New Year – Old You.

We don’t anticipate that new year feeling until it hits us – square in the face, like an abrupt, resolution - swinging right hook. Some years, it packs a harder punch than others. But every year, the new year gets us right in the feels.

Whether you were watching the dazzling fireworks on New Year’s Eve or skipped the late - night celebrations altogether and opted for an early one (we do that these days and it’s OK!), there is a deep contemplation when a new year clicks over. Letting go of ‘the - year - that - was”...the moments where we hurt, we belly -laughed, we argued, we challenged ourselves, we broke down, we made new friends and we lost old ones...then suddenly, we begin again.

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With the new calendar year comes a sense of being reset. After a big old dirty dose of reflection, we wash our hands of 2018. Then before we’ve had time to say Happy New Ye -, questions for the year ahead come flooding into our minds. Oh, hey 2019, what’s in store for me this year? Am I finally going to get into shape, or what? I should really find some more time for myself, shouldn’t I? Or is that selfish? Should I? HELLO?? IS ANYONE THERE?!

Someone is there – you. The same old you that got through last year like a boss. This internal dialogue with ourselves can be overwhelming. Here we are setting up for the year ahead by desiring outcomes without clarifying how or why we want to get there. We have good ideas, sure, but we are placing ourselves into the same old patterns - something’s gotta give. If you nailed your resolutions last year then a big HIGH FIVE, but if you’re like some of us who set goals for 2018 and didn’t get around to achieving them, then it’s time to try a different strategy.

What if this year, we didn’t make resolutions? Instead simply set a few intentions. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  1. Start with love. This is an easy one because you can start right now. Say it with me 3 times - I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. Whether you want to drink less coffee, start a savings plan or even simply be able to enjoy more downtime, being kind to yourself as a foundation creates the space you need to achieve anything.

  2. Stop justifying. If justifying our actions to ourselves was an Olympic sport, we would be taking out the gold medal. It is an innate human ability to turn situations around and into our favour – imagine if we used that super power to actually follow through with something instead. If you tell yourself it’s OK to have 3 wines tonight because you didn’t eat much today, think again! Stick to your guns. Trust yourself. You got this!

  3. Take responsibility. We are all in this together, but no one is accountable for your level of happiness/fulfilment, but you. Each day we make choices that determine how we want to live our lives. When a curveball is thrown at you, do you run away and have a meltdown? Or do you catch it? The things we can’t control in life, we need to bravely surrender to and take responsibility for our reactions. Lean into your next challenge and throw back that curveball, as hard as you can.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard

It can be difficult when life (and people) demand from us on the daily, but looking after you as a priority ultimately helps everyone around you. Being the best version of yourself has a trickle effect on your surroundings. So, go gently into this year. Take each new day as it comes, practice gratitude for all good things (and bad, they teach us too), and remember to be good to yourself –you deserve it more than anyone.

Now, write down those intentions before 2020 uppercuts you into a new decade!

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Caitlin Murphy