As we transition into 2017, the AHA staff wishes you all the best in fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions, and have decided to share with you a few of our own. We hope you enjoy the chance to connect with us at the Foundation and read our resolutions.
Amanda Parker, Interim Executive Director
- Learn that it’s okay to say no.
Ever since I was a little girl growing up in the Midwest, I have enjoyed that I have a reputation for being “nice” (can you imagine what a compliment being called a “nice girl” is in rural Kansas?). As a part of upholding that reputation, I have historically tried to say “yes” to requests as much as possible. This sometimes gets me in trouble – not typically with others, because I go out of my way to follow through on whatever I have said, “yes” to, but rather in trouble with myself. At a certain point, having agreed to more than I should have puts me in a very unhappy place of feeling stretched too thin. This year, on a personal and professional basis, I will be more thoughtful and sparing with my yeses. I will remember that being nice to myself is as important as being nice to others.
- Listen more.
If there’s anything this election brought into sharp relief for me, it’s that there are large numbers of people in this country who are hurting and who feel they are not being heard. I think they are right, I think that those of us who have the luxury of living in bubbles of like-minded people have not taken the time to truly listen to and hear those with different perspectives. If we are going to work together and heal some of these hurts, that needs to change.
- Focus on family.
2016 was a difficult year for my family, seemingly filled with big losses. Those sad days really put into perspective the daily stresses that life brings and that somehow feel amplified in importance, which in the big scheme of things, won’t even be remembered in the not-so-distant future. The most important resolution for me is to focus way less on those stresses, acknowledge their temporary nature for what it is, and focus way more on the abundant joys that love, friends, and family bring me.
Kendall Waldron, Program Manager
- Money management
I’m a spontaneous spender – and not on clothes, shoes, or bars. I love last minute flight deals, spontaneous weekend trips, shows and events, concerts, etc. While they’re always a great adventure, they’re very costly. This year, I’d like to buckle down a bit and show more self-control or be more proactive in planning any excursions. I’d love to start a good savings account for a rainy day (or big trip).
- To purge and organize
I am a collector. In my professional life, I refuse to delete emails or any old documents that I’ll probably never need again. It’s organized chaos and it makes sense to me most of the time, however to an outsider my inbox and computer would look like complete madness. In my personal life, I am a hoarder of small sentimental things. Whether it be a pebble I pick up from a beach on this vacation or a sweet note written by my boyfriend, I keep everything and it undoubtedly adds up over the years. I moved one year ago and shrunk my life to fit into 3 suitcases, and the purge was so satisfying and freeing. This year, I would like to be better about making sure things stay organized and only keeping essentials long term.
- To be more understanding and listen
The world is a stressful place. Everyone is going through different things, has their own demons, and communicates and copes in different ways. I tend to be a pretty positive and optimistic person, and it’s very clear and sometimes frustrating to me when the people I’m around aren’t. This year, I’d like to focus on actively listening and trying to be more sympathetic towards people who are perhaps frustrated or angry. People are like icebergs and you only really see what’s happening at the surface, not anything brewing underneath.
Bree Dyer, Intern
- Procrastinate less
As a full time graduate student free time to relax is hard to come by. I often find myself procrastinating work or reading I should be doing to create time for myself. When in reality if I actually got my work done I would probably have more time to relax and not focus on school. I want to finally kick this bad habit to the curb in 2017 and become more productive.
- Focus more on the big picture
With graduation fast approaching I want to stop stressing over the little things, and focus more on the big picture. I want to stop stressing over the small things in life and reflect on the fact that I am incredibly lucky to be where I am today. Everything I worry about seems so trivial when I remember that there are people in this country and around the world that are worried about being able to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.
- Explore more
This year I want to spend less time indoors and more time out exploring the city I call home. I want to go to museums that have been on my list of things to do forever and spend more time out and about. It is my goal to start now and make the most of this year.