Speaking for all of us, 2016 was a “challenging” year. It certainly had its highs and lows. My big positives were successful spinal surgery and finding employment in Higher Education again. But seismic losses in the pop-culture firmament meant I lost a hero, politics locally and globally took a turn for the worse, and on a personal level serious health issues threatened both myself and close family members. One of whom won’t recover.
I’m looking into the New Year with hope and trepidation in the face of inevitable change. My new year’s ambitions are cast in sharp relief as I feel duty bound to improve my circumstances. One thing this past year has proved is that life is too short and precarious, not to make happiness your own responsibility. Written as advice I would give a good friend, here are my personal pointers for the new year:
Goals to get you through 2017
Practice self-love– take time out, be kind to yourself, do things you enjoy, withdraw when you need to.
Don’t forget self-care– eat mindfully, take walks, do physio exercises, get enough sleep, avoid alcohol.
Write more publish less– write regularly and with abandon, doesn’t matter what, it all counts. My old art teacher used to say you can’t watch yourself paint, same goes for writing. Lose yourself in the act, and do it for yourself first. Worry about editing and who does (or doesn’t) see it afterwards.
Digital declutter – continue to unsubscribe from mailing lists, and delete apps that no longer serve a purpose. Delete distraction.
Make regular clear-outs – of things you don’t use or want anymore. Clear the decks for a fresh start.
Purchase with purpose – avoid retail therapy, and impulse spending, be mindful of your money.
Self-development -e.g. Apply for provisional driver’s licence and take driving lessons. This is both “up-skilling”, and working on your personal freedom. Potentially a game changer.
Expenses for experience– save for things you really want to do, holiday / travel / courses / events.
Live in the Now – appreciate this moment and be present, flexible, open to opportunities.
Keep a gratitude diary– even just note one thing each day you’re thankful for.
Use mindfulness – to focus on your feelings and work through them. Sit with them, work out where they are coming from and what actions will help.
Listen to your gut – Don’t end up in situations you don’t want to be in by drowning out your instincts to favour other’s opinions. Who are you, and what do you want? Stay true to that. (Also having chronic IBS I’m literally learning to listen to my guts).
Personal Projects– work on something just for you. e.g my I was a 90’s art student series. I may even move forward with a multi-media element. Watch this space…
Plan things to look forward to– plan trips/events/shows for motivation to keep you looking forward throughout the year.
I do hope some of these inspire you to make some positive action on those dark days. When it feels like world is loosing its way, remember YOU don’t have to. Stay strong. Be kind. You’ll get there.
Happy New Year
#Goals #GoodIntentions #LookingForwards #PositiveAction #MentalHealth