We’re officially in 2018 now. Super close to 2020, very far away from 2010 which I’ve only just realised a couple of days ago and felt really dizzy because I still tend to think that ’10 years ago’ means the year 1999. I’m not the biggest fan of the start of a new year. Yes, it’s a clean slate, a start of a new book/chapter or whatever you like to call it. A new beginning for many of us. But to me, it also means a ridiculous amount of pressure to fill these empty pages of the year with something very exciting and memorable. Success and achievements. Or anything that could allow me to say ‘Ahhh it was a good year. My year.’ on the next 31st of December. But what really makes a year good and ‘yours’? And can you make this year your year and feel happy not pressured at the same time?
Wherever you go you meet different kinds of people – some of them climbing the career ladder faster than you can decide what you want for dinner, some of them popping out babies once a year and some of them just having everything you can dream of. And there you are listening to their stories thinking why on Earth your life doesn’t look like this and making plans to follow in their footsteps. I know I do that especially when I see my friends ticking off their milestones in life while I’m spending my days in PJs and eating breakfast for dinner. Because Coco Pops make for a nutritional meal right?
But does it mean that ‘my’ year is worse than someone else’s? How do you claim a year to belong to you? Is there a guideline or a to-do list everyone else is getting on New Year’s that makes them say ‘This is going to be my year, I’ll tick everything off’? If there is, I’d very much like one for myself, please. But in my opinion, success doesn’t really define whether it was a good year or not. First of all, everyone has a different definition of success. Secondly, well, success doesn’t necessarily mean happiness. Because it may feel like your new year resolutions will make you happy by the end of it, but it’s not a rule. What if you don’t stick to your plans and in February give up on quitting smoking? Does it mean you failed the whole year? And does it mean it wasn’t ‘your’ year?
How about this year we focus more on how to be happier and more content with our lives? And yes, stick to your resolutions and goals if you have them. But don’t forget about the steps you can take along the way to flourish. Here are the ones I will be following, hope it helps you too.
2017 has been a year when I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom. I became unemployed, felt lost most of the time, depended financially on other people and it definitely didn’t feel like it was ‘my’ year. In fact, it was the complete opposite. But maybe I needed it. And while I’m still not sure how to make 2018 better I’m confident that the only way is up now. I have a vision of what I want to do and where I want to get, but I’m not giving myself strict deadlines. I want to avoid the pressure and thinking ‘we’re already 3 weeks in the new year and I still don’t have money’. Of course, I will give it my all and try my hardest to achieve my goals (or resolutions if you prefer it that way) but I will stop comparing my life to others’. There’s a time for everything and just because my life doesn’t look exactly the way I’d want it to now, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a good life anyway.
Focus on mental health
I read somewhere that one positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. While I don’t necessarily think it’s that simple, I do like this idea. Positive thinking is difficult. It’s so much easier to focus on the negatives. I’m not saying I’m the best example of Positive Sally. I do let my failures (or lessons) get me down and can sulk for ages in bed. But that’s not the point. We’re already spending a third of our lives in bed asleep so why spend more when the world can be so beautiful?
Find a hobby that makes you happy and feel at peace
It doesn’t have to be anything big. The possibilities range from reading a book and crocheting to riding horses. It can be free of charge or the most expensive thing in your life. Whatever tickles your fancy, the world is your oyster. Just have something your passionate about because that will give you an extra boost in life. And if you ever feel low, your hobby will be this safe space to go to unwind. For me, it’s writing. Always been, always will be. I have many plans for my blog and I cannot wait for everyone to see them.
Listen to yourself
That’s right. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Very often I find myself trying to please everyone around me apart from myself. Thanks to my therapist I learnt to listen to what’s happening within me. If something makes me feel uncomfortable or unhappy, I always try to change it. It also helps when someone asks what you fancy for dinner (trust me, I always know what I fancy even if I say ‘I don’t know’). Trust me, your gut will always let you know if something is wrong. Become your own best friend. Put yourself first. If you’re happy with your life, the people around you will be happy too.
Here’s to 2018 filled with happiness! May we always have chocolate in the fridge, prosecco in our hands and lots of puppies to cuddle.
Remember – any year is ‘yours’ if you wish for it to be.
Until next time xx
What are you looking forward to in 2018?
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