What are you waiting for?
Many of us are sick of New Years Resolutions. It seems that not nearly enough of us ever manage to stick with them. Perhaps they are unrealistic, too idealistic. Go to the gym every day, cut out sugar and alcohol for a year, learn Japanese…
I recently tried a September resolution, thinking that the end of summer was a more appropriate time to start on a new course than January. In September 2016 I left my job to start on a totally new direction and pursue different opportunities.
My old job felt like asking a mathematician to write poems for a living, or an actor to only produce films, and never be in them. I was seeing my life go by like a movie that I was watching, not directing or participating in.
I wanted a new start and I didn’t want to wait until January. I wanted a new career, I wanted the opportunity to follow my dreams. I had been unhappy for years in a job where I was undervalued and underpaid. But that wasn’t the real problem: it wasn’t my passion.
A New Year is as good a time as any for self reflection. But really resolutions have nothing to do with what month it is or meeting specific goals. Instead, they help us understand what it is that we really want, and it’s up to us to work towards it.
Now four months on, I’ve definitely made some progress. I started a blog and research for a book, in my pursuit to fulfil my dreams to be a writer. But when I think that it’s been a quarter of a year, already I start to panic about seeing results faster.
And that’s what my message to you on New Years Resolutions is all about. We all have things we want to achieve, whether it’s to be healthier, fitter, happier or richer… But we cannot achieve everything in a single year. Things take time… It’s called life!
It doesn’t hurt to check in from time to time, year to year, but don’t rush, don’t panic. The injection of willpower that we feel after a holiday or at the start of a new year isn’t sustainable in the daily grind of life. Don’t fall for it, because it won’t last.
The secret to resolutions is not to single out unrealistic goals, but to find an objective worth dedicating a lifetime to, not just a year.
There is no use trying to be rich one year, only to let your health and happiness deteriorate, so that you prioritise health the next year, perhaps at the expense of other important things… True, some dreams require sacrifice, but choose wisely, choose true.
Find your objective, and watch yourself take daily decisions and steps towards it.
Aside from the bigger picture life stuff, you can still set some attainable short-term goals for 2017. You could aim to try something new, book a trip, visit a relative you haven’t seen in a while, start a new course or class and don’t worry if you don’t stick with it.
Committing to the wrong thing can be just as bad as doing nothing. Don’t be so hard on yourself but never stop trying, learning, loving and laughing.
So, whatever you decide to do this year, make it count!
XO Miss Portmanteau