No New Year’s Resolutions. I’m Writing These Instead.

It’s true.

I’ve decided that this year, I don’t need resolutions. I need permission slips.

As some of you know, I’m a Brené Brown groupie, and I’ve been listening to her latest book, Rising Strong, on Audible.

In it, she talks about writing herself permission slips. You know, like the kind you got in elementary school to go to the bathroom or the nurse or whatever. Except these are permission slips you write to allow yourself to do something—to step out of the box of pre-conceived or cultural limiting beliefs that have been holding you back from living your life wholeheartedly.

I also read this blog post by Single Dad Laughing called, “My 10 ‘Rules’ to Break in Order to Break Free Already!

Inspired by these perspectives, these are my permission slips for 2016.

I give myself permission to love the fact that I snort sometimes before I laugh. I was informed that I do this by a rather precocious (and incredibly observant) five-year-old not to long ago. I had been oblivious to this particular idiosyncracy prior to that point, but I rather like it. I think it’s endearing.

I give myself permission to say NO. And to not feel guilty about it, either. I have this tendency to people please and want to do things for people because they asked me to without really considering my own feelings, and then I take responsibility for their emotional well-being. No more of that. Not fair to me or them.

I give myself permission to dance. In classes, in public, whatever, in the way I want to. BECAUSE I LOVE IT. And my soul is always so much happier when I dance.

I give myself permission to pursue my dreams and to do it in a way that’s right for me, not just following what someone else tells me. There are many ways to pursue a dream, and you can’t achieve anything big by yourself. However, it’s critically important that we know what we want and carefully consider if the help other people offer us is the best way to get there. We have to ACT rather than being acted UPON.

I give myself permission to own my own thoughts, ideas, opinions, and feelings as valid. This. This has been a problem for me. I tend to take the inferior position and think, “Oh, I must be wrong or there’s something I’m missing.” No. My thoughts and opinions are just as valid as anyone else’s. You can acknowledge the validity of the other person’s point of view without diminishing your own. I’m still learning how to do this.

I give myself permission to accept compliments with gratitude. The next time someone gives me a compliment, my goal is to say, “Thank you so much!” with a smile of appreciation. Period. No excuses or things like, “Oh, that was so kind of you to say, but it’s no big deal,” or something else to try and deflect.

I give myself permission to know that I’m beautiful. Because I am.

I give myself permission to get to know people without worrying about the implications. Especially boy people. If someone seems interesting, I give myself permission to talk to them without worrying about misinterpretation. Sure, there might be some to deal with down the line, but we can’t shy away from opportunities to develop worthwhile friendships because we’re afraid to have emotionally mature conversations.

I give myself permission to buy myself flowers. My soul misses flowers in the winter. So if I want them, I’m going to buy them. So there.

I give myself permission to experiment and figure out what I like. For example, I’d like to take a kickboxing class. Just show up once, see if I like it, go from there. Then maybe I’ll get a punching bag, I don’t know. But I’m going to find out!

I give myself permission to fail and be happy about it. Because, as Brene Brown says, “If you haven’t failed, you aren’t really showing up.” I read that line and though, “Oh my goodness—have I even FAILED??” Only a perfectionist can feel like they’re failing at failing, haha. I’m coming to believe more and more that the people who really succeed are the people who know how to deal with failure. Failure is an indication that you’ve been moving forward and daring greatly.

I give myself permission to geek out and be silly sometimes. Much, much more often than I have been. I have a friend who said once that she really begins to like people only after they’ve done something weird. We connect so much better with people once we see them being REAL. So I’m going to let people see the real me—the one that geeks out about stuff like Church history, laughs at really dumb jokes sometimes (un-jokes, I call them), and occasionally falls head over heels in love with a pair of shoes (hahaha—pun INTENDED).

I give myself permission to celebrate my success. Because I don’t do that very well. And if I want to be successful, I’d better show God I’m grateful for it.

So there you be. My permission slips for 2016.

You see, I’ve realized lately that I’ve been living my life in a box. A box of expectations and fears that have prevented me from moving forward. I honestly have felt a little bit like Elsa in the movie Frozen, who keeps herself locked away physically and emotionally. It has become clear to me that I’ve been basing my self-worth on the approval of others and giving away my power to think for myself, act, and CREATE.

So now, of course, it’s time to….

“Let it GO! Let it GOOOOO!” and step out into the sun of self-confidence, self-compassion, and living a joyful, grateful, DARING life.

That song will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. But hopefully that lesson will be stuck in your heart for the rest of the year and beyond.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Happy 2016!


  1. I just want to thank you for your blog. Many times your thoughts have been exactly what I’ve needed! And I feel like if we met in real life we would be friends. 🙂 Thank you for writing with the Spirit, and for your courage to be vulnerable! It shows that there is still plenty of good on the internet!

  2. I just want to thank you for your blog. Many times your thoughts have been exactly what I’ve needed! And I feel like if we met in real life we would be friends. 🙂 Thank you for writing with the Spirit, and for your courage to be vulnerable! It shows that there is still plenty of good on the internet!

  3. I just discovered this article! I love these!!! These are permission slips that I could totally use, too!! And they’re permission slips that would bring me joy too because they are tendencies I’ve personally struggled with (and need to be okay with myself with ) . . . and activities that bring me joy in doing. Like dancing–I love it!! and Church history . . I’m the girl who takes a whole folder of 30+ Church history Living Scriptures CDs on one road trip and takes my Dramatized Great Mormon Women collection with me on another. I found I was a fan of Ellis Reynolds Ship (CD 6), when previously I hadn’t heard of her story. Now I want to know more about her life.

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