So I’ve survived the first week of 2017! The world hasn’t imploded (probably as Trump hasn’t yet taken centre stage), I haven’t had one of those ‘grass is greener’ moments (yet) and this year, for the first time ever, I have taken the conscious decision not to make any New Year’s resolutions or jump on board with any January trends.
I’m not going to become healthier or go to the gym more. I’m not going to try and cut out sugar or travel to as many places in the world as possible. Basically, I’m not going to make the same annual resolutions that I never stick to. It’s the same every year, just like Lent where I ambitiously tell myself I will go 40 days without chocolate or fizzy drinks, and last for approximately four days until I admit defeat and give into temptation. Instead, this year, I am going to take it one day at a time and see where I end up come 2018.
Why the sudden change of heart?
Of course, there are things that I want to do this year, I want to go camping in northern Norway, cycling in the south of France; I want to finally start writing a book, and actually explore the city I live in; I want to go blonde for a laugh and focus on my career. After reading Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild, the Pacific Crest Trail across America is now on my radar, as is a potential overland trip across Africa with some friends. I want to do all of these things and more, but I don’t want to be so consumed by what I want to do and what I should be doing that I forget to focus on what’s happening around me.
I was given some news this week which put everything into perspective. It was news that I’d subconsciously waited almost a decade to hear and it completely changed the way I look at my life. A monumental weight got lifted off my shoulders and in an instant, it reminded me that my life is about me and not really anyone else at the moment.
What am I going to do instead?
I think resolutions don’t work very well for me for a simple reason – I’m not someone who is very good at making plans. I never try and ‘see myself in five years’, I don’t believe in finding ‘the one’, I don’t want to settle down or stay put and I haven’t got a list of all the stuff that society tells you should be on your radar by your mid-twenties. I have friends my age who are planning their weddings, excruciatingly saving every penny in the attempt to buy somewhere and see England as the be all and end all. Whilst that’s fine and I have nothing against those choices, they couldn’t be further from mine, not this year at least.
A friend of mine put a quote up on Instagram yesterday and it really got me thinking about everything; it said something along the lines of “Your biggest priority should be happiness. Not a career, not getting married or seeing the entire world, just pure and simple happiness”. Cliche I know but 2017 will the year I do things for myself, starting potentially with deciding where to go on a hike this summer, so if anyone has any cool ideas give me a shout!