1. Cancel all recurring monthly subscriptions you don’t use
2. Wait to splurge on that resolution “thing” until March: I want to take better of my skin in 2020, so obviously, I have a list of 50+ expensive beauty items to purchase to do so. While I’m tempted to press “add to cart” and spend all my Christmas money, I told myself I would wait to splurge on said products if I can stick with a routine until March. I recommend you do the same.
3. Go to one networking event, social gathering, or class/seminar in January
4. Clean out your fridge/bathroom/make-up station/etc.: Don’t wait for spring, do an NYE clean!
5. Schedule time for your personal life outside your work life
6. Plan to do a no-spend week one week out of each month
7. Make a list of goals for the year
8. Get a dentist + doctor checkup within the next 1-2 months: Making sure you’re healthy on the inside is essential! Please make an appointment now so you won’t put it off! Don’t have health insurance? Look for coupons on Groupon, New Year specials, and public health clinics to find an affordable way to get a basic checkup.
9. Build healthy boundaries with toxic friends, family, etc. now: It’s hard to do, but SO worth it.
10. Start the morning of 2020 by doing one healthy/inspiring activity: You know that new trend where expectant mothers give birth in the dark among candlelights while getting their chakras aligned? Afterward, the couple holds their newborn completely naked, so their baby experiences skin-to-skin contact, which gives the baby calmness as their first impression of this world. No? Just Me? Anyways, like a newborn baby entering the world, we are entering a new year. & while it’s certainly not as riveting, it is important to start on a good note. Drink a glass of water, send a friendly text, align your chakras.
11. Make it a goal to eat at least one meat-free, healthy meal each week: I was Vegan a few years ago, and while I have since gone back to eating animal products, I am so grateful for those months because I learned to LOVE vegetables. I know many people would say that sounds insane, and they would immediately leave this post. However, it’s the truth! It’s amazing how little changes can impact your diet, starting at just one meal a week.
12. Start speaking better to/of yourself and loved ones: Nobody likes a naysayer
13. Take more pictures on an actual camera - trust me on this one
14. Read more
15. Do one thing each month that is outside your comfort zone
16. Sell any unused/old items & use that cash to either pay off a bit of debt or add to your savings account
17. Make this year a little bit more about you & what you want
18. Create a calming playlist & listen to it when you need to study, clean, or get tasks done
19. Spend one day in January doing something you’ve wanted to do - the catch? Do it solo!
20. Don’t be too hard on yourself to change, but do have an uplifting outlook for 2020
Under The Influence...
When I first joined Instagram back in 2012, I was like all the other upper teen Austinites. I overused the Valencia filter, underused hashtags, and - if you can believe this - made sure always to add my location so I could have a cute little collage of photos on the map tab of my profile - I so wish they hadn't rid that feature. Anyways, I, like many, saw Instagram as a similar outlet to Twitter or Facebook, except status updates were selfies and food pics instead of words. In some ways, not much has changed in the last eight years. However, in other ways, everything has.
Spring 2013 was when I first started noticing "influencers" popping up. However, there were few and far between. One girl from my high school started a fashion blog and quickly gained a lot of followers, like several thousand. I remember being quite intrigued by her success. She posted pictures in various outfits with #ootd and would tag the stores or designers of said clothing. I started seeing her photos pop up all over the Internet, and not much later, inside a few various stores - which was a "Wow!" moment for me. It was incredible to think that someone could post pictures from a tripod to Instagram and eventually work their way up to being the face of an actual store or clothing line.
I realized early on that there was huge potential to become "noticed," maybe even famous, thanks to Instagram and other social media apps. For me, it was Pinterest. What started as a way to waste time and cure boredom in college quickly became a way to boost traffic to my blog and potentially make money. I always wanted to give Instafame a shot, but I never was entirely able to commit to the lifestyle.
Because it is a lifestyle, being an influencer means putting your life out there for everyone to see, one post at a time. It means getting the perfect shot. It means trying to one-up others with the best post, a unique background, an original camera angle. It means commenting, liking, and sharing random photos that you could care less about all in the name of the game. It means putting your real life on pause, so in the meantime, you can edit it, trim it, and upload the faultless version of yourself to playback over and over again.
After spending years being intrigued by so many up and coming accounts on Instagram, I started to realize that it's not so much fame that we are pursuing as it is notoriety. Being a "major" influencer doesn't just mean embracing the lifestyle; it means continuing a lifestyle. What I mean by this is that there is one thing each Insta famous user has in common. & no, I'm not talking about their Louis Vuitton purses or desire to share their skincare routines. I'm talking about money — cold, hard cash.
I'm not talking about money they've since earned from sponsored posts, growing their brand, or selling various products. I'm talking about money and a lifestyle they inherited the day they were conceived in a most likely 300-thread count Egyptian cotton California king bed. I started thinking about all of the Influencers I know from "real" life - sad that you have to specify that, huh? & it hit me that each one I know grew up in a wealthy neighborhood, came from borderline upper-middle to upper-class families, received an excellent education, and were already successful before their Instafame. Every. Single. One.
It's not surprising. Since the beginning of time, those who we consider being "influential" are usually the rich, beautiful, and powerful. Why would social media be any different? It's different because everyone has this false illusion that they, too, can be an influencer. However, is that actually obtainable? Can the "average" person with a regular salary and family life ever compete with major Instagrammers? Is it possible to have a rag to riches Instafame story? & beyond that, is it worth it?
I wasn't sure so I started doing some research of my own:
Let's Talk Data...
WRITER + BLOGGER
NOT AN INFLUENCER
250+ THINGS TO DO AT HOME DURING SELF DISTANCING
FROM HEELS TO HARVARD
I SHOT MY ENGAGEMENT PICS
UNDER THE IN-FLU-ENCE
220 THINGS TO DO IN 2020