As we are on the verge of entering 2016 New Year, I decided to take a moment to reflect on the year that was and look ahead with curiosity to the year that will be! While it’s the most common time of the entire year that people attempt to make rigorous and somewhat unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, I can openly admit this…..it does not include me!
Only a handful of close friends & family know that I am a firm believer in doing things ‘tomorrow’ not on the eve of December 31st party with 200 slightly tipsy people around me who assure me I have their full support in achieving my New Year’s resolution (never a good idea)!
As we all know, the goals worth working for are often the ones that take the longest and are only achieved by creating a plan consisting of minuscular steps. Smaller goals are proven to be greatly beneficial for the mind, compared to sky-high dreams/goals which can sink us into a hole when life isn’t going to plan. My resentment towards New Year resolutions mostly stems from the basis that, we regularly put so much pressure on ourselves in our daily lives that maybe we just need to switch things and attempt to ‘go with the flow’.
Of the 12 months that make up a year, the month of December is by far the most challenging month for me in terms of dealing with stress and anxiety, it’s suffice to say my TMJ goes into overdrive!! If you’re not familiar with the term TMJ, it means Temporomandibular Joint Disorder aka chronic jaw joint pain caused by stress which results in clenching/grinding of teeth. However this past week, I decided to shift my focus onto learning how to do SUP, (Stand Up Paddle boarding).
For months now, I have be intending to try this water sport but with a million excuses of never having time, I decided to make it a priority by booking a lesson with a professional instructor. During the one hour lesson, my mind was soley focused on the task at hand and without the distraction of social media, I truly felt a sense of peace for the first time in weeks. Not only did I achieve one of my smaller goals, but the feeling of accomplishing a new task re-energised my mind & body.
Despite careers, relationships, & family, it is evident that society places a lot of emphasis on being ‘happy’ 24×7 which can too often than not, leave us feeling overwhelmed. Instagram will never tell you the true story, even though we convince ourselves that the famous ‘travel blogger’ is living the dream….I mean she gets PAID to travel! Life is full of twists & turns, roadblocks, disappointment, failure, and part of that mix includes happiness, success and laughter. But it all comes down to what we define as success and the ongoing struggle with comparing each others lives.
Personally, I have experienced the struggle of not having a career that I felt ‘truly’ represented me and with each year inwardly hoped that just maybe the ‘perfect’ job would happen. However the danger with thinking patterns such as ‘if only’, is that we will never have an answer and it is naive to assume we should. While at the best of times it can be frustrating when people ask ‘So what do you do for a living’?, even before they have asked me my last name, it was then that I decided to make a conscious effort to ‘let go’ and move forward.
With the final days of 2015 coming to a close, use this time to pause for a moment and reflect on your past year and contemplate the possibilities that lie ahead within the New Year. Think about setting some mini goals for yourself or even daily rituals you might want to start. Do this with ease and a clear mind, as when we try to force situations, it rarely works out well. Without forcing yourself to set any major goals, consciously make a choice to enter into the New Year in a calm and collected manner, leaving any unwanted fears behind.