Well, here we are. The start of a new year. Even better, the start of a new decade! Feels kind of monumental, right?
Or does it?
The thing is, I keep seeing people saying that 2019 was either a bad year that they’re glad to see the back of, or a good year that they will remember fondly. I’m beginning to think that it might actually be in our best interest stop rating the years that pass as “good” or bad” and start seeing them for what they are. A chunk of time that makes up our life, and should be appreciated for what we experienced and learned.
Take 2013, for example. In October, my husband and I made the decision to separate. Pretty sure that puts it firmly in the “bad year” box. But only one month earlier, the amazing ball of crazy that we call Poppy was born. And that’s definitely one of the best things to happen to me EVER!
The way I see it, we only get one chance at life and you can never be sure exactly how many years you’re going to have. I’m 35 this year and it seems like such a waste to write off a good chunk of that because maybe something things didn’t work out the way I would have liked them to.
So, from now on I’m going to stop fixating on how “successful” a year has been, and instead try to focus on how lucky I am to have lived through another year and all it had to teach me. I’ll try to use the “lows” to help me better appreciate the “highs”. I’m going to spend more time reflecting, and less regretting.
With that in mind, it’s time to set the dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions”. 2019 was very much the year of plenty of good intention but not nearly enough motivation . I’d spend hours and hours planning projects that would never get any further than the paper they were written on.
My focus for 2020 is going to be on building good habits, that will help me to feel better about myself in a number of ways:
1. Take better care of myself.
The simple truth is, I am terrible at looking after myself. My diet is appalling, my skincare routine is non-existent. I don’t get nearly enough sleeps and I never exercise. I never wear my glasses and I drink the smallest amount possible that a human can survive on.
In short, I’m something of a disaster.
I really want that to change in 2020, but not with any big, grand gestures, but in teeny-tiny, barely noticeable steps that form habits to help me live a healthier and happier life.
2. Cut back on spontaneous spending.
I don’t think anybody who knows me will be surprised when I announce I am a shopaholic. I don’t have a lot of vices, but spending money is certainly one of my favourite addictions. I’m not one for dropping large amounts of money on high-value items, but I will fritter away pound after pound on small purchases which all add up over time.
In 2020, I want to really think before I crack out the debit card. I’m trying to put a stop to all “spontaneous purchases”. If I want to buy something, I’m going to wait, put it in the budget for the following month and if I still want the item, then I can go and get it. Hopefully this will help reduce my impulse spending and boost my bank balance, letting me splash out on the things that really count (and hopefully have a bit of a buffer zone as well!)
3. Take time to reflect.
One thing I am really, really good at is filling every possible moment with something to do and leaving no time to catch my breath and relax. I don’t like saying “No” when people ask me to do things, I always want to seem uber efficient and competent and so I always end up taking on more than I can handle and burning myself out.
In 2020, I really want to be realistic and limit the amount of extra work and commitments I take on. It’s already shaping up to be another busy year with shows for myself and girls, day trips, birthdays and another big family wedding. I need to remember to pencil in a little time to stop and reflect, instead of zipping from one activity to another.
And no, the irony is absolutely not lost on me that I’m only just finishing up the “New Year” post, when we’re already 23 days into January. What can I say? Resolutions are made to be broken, right?
Let’s see January as a practice run and start as we mean to go on in Feburary.
Speak to you soon