I hope you’re all feeling rested and relaxed, ready to seize the new year and new month. It’s a huge cliche to begin a new year with resolutions for a ‘new you’, promising to give up this and take up that, and consequently, the pressure often leaves many of us setting ourselves up for failure. We’ve all been there: ’I will drink 8 glasses of water a day’, ‘I will go to the gym twenty times a minute’.
What I’ve found in 26 years of life is that measurable resolutions are pretty much the catalyst of a failed goal for me because I have several pursuits to chase each year, not just the annual resolutions. The pressure of the 1st January is a little intense and I tend to use the opening month of the year to find my footing and work out where I want to be, plus who’s to say you can’t set, reset and switch up your goals every day, at any time in the year?
Having said that, last month I found myself in a pretty great place, reflective on my year and totally motivated to embrace the start of another. I ended last year on personal and professional highs and can’t wait to see where 2018 takes me. Let me take you through some of the goals I’ve got planned for the year to come.
1. Continue to say ‘no’ when needed.
I’m not sure when I became a ‘yes woman’ but last year I took it upon myself to be more assertive and say ‘no’ when it was needed. No to favour upon favour with little to no benefit to me. No to working way past my self-imposed hours. No to events that I genuinely didn’t want to go, even if they’d be pretty great to tell people about. No to projects I wasn’t 100% passionate about. And it worked pretty well for me!
Instead of my usual guilt, I felt lightened by my easier workload and found I had a little more time to focus on myself. Now that might sound gratuitous and selfish, but when was the last time you took an entire day to yourself to do whatever you pleased without any obligation to others? … I can’t remember either. I’m oh so guilty of using up entire afternoons running errands for others, whether that’s ‘a few letters posted for Mum’ or ‘the food shop for Dad’ or ‘researching that new restaurant for a friend’ or even ‘dropping X off to Y’, and then getting home at 8pm, exhausted and unable to function. Self-care is ‘trending’ and for good reason: we should all be taking care of number one. With that ticked off, we’d all be a touch less dependant on others’ for our happiness.
It’s almost sad that this is on my resolutions and goals list because I was once an avid reader, carrying a book with me wherever I went. After re-joining the library a few months ago, I’ve found my love for reading once again and it brought me so much joy that I want to make a conscious effort to up my books intake.
I find that when I start to struggle to ‘fit everything in’, reading books is one of the first things to fall from the list in favour of ‘generic phone scrolling’ and I want to make sure that isn’t always the case going forwards. I’ve got a huge stack of books to be read and an even huger list of to-be-read books to tick off. Follow me on Goodreads to see my yearly progress.
3. Get the balance down.
Although I’d say 2017 was a year of balance for the most part, balance is still something that I find tough to adhere to. One of my work goals is to take annual leave (lol) which is incredibly tricky for a one-woman band running her own business.
Essentially, any day that I take off from regular programming is an unpaid day and often it’s hard to contemplate that, hence why I end up powering through and not taking any holiday. Plans chop and change all the time and what I learnt in the latter half of 2017 is that you should probably just suck it up and take 2 weeks off instead of accidentally saying ‘yes’ to five new clients before Christmas. Yup. I did that.
And the rest…
- To buy a house!
- To be 95% ready to move back to Hong Kong
- To absolutely nail a hen ‘do for my best girl
- To indulge in another sibling holiday and another sister vacay
What are you hoping for this year?