Well, we've all been there, that dark place called a rut. Whether it's in your relationships, your look, your finances or your lack of a love life, that dreaded rut keeps us doing the same old habits again and again with zero forward momentum.
Now that 2013 is upon us, let's make a list of 10 things to do this year that can set us free. When we feel good about ourselves, we attract that same kind of energy to us.
- Redo your style. Do you still have the same hair style that you had a decade ago? Are you still wearing the same shade of lipstick or that cute sweater from 2000? It's time to change it up! Not only do styles change, but face shape and body type do, too. What flattered you a decade ago may be dragging you down today or aging you before your time.
- Indulge a little. Are you perpetually on a diet? Does the new year mean finding new ways to get lean? There's nothing wrong with being healthy, but give yourself a break from the diet rut and enjoy life again. Savor the wine, order the lasagna, relax with friends without counting calories. Indulging in the succulent pleasure of food once in a while won't make you fat, just like reading erotica doesn't make you a porn star.
- Break free of the computer. We're always looking down these days. Smartphones, iPads, and laptops all have us looking down and filling our brains with endless streams of information. Celebrity gossip, world disasters, latest stock market trends, blah blah blah...put it down. Learn to look up again. Go for more walks, disconnect from the chatter and see how clear your mind becomes when you connect with the world happening in present tense right around you.
- For the single ladies out there--take a break from dating. Yes, you want Mr. Right, but if you have to waste your time on one more player in the making you're gonna pull your hair out by your roots. Am I right? Guess what? You don't need to be in perpetual dating mode. Stop. It's okay to take a hiatus from the dating world and spend your time on yourself. Go to a meetup.com site and find something to do that's simply fun with no expectation of meeting "the one". It's amazing what can happen when the pressure is off.
- Toss out the tabloids. Listen, who doesn't feel horrible about the way they look if they're always comparing themselves to the photoshopped hotties on the magazine covers lining the check out aisle? They are not real women like you and me. They starve themselves, probably smoke, and, seriously...would you want to have a cocktail with any of them? Probably not. (No offense, models, you're probably wonderful people in the world you live in, but I'm here in Colorado and there's enough pressure with all the triathletes surrounding me.) The truth is you are YOU and it's all good. Stop comparing yourself to an illusion.
- Go on a trip alone. Always wanted to go to Spain but think you need to go with a plus one? Well, you don't. Airlines won't stop you from buying one ticket, hotels won't block you from booking because you're solo. Stop waiting for that elusive someday and go where you want. Life is short...what are you waiting for?
- Take control of your finances once and for all. Nothing puts a damper on a relationships or your attitude like money problems. Sure, the economy isn't stellar and your salary doesn't look like it's gonna take a huge leap up, but that's no reason to lose yourself in debt. Take control. Cut up the credit cards. Try to renegotiate your APR. Take lunch to work. Make coffee at home and take it with you. When you're not distracted with money issues--no matter your income--life becomes much simpler and relationships flow much better.
- So you think you can write a book, huh? What are you waiting for? Believe me, publishers don't just show up at your doorstep and ask if you have a manuscript for them. Now is the time to start pursuing your dream job, whatever that may be for you. Don't quit the solid paycheck just yet, though--set time aside every day--yes, EVERY DAY--and work at it. Dreams whisper in your heart for a reason so who are you to ignore it? It is possible. Trust me--I'm living mine right now.
- Tackle your biggest fear this year. Afraid of heights? Flying? Cats? Fear is the biggest myth we as humans have. I'm asking you to take baby steps in facing your fear--not bungie jumping if you're afraid of heights! Baby steps, people. I don't want anyone having a stroke on my watch. Not only will facing your fears boost your confidence, you may realize how irrational it truly was.
- Have meaningless-heart pumping-curl-your-toes-sex more often just because. Yeah, I may be a romance novelist and go on and on about love, but there's nothing wrong with just getting down and dirty for the helluva it. If you're in a relationship, good for you, but when's the last time you just grabbed your man in the middle of the room, or the front seat of the car and went for the glory? If you're single and still looking for your soul mate, give yourself permission to indulge in Mr. One Night once in a while. Why not? As long as you're emotionally and physically smart about it, a one night stand can be sizzling and exactly what you need.
Ruts are for boring people. We're not boring, are we? I trust that, especially if you're reading this blog, you are faaaaaaaarrr from boring. C'mon! Break free in 2013 and see what happens.
Novels by Amber Lea Easton are available