Every year, we make resolutions or promises, we set overly ambitious goals that are already half-impossible at their moment of inception.
We don’t achieve them… Not by half. So then, we feel like we’ve failed in that, the Old Year and thus, we tell ourselves, as the New Year comes to us like manna sent down from Heaven, “This’ll be my year.”
This year, I’ll fall in love and find ‘The One’. This year, I’ll finish school and my life will really begin. This year, I’ll land that dream job and work will stop feeling like such a chore. This year, I will lose 10 kilos and have a perfect body. This year, I will climb Everest or see the world.
The list is endless… Our energy, our means and our time, however, are not.
It doesn’t matter what other goals you set this year so long as you follow through with the most important one that somewhere, somehow, we have all lost sight of to a certain extent and that is: being happy.
If you’ve forgotten or you never learnt how to do this, then make 2016 the year in which you learn or even just allow yourself to be happy.
Do the things that you love, not the things that everyone else loves. If they involve writing, listening to music or dancing in the rain, then damn well do them. Do them and don’t ever stop.
However, the moment they feel like chores or you no longer feel the same joy radiating from them as you once did, then take a long, hard look at your state of mind, at what it is you are doing and ask yourself why it’s no longer good.
Next, challenge yourself to try new things. Your favourite pastimes will change so many times throughout the course of your life and it’s only in taking chances and dabbling in new activities, that we are able to expand our list of well-loved hobbies and fun experiences.
Spend time with people who think you are wonderful (because you are, you really are), not with the ones who make you feel worthless or expendable. You are going to be used by so many people, irrespective of who you are or what you do… but there will always be enough people who value you and who are more than willing to stay.
There will always be a handful who adore you without question and won’t ever leave you, no matter how many mistakes you make, the size of your waistband or the positions you hold in life. Those are the people you need around you – please, be good to the others but learn to recognise who is really there for you, who loves you unconditionally and who will ultimately, make you into a better person and bind them to your heart, keep them in your life and stay in theirs.
They might annoy you, you might have crazy fights or they might make you laugh till your belly aches, they might offer great or otherwise, really shoddy advice… but what really matters at the end of the day if whether or not they will always have your back.
If you know that they will always be rooting for you, then, quite simply put, they deserve a little recognition and gratitude… and more of the same from you in return. So, as I said before, find them – and keep them. (Because after all, you might only get one or two shots with them if you mess up.)
Learn, too, to love and value yourself. Sure, it’s important to love our friends, our family members and even the people who tend to come and go at different stages of our lives but the one person you absolutely need to love before anyone else is yourself. You are the only person you will have with you your entire life – so don’t undervalue or abuse yourself now.
You cannot be lovable or even receptive to love, if you don’t love the person that you are, with all your brilliance and all your quirks and everything else that defines who you are. If you can’t love that person well enough, then how can you expect anyone else to love you? How can you dish up something that isn’t even on your own plate?
Love yourself… Not with any measure of arrogance or vanity but with acceptance, with kindness and above all, with gentleness. You are not perfect – but you are lovely in so many unique and wonderful ways and you need to see this for yourself.
Because once you are happy within yourself, once you feel content with who you are overall (although we can and always should try to better ourselves, in my opinion because life is a constant battle between growing and backsliding, between learning a lesson and failing grandly), only then can you be truly capable of experiencing, accepting and offering love in its purest, most unadulterated forms.
Also, learn to set realistic personal goals and commend yourself upon their achievement. Let’s face it… We can’t all look like super models or celebrities but we can improve our health, our fitness and our confidence.
Work on yourself inside and out, make simple but telling changes to your physical and mental well-being and above all, accept who you are and how you look. You might cause yourself to look better by wearing different clothes or losing a few pounds… but you will always be 6.1 ft tall, you will always have that cleft chin and you might always be hopelessly affectionate towards others… so why not just accept it?
There are so many things about our persons we can change, alter or even improve and there are so many that we cannot. Learn to tell the difference and find things about you that you love… Your small, deft hands, your long, blonde hair, your stubborn streak or endless bounds of patience. Find them and value them… Rather than always religiously chasing down your physical defects or personality shortfalls.
And finally, whatever else you do this year, be happy. Be happy with what you have and who you are. Be happy with the hundred little things that make each day worth living…
If you don’t know what they are, find them, count them and engrave them in your memory.
If you knew once but have long since forgotten, then revisit and reacquaint yourself with them.
Take a moment after a hot, busy day to appreciate the stillness of a summer night. Watch small children at play, see how they delight in the same things that you once loved and find ways to regain a little of that lost innocence, that childlike wonder and reckless abandonment. Lose yourself in some kind of art or something beautiful like a powerful ballad, a gripping series or a freeing sketch.
This year will be my year because I want to do all these things and more but above all, I want to be happy. Even when life is horribly unkind, even after everything has gone wrong… I want to dust myself off and try again.
From my own perspective, I know didn’t get it right last year (or even the year before that), maybe it just was not for me, maybe my timing was a little off… But I’ll get so much else right this year that my previous slip-ups will cease to matter. I’ll wonder as so many other things fall into place that I will forgive all the others that fell apart.
Above all though, I will remind myself that even time takes time and that really, looking back, I see now that I had exactly what I needed last year but this year I will have more. More of what I want, more of what I set out to realistically achieve and more of what makes me happy.
I won’t settle for less anymore… and I hope you won’t either.
I hope you find yourself this year, I hope you fulfill your dreams and achieve your short- or even long-term goals but above all, I hope you remember to take time off to be happy too.
Let’s make this our year… Even when things go wrong, even when life happens… refuse to give up on yourself and what matters to you.
Make this your year and even if it tries to be a bad one all the way through, choose to make it as good as possible, for yourself as much as for others. 🙂
Posted from WordPress for Android by T.A.Ryan