I love new years. For those of you who don’t, please don’t write this post off just yet.
I know that when I wake up on the 1st January 2017 that I’ll be the same person as I am now. I know that just because a new year has flipped over on the calendar that I’m not going to instantly achieve my goals. I know that I can’t magically create a brand new me or now suddenly, all my problems have disappeared. I’m not that naive. But poo poo to those people who’d burst my inspiration bubble! I love new years and I’m never going to stop feeling renewed and invigorated by their annual appearance!
I’m enough of a realist to know that it’s just another day, but honestly, I can’t help but feeling that there’s something a little magical about waking up one morning and thinking: “It’s the first day of a new year!” It fills me with hope, expectancy, drive and motivation. Beyond the incredibly liberating moment of writing in a brand new diary (holla to all my fellow stationery fans), a new year gives me the opportunity to mentally close the book on the old year and lift my eyes forward to the new.
Yes, I’ll still have the same old troubles. Yes, I’ll still use the same excuses for not changing certain parts of my life. But I never, for a second, want to feel like it’s too late. That I’ve tried every year to change and failed and so now I become a cynical, boring old new year hater. Uh uh. Now way. Come at my 2017! I’m ready!
If you feel invigorated every time the calendar clicks over to the 1st of the 1st, then go ahead! Channel every inch of that inspiration!
I say grab change and opportunity by the balls!
I just had this crazy thought! What if we changed the gender orientation of this sentence to be more feminine? It would be: “Grab change and opportunity by the ovaries!” Hasn’t got quite the same effect.
Moving right along.
The thing I’ve learned about new years and setting resolutions is that it’s easy to get carried away. I use to make recurring mistakes with my new year resolutions. I’d pick the standard ones:
Be a better mother.
But then I’d get super extreme and specific:
Eat no more than 2000 calories a day.
Exercise for 30 minutes every single day, never miss a day for 365 days.
Stop eating processed foods (except bread and cheese – I could never give those up! Also coffee, I’d never give up that either).
Take my children to a park everyday in the school holidays and be a craft-loving, empathetic oozing, modern-age working mum extraordinaire, every day and never yell at them. Ever. And always stay calm. Always.
For one thing. I hate craft. I mean, what the fug? It’s like: “Hi children, here’s my beautiful clean house, lets find you some scissors, glue, paint and left-over recycling so you can create something which will destroy my floors and dining table, that I’m going to throw out next week once you’re bored with it and it’s left in my lounge-room for the umpteenth time.
What I mean to say is:
The desire for perfection or the setting of super high and super specific resolutions is a recipe for disaster. I don’t know about you but if I can’t get something completely perfect then that’s it. I’m a failure. I throw the whole goddam bathroom down the plug hole. Stupid bathroom. What does it know?
These days, I’m a little better at it. I use the end of a year to look back on how far I’ve come. As a wife, a mum, a friend, a business owner and as a member of my community. I’ve worked hard on creating a strong sense of self-awareness. I can honestly tell you where I’m doing well and where I could do better. I’m not ignorant of my shortcomings, weaknesses and failures. I’m also acutely aware of what I’m good at, what I’ve achieved and what I can offer the world. Don’t get me wrong, some days I’m highly insecure and question EVERYTHING, but deep down, I come back to the fact that I know who I am. I know who I’ve been created to be.
I use this awareness to assess my past year and plan my next. They say that how you leave determines how you enter. I learnt this in a sermon preached at my church many years ago and it’s never left me. I do my best to ‘leave’ something well and to the best of my ability. It’s not easy when you’re leaving something crap, or if things haven’t gone to plan. Or if you’ve failed. It’s not easy when you’ve been hurt by people close to you or had to endure countless disappointments. However, despite the challenges, I refuse to leave a year distraught, hopeless, depressed and defeated. There’s always another chance to do things differently. Always.
For example, I’m addicted to notifications. Social media ones. Still. After all this time. It’s been years. It’s stupid, but the little red number at the top right hand corner of my apps just makes me feel good about myself. Apparently notifications release dopamine into your brain just like gambling does. Awesome. I’m addicted to the dopamine response of a random stranger liking a photo of my dinner. Show me the way to rehab.
Each year, I’m slowly getting better and better with brining my usage down to a balanced level. I’m not perfect. But I’m learning not aim for perfect, but just for progress. And my goal is to bring this attitude into as many areas of my life as I can.
So, just in case your were wondering, these are my new year resolutions:
- Schedule social media time into my day and aim to stay mostly off my phone when I’m with my family.
- Get back into weight-lifting and be happy to make baby steps with my progress.
- Get out into nature more: camping, walking, running and bike riding. Breath more outside air!
- Sit less.
- Invite people into my home.
- Embrace imperfection.
These things are realistic for me. Here’s why:
I’ve been practicing the whole ‘scheduling social media time’ and I’m getting better at it. This is not a new goal but more an emphasis on an existing one.
I used to do weight lifting all the time. I injured myself two years ago and have been procrastinating going back. I’ve just started some small sessions at a new gym the past month or two and I’m loving it. I know that I’m picking a goal that I’ll enjoy achieving and need to remind myself that I may not be as strong as I used to be but doing something is all that matters. I’m focussing on the enjoyment not the numbers.
As a family we are loving camping, day trips, mountain walks and beach trips. I want to do more. It’s good for us. Our souls, our relationships and our bodies.
I sit on my sweet arse all friggin’ day. I actually have a standing desk already, but I don’t use it nearly enough. I will stand more next year once I’m back at work.
Due to many reasons, that I should probably talk to a psych about, I struggle with friendships and could easily turn into a crazy workaholic hermit. After some challenges a few years back, I’ve been timid in inviting people into my home. I realised the other day that I miss it. So I’m going to be brave and just do it.
Perfectionism is the bane of my existence. It ruins A LOT of moments for me. My husband and I actually have a joke when thing don’t go to plan which is helping both of us cope with not achieving a desired level of perfection. It’s called: Expectation Management. Whenever we do anything, when something starts to go wrong or off plan, we look at each other and say: Expectation Management. This help us remember to keep our hope high and our expectations low. That way, we’re not disappointed. Nothing EVER goes to plan, so I’m going to stop expecting it to. It help with embracing imperfection, which I know will be a key part of me moving forward with myself and my goals in 2017.
I’m an ENFP personality type. One of my weaknesses is an inability to focus. As soon as a task becomes, routine, mundane or boring, I’m like a border collie. “Tennis ball!” I get flighty. I’ll be running the pays at work (boring) and at the same time I’m browsing through Instagram, checking google analytics and trying to join in the conversation happening outside my office. Yeah. I know what you’re thinking. I need help. It’s true.
Focus is my 2017 word!
What are you wanting for yourself in 2017? I think you should set goals and make plans, just don’t do it because you think you need to be a better person. You’re already a great person. With value and worth. These extra things are just a bonus! Feel free to join the convo on Facebook!
If one of your new years resolutions is to take a long term perspective with changing your eating habits, then I’m the nutritionist for you.
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