It’s easy to turn your back on the very idea of making New Years Resolutions isn’t it? We all eventually reach that point in our lives when we become utterly fed up with the annual process of making promises to ourselves that we inevitably break just a matter of weeks later. How many of us have pledged to lose X amount of weight, to rejoin the gym and start going X amount of times per week, to improve our skin, to have our teeth whitened, to finally become the person we want to be? How many of us have really achieved any of those goals?
But why? How is it that so many people that for all intents and purposes are perfectly capable of achieveing their goals fail so catasprophically, every January? I believe it’s because we’re motivated by self hate, and self hate does nothing but ensure we consistently get in our own way. When we base our goals on what we think we should do as opposed to what we really desire, aren’t we automatically setting ourselves up to fail?
It strikes me how most of the resolutions we tend to make at this time of year acrually sum to do the opposite. We sign ourselves up to gyms thst we know we will hate goung to. We add more stress and more pressure and more time commitments to our already hectic lives. We purposefully over complicate our lives with things we hate to do! Why? Because we think we should? When did New Years Resolutions become about forcing ourselves to fulfill some made up obligation we think we have to do more and be bussier? Let’s turn that around and make them about adding value to our lives instead through streamlining our lifestyles, minimising the time we spend on shit we hate and maximising the time we spend on things we love!
That’s why this year I’ve decided to set myself a brand new set of New Years Resolutions. I’ve thought long and hard about why and what I really want to achieve in 2018. I’ve made sure that all of my resolutions aim to achieve one of two things; to make my life easier, and to make it more fulfilling. And to make sure that I’m applying this approach to all aspects of my life, I’ve divided them up into three catagories.
For as long as I can rememmber I’ve wanted tattoos, desperately. I’ve always been so attracted to people whos skin is covered in art and always envisaged my future self brandishing dozens of tattoos of my own. Unfortunately though, I’ve always left my tattoos at the bottom of my priority list, never prioritising my desire for them above anything else. FOr that reason, I’m approaching 30 years old with only two small tattoos to show for it. Well not anymore! I’ve decided that this year I’m going to put tattoos at the top of my priority list. Thankfully most of the pieces I want are small and uncomplicated with very little detail, so they won’t cost an arm and a leg. Hopefully this time next year I’ll be sporting some very cool art on my skin!
I think that one of the things I’ve learned since my reccovery from depression has been just how crucial sleep is to a healthy mind. I’m not implying that sleep will cure mental illness, but that it is an exceptionally unrearted tool for the prevention of mental illness. Establishing a strong sleep routine was an important part of my recovery, but sadly I’ve let that slip away from me in 2017.
This year I want to refocus on the importance of sleep to my mental health, and include my daughter in this. I want to establish a very solid sleep routine that will begin at 8pm every night with both of us taking showers, then drying our hair and putting on cream on my bed. THen at 8.30 we’ll go into her room and read until 9 o’clock when it’ll be lights out time. This a similar routine to the one I used during my recovery. I found night time showers were a wonderful way to relax after my day and the theraputic act of applying moisteruriser was really calming. I also definitely want to incorporate the reading with my daughter because I don’t think i read to her enough, and would love her to develop the deep love for books that i have had my whole life. Last but not least, this new routine will guarantee myself and my daughter get to spend one full hour of quality time together every night without phones or tablets or tv’s to distract or interrupt us, and that can only be a very good thing!
This year I really want to travel more. This is probably sonething you can relate to. I mean, who doesn’t wanna travel more? I’ve decided to take three trips this year, a city break in May for my birthday, another in November, and a ten day holiday during the summer with my daughter.
I’ve always complained that I didn’t have the money to travel more. But that’s not really true if I’m being completely honest. The truth is that I just haven’t prioritised putting money aside for travelling. I’m an impulsive spender which really isn’t very good, but this year I’m going to book my three trips nice and early in the year to give myself plenty of time to save up some spending money in advance.
You may have read in my blog post 2018… What’s Next? that I’m planning to develop a brand new website with new and improved features and a cool, clean look. I’m also planning to add new content, a new platform, to run more workshops and lots more!
I wrote that blog post as a kind of guide. I’m not expecting to achieve every single thing that I set out in it, but I will be using it as a roadmap to take my website and my blog in a new direction.
This year I really want to throw myself into influencing. I’ve realised that even though you can hardly swing a cat in Ireland without hitting one, there aren’t any digital influencers here who are doing what im doing, or talking about what im talking about. On the other hand, there are influemcers in the UK who have built careers for themselves based on blogging about the things I love to blog about, and that there’s no reason for me to believe that I can’t do the same.
The first step towards achieving that goal is to find the right representation. Luckily there are lots of options here with multiple model and talent agencies now representing digital influencers too. I’m excited at the thought of working with brands that share my message and appeal to my followers.
Writing is something I’ve always loved. As a teen, I was the biggest bookworm I knew and adored the creative writing aspect of my English classes. In my college years, I dabbled in a little freelance writing and I had some success with pieces published in national magazines and newspapers. But I think a lack im confidence after regular rejections really got to me, and I gave up.
This year I’m determined to get myself back into writing and start publishing more articles for the magazines and websites that I love. I really want to write about self love and body positivity of course, but I’d also love to write about sex, fashion, mental health, parenting, travel, and general lifestyle stuff.
Im lucky in that I don’t owe very much. I’ve never had credit cards, I don’t have a mortgage or any outstanding loans. But I am in arrears on some of my bills with one or two bad debts still lingering after years of not giving enough shits about my credit rating. I guess my early twenties wete all about having fun now and worrying about the cost later, and the consequences of that are finally starting to catch up with me.
So I’ve resolved to end 2018 debt free. I’ve created a cash flow document with a really detailed breakdown of how I’m going to achieve this and it’s very very conservative so no matter what bumps I hit along the road, I should be able to achieve my goal!
2. Buy a car
I know, I know. It sometimes shocks people that I don’t own a car. To be honest, it sometimes shocks me! The worst thing about it is that I did have a car for five years, so going fron the independence that driving provides to suddenly grabbing with bus timetables and begging my poor mother for lifts everywhere hasn’t felt like a particularly positive change in my life.
The truth is that two years ago I lost my job, my car died, and I just didn’t have the cash or the access to credit that I needed to replace it. It was a real blow to my ego at the time and I felt ashamed to be a 25 year old parent without a car. But since then I’ve had to make my peace with it, and luckily we live in a place with good public transport and we’ve adjusted pretty well.
That being said, this year is the year I get back on the road. I have a savings plan in place and all going according to plan I should be on the road by the summer. And if my resolution to write more goes my way, I could be sporting some new wheels even sooner!
I am an absolute divil for spending every penny in my bank account. My account is empty, and I do mean literally empty, on a weekly basis. It’s sort of like the compulsive need many of us have to eat every scrap of food on our plates, even after we’re full. I have a compulsive need to spend every penny I have, even if it’s just for the sake of spending it.
I never really saw that as a problem before. I mean, money is there to be spent, right? I still do believe that. I’ll never be a financial hoarder. But as I get older and I listen to the woes of my friends who are saving to buy houses and starting pensions etc, I’ve realised the damage it might be doing to my future financial credibility when the time comes for me to follow in their footsteps.
So this year I’m going to try really hard to resist the urge to empty my account. I’ve set myself goals for each quarter of the year to ease myself in. For the first quarter I’m aiming to leave a whopping five euro in my account at all times. Dramatic, I know! Then in each quarter of the year that minimum amount will double, so that by the end of 2018 I will always have at least forty smackers in my account at all times. I’m sure there’ll be exceptions to this new rule, I’m not going to kid myself into thinking I’ll never give in to the temptation. But if I stick to my plan more often than not, then I’m already going to be doing a lot better.
So those are my New Years Resolutions for 2018. I’m really happy with them because as I said earlier, they cover all aspects of my life, they’re not motivated by what I think others expect of me or want me to do, and they all aim to make my life easier and more fullfilling. And while I by no means expect myself to achieve absolutely every single thing I set out to, or to suddenly transform into a perfect and permanently productive person in 2018, I can’t help but feel wildly optimistic!