As the holiday season comes to a close and the onset of 2018 is no longer looming, the air is thick with expectation. Dating app sign-ups surge, and new gym memberships are a dime a dozen—but rather than helpful, the term "resolution" has become this cliché with an almost comical connotation. So we're not going to resolve to change who we are this year. Instead, we're going to reclaim something we seem to have lost during the emotional, political, and cultural turmoil that defined 2017. We're going to give our progress the respect it deserves without the harsh iron fist of failure taking up space in our consciousness.
"There's something very powerful about the word 'reclaim,'" notes Faith, our editorial director in this month's letter from the editor. "You're not laying claim to something new, but rather actively taking back something that was already yours." Join us, dear Byrdies, in a different objective for 2018. Keep scrolling for the things we wish to reclaim this year.
Victoria Hoff, wellness editor
"My life over the past few years has been an incredible blur: I grew up a lot, moved across the country, settled into a new city, and doubled-down on my career. All of this has proven immensely gratifying, but this is the first January in some time that I frankly have no idea what is on the horizon; no linear path to follow. It's disorienting, especially as I'm starting to realize that I've used my go-getter mentality as a crutch to avoid slowing down and looking inward. I've basically been on autopilot for three years.
That's why I plan to take the idea of 'reclaiming myself' very literally in 2018: With minimal concrete plans and goals in the months ahead, I have an opportunity to just be. I'm excited to travel, practice mindfulness, cut away at social media compulsions, and indulge my creativity. I have a feeling that in taking this time to check in with myself, I'll start to get a clear and honest picture of what I want out of my life over the next several years—and I'll really be able to hit the ground running when I'm ready."
Faith Xue, editorial director
"'Reclaim' is such a proactive word to me—you're not staking claim on something new, or reinventing yourself—it's already within you, and you just need to bring it to the forefront. That's such a powerful concept. With that in mind, I'm reclaiming myself this month in two ways. First, I'll be digging deep (deep, deep) within myself and awakening the long-dormant part of me that likes to organize. I'm naturally a go-with-the-flow person (read: a very nice way of saying mostly messy), but there is a side of me that takes great joy in writing things down, making lists, and checking things off.
I'm reclaiming that side of myself by writing down my goals and tasks in my new planner to ensure I'm always one step ahead and less things slip through the cracks . Secondly, I'm reclaiming the side of myself that enjoys eating healthy. I really, um, let myself go in the utmost sense during the holidays. But instead of dwelling on that and feeling guilty or anxious, I'm going to focus on eating foods that not only taste good, but make my body feel good, too. This means cutting out unnecessary sugars and alcohol (tear).
I'm a few days in and it's been hard but there's also something empowering about saying no to junk and fueling your body with foods that make it stronger."
Amanda Montell, features editor
"For me, self-reclamation means reconnecting with my most unmitigated self: remembering what she loved to do and returning to some of those habits and pastimes. As adults who have full-time jobs and responsibilities, we so often fail to prioritize the practices that made us genuinely happy before the world taught us we had bigger fish to fry. In 2018, reclamation for me means little things like going to the movies by myself (instead of compromising and seeing what someone else wants to see), hanging out at friends' houses for no real reason (instead of making 'adult' plans to go out for dinner or drinks), and listening to more music I love (in my adulthood, I inexplicably listen to way less music than I did as a teenager).
By checking back in with my most authentic self, I think I will also be able to be more open and generous with other people. That's the theory, anyway. In 2018, we will see how it all pans out!"
Hallie Gould, senior editor
"It's a hard ask, to 'reclaim yourself,' I think because we're constantly shifting and changing as time passes. It's so easy to get lost in all the noise. I think in the coming year I'd like to figure out a way to take a step back and slow things down a little bit. I want to take better care of myself (like alone time and maybe some massage/bodywork). We so often use our bodies as a vessel—to get drunk, to look stylish, provide comfort through food consumption—that I think we also forget to treat it with a little respect too.
I don't want to say I'd like to lose weight in the New Year per se (mostly because I think it's a detrimental goal and a predictable one at that), but part of what it means to reclaim MYself is to get back to feeling confident in my own skin. When I don't, I feel myself sinking into an old space, a shell of the person I've worked so hard to become. So yes, I do want to be healthier and feel better this year. I'm only human."
Maya Allen, assistant editor
"In 2018, I'm reclaiming my thoughts to deter from inevitably accepting self-doubt and instead focusing on all that is love. I'm practicing this by taking time to be still with myself. Instead of getting lost in worldly distractions as soon as I wake up or go to bed (i.e., social media, emails, etc.) that have a tendency to flood my mind and my focus, I'm honoring my mental space by journaling, reading, praying, and meditating. By taking time every day to tune out the noise, I'll empower myself to truly radiate self-love, discover my truths, and become the best version of myself."
Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"When I think about self-reclamation, truly down to the core, I think about what I need to do to be a more confident, happier person. A big part of this is being less of an introvert. It takes me a long time to warm up and really be myself in new situations, and I plan to break down the box I constantly put myself in and show the outgoing side my close friends and family know. I also intend to complain less. There is so much to be thankful for in my life—health, my job, my home, my family, friends—that complaining about small things is not only a setback, but it's an implied sense of ungratefulness.
When you put these two things together (extroversion and unbridled appreciation), I think a general and constant positive outlook is the necessary prescription."