This article is part of the Lily Lines newsletter. You can sign up here to get it delivered twice a week to your inbox.
I could fill volumes with the bad behaviors I should swear off in 2019: starting books and failing to finish them, eating shredded Parmesan cheese straight out of the bag and neglecting to respond to text messages in a timely fashion. (I currently have 53 unread texts; this is not hyperbole.)
I probably drink more sparkling water than actual water. And I occasionally let unwashed clothes pile up to the point that, when I do tackle laundry, I’m surprised to unearth items I’ve completely forgotten I own.
As 2018 comes to a close, I intend to say goodbye to these bad habits. And having weathered a huge amount of personal and professional change recently — which has been as thrilling as it has dizzying — I look forward to feeling centered, settled and focused in the new year.
The Lily talked with women in a handful of states about what they’re waving goodbye to in 2018 and saying hello to in 2019. Their answers ranged from light to weighty, hilarious to heartfelt. See below for slices of their lives.
We’d love to hear from you, too. Tell us what you’re leaving behind this year — and welcoming in the year ahead — on Twitter, using the hashtags #TheLilySaysGoodbye and #TheLilySaysHello.
Responses were compiled by Ashley Lee in California, Cat Cardenas in Texas, Allison Yates in Illinois and Nneka McGuire in Washington, D.C.
“Perfectionism. I got a new job, and I want to overcome my anxiety about making mistakes and find ways to be more self-motivated.” Maddy Brotherton, 24, Texas
“Controlling people.” Beth Ray, 55, Illinois
“Procrastination.” Valeria Lenise Harris Kelly, 49, Illinois
“My weight goals and my failed diet, because otherwise, I did pretty good.” Bailey McGrat, 20, Texas
“Clutter on my desk!” Susan Strike, 61, Illinois
“No more uncomfortable friendships. Different situations reveal a lot about some so-called friends. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s not for you. So let them go, and then make room for new friends.” Simi Safa, 51, California
“Renting. I bought a home. I’m a homeowner.” Doquinika Oliver, 29, Illinois
“Letting go of being lax. An example: not pursuing something real, not pursuing my visions or dreams.” Fatisha Oliver, 38, Ohio
“I’m leaving my lack of budgeting skills in 2018, because it’s ridiculous to be spending $20 on lunch each day and then getting upset over why I can never save any money.” Stephanie Chan, 29, California
“I am done with being frustrated. This year, a lot of my plans fell through, and I became stagnant, not pushing through my failures or losses because I was so upset. I had a feeling of being a loser. It’s just recently that I was talking to my grandmother, and she said something profound: ‘You are not a loser; you are a loser when you feel like it.’ So I am definitely ready to shed that weight off me and move on to a next chapter.” Haylie Patterson, 28, California
“Frenemies — no good.” Marina Kong, 49, Beijing
“Goodbye to San Francisco, and hello to Austin, Texas. My mom is sick, so I’ve decided to go home to be closer to her, so I guess I’m saying bye to my post-grad, almost-selfish lifestyle, and saying hello to my new role as caretaker and daughter.” Sara Garcia, 28, California
“Every so often, when my fiance and I argue, I become explosive and irrational. I know it’s not healthy for our relationship, so I choose to say goodbye to that.” Jesseca Wang, 33, California
“Thinking too much. I think a lot; it’s a big problem. That’s why I’m always messed up.” Priya Mohan, 28, Virginia
“I lost my mother in March. I’ve been going through all her stuff. I’m saying goodbye to a very sad year. Out with a very sad year, in with a new year.” Jami McMillan, 59, Washington
“Chronic people-pleasing and needing to impress others. I’m okay with more people disliking me if I am completely true to myself.” Yumi Sakugawa, 34, California
“Shopping on my lunchtime and spending my money. That’s something I need to avoid.” Selam Fisseha, 45, Virginia
(Glancing at cigarette, laughs.) “Smoking.” Emily Aspenson, 30, Indiana
“I’d have to say giving up some of my anger.” Jackie McKee, 66, Illinois
“Feeling unnecessary guilt all the time. As I’ve gotten older, most decisions I make — good or bad, big or small — make me feel guilty in some way, like I’m letting someone down. Most times, it’s just all in my head!” Afshawn Chakamian, 29, California
“Goodbye to drama. Goodbye to my seizures.” Mauriqusia Johnson, 30, Washington, D.C.
“A not-so great habit of looking at my phone right before bed. I’m always browsing online before I fall asleep, and it’s not really helping out my sleep schedule.” Michelle Yang, 21, California
“Self-doubt. As silly as it sounds, once I turned 30, I felt like I came into my own. I knew exactly who I was, what I wanted, and my tolerance for BS has been at an all-time low. Of course, self-doubt will always linger regardless of how old I am, but I’ve come to accept that it’s no longer going to be something I put at the forefront of my every day.” Catherine Manzanares, 30, California
“Paying off all my bills, and in five years I’m retiring.” Tracy Senn, 50, Maryland
“Next year, I’m saying hello to Mrs. — I’m getting married in May.” Lyris Ceja, 31, California
“People who care about me as much as I care about them.” Hannah Webb, 16, Texas
“My YouTube channel. I want to dedicate myself to it, grow it, and be like those famous YouTubers.” Samaria Ramos, 20, Texas
“A healthy lifestyle. My husband has cancer, so I want to help him through the treatment and just be healthy.” Barbara Tijerina, 52, Texas
“I’m welcoming forgiveness. Every year, I wish for the ability to forgive more. I have started this mission a couple of years ago after a conflict with some friends. It needs daily practice.” Simi Safa, 51, California
“Self-care. I want to do something more than just face masks, I want to be able to handle stress and live healthier.” Iqra Hosain, 19, Texas
“A new roommate — my boyfriend who is moving in with me. I’m hoping we don’t get sick of each other.” Maggie Leung, 30, California
“Learning new construction skills (we are in the middle of remodeling our home). Also, watching more movies and baking yummy cookies!” Elsie Lopez, 43, California
“A new child.” Emily C., 36, California
“Moving out of my parents’ house.” Alexandra Castanon, 23, Indiana
“I’m trying to read at least one new book a month. I want to explore different types of genres, so I’m planning to read a mix of classic literary works and contemporary stories.” Michelle Yang, 21, California
“New attitudes at work. Setting more stringent goals. Adulting better.” Jen Lee, 22, Virginia
“I plan to do my exercise at least three times a week. I tell my doctor I’m exercising four to five times a week, and I’m lying.” Carol Jones-Ali, 71, Washington, D.C.
“Love.” Cathiya Williams, 58, Illinois
“A stronger, wiser, more loving, more confident, more adventurous, less apologetic version of myself. After getting through the very intense challenges of 2018, I can’t wait to meet 2019 me.” Yumi Sakugawa, 34, California
Illustrations by Julia Monson for The Lily