I think we need to bring balance to this New Year. Where we set goals or intentions or to-do lists, but we also let go of shame and anger that comes with not achieving those things. I’m someone who believes in ambition and doing your best and trying to improve. But I’m also learning about compassion and being god damn human. To allow yourself to just exist. To allow yourself to have a period of just doing life without the pressures of needing to achieve and progress and perfect yourself.
It’s about balance. It’s always been about balance.
The trouble is balance is hard to attain. That’s why it’s a very spiritual idea in a lot of cultures. You think of perfect balance as an enlightened person’s achievement, not something we laymen can obtain. And it is a job. It’s something you work on often. And it comes back to my favourite thing: awareness.
Awareness of where you’ve lost balance. Awareness of polarisation or extremes in your life. Awareness of where you’re not allowing yourself space to shift and move along a continuum.
And I don’t know about you but it’s the last week of 2021 (as of writing this) and I don’t feel all that excited to set goals and plans like I usually do. In fact I’m a bit exhausted trying to make my life and myself better.
Get better grades…
Own and wear better clothes…
Eat better and cooler meals…
Be better for the planet…
Go to better destinations…
Workout more and improve the strength of my body…
These are all exciting and important things to me and perhaps to you, too. But aren’t they sort of obvious? Do we really need to write them down at this point? Does it work?
I’m not so sure.
I’ve changed my life over the last 5 years and I’m not sure it’s self-help and writing down goals that did that for me.
So what was it?
In the new year a lot of people want to change in the following areas:
- Hobbies and skills
- Travel and experiences
At the end of the day, what changes those things for you? Action and awareness.
What do you spend most of your time, energy and money on right now and where can that be cut and redistributed to be more effective?
Sounds easy, but it’s not.
And that’s the issue, we have low attention spans and we want quick fixes. So what’s the point in writing goals and lists that remind us of what we want (and want right now!) just to feel awful that it didn’t happen?
Instead, if you do like lists (like I do), make them kinder and realistic and fair. In the new year, you’re still you and your life is the same so take that into account. Meet yourself where you’re at!
This means that if you have never eaten a veggie meal in your life, don’t expect to become a full vegetarian next year. If you’ve never made more than £20k a year in your life, don’t expect to make £100k next year. If you’re a couch potato, don’t expect six-pack abs next year.
These things aren’t impossible, of course, they’re just not kind or fair for you considering where you’re at right now. And that’s okay.
- To workout routinely at least once a week (if you never do) for 3 months
- Set a goal/intention/focus for ways to improve once a month, once a week, a once a day. So only 3 focuses!
- Reevaluate your goals and intentions quarterly, not once a year
- Focus on one big area of improvement (bonus if it’s something that has a knock-on effect on other things, like eating better helps you to sleep better, improve how your body looks and performs, makes you feel more confident, think more clearly etc)
I guess what I’m saying here is, let go a bit. If you’re someone who had spent the last five years obsessing about who you are and improvement, maybe this is the year where you don’t do that as much!
Don’t get me wrong; don’t misunderstand me. I still care about growth. I care about progression and not being stagnant. Time is precious, and you can’t waste it being a layabout!
It is healthier, more fun, and exciting to let go of the reigns and spend a year having fun and being curious and doing things just for joy above all else. That’s what my vibe is for 2022.
I believe that as long as you’re not mindless (even better if you’re mindful) and you are aware of what you’re doing and why, you’re good, bro! You will grow. You will learn. You will make healthy decisions. If you know who you are, or what you want, and choose authentic joy, that brings confidence and growth and experiences to learn from.
Bring balance back into your life by enjoying it while you grow. By relaxing as much as you work hard. Is that so bad?
What’s your new perspective for the new year?