So, it’s that time of year again. Resolution time. Last year, I called it “New Year’s Revolutions“, and the year before that I wrote a long and detailed list of the things I wanted to change and achieve in the coming months. I’m not very good at keeping to my resolutions. I do try, but usually fail by about, oh, January 5th. But the whole point of a New Year is being given another chance. Another chance to try again. And try I shall.
But I am also going to not limit myself to just trying at New Year’s. Every day should be a new chance to try again. I think part of the reason I fail is that I use the whole “New Year” thing as an excuse for not trying for the next 11 months. But, I say optimistically, with fingers behind my back, I am done with excuses. I am going to treat every day like New Year’s, which means I can start fresh every morning. If I fail, I just have to keep going until I succeed.
This is my plan. I am not good at plans so failure is almost guaranteed but I have now given myself permission to not give up. And not quit. I am very good at quitting but I am going to try and not do that too often this year. There are things I need to achieve and overcome this year (too personal for even over-sharing me to discuss here) and I will not reach any of my goals if I keep giving up. There are things about myself I need to change and fix if I am to go forward in life.
There are the usual goals about weight loss. Sigh. How long have I been making that my New Year’s Resolution? What, 25-30 years now? I have yo-yoed back and forth between one weight and another for some many decades, I have no idea what my natural body shape and size is any more. But I have hated my body at whatever size it is, and I need to stop doing that. My body survived a life-threatening illness and I need to remember that. I need to remember and acknowledge that it survived against all odds and kept going, no matter what. So, if nothing else, I should treat this old rust-bucket of a body with some respect. Sure, it’s a little flabbier and wobblier than I would like, but it’s still there. I’m still upright and breathing, walkin’ around with all my limbs and digits and brain cells (although that last point is debatable). So I need to try to be as healthy as I can. Which doesn’t necessarily mean being as skinny as I can. It means feeding my body with the right fuels and exercise. It’s not about fitting into a tighter skirt or being able to get away with short shorts. It’s about being healthy and fit and strong. I haven’t been that for a long time and I really need to get my shit together where that is concerned. My body deserves that, it really does.
I need to think about my career. I need to seek that which will bring me fulfilment and authenticity and joy. I don’t know if it is possible to have that in a 9-5 job, but I am going to try and find out. I like my current job, but I don’t love it. It doesn’t full me with excitement or happiness or anything even remotely approaching those things. It pays my bills and gives me a sense of satisfaction some days and I am very grateful for it. It provided me with security and emotional support when I needed it most. But it isn’t my dream job and I have to figure out what is. Because I really don’t know. And time is running out. At some point I am going to have to figure out what I am supposed to be doing, what I want to be when I grow up. Because I truly don’t know yet. Failing that, I need to be ok with having “just a job” and acknowledge that it allows me to do the things I do enjoy in life, outside of work. We can’t all be Oprah. Some of us have to have the little boring jobs that keep the world turning.
I need to be less of a hoarder. I know I say this on a weekly basis, but seriously, I just need to learn to let go of things. Things are not people. I can let go of a bunny ornament someone gave me in the fifth grade. They will not mind if I give it away now. The world will not collapse and I am not a bad person if the Christmas card I got in 1983 from a classmate ends up in the recycling bin (seriously, I just found that card today and struggled with getting rid of it). I have to learn to hold on to memories, instead of stuff. But it is hard.
I need to start learning to say No. I need to be ok with saying No and not feel guilty about it or try and make up for it by doing more than the original request asked for. I need to learn not explain my No – the No itself should be enough.
I really, really need to learn to like myself a little more. Or at all. I don’t know how to do this, and if you have any suggestions, please send ’em on over. I don’t know how to like what I see in the mirror. I don’t know how to not lie awake at night thinking about all the things I did wrong in the day, all the mistakes I made and how many people I let down. I need to stop thinking of myself as ugly and useless. But it’s really hard to break the habit of a lifetime. And how do you change the way you look to yourself – get new eyeballs? I need an Instagram filter for my own eyes.
I need to learn to deal with my social anxiety. Deal with it and accept it and learn coping strategies. Because I am not going to become a social butterfly overnight. I don’t even know that I want to. I just want to be free of the terror that comes with invitations to parties and weddings and shindigs. I want to be able to accept these invitations happily and easily and not dread their impending hour. I need to be ok with NOT accepting them too. I need to not beat myself up about not going to things. I’m not a terrible person, after all, if I decide that a pub crawl is not my thing or if time spent at a Hen’s Night is enough to make me want to gouge my own spleen out. But I do need to be better at social stuff. It is hard every day for me, just interacting with human beings in general, and I need to be able to take that off my stress list. Again, I don’t know how to do this, but I am going to try and figure it out.
I need to grow up financially. I need to budget better and spend less on frivolous things. I need to seriously look at buying a house. Which will mean buying somewhere that is in a suburb less lovely than the one I currently rent in. I cannot afford to buy here and I need to accept that. Or get a better-paying job. Or marry someone really rich (ha! kidding!). I don’t actually know if I can afford to buy anywhere, but I need to look in to it and find out for sure. I need to sort out my future security and top up my superannuation and prepare for the impending zombie apocalypse on my own. I need to secure my future. And I need to have my own place so I can get a cat. This is more important than anything.
I need to laugh and smile more. I need to fake it ’til I make it.
I need to go to bed earlier and sleep better.
I need to get up earlier and do more in my day.
I need to ask for a pay rise.
I need to delegate better at work. I have an assistant – she should be assisting me.
And I have to let her.
I have to stop being scared of men.
I need to stop comparing myself to other women.
I need to hug more and allow myself to be hugged.
I need to swim more and not worry about what I look like in bathers. I love the beach – why am I not there all the time?
I really do need to learn to use chopsticks.
I have to travel. At least one destination per year from now on.
I need to stop trying to fix people and their problems. I can’t help everyone and I should sort my own stuff out first, before I concentrate on other people’s issues.
I need to express my disapproval of racist/sexist/bigoted jokes and comments when in social situations. Saying nothing is not good enough anymore.
I need to stop procrastinating. In regards to everything.
I’m going to write more. Writing is what I love to do and, even if it’s just for me, I need to make time to do it.
I need to breathe more.
I need to practice gratitude.
I need to be kinder to myself.
I am going to try and not feel guilty about having restful days. I’m not good at relaxing or doing nothing – and I think you sometimes have to give yourself permission to do that so you can rest and recuperate and give your body and mind some breathing space.
I need to be more ecologically friendly and responsible.
I need to see more people and be less hermit-like. Whether I like it or not to begin with.
I need to just be. And be ok with whatever and whoever I am. Because I am tired of fighting ME. And I’m nearly 42. Enough already 🙂
Sorry for the long post. As always, it is more for me than anyone else. I hope you have a lovely New Year’s and that the year ahead is happy, successful, fulfilling and authentic. I hope you have love and laughter, joy and positive experiences. Learn lots, love lots and let go.
Happy New Year everyone – see you in 2016 x