It’s safe to say that 2016 has been the roughest year of my entire life without question.
Through ups and downs, trials and tribulations, offers and rejections, formations and breakdowns – I truly did not believe I would make it to the end. It was the biggest test I’ve had to endure to date and it wouldn’t be 100% truthful for me to claim that I am stronger because of it. Admittedly, I am simply more aware of my weak points and how to protect and shield them. I am still working on coping with the pressure points and navigating how I engage with my feelings and overcome them as opposed to suppressing them.
With that in mind, I’ve become more systematic in my approach to life and have decided to make a list of resolutions for 2017 which I hope will help me set in stone some goals not only for 2017, but for the short remainder of 2016 and the rest of my life.
- FOCUS ON MY HEALTH
This year I had a number of health scares, both physical and mental. They were frightful and shocking because neither I, nor the people around me, knew how to deal with it. As a result, I experienced some trying times which changed my outlook not only of myself but the people around me. I now know that in order to give the best version of myself, I must be in the correct state of health.
So in order to do this, I will:
- Eat, sleep and exercise well.
- See doctor/mental health specialist in times of need.
- Express my feelings – either lexically or orally.
- Take time out when needed to recuperate.
- Try and keep a balance between socialising, studying, working and alone time.
2. TAKE TIME TO LEARN/UNLEARN
As ironic as it sounds, despite studying for a Law degree, and taking on a new job as well as a host of other roles this year, I don’t feel like I’ve learned as much as I could have. I had a lot of opportunities thrown my way these past few months, many of which I passed up on or wasted for reasons I myself cannot pinpoint. Nonetheless, I have learnt from that. And in terms of the opportunities I did utilise – I managed to acquire an immense amount of knowledge that I do believe has helped me learn and unlearn more about myself in this past year than I have in my previous years of life.
To continue on this journey of learning and unlearning, I plan to:
- Branch out from my comfort zone by engaging with new people & environments.
- Take my degree to an extra curricular level by engaging with law when not studying.
- Hear people out – even if their views/lifestyles are different to mine.
- Listen to more podcasts, music and documentaries to broaden my horizons.
- Keep an open mind at all times.
3. TRY NOT TO GHOST
This resolution is pretty hard because anyone who knows me, knows I zone out really easily. And when the going gets tough, I tend to ghost without warning, and to some, comprehension. I understand that for self-care purposes, this is a very necessary thing to do sometimes. However, I do appreciate that it can be unfair to the people I am around – particularly in relationships or team environments. It indeed takes two to tango so I cannot drop my responsibilities when I feel like it: such behaviour would make me unreliable and that is one thing I refuse to be.
To avoid this, I shall be:
- Letting people know when I am out of my depth.
- Seeking appropriate support/help when needs be.
- Balancing my time so things don’t build to the point I am overwhelmed.
- Be less abrupt – think about how my actions impact others and act accordingly.
- Confront situations head-on – communication is key to solving problems, leaving them to fester helps no-one.
- Keeping in contact with people so they needn’t worry.
4. LAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
Even though I’m not the most active social media user (as you can see by the numbers), I have a habit of running to social media to escape my problems or when I am avoiding something/procrastinating. Naturally, this ends up taking a lot of my time (as I procrastinate a LOT) and I often reap little to no benefit (unless the TL is popping.). In fact, sometimes, it can be depressing watching others live it up whilst I scroll through aimlessly. Nonetheless, I still appreciate the theme of expression – hence my reason for using this blog. My hope is that instead or running to Twitter/FB/Instagram/Snapchat – I will use WordPress to express how I feel. That way I can be more thorough and write drawn out posts like the perfectionist I am.
I will keep up my WordPress spree by:
- Uninstalling other social media applications on my phone & using the web to access them instead.
- Write at least constructive blog a month on a topic of interest.
- Keep busy by writing creatively in times of boredom.
- Opt to talk to people face-to-face as opposed to through social media.
- Engage in social situations by turning off my phone when around people.
5. BE TRUE TO WHO I AM
I like to believe I have lived an authentic life despite the many identity crises I’ve experienced. And though my frank honesty has gotten me in trouble many a time, it also has led me to great heights of recognition. I plan to maintain my ideologies but recognise also that I can be adaptive and evolve whenever I feel. I shouldn’t stay stagnant to who I am (or was) because of or in spite of the past – instead I should grow from it. I need to let different elements of myself shine through, and in doing so I have to get to know myself again.Experience is key: and so is trial and error.
My self-evaluation will begin with:
- Listening to my body, mind and soul.
- Continuing to tell people how I feel, even if it’s just for my sake.
- Chant a self-affirming mantra every morning.
- Meditate for at least three minutes every night.
- Find time to gather myself both in a crowd of people and alone.
- Recognise that every other person in the world is taken – I have to be me & only me.
6. UPHOLD AS MUCH STRUCTURE AS POSSIBLE
The older I get, the more positions of responsibility I uphold and subsequently, the less structure I have in my life. Weird sleeping patterns, lack of eating and little to no exercise all come with the territory of dealing with life and its stressful episodes. As a result, I’ve noticed that when one part of my life reaches new levels, the other dips, and I have struggled to achieve an equilibrium that works for me. Being an extremist means I tend to end up on one end of the spectrum which just isn’t a practical way of living. So I recognise that in order to keep balance, I must keep structure.
I hope to uphold structure in my life by:
- Planning ahead.
- Making checklists for things that need to be completed.
- Setting deadlines.
- Prioritising what needs to be done in order of timeliness and urgency.
- Rewarding myself for tasks completed.
- Budget more to save money.
7. BE SPONTANEOUS
As ridiculously incongruent as it may sound to the previous resolution, I shouldn’t be afraid to be spontaneous. A completely structured life might be fulfilling, but it can also be rather boring. So yes although disorder is my worst enemy, boredom is not my greatest friend either. Plus, I’ve found that the things I most enjoy tend to be things I didn’t expect: like unintentional adventures or surprises. It’s great to keep an air of the unknown in your life just for the sake of excitement.
So to keep some spice in my life, I shall:
- Work on positive impulses as opposed to negative ones.
- Offer and accept suggestions for things I wouldn’t normally do.
- Go out on a limb and try new things.
- Abandon plans (occasionally) and make up for them later.
- Worry less about the future and engage with the present.
8. KNOW MY WORTH
On too many occasions this year, I doubted or second-guessed myself and my ability. In realms I thought I was a high-achiever, I fell short, and out of sheer fear of inadequacy, I broke down. I took the attitude: if I can’t do it how I want, it won’t get done at all. That is the wrong mind-set to have. As key as ambition is, so is effort. So trying is always important, even if it’s just a little bit. Failure is not an option for me but success isn’t a one-way road either. There will be times where I will try and fail – I simply have to try again in order to succeed.
I must recognise what I am able to do and work towards doing more by:
- Reminding myself of my origins and the progress I have already made.
- Know that I am my own best representation of myself.
- Be humble in knowing there is more to achieve.
- Recognising my contributions and valuing them just as others have.
- Accepting myself thoroughly and unapologetically.
9. DISTRIBUTE YOURSELF
I have the terrible habit of giving my all to a situation far too quickly just because of the kind of person I am. However, I have learnt that this isn’t the format in which I need to exist. I need to recognise that in life, there aren’t always do-overs. I can’t do everything twice. Thus, I need to be less full-on with who I am and portion myself out. I can’t give my all to everyone all the time unrequitedly when there just isn’t enough of me to go around. I don’t need to think about that word I said or that thing I wrote a dozen times if it’s no longer in my control. Over-analysis is a killjoy. I need to be more content in what I can do and distribute myself accordingly: not everything can be repeated.
I don’t need to prove myself to anybody, so when I do contribute – it has to follow these guidelines:
- Input only where necessary.
- Go above and beyond when you have the capacity.
- Be self-assured in what you can do as opposed to what you can’t (even though there’s nothing I can’t do :P)
- Weigh up a situation before becoming a part of it.
- Recognise that not every obstacle is a hurdle – sometimes you just need to find a new way around the problem.
10. IF YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT, CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK ON IT
This is a Maya Angelou quote that I believe sums up my tenth new years resolution pretty perfectly. I learnt this year, that though I’m a stickler for control, it is not in my power to change everything. Some things are God. Others are people. I can only accept my jurisdiction of power and use it appropriately. I want to be an agent of change in the most positive way (though it may not always seem like it), and using my power to inflict pain is not the way forward. I can only do what I do best. And hope that the people around me wish the same. I need to understand that though I lost many people in 2016, it was all for a reason, and I can only thank them for being there (even though I was a total prick towards most of them).
This resolution has no pointers. It’s just a reminder that everything I do is not me and I am just a vessel through which God operates. I need to see things through the lens that although things may be happening to me, it’s not always personal. And so on that note, I need not feel attacked. I do not need to be in denial or ashamed. I just need to be whole.
I should exist and live as I do, regardless.
And with that, I bid 2016 a premature farewell and look forward with inviting, outstretched arms: once these two remaining weeks are over, I’ll be ready for you 2017.
Bring it on!