Congratulations! You made it through the first full week of 2020. The decorations are down, the sober January promises have been made, and no doubt the gym leggings gathering dust have been dug out for that new year new you gym sessions.
It’s normal to reflect at the start of a new year on the highlights, the holidays, the good times. But more often than not, it’s the low points and bad times that teach us the most. So I wanted to steer away from a highlight reel, and reflect on what 2019 taught me, and what lessons I plan on taking with me into 2020.
1.DON’T DO IT FOR THEM DO IT FOR YOU.
I’ve been told for years by my friends and parents to be selfish and do what I feel is right. For a long time I thought that’s what I was doing. But it turns out I wasn’t putting myself first, so I’m going into the new year with a completely selfish mindset. I don’t want to continue caring about other people’s opinions, or worrying about how what I do will affect them, I just want to do what I want, on my terms.
2. NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ATTRACT NEGATIVE ENERGY
This is so simple, and I know so cliche, but it’s so important. Thinking negatively about aspects of my life led me to BEING negative, and not seeing any positive in my situation. I lost any sense of grace or pride in what I had when it came to my friends, family, job and life in general and it made me bitter for no good reason. Moving into the New Year I want to carry on practising more gratitude and have a more positive outlook, because it makes a huge difference.
3. YOUR INTUITION IS NEVER WRONG
It’s annoying, but my gut instinct is never wrong. This year I want to listen to it more and stop making excuses to ignore it. There are times when what I’m feeling or thinking isn’t the answer I want, like when I get the feeling something isn’t working out or someone isn’t being loyal or truthful. So I’d make excuses to ignore that inner warning and carry on. But that stops this year.
4. NOT EVERYONE WILL SHOW YOU THE SAME RESPECT YOU SHOW THEM
Actions speak louder than words. If someone chooses to do something they know will upset you, they don’t respect you. And if they act like they don’t care, it’s because they don’t. But they’re not your headache. Don’t waste your time on them.
5. CREATIVITY CAN’T BE FORCED
This past year I have been struggling with regularly writing, making and creating. I worry about all the little details, what people will say or think about what I make, and trying to force myself to do it. I’ve learnt that being creative is something I have to feel, not force. The less pressure I put on doing it, the better the final outcome.
6. YOUR PAST HAS NO PLACE IN YOUR FUTURE
People who wronged you once will wrong you again. If they treated you poorly before, chances are they haven’t changed. Don’t let them back in your life for the sake of being a nice person, it’s not worth it.
7. NOBODY ELSE CARES WHAT YOUR BODY LOOKS LIKE
REPEAT. DAILY. I have been so hung up on the size, shape and structure of my body for a DECADE now and this year made me realise that nobody cares but me. Nobody sees what I see, and nobody is about to stop associating with me because I lack the insta girl boob-waist-butt ratio. Stop stressing, treat your body well, and enjoy it. You only get one, stop hating it.
8. YOUR DEGREE SETS YOU UP TO LEARN MORE NOT BE FLUENT
In fairness, I knew this. But after being in my first job post uni for over a year, I realise how much a year in the field taught me compared to three years in a lecture theatre. Don’t think you know it all, don’t think you’re failing for not moving up as quickly as others, just take the opportunity to learn and excel.
9. BUYING MORE CLOTHES DOES NOT MAKE THINGS BETTER
Retail therapy ain’t it sweetie. My ASOS order history may be full of vibrancy but all it did was dwinde my savings and contribute to the fast fashion issue. STOP buying clothes unnecessarily! Buy second hand if you must buy! Re-wear the cute outfit you love! It’s just not that deep. Stop using clothes to make you feel happier for a fleeting moment.
10. FRIENDS CAN GET YOU THROUGH ANYTHING
I have been proven ten times over how bloody amazing my circle of friends is this year. I can’t begin to express how much I love them, and how lost I would be without them. How lucky I am to have such powerful, strong, king, loving, beautiful people to call friends.