting yourself something to celebrate a big achievement is perfectly healthy, so go for it, embrace that abundance mentality, and remember you’re worth it.
Try a New Type of Fitness
Okay, as stated, I’m not jumping on any 30 days of working out bandwagons here, but along the lines of supporting local businesses, if you do want to shape up in 2018, why not try one of Richmond’s many boutique fitness studios? You can choose from aerobic dancing, jump-board pilates, spin classes, kickboxing, aerial yoga, hot barre, and the list goes on.
Remember when I tried PlankRVA?
Don’t forget that your time is worth money. Are there tasks you absolutely hate or that you never quite get to? Consider outsourcing if possible. I have a cleaning service. Some people might think that’s insane for someone who lives in an apartment, but I found I was always pushing off cleaning, plus I absolutely hate doing things like scrubbing floors. Not to mention, having someone show up to scrub floors every other week makes me declutter so she can, in fact, get to the floors. Plus, the feeling of coming home after the cleaning crew has swept through is absolutely amazing. In addition, my cleaning service donates old clothes to underprivileged families, so it also saves me a trip to Goodwill. If you are super busy like me, consider services like this or grocery delivery or Swedish Home Dash, whatever you need to streamline your life and focus on your most important tasks.
Talk to People
This goes hand in hand with the whole “be present” thing, but often when I’m somewhere alone, be it waiting for a friend at a restaurant bar, standing in line, waiting for a class to start, my first instinct is often to pull out my phone. But one fun part of working on Marco Style this year has been going places solo, talking to people, learning their stories, and making connections. You can’t connect with anyone if you’re not even looking around. Next time you’re sitting at a bar solo and you don’t know what to order, try chatting with the bartender instead of relying on Google (as long as the bar is not insanely busy). Or, when you’re waiting in line, ask the person next to you how their day is going. You never know where it might lead.