Being happy in 2011

As 2010 came to a close, it felt like every 5 minutes someone was asking me what my 2011 resolutions were going to be. Last year’s resolutions were a bit of a fail. I had promised to do hip strengthening exercises 4x a week to prevent injury, but I don’t think I did them 4x over the course of the ENTIRE year. And you know what? I didn’t get injured. And my back and IT troubles are actually better now than they were 12 months ago. Results like this don’t really encourage repeat resolutions ; )

Anyway, the last few months I’ve been in a little bit of a post-marathon/winter blahs funk. I kept wondering why I was so cranky and then I finally realized – being happy isn’t something I can just expect to happen. I have to work toward it. And so that’s what I plan to do in 2011. I’m often really hard on myself – second guessing my race efforts, stressing out about being the perfect friend/daughter/employee, feeling guilty about my coffee and cookie habit, etc.

I know that it’s cliche, but I think that life is too short to feel unhappy about those kind of things anymore. My love for Starbucks mistos and $10 Chop’t salads may not be the best thing for my bank account, but they make me happy. Likewise, skipping a planned workout in favor of happy hour may not help my running, but it sure is fun. I’m not saying that being responsible is a bad thing, but sometimes doing what makes you happy in the moment is most important.

So in 2011, I’m not going to resolve to do the things I feel I should do. I’m going to do the things that make me smile from the inside out:

Drink coffee everyday. Even if stains my teeth.

Run 30+ miles a week.

But not beat myself up for occasionally choosing wine over a workout.

Eat what my body is craving. Sometimes it will be vegetables. Other times it might be cheesecake. Speaking of cheesecake….

Spend time with friends who make me feel good. And not feel guilty about ditching the people who don’t.

I feel happiest when I live boldly and don’t over think my decisions. Last minute road trip to California? Count me in! Tough marathon goal? I’ll go for it. And that’s how I want to spend the next year – being happy, not stressing over the little things, and taking good chances.

What was your happiest moment in 2010?

Here was mine –

  • AR

    Oh, I can get behind all of this. Because it’s true: booze, coffee and cake often >>>>>>> going to run. Not necessarily in that order. More people should admit these things.

  • I love this!! Happy New Year!


  • I love your happiest moment picture, and I think your resolutions sound perfect! Happy New Year!

  • I love your resolution!! Just chilling out and letting yourself enjoy and be happy sounds like a great plan. Especially if it involves more cheesecake. 😀

  • Amen to that!

  • (Besides running with you) my happiest moment was definitely the 118th minute of the world cup final, ayyyyyyyy.

  • Being happy and doing things that make me happy is also my resolution. And here’s to running 30 miles/week (all year, not just some weeks…haha!)

  • love that last picture and your resolution. i find that i’m a billion times happier when i let go and stop trying to be happy. although wine > workout? i dunno i think i’d prefer whiskey…

  • Yay, love this post and love your outlook. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love that picture! Makes me all excited to be outside in shorts and a t-shirt again someday! 🙂

  • These are the GREATEST resolutions!! This is a spectacular post. Thank you!!!!

  • I love reading your blog but this post says it all – well put! Happy New Year!

  • I absolutely LOVED your resolutions, girl!
    Specially the “listening to your body” part.
    I’m with you on that one 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  • i love this post. doing things that make ourselves happy is what life’s all about, no? and i do agree we have to work towards happiness, but that makes it all the more gratifying in the end.

    i too have an overpriced salad addiction. have you had just salad? amazing. anyway. i’d say my happiest moments were getting off crutches, running a fab 1/2 marathon back in march, and enjoying time spent with those closest to me. simple stuff.

  • Zoe

    This was a fantastic post. I was trying to think what my goal for 2011 should be and I think I’ll follow your example. Not stressing and making the choice to be happy and healthy (with lots of cookies in your life) is probably the best think anyone can do for themselves.

  • Love it and totally agree with everything you said. You can’t just expect happiness to find you – sometimes you have to find it! And for serious, that cheesecake looks ridiculous.

    My happiest moment was definitely running the marathon and crossing the finish line. Thinking about it still makes me smile. Happy New Year Megan!!

  • I LOVE this post – it’s fantastic! We should always do what makes us happiest, and unfortunately I think we often lose sight of that. Thanks for the reminder! Happy New Year!

  • Based on how happy you were at the VERY beginning of 2011, I think you’re off to a good start!

  • Aww, I love it. I think people forget to stop and enjoy things every once in a while. You’ve inspired me!

  • megan

    This is a perfect post Megan!!! I felt so inspired after reading it. You are a great writer. Cheers to 2011!!!

  • i adore this, megan. and i am with you: happiness is what i am after, and living a year that makes me smile will mean a lot more than checking specific goals off a list. plus, i think accomplishments have a way of happening when we’re doing what we love – just look at the results of your races this year. big thumbs up to living boldly. 🙂

    the happiest moment of my year was probably when i got my changed the entire course of this year (and my life, really), and i will never really forget the feeling of, “ok. now i can start living again.”

  • I am sending you some serious air highfives right now. A to the MEN sister! Here’s to a VERY happy 2011!

  • Thumbs up.

  • I tried that once as a “resolution” 10 years ago…wanting to be happy in work, life and love-which turned out to be a total bust 😛 lesson learned? don’t make resolutions!! 🙂 But here is hoping 2011 will be a happy year!!

    And $10 Chop’t salads rock-I’ve walked 4 avenues to the closest one for lunch plenty of times 🙂

  • I’m so with you on the coffee and Chop’t salads. It’s little pleasures like this that make a BIG difference in my everyday life. I’ve decided to spend more on these kinds of “treats” and cut back on other things (ie. drinks on the weekends) because they make me so gosh darn happy!

  • that was my resolution and it went TOTALLY bust but I wish the best for you! Hope you have another “happiest” moment like your last picture where you look happy and free 🙂

    One of my favorite quotes for you – from Eat, Pray, Love:
    “…people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortune enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment.”

  • ahtrim54

    You are

  • Wow, you look so happy in that last picture! 2011 is definitely a year for lots of those happy moments 🙂

  • I can’t stand the word “resolution”! To me it implies I need to change who I am. I think the new year should be about working toward things that contribute to me being happy and thriving.
    “Eat what my body is craving” is a great goal – I want to do the same.

  • Donna

    First time comment, long time reader!

    Just wanted to say I really liked this post and the message in it.

    I have struggled alot with negative feelings the last year or so myself, and vow to make myself happy in 2011 as well. Happiness really comes from personal choice and effort, its true it doesnt just descend on you magically. Here’s to a happy 2011 🙂

  • Kristan

    LOVE this post (especially the more coffee sentiments). Such a great outlook for the new year and much better than any resolution.

  • Master Prime

    2010 was a horrible year for me.
    best moment of 2010, when my daughter learned the words and meaning to the phrase ‘I love you daddy’

  • Amen to that last resolution!

    My yoga instructor sent out this link via Facebook, and it really resonated with me. You might enjoy it as well:

  • @Marian – I loved that article! Especially the part about the company you keep affecting your lifestyle. Thanks 🙂

  • Love the post. Thanks for sharing, I think we all try to take happiness for granted and forget that you ALWAYS have to work towards it.

  • i just cannot agree more with this post. YES to happy. YES to wine. YES to amazing times with friends. YES to meeting up with Holly in NYC. oops, how did that last one get in there? 🙂

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