Four Promises I’m Making to Myself in 2020

I know making resolutions are a big tradition when entering a new year, but I decided to try something a little different. I honestly don’t do well with New Year’s resolutions. After about a few weeks, I pretty much forget about the goals I set for myself.

Not this year, though.

Instead, I decided to make PROMISES to myself. Something that I know I will want to keep because these promises stem from the growth I feel I made after a tough 2019.

Detroit Eastern Market Mural by Camilo Pardo


I think this is going to be the resounding theme of 2020 for me. One thing I have learned from 2019 is we all have a story to tell.

PERSONALLY– I admire those who know exactly who they are and what they stand for. Sometimes I feel confused and I don’t know what I believe or even how to use my voice.

To make a difference? Possibly. I’d like to do my part and make a difference in the community or in another person’s life. I think when we speak our truth and share our stories, we can lift one another up and inspire others to also speak their truth.

To be heard? Yes, although I will admit, I still feel a little apprehensive about sharing my thoughts with a larger audience. Yet, at the same time, I am discovering the importance of being heard.

To release? I suppose this also can be tied into “to be heard.” I feel when I release my inner thoughts, whether through my writing or by talking with others, it takes a weight off of my shoulders. Even if I just write it down in my private journal, releasing those feelings and thoughts can be very freeing.

Eastern Market mural Detroit

CREATIVELY– Last year, I struggled with finding my writing voice. I had wanted to create more original content that reflected my beliefs and thoughts on issues and topics that mattered to me.

I’m grateful for the period of struggle because it honestly helped me find my voice. My inner frustrations led me to a new outlook on my creativity and it forced me to dive deep and really think hard about what it is I want to say/write.

Perhaps, I let my anxiety get the best of me and cloud my vision. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% where I need to be, but I am definitely halfway there. It’s greater progress than where I was a year ago.

Camilo Pardo Eastern Market Mural
Mural in Eastern Market (Detroit, Michigan) by Camilo Pardo


You know the saying, “Say yes more?” Something like that. Anyway, I think when we say yes more, we find great value in how we approach life. We discover new possibilities and establish more meaningful relationships.

Yet, I also believe it’s okay to say no more often.

Example– In 2019, I felt very overwhelmed with family life, financial hardships, personal struggles, and writing projects. I found myself saying yes to too many things when I really needed to know my limits. I think some of it had to with wanting to please people. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

But all of my yeses led to feeling burnt out and feelings of frustration. 2020 is going to be about knowing my limits and not being afraid to say no, especially when I know it’s what’s best for me.

Eastern Market Murals in the Market


This one is equally as important to me as speaking my truth. I feel when we self-educate and keep an open mind to personal growth, it leads to finding our truth.

I wish I was a speed-reader like I used to be. I remember I used to be able to read books nonstop– sometimes reading one a week. But I let technology distract me from my love of books. In 2019, I think I read 5 or 8 books, and I know I didn’t finish all of them, either!

I got a jump start on my reading goals right before the holidays. For 2020, I’d like to read at least one book a month. I also set a goal for myself to read more African American literature books this year.

Currently, I am reading Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou and Conversations with James Baldwin.

Detroit Eastern Market murals


I am my own worst critic. I’m not even going to deny it. Sometimes my anxiety is to blame for the negative feelings I push on myself. I’m guilty of comparing myself to others and sometimes not taking a chance because of fear.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

— Oscar Wilde

Self-care, self-praise, respecting myself, stop trying to be perfect all of the time, learning from my mistakes, knowing my limits, taking time off when needed, loving myself…

And truly believing that I AM ENOUGH.

Good Life Detroit

What promises have you recently made to yourself?


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All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit. Location: Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan | Mural by Camilo Pardo (2017)

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