This time of year is always associated with resolution and moving forward. An opportunity to think about change; particularly change for the better. In 2020, I decided to use this time to consider what is working well. And where there is room for improvement. What I’d like to take with me into the new year. And what I might need to let go of. Thus, in 2021, I reviewed my progress and considered these ideas further. Fast forward a year including a continued pandemic and a growing child; and my resolutions for 2022 got lost along the way. But I’m back this year, and ready to start a new. Bringing a light to the dark, cold, winter months and perhaps a little bit of hope. With the prospect of change and improvement. As well as consideration of a year well-lived.
For 2021’s Resolutions read here.
How Did I Do Last Year?
I’ll caveat this with the reminder that I didn’t manage to do this last year. Instead, I’ll be taking a longer time view from 2021 – 2022.
My daughter. Theoretically, a supremely easy objective. She is the child of my heart and the reason my life is filled with considerable meaning and joy. Now a happy and healthy 2-year old, I am consistently surprised at her progress and the light she shares with all who meet her. I’m forever grateful that she is an easy child. Easy to love. Easy to care for. She reminds me every day how glorious life can be. And to recognize the immensity of the small moments. I only hope to be a good mother to her. And as I’m discovering, that is a journey of a lifetime.
Self-Advocation. Speaking up for myself more. Finding my voice and owning my needs. Asking questions, pushing for answers when needed. Not always taking the path of least resistance. I’m no longer as hesitant as I could be. But not always as vocal either.
Healthy eating is a rollercoaster. I can loose sight of it. And I’m trying to recommit as I’ve noticed the impact on my health; particularly my digestive system. I’m always reminded of the value of nutrition; particularly with my daughter. I take such care to provide her with balanced meals and healthy snacks. And it should be no different to myself. I’ve definitely learnt more in recent years and have gained experience in putting these things into practise.
Emotional maturity is something that has shifted this year. I think this has come with time and continues too. Whilst I still don’t always love aspects of ‘adulting’. I am finding it easier to identify certain more complicated emotions. Where they are coming from and how to help myself regulate them. Rather than acting on impulse. The journey, I suspect, continues.
Life has continued to be the learning curve which I expect it will always be. Sitting here on the sofa, reflecting on the past year. Returning to life post-Covid has been both hard and easy. It’s amazing how we slipped back into habits we thought gone for good. Likewise, I’m on a considerable learning curve with my own mental health at the moment. Trying to find a balance between my own needs and the needs of others. From everything to self-care and exercise, to work and personal.
Passive aggression bothered me two years ago. Both owning it and managing it. I’m satisfied that it feels like a past emotion. Tied to emotional maturity, I can react thoughtfully instead of impulsively. I’m aware of where this desire comes from and cognizant of the role my actions can play in relationships.
Perfectionism still lingers but one of my favourite mantras is ‘practise, not perfection, practise every day’. It’s an excellent reminder that the world is made up of imperfect individuals working in concert together. Historically, I have been aware of the standards I hold myself to. And that they far outweigh the expectations I would put on others. I’m inching towards a better version of this. Understanding this attitude of perfection can be self-defeating. And that sometimes, doing less, actually means achieving more.
Small Worries, Fortune Telling & My Future Self are all quite big but intrinsically linked to my experiences of anxiety and perfectionism. Liberating myself from the trap of perfection. And seeing myself clearly for who I am; not some idealised version has been ground breaking. Without striving for perfect or navigating my identity, I have the breathing space to address my anxiety. And the energy to practise anxiety management techniques and self-care. Managing my worry means less opportunity for fortune telling or other negative thinking. Or overly focusing on my imperfections or who I thought I would be.
For Thought’s for New Year’s  read here.
A Resolution or Ten for 2023
- My daughter will be number one on this list for the rest of my life. She is my true soulmate. Her smile brings me incalculable happiness. She’s taught me the difference between surviving and thriving. When I thrive, so does she. And this leads me to number two.
- Finding balance has come gradually. I’m finally acknowledging, with help, the sheer pressure I put on myself. This past year, I’ve managed to take a step back and see things clearly. Balancing my own needs with those of others. Expectations and what is realistic.
- Career is currently on my mind. I’ve been in the same job a while and can feel trapped at times. Luckily, I believe in my organisation, my team and the work that we do. I’m grateful that throughout my time I’ve managed to progress which will serve me well in the future. I’m keen not to put my career on hold during my childbearing years.
- Reconnection particularly with my partner feels resonant. It’s easy for us to get caught up in the daily grind. Like ships in the night, never truly meeting until we crash head on. It’s only when I slow down, I realise how much I miss him. We’re working on spending more time together. To feel heard and seen by each other.
- Me – Time is part of finding balance. My needs often come last when I’m concerned about others. And feeling guilty when they don’t. But, it makes me a better person when I’m cared for. So, if not for myself, for those around me. Time for myself makes me a better me.
- Guilt immediately popped into my head. I hold so much guilt and I carry it with me. I feel it emotionally but in the bones of my body too. It’s in all areas of my life and it serves no purpose. Other to exhaust and blame. I’m over my relationship with guilt and hope this year to see it gone for good.
- Being held back can make me resentful. The world can feel unjust at times; despite the privileges I have. Times are hard for every one. And I certainly have it easier than most. But I’m dealing with some complex emotions around being female, having experiences with anxiety and being part of a minority community. These valued parts of my identity don’t always mean a level playing field. I hope to continue to acknowledge the positives they bring. And resolve the resentment.
- Toxic relationships are, for me, those that are not a two way street. Increasingly I feel like the giver; rather than the recipient. Whilst no relationships are 100% equitable. There should be an appreciation and support for others needs. Currently, there are some relationships I am highly invested in. But sadly, I’m unsure if it’s a wise investment. Not only is the return thin on the ground. But the emotional output and fears which knock my confidence are exhausting.
- High expectations for myself has always been a huge part of my life. I’m finally realising the burden and pressure it has caused. I’m inching towards a better balance with this newfound understanding. I hope this year I will find the routine which works for me.
- Staying up late is my natural state. I was a night owl; or at least before kids and career. At times, despite the early morning around the corner, there is comfort and nostalgia in going to bed late. However, I need to be more strategic around this. The knock on tiredness in the mornings probably aren’t worth it.
I didn’t find this post as easy to write as I thought I would. But it has provided me with a much needed pause to reflect. I’m happy with the progress I have made in the past few years. And it’s a helpful place to document my thoughts for the coming year. The one thing that really stands out to me is that, unless your resolution is incredibly specific, then it’s never really resolved. Rather, we’re continuing to make progress, year by year, as we learn and grow.
What is your experience of having a New Year’s Resolution? Do you make them? And how do you help yourself keep them? What do you think of this practice of taking with and letting go? As usual, let us know below!