“Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings.” – Jonathan Lockwood
Happy New Year and hello 2023… What took you so long?
2022 was a rollercoaster of a year for me and I was glad to see the back of it. I said goodbye with a few of my favourite things: food, Moet, Elton John and Taylor Swift. This is a departure from how I usually see a New Year in but it felt a little more satisfying. Hear me out…
- Let’s face it, hospitality venues capitalise greatly during the holiday season and their peak event is New Year’s Eve. I was definitely financially better off staying indoors.
- I didn’t get drunk, make a fool of myself or wake up with a hangover.
- I danced like nobody (except the dogs) was watching. There was none of the self-consciousness that usually occurs at large scale New Year events. I experienced no mindless small talk and no expectation to be on my best behaviour.
There are no real drawbacks that I can think of to my solo NYE escapade. Sure, I had a moment of loneliness but I picked up the phone and dialled home.
“New year – a new chapter, a new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.” – Alex Morritt
I spent the majority of 2022 obsessing over my future. I have some big decisions to make this year and some that may very well be out of my control. Obsessing over the past and future does nobody any good, it rids us of our present happiness. I have come to terms with the fact that the future cannot be predicted. I say, “control what you can and deal with what you can’t when it happens.”
The last thing I want to do as a person is stagnate; I’m a Soul Searcher after all! I believe 2023 has huge potential and I would like to grow both personally and professionally. I have promised myself not to get too caught up in the timeline of it all. If I end the year feeling that I have bettered myself in some way, I’ll take that as a win.
I tend to do this thing you see, where I go all out trying to get immediate results. In 2022 I mentally and physically exhausted myself trying to go to the gym everyday. This unobtainable goal lead to self-destructive patterns of behaviour and a negative mentality about my body. In hindsight I see a strong correlation between my gym regime and the decline in social events I attended! This year I’ll ensure it doesn’t take over my life or dictate how I view myself!
I must give credit where credit is due to for my epiphany. One of my good friends called me out on the illusionary relationship I appear to have with myself. It was that conversation that promoted a realisation that the perception I have of myself is exactly that; a perception.
Who am I comparing myself to? Why am I punishing myself trying to obtain the unobtainable? I have a medical condition that causes bloating, pain and severe fatigue to list just a smidge. Why am I crucifying myself because my body won’t mould into the perfect form? I’m not failing my fitness goals because I missed a day here and there, I’m failing because my idea of perfect is a reflection of what I believe other people want from me. My 2023 fitness goals look very different now. I will be doing what I can to the best of my abilities and I will be happy with it!
“Many years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to never make New Year’s resolutions. Hell, it’s been the only resolution I’ve ever kept!”- D.S. Mixell
“New Year, new me” has to be one of the most popular New Year quote’s if not the most popular. Whilst I feel a sense of karmic catharsis when the clock strikes midnight and the date changes to 01/01 I cannot say that I morph from Cinders to Cinderella.
I used to be a firm believer in New Year resolutions. Like most people I would start with gusto and then, more often than not, falter in motivation mid-year. It’s not that I can’t stick to resolutions, it’s simply my consistency to put unrealistic expectations on myself. Let’s dive in shall we?
- Lose XXX amount of weight and get in shape. As mentioned previously this is never going to work for me. My idea of “in shape” subconsciously resembles some sort of model or popular celebrity in their twenties. My weight target is always 9st (57.15kg) which coincidently is what I was when I was in my twenties. In order to achieve this I usually embark on a crazy restrictive diet, a rigourous gym routine and to top it off I give myself a time frame for achieving it. If I miss a gym session or break the diet in any small way I self-sabotage. I won’t rationally think to stop at one piece of chocolate, oh no! I have ruined the entire day so let’s crack open the wine and order a pizza! See how easy I am setting myself up to fail?
- Give up alcohol for XXX amount of time. It’s not that I have a problem with alcohol. The problem is that I bow to peer pressure and make decisions that when sober I probably wouldn’t have made. This usually results in the declaration “I’m giving up alcohol!” which leads to the “I can’t” mentality. Feeling deprived of something often results in obsessing and subsequent overindulgence of whatever one is abstaining from. I have come to the conclusion that it’s more about the environments I’m drinking in than the alcohol itself. I do not have to say yes to every social event because I have FOMO. FOMO exists only in my mind and so it’s time to start surrounding myself with the “right vibes” rather than swearing off alcohol altogether!
- Call family more often. I carry a tremendous amount of guilt and insecurity about my decision to live so far away. This is one resolution that consistently trips me up not least because of the time difference. How many of us adults actually see/talk to our family everyday? I start the year with the best of intentions to call daily but time zones and life… am I right? Before work (and coffee) I am a neurotic ball of panic. I wake at the last possible minute so I’ve had to master the art of getting ready in 60 minutes. God forbid I haven’t decided on a work outfit the night before! I have very little time/energy/motivation to call anybody in the early AM. Lunch time won’t work because it is too late. After work is usually gym, cook food and collapse in a corporate employee heap on my bed. Weekends are somewhat better but still definitely not the AM. I’ll be catching up on all the z’s I missed during the week mindlessly scrolling socials/fighting off work anxiety. Weekend evenings are the winner but maybe not Saturday as I often have plans making the most of time off. So Sunday… Once a week… without fail right? Well now I’m back to stressing about the work week ahead. I’m prepping lunches, cleaning the apartment and choosing work outfits. So when? The answer has always been when I can. I text every day but somehow it doesn’t feel the same. My “when I can” leaves me feeling like a bad daughter / sibling so I need to change my mindset. I won’t apologise for my full-on life but I will ensure that when I call home it’s a quality conversation. Quality over quantity always!
- Read more. In 2017 I set the lofty goal of reading 100 books… I read 9. Each year since I have set the same goal; read a book a week. 52 books in 52 weeks seems like an easy feat when you are able to read as fast as me. I achieved 12, 11, 7, 6 and 10 respectively; I even joined a book club! Again, I’ve assigned a quantitive value to a goal. At the end of each year when I don’t reach the number I feel like an under-cultured failure. One book read is better than no books right? If I read / listen to one book this year I’ll be happy (and before you say it because you’ve read my about page) yes… that one book is probably going to be Colin Jost’s!
- Save money. This is a tough one for me! I’m constantly torn between how others feel about money and how I feel about money. I earn enough to live but not enough to save masses. How much should I be saving a year? What should I be saving for? A friend of mine recently suggested it was time for me to invest in property. It was ironic because several messages prior they were explaining that there were no real gains from having a rental property and it would cost too much to sell and move from their current home. Why on earth would I buy in this current climate? As a single woman I don’t feel an obligation to buy a house yet, I’m happy to rent. My purpose for working is to so I can afford some luxuries in life. This year for example I’m going on “bucket list” holiday with a girlfriend to Stagecoach Festival in California with a few nights in LA and a long weekend in Vancouver planned. I mean… for a self-proclaimed country music, American accent, travel loving woman this is a dream! Could I do that with a mortgage, home insurance and all the other costs involved in owning a home? Probably not! Will I ever think about buying a home? Yes! When/if my circumstances change (that means relationship/marriage or children). But for now, I’m happy spending my extra cash on making memories for myself. You won’t catch me reminiscing about my laminate flooring or double glazed windows on my deathbed, no siree! I’ll be thinking about that time I found the love of the my life at a country music festival…
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan
Have you noticed what all of the above have in common? They’re all based on quantitive measures of success which is a surefire way of feeling shit about myself if I don’t hit the number. 2023 I’m changing it up and going for the qualitative approach. I will strive to do the best I can in everything I choose to pursue. The act of trying will be considered a win and I will negate all of my OCD need for measuring success against a number to the winds of 2022.
“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” – Germany Kent
What are your 2023 goals?