I have a birthday coming up (and when I say coming up, it’s not for another month…), and the weeks leading up to it always send me into more of an introspective state of mind– much more than any New Years eve ever has.

The “birthday resolution” that has been spinning around my head for a while is this:

Don’t continue to do something if it doesn’t make you happy.

This is especially important in regards to drinking wine 😉

Of course, having to do things like pay bills is non-negotiable, but otherwise, most things are up for discussion. I spent the last year of my life at a job I hated, I was in a relationship at the beginning of the year that I was bored out of my mind about, and I went running even though I dreaded it.

So instead of spending my time lamenting about things that are fully within my power to change, I just need to change them. As I’ve mentioned before, I thrive off change, so I took the initiative to change the things that were making me unhappy. I hated my job, so I started looking for a new one (my bosses beat me to the punch before I could quit), I ended the relationship with the bore, and I stopped going running– with every good intention of doing something else instead… still working on that one.

This “resolution” is especially important in regards to romantic relationships. I’ve dated a lot and have been unhappy/disappointed more times than not. So, this year is going to be not only about being happy in all aspects of my work and social life, but I fully intend for my romantic life to follow suit.

I already started to implement this “resolution” last year but I was not fully committed to it. So being intentional about choosing happiness and taking the risk to change the things to make that possible is what this “birthday resolution” is all about.

However, it does get awkward when the change that is required for my happiness relies on having to break things off with someone I’m dating– but in the end, it’s better for everyone. Yes, having to call a guy and say “I’m no longer interested in seeing you” is incredibly uncomfortable, but boy does it take the load off.

I’ve tried to do the teenager-maturity-level-approved method of just trying to ignore the guy and hope he gets the hint. It doesn’t work that way, and then I just spent my time being annoyed every time they’d try to contact me, frustrated they didn’t just go away. I’ve also had guys treat me that way, so I know how shitty it feels when you know you’re being ignored. That method doesn’t make it easier on anyone.

But the times I was up front about what I was thinking and (not) feeling, they took the news with grace and I haven’t heard from them again. No one likes getting broken up with, but when the other person is honest, at least there is closure and mutual understanding about where the relationship stands.

Relationships and change are scary. There are so many things that have kept me from embracing a new life– and with that, a new happiness. Since I’ve been single I’ve realized something: once I didn’t let those things stand in my way, I ended up so much happier than I could have imagined. The unknown is scary, but every time I’ve been brave enough to embrace the unknown (there’s not much more of an unsettling change as a divorce), I’ve ended up exponentially happier than I could have even begun to imagine.

And that’s the happiness I want to harness this year, and all my years to come. By doing things for myself and keeping my happiness my central focus, I know I will be more satisfied with life and will enjoy my life, friends, work, and beaus that much more.

I want to be happy and fulfilled and I will do the work to be that way. That is going to be my present to myself this year… Well, that and some super-cute boots!

(And how interesting! I wrote this post and then the very next blog I read was Britt’s post about this very thing: Go here to read her thoughts on choosing happiness.)

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