I don’t actually have a problem with new year’s resolutions themselves; if anything I’m an advocate of monthly, weekly, daily resolutions that help us reflect and go forward feeling like we know a little better and are getting a little closer to where we want to be.
The hashtags and headlines are, of course, insufferable (I know it’s not just me who is turned off by advertisers trying to sell us a new start, helpfully pointing out that we must’ve been getting it wrong up until this point). But otherwise, I’m happy reading blog post after blog post about people’s year in review. I don’t think it’s indulgent to reflect, to assess, to plan – on the contrary: it’s what we’re made of.
So I wouldn’t scoff at anyone for committing to a positive change – assuming they don’t filter and flaunt it with a #newyearnewme.
My own personal stipulation is that the motivation can’t be solely skin-deep; I’m sure we’ve all spent enough time wobbling over those worries and, frankly, I’m bored now… it’s a waste of brain space. So that’s part of the reason why, for the past few years, I’ve opted for goals instead of changes, and tried really hard to put just as much thought into the why‘s as the what‘s. For 2016, those goals look like this:
- Wellness – and yes, I know that’s a such an <eye-roll> yuppie term
Why? Because, for me, it’s so important to primarily link physical health with mental health, rather than, for example, weight, appearance, and what size jeans I’m wearing.
I always want to be in the best possible headspace, and personally I find that’s closely linked with exercise. The trouble is, when things start to slip and I get busy, or stressed, or a bit down, going for a run/swim/gym class is a lot less appealing than going home and putting my pyjamas on.
So really it’s a reminder to prioritise exercise; to value the positive knock-on effects it has on the rest of my day to day life; and to recognise it as both a preventative measure, and treatment, for when things get tough.
Why? Blogging, simply because I miss writing; it’s so much a part of me and, since I moved to London, I’ve not had (or made) much time to do it.
And YouTube? Well, because I ran out of reasons not to… I know and I love YouTube, but was always too nervous to step out from behind the camera, despite everybody telling me I should – including a lovely, tipsy stranger, who’ll never know that with a few words of encouragement she pushed me up to the start line. This was my personal challenge; to do the thing you’d do if you weren’t afraid. I’m aiming for a channel launch in March 2016.
Why? Because this was the one goal from my last two years’ worth of lists that never got crossed off. I did try to get things in motion; I sent emails, enquiries to different charities that went unanswered… I was really proud to raise a big chunk of money for Cancer Research through my last 10k, but still I feel I could have done more.
So despite the evidence that volunteering was something that would keep getting bumped from the list because like everyone else I’m just “too busy”, I was inspired to bring it back after stumbling across a national ad campaign with the tag line: make this the year of you. Like, COME ON, I wouldn’t describe myself as selfish but I bet I spend 99% of my time thinking about me. Really not sure how many 24 year olds without any defining commitments need more of an excuse to self-indulge…
Maybe it’s just harder to market the benefits of doing things for others? Which is ironic: pretty sure it’s proven that relationships are what fulfils us more than any product, wealth or profile. So, yeah. Back on the list it goes.
What are your resolutions for 2016? And what are your tips for reaching those goals? Mine’s simple: I literally keep them visible – they’re on a note board at the end of my bed.