Happy 2019 Everyone!
My resolutions are coming to you slightly late on the 2nd of January as the New Year hype starts to die down in our 6-second-attention-span society. The reason for this being that I have been extremely successful in not even thinking about, never mind doing, anything that even vaguely resembles work since I left the office on the 21st of December! I’ve spent the vast majority of my time over the holidays napping in front of Netflix, playing card games with my siblings, and eating a diet of purely turkey, Quality Street, Pringles and Chinese food.
While a little part of my brain screams that this confession will make me sound like a horrendously lazy lump, a little mental and physical detox was badly overdue for me. While 2018 was a year that brought so many unexpected, amazing moments and people into my life, it also brought with it quite a bit of stress. My graduation day when I celebrated being awarded with a First Class degree was probably one of the best and happiest days of my life, and I was delighted to start my first graduate job in August, but I’d be lying if I said the journey it took to get there and adjusting to working life haven’t been very draining. There have been a few tricky times and emotional bombshells going off in the mix throughout the past 12 months, too. All in, it’s been 365 days of hard work, big changes and lots of juggling my priorities in between.
So as the year has drawn to a close, I realised that the Christmas break was a badly needed pause to relax and reboot. Hibernating for a little while from the pressures of the real world to enjoy a tonne of quality time with my favourite people has been the best end to the year, and now I feel ready to head into the new one feeling refreshed and content. Which has been the major motivation behind my resolutions for 2019!
I try to make a few broad resolutions every year – they’re not normally groundbreaking or overly ambitious, but just a few things that I hope will help me have a happy and healthy year. 2019 is already lining up to be a good one with a few amazing things to look forward to over the next few months; my resolutions are just little things that I hope keeping or taking up can help to make this year even better!
1. Read 1 Book a Month
Confession: This is a resolution I’ve kind of carried over from last year. At the start of 2018, I hoped to be able to polish off 12 books in the course of the year, but alas, here we are the following January with a grand total of…one book under my belt. Oops! I’ve been using the same excuse probably since I was a Fresher, that all the studying and reading for uni was quite enough for me, which means I’ve absolutely no reason this year not to accomplish this. I really feel like reading is good for my soul, and I used to eat up story after story when I was younger, so I’m vowing to stick to my goal this year and make more time for books in my day to day.
2. Write More
A similar story to the last, I’ve constantly excused myself from writing because of uni. In my defence, writing assignments and a dissertation took up just about all of my time and brain power in final year. But now that I have my degree and academic writing is a thing of the past, there’s really no reason not to. Writing has been my favourite thing and the one thing I’ve always felt like I was good at for as long as I can remember, and of course I’ve managed to get back into it a little in 2018 with my blog and column in the Impartial Reporter. In 2019, I want to continue writing my column, improve my blog, and maybe even get back to my one true love – writing fiction.
3. Do More Yoga
In 2018, I started getting into yoga a little more, and have actually gotten to the point where I almost sort of know what I’m doing some of the time when I’m practicing it. There’s no better feeling than not having to stare at the instructional video in deep confusion at the mention of any position that isn’t downward facing dog! And with feeling more comfortable in my movements, I’ve also found myself feeling the mindful benefits of yoga practice more and more. Stretching out the tension from sitting all day in an office really helps release the tension from your mind too, and I’m hoping to practice even more often in the new year.
4. Count my Blessings
As somebody whose brain’s default setting is usually a mix of pessimism and anxiety, I can quite easily find myself being a little bit “glass half empty” about life. On the other hand, however, I’m also a believer that your attitude plays a big part in determining your experience of the world, and that like attracts like – so negative attitudes attract negativity. I know that when I’m grateful for all the wonderful things in my life – my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my education, my job, my health, and even the tiny things like my phone or my favourite song – I immediately feel better, and that I feel more hopeful that even more wonderful things are to come. Paired with the fact that gratitude is proven to improve mental wellbeing, I’m aiming to force myself to have a more grateful and positive mindset in 2019.
5. Take Care of #1
All my other resolutions sort of lead into this one, my overall aim for the year. My writing, reading, yoga and gratitude are all little things that I love and that make me feel good, and I want to make 2019 the year of feeling good – so I’m aiming to make self care a top priority. Now I don’t mean to boast, but I’m already fairly good at taking time out for a bath bomb or face mask, and treating myself to a lazy Netflix binge every so often (often being the key word here). I’m not talking about that kind of somewhat superficial (but still super beneficial) self care. I’m more talking about the self accepting, self loving, nourishing sort of self care. I hope in 2019 I can leave behind being too hard on myself, beat down that little internal voice of self criticism and replace it with an internal voice who is much more of a friend, one who is forgiving and encouraging. A big part of this will involve spending less time on social media and on overthinking, as these usually just lead to me comparing myself to other people’s heavily filtered insta-stories or wrestling with my own sometimes unrealistic expectations in my own head, and ultimately, digging myself into a hole of feeling not good enough. In 2019, my mantra is that I am good enough, no matter what. Yes, even if I only read one book all year!
Looking back to this time last year, I remember feeling really uncertain and anxious about what the year to come would bring. I was finishing uni, and had no idea where I would be by the end of 2018. But I made it, and the year was tough at times, but full of lovely people old and new, and achieving brilliant things that I didn’t think I could. I’m going into 2019 feeling much more settled, and so excited and hopeful that it will be full of lots incredible memories from wonderful things that I have planned, and from many other wonderful things I haven’t! Happy New Year everyone!