2018 was a very different kind of animal. It was the year that marked some of the biggest walls in my life breaking down and although I can’t quite place the exact time, it also marked the moment I suddenly became happier in myself.
*Flash back to Autumn 2016* I’m in my bedroom in the centre of Manchester, apart from Brexit, I have all the reasons in the world to be happy and excited for the future, but for some reason I’m just not. It’s not a dramatic sadness, just a numb apathy towards life that had been there for years.
I think with all the freedoms my generation has, we’re sometimes spoilt for choice and it becomes a double edged sword when actually making decisions.
We want the house/ We want to travel/ We want the perfect partner/ We want to be single/ We want the director job/ We want to work less/ We want to party/ We want to eat ‘clean’/ We want to find ourselves/ We want to do the same as everyone else/ We want 100 friends / We actually want a few real friends/ We want…
The list of contradictions go on and in most cases, too many ‘wants’ and not a lot of ‘doing’. I found a lot of what I wanted was more to impress other people and not myself.
Anyway, in this 2016 cross roads moment in my bedroom, knowing I wanted a lot of things but not knowing which road to take first. Being a dedicated planner and list lover I decided to make a written strategy for the next 2 years. I nicked the idea from a friend of a friend, a life coach and blogger I’ve never met called Zack Young, but who’s article made a lasting impression on me till this day, read here. I will warn you this is no quick exercise, it requires a lot of research and planning for the first step “writing your goals”. You could bullet point it, but I feel really visualising the process in getting there is better i.e financials/ ad hoc stuff.
I couldn’t recommend this article enough if your feeling indecisive because apart from turning your aspirations into measurable objectives it also helps to prioritise and bring those ‘nagging feelings’ to the surface – You know, the feelings we can’t shake off but always make excuses for not following through on “I wish I could, but I cant because of X, Y and Z”.
2 years on, I’ve completed most of what I wrote down in my colourful pen drawn circle of 2017/18 achievements; Graduated with a 2:1, stopped depending on others for my happiness and started depending on myself for it, knocked off a few of my must see countries and made living in a different country on my terms an actuality.
Going into 2019 I now have new goals and new learning curbs to get over. In the spirit of New Year, instead of listing off things I’m grateful for and listing off last minute New Years resolutions I wont stick to, I’m going to make a new 1 year strategy.
I’m a firm believer in ‘the jynx’ of publicly sharing your specific goals, I feel like anytime I tell someone I’m going to do something big, it never happens. It’s better to keep quiet and just do it. Therefore, I will keep the first parts details about my specific goals to myself but share the second part of this exercise which is writing down what has worked and didn’t work for me last year. After writing this down, reflection then has to be given on finding resolutions in order to make it work for the next year. The purpose of sharing this is for anyone who relates and wants an example to work from. It’s also for me to reflect on in a year and assess again, public sense of pressure to make personal change, shall we say.
The first page is dedicated to the positive actions that worked for me, mostly personal changes I made within myself.
2017, was a slow year in terms of achieving my goals due to being in the process of completing university. Of course this was part of my goals but on the whole my real aspirations were for travel and seeing the world. Although I made the big decision to move to Asia in 2017, the real advantages and changes in my personal life came much later in 2018. Below is the “What didn’t work for me” list. I have starred the points that still apply as of now and where I want to find resolutions.
In reference to number 1. Although I embraced a lot of opportunities in previous years, on an occasion or two when it came to big things like setting up a business or the time my drawings were requested for a book, I bottled it. My final wall to break down is the “imposter syndrome” I have when it comes to my abilities, I always believe that anything good I do is just a fluke and people are much better off without my input. Irrational, negative thinking like this must be stopped. Number 9 speaks for itself, I’m posting this blog 4 days into the new year…
Below are my proposed 2019 solutions to help make my goals more achievable. It’s all well and good saying “I want this” but it’s the day to day things that make the difference. I believe state of mind and attitude play a big part in reaching your dreams, and whilst I have taken positive leaps this past year, my positive thinking could still be worked upon.
In reference to 6. As much as I like teaching and I love the life I have out here, I miss fashion, I miss the ridiculousness of marketing and branding. I thought for a while I was being nostalgic until my dream job came up in October. I kicked myself for not being able to be in London. I couldn’t change my circumstance at the time due to finances and contracts but it did make me realise how much I still wanted to pursue that career.
These solutions will be expanded into more personal detail, I only had small paper to work with this week. In hind sight I should of used 1 page for each solution.
With 2019 having already started, I’m very excited for what the new year has to bring! No year will be without its up’s and down’s but I believe I am much better equipped now to deal with those lows and have a good support base to turn to if things go completely Pete Tong. So, although this is a week late into New Year, while I’m in the moment and holding my glass of red wine, let’s say cheers to ‘no regrets, just lessons learned and a whole lot of good times ahead’. x