2014 was a year for the books, but if you ask me there are still plenty of things we can do to improve in 2015. Don't get me wrong — last year was a memorable one in more ways than one. We got the chance to witness Ellen's epic Oscar ceremony selfie, and then recreate it with all of our friends. We saw countless celebrities proudly stand up in the name of feminism, and congratulated Malala Yousafzai as she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. (And let's not forget the new iPhones, ice buckets, and abundance of cats that were also thrown in the mix.) It’ll definitely be difficult to top all of the amazing things that happened last year, but I think we're up for the challenge.
Each year comes with moments of happiness, misfortune, and excitement that change and shape us as time goes by, and things we never saw coming will ultimately make or break us. But the uncertainty, I think, is what makes each new year so entertaining — I personally can’t wait to dive in and see what happens next.
There are ways we can ensure that 2015 kicks 2014’s ass, though. Here are nine things we still need to work on to make sure the next 12 months are nothing short of stellar. Check back with us on December 31 to see how we did.
1. Taking pro-active steps toward reaching our goals
With the first days of the new year behind us, there’s no better time to start making small steps toward our goals. Sometimes, the sheer magnitude of what we want to achieve can be daunting. Try breaking things down into smaller, do-able objectives that you can start on today.
2. Supporting other women instead of dissecting them
Last year, we saw a lot of women take heat for, well, just being themselves. From people criticizing female celebrities for their choice of dress to those who jumped on the nude-photo judgment bandwagon, there were hurtful jabs being thrown out all around us. This year, let's try not to attack each other's characters. We may not always agree with others' decisions, but by dissecting other women for choices they've made, we're ultimately hurting ourselves, too.
3. Curbing our Tinder addiction
Not that there's anything wrong with Tinder (or OkCupid or Cuddlr or whatever your dating website of choice may be), but organic, sneaking-peeks-across-a-crowded-room type chemistry can feel way more fulfilling (and exciting!) than something that’s carefully thought out via emojis and messages. There are plenty of fish in the sea. We just have to cast our net in the real world to find them.
4. Having more confidence at the office
We owe it to ourselves to become our own advocates this year, whether that means negotiating salaries and raises, or speaking up when we suddenly have a brilliant idea during a meeting. We can only achieve great things if we put ourselves out there. And while sometimes it may not work out as planned, '90s legend Aaliyah put it best when she once sang "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again."
5. Keeping up with old friends
In the process of creating the life we want for ourselves, we sometimes forget about the friends who took the fall for us when we got in trouble for passing notes in the middle of ninth grade math class. Just because we're surrounded by a whole bunch of new, totally awesome people, places, and opportunities doesn't mean we have to forget our Day 1s in the process.
6. Buying bras that actually fit
We all have bras that have some type of sentimental value, even if we haven’t worn them in years. There are those that you wear when you want to feel like Heidi Klum on the VS runway circa 2009. There are those that you wear when you make a quick run to Trader Joe's on a Sunday afternoon. But if any of yours pinch, pull, or make your cups runneth over, it's time to trade them in for something better fitting. Let's vow to get a couple that are comfortable and better suited for our bodies in 2015.
7. Becoming Olivia Pope
By now, we’ve realized that it takes more than just simply drinking red wine out of long stemmed glasses and declaring things "handled" to magically become the always-fierce Olivia Pope. But we can take a couple of lessons from her character and add them into our own mix, like staying cool as a cucumber under pressure, trusting our instincts, and taking time to heal ourselves when we’re overwhelmed. That’s the Olivia we know and love.
8. Getting our finances in order
With the global economy in a state of almost-constant flux, there's no time like the present to get our finances in order. Make sure you know how much cash you're raking in, what your spending habits are, and whether you have any credit card or student loan debt. These tips will help you get started.
9. Appreciating the view from where we stand
There are always going to be things we want to improve about ourselves. But sometimes it's best to kick back, relax, and enjoy being a vibrant twenty-something. We may never have things completely figured out, and every once in a while life is bound to become a little messy. But as Steve Jobs once said, "The journey is the reward."