New Year’s Resolutions are tricky. You don’t want to make one that you know you definitely won’t stick to (like not scrolling through your Instagram feed in bed) and you want your resolutions to feel loving and empowering, not be based around how you can change yourself into a “better” version of who you already are.

Queer folks, we need our own resolutions. We need to live in 2019 in a way that speaks to us, that allows us to practice radical self-love in the face of oppression and a very binary, heteronormative society. Here are New Year’s resolutions I’m proposing for LGBTQ+ people so we can make next year our gayest year ever.

  1. Spend more time and energy on the people who really value you, show up for you and love you exactly as you are. Leave the rest.
  2. Make space for LGBTQ+ community in your life—at all if you don’t have any, and more if you already do. Meet new queer friends, especially people who you might not otherwise connect with. Talk to people who aren’t your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, income or from your neighborhood.
  3. Practice some radical self-care. Sometimes that really means shutting yourself off from the oppression in the world with a book or a really good cup of tea. Sometimes it means doing the dishes and filling out paperwork you’ve been procrastinating. Sometimes it means getting around to a big life step you keep putting off, like ending a relationship that isn’t working anymore or asking your crush on a date.
  4. Instead of making dieting or weight loss a goal, make your goal to be unlearning diet culture and learning more from fat folks about their experiences (if you aren’t also fat) or working on your internalized fatphobia (if you are). Learn that fat isn’t a bad word. Listen with an open heart to what fat people have to say about living in this world in a larger body.
  5. Do something to take action against oppression in your community, like talking to a friend or family member about a racist or transphobic view they have.
  6. Make an active effort to unlearn your own oppressive views and consume media (books, blogs, videos, podcasts) created by marginalized people. This includes other members of the LGBTQ+ community who you don’t share experiences with and beyond.
  7. Measure your worth by how you feel about yourself. Are you setting realistic goals that feel right to you and meeting them? Are you doing your best every day? Are you showing up as a good friend? Are you drinking enough water? Choose what matters and don’t waste your energy on what others think.
  8. View your lived experience as expertise. You know what it’s like to be you, what it means to have your queer body or your life. It’s okay to advocate for yourself and tell other people when they’re making the wrong assumptions.
  9. Have the relationships you want to have, romantic or otherwise. Don’t let other people’s expectations get in the way of living every day the way your heart really wants you to. If you do have a romantic partner(s) or other primary people in your life, love them fiercely, show them gratitude and work together to have a supportive and honest relationship.
  10. Step back from conversations or situations that hurt you or make you feel unsafe. You don’t have to keep going to family dinners if your uncle keeps misgendering you and your family refuses to uninvite him. You can say no to plans with that friend who keeps referring to your asexuality as “a phase.” You don’t need anyone who doesn’t love you for who you are.
  11. Let go of perfectionism. Whether it’s the perfect wedding, perfect relationship or perfect career, we are all imperfect a lot of the time. You can create a life (or a wedding or a marriage) that’s beautiful and flawed, as we all are. Give yourself room to make mistakes.
  12. Take some time just for yourself at least once a week. Get out in nature. Make some art. Read a book or listen to a podcast. Play with a dog. Sit in complete silence. Just get away to be with yourself.
  13. Learn more about LGBTQ+ history. Pick up information on something you want to know more about and dive right in. Bonus points if it’s something you never even thought about before or didn’t know existed.
  14. Learn more about LGBTQ+ cultures and rights worldwide. Have you always wanted to know what it’s like being queer in other countries? Take some time this year to understand experiences outside your own worldview.
  15. Find ways in your life where you can safely be loud and proud to be queer. Whether that’s a small rainbow pin on your bag or marching in a parade, let 2019 be the year you find joy in being part of the LGBTQ+ community.