Resolution Redux: Cris Conquers Summer

Much like everyone who makes New Year's resolutions, half way through the year I'm starting to look back and wonder what happened with all those plans I had to make this the "Year of Cris". Recently I've started to take a closer look at my life, thanks in part to Brittany Gibbon's FAT GIRL WALKING and a bit of general angst, and I'm not very happy with what I'm seeing. I started this blog as a way to put myself out there and try new things that I might not normally do but I haven't really been doing that. In short, Cris hasn't been doing a whole lot of conquering. The other day I just became so angry at myself for always sitting on the sidelines and letting new experiences pass me by because of niggling insecurities and fears, that I decided that I'm going to make this summer count by taking steps into the unknown. This summer I'm going to take on new challenges, meet new people, resurrect some of my old resolutions and be the Cris I've always wanted to be. Here's the plan:

Find My Inner Goddess
No, that wasn't actually intended as a Fifty Shades reference but the meaning fits. I think in a lot of ways my supreme lack of confidence and my allowing my fears to construct a labyrinth of roadblocks, are what keep me from taking steps in a more fulfilling direction.

Here's my usual thought process when considering most endeavors:
1) Wouldn't it be great if...
2) Nah. I would probably never be smart/cool/strong/pretty/thin/edgy/stylish/talented enough for that. Forget it.

I'm not even joking. Coloring my hair, applying to jobs, flirting. These are all thoughts that I've considered and tossed aside because of my incessant self-doubt. Well, fuck it. I'm just too tired of this shiz. Because always feeling like you never are and never will be good enough is a weighty business, and it's hard to move forward when you're dragging that kind of baggage. I know you can't just decide to be happy - unfortunately life doesn't work that way - but I'm choosing to cast aside those things, situations and even people that I know make me miserable but I endure endlessly because, to a certain extent, I think I deserve it. I'm done with allowing myself to be made miserable and I'm not going to subject myself to it anymore. Reminding myself that I am good enough is the first step in a positive direction. I'm definitely not perfect but I'm pretty fricken fabulous and if I don't act like I believe it how can I expect other people to?

Take More Risks & Be More Social
This baby is a repeat from my New Year's resolutions and it's probably one of the most important in the bunch. Like I said, I'm not big on taking chances because I usually talk myself out of them. Fear of rejection is a biggie in my book. I'm a bit of a homebody and love staying in with a good book, but there's a part of me that craves being out in the world and meeting new people. To feed that side of me and create new, exciting memories I'm going to be making more attempts to be social and spend more time out in the world. I've already decided to attend several romance writer/reader events this summer (even though I'm a bit terrified of feeling like a fish out of water). I've got to learn to embrace that good kind of terrified. The kind that makes you feel ten feet tall once you face it and make it to the other side. I've also finally decided to get my hair colored for the first time, which might not seem like much but feels pretty empowering. Hurray for change!

Hustle Hard
Yes, that was totally intended as an Empire reference. This summer I'm going to really put in the extra time and effort to make my blog the best it can be. I started writing this blog as a hobby that would keep my mind occupied and give me an outlet to talk about the things I love, but I never really thought it could be successful. That people would actually read my words and think I had something useful or interesting to say. But I think I've been underestimating my blog just like I do myself. Why can't it be more and help me figure out what I really want to be doing? With most things I feel like if you're going to do it you should put in the extra effort and do it right, so that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to try and network my butt off online and out in the real world to shape my blog into what I think it could be. I'm going to think bigger and take a chance because if it doesn't work out there's really no harm done. Cris Conquers is also going to be getting a new look very soon so stay tuned.

Exercise, Eat Better & Love My Body
I'm not going to say that the reason I want to dedicate more time to working out and throwing some extra veggies into my diet is just to be healthier, because it's not. I don't currently feel comfortable in my body and when I don't feel great physically I don't make a real effort to dress my best or feel confident and sexy. Apart from toning my body and feeling more self-assured, exercising just makes me feel better, quite honestly. Working out a few times a week actually helps me with combating depression and makes me feel more powerful emotionally. I've already started hitting my elliptical again and plan to establish a schedule this week to really set some goals for myself.

In terms of eating better, I'll never be the girl who cuts out carbs or sweets but I do want to add more fruits and vegetables to my diet so that I feel like I'm giving my body more of the nutrients it needs. I'm even slipping a multi-vitamin into the mix and am officially replacing my afternoon cup of coffee with a glass of green tea. Baby steps, people.

Do More 'Adulty' Things
Being that I'm 27 and still living at home, I often feel like I'm still just a teenager, waiting for her life to really start. Obviously though, I'm not a teen anymore and I want to embrace those little things that we always think of adults doing. Basically, this just means I want to play around with recipes and find some joy in cooking (because I really only bake). I'd also like to get more organized and de-clutter a bit. It sounds a bit lame but I think feeling a bit more like an adult would really help me move forward and give me a boost in confidence. Who doesn't feel like a bad-ass when they just made a killer dinner?

Stop Overthinking
Not everything has to be something. I need to learn to just enjoy the little things without trying to fit them into a greater plan. There doesn't have to be a greater plan. Go with the flow.

Do it Now
Procrastination is my worst enemy. I've become accustomed to it and in certain cases I don't mind it but I don't want to just keep waiting for my future to find me. I feel like I've spent so many years waiting for my life to really start, for things to come my way and give me signs that I'm on the right path, but I'm the one who really needs to do the leg work. I need to chase down that beast we call happiness and tame that bitch.

All in all these might not seem like huge accomplishments or even the makings of an awesome summer, but for me, this feels like what I need to do to move in a happier direction. It all boils down to being more active and living a fuller life. I'm taking small steps to conquer my summer so eventually I can really rule my world. You can follow along with my journey this summer on social media under the hashtag #CrisConquersSummer. I'm sure there will be lots of random photos and updates.

What are your plans for the summer? Any goals you want to accomplish? Have you kept up with your New Year's Resolutions?

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