Today feels more like new year’s day than new year’s day did, because it’s officially the first day of normal life again, after the festive break. So many people return to work/school etc. today and most of the Christmas lights and decorations are all gone by now.
I always mourn the end of the festive season and HATE taking our decorations down but, on the other hand, I actually love hoovering up all the glitter afterwards, having a good old tidy and the space that we’re left with once the tree’s been put away. It’s bittersweet but ultimately, the new year excites me and makes me feel clean, energised and inspired for a new start.
I love writing out my new calendar (thanks Mum!) and this year, I’ve treated myself to a new planner and I’m eagerly awaiting it’s arrival! I ordered the leather personal planner in sage from www.kikki-k.com and I was so excited to find it in the sale! It has loads of useful sections and pockets, I know I’ll get loads of use out of it. Plus it’s what I would call a timeless design too: pretty but not too fussy, so I shouldn’t get bored with it!
I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. I can never think of anything in particular (apart from the obvious: dieting and getting fit) and I really don’t like the idea of saying I’ll do something, which I might not achieve and then it becomes a reason to beat yourself up and (I would also) feel crap. But this year is different.
A lot has changed for me (mentally and emotionally) in the last 6 months and I feel so much more certain. I feel more confident, I’m being loyal to myself, sticking to my guns and I’m better at sharing my thoughts and feelings without stressing about people disagreeing or what they’ll think of me. I can’t tell you when this happened or why I feel different but it’s a confidence I’ve been waiting for for a long time. I always felt like everyone around me was so self-assured and outspoken, whereas I was quieter and would often back down on what was important to me to keep others happy. Except it didn’t keep them happy and they just kept treating me how they always have.
With this change in mindset comes a real focus on being emotionally aware, of myself and others. In my work I’ve been studying emotional intelligence (otherwise known as EQ: ’emotional quotient’) for some time now and learning about this has helped explain a lot about why I’ve lacked confidence, who made me feel like that and why. Reading about EQ helped me make sense of a lot of things and it’s taught me to try not to ‘react’ emotionally to things but rather to give things time first (so much easier said than done!). Reacting to something is impulsive, instinctive, can be unpredictable and make people feel unsure around you and it makes you look out of control. I have been around a lot of people that behave like this and they’re consistently unsettled.
Learning about EQ has given me more patience for those who are treating or have treated me badly (obviously I still get upset and might have a bit of a bitch with my husband about things first!). EQ has helped me to look at others and try to empathise with why they might be behaving or treating me in certain ways and, as it turns out, it’s almost always because of an unhappiness within them, rather than a fault of mine (unless I actually have been a bit of a knob and then I just have to take it on the chin!).
This realisation is one of the things that has made me feel so much more settled and assured. And it becomes a cycle: because I’m then feeling more settled and assured, I worry less and can approach new things more calmly and confidently and I therefore experience better outcomes. And so it goes on. You start to feel more in control of a situation (as if you can almost ‘steer’ things positively, rather than watching things unfold, powerlessly and bracing for impact). People still upset me and this will probably always happen but I now feel more secure, in that I can work out why and deal with it, so that it stops hurting quicker.
One quiet night in November 2016, I was home alone while my husband was out gigging and I decided to start a blog. I couldn’t tell you where the inspiration came from but it was a bit like when you’re drunk and you think something (that you would never normally do) is a great idea! The next day I actually shared it with someone and then with a few more people and then it was just ‘out there’. A few weeks later (after a bit of nudging from my mum!), I did my first video and uploaded it to YouTube. For a while I wondered what the hell I was doing, it wasn’t like me at all to do stuff like this but I’ve had loads of fun with it and I’ve learnt so much. Currently on maternity leave, I finally feel like I have something to say for myself that isn’t baby related!
I’m surprised that I’ve had really positive feedback and not just from people I know: strangers from across the world have been complementary to me about what I’m doing. This. Changes. Things. This makes me want to try out those ideas I’ve been telling myself I’d probably fail at, because maybe, it might just turn out great. And if it doesn’t, I’d have learnt some stuff along the way at least.
So I’m going to set some new year’s resolutions but not limited to 2017 alone… Some ‘intentions’ for life from now. Perhaps some of these might apply to you too?
- I’m going to go easy on myself. If I try something and it doesn’t work out, then so what. It’s not like I’m a lazy person who doesn’t give a toss. I’ve always put 100% effort and belief into something, so if I’ve tried and it hasn’t worked out, then maybe it just wasn’t ever going to work out. I always give things my best shot though, so I’m entitled to not beat myself up about it.
- I’m going to make more time for things that make me and my family happy, rather than the things that keep us ticking over and make me feel on top of things. No kid ever said how great their mum was for bleaching the toilet regularly or washing out the fridge’s dew bin on a Saturday morning. That stuff can wait. Family walks, dancing to Disney and puzzles on the floor can’t.
- I want to be more thoughtful. My change in attitude and confidence has made me so much more aware of others’ feelings and I want to use this. In the past, I haven’t been the most observant with what’s going on in the background in peoples’ lives or how they felt about things and I want to be more conscious of this, so I can be more thoughtful for them. I think I’m already quite thoughtful but you can always do better!
- I’m going to be a ‘glass half full’ kinda girl! I already am this sometimes but I want to work on seeing the best in things more. Not because it physically changes anything but because it just makes you feel lighter and it’s nicer to be around. There’s enough in life to pull you down, so how silly is it that you would add to it all?
I think four’s plenty… And I think they’re pretty realistic and achievable. Plus I already know what a difference each of the above can make to how you feel, so the motivation is already there to keep them up.
This is a very different post for me. The new year has had me come over all philosophical and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you. Let me know in the comments below what you think and how you feel on this topic?
I’ve had a little break from blogging over the Christmas period but now I’m back and very much looking forward to sharing all my new material with you. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I’ve read back over it a few times before publishing and I’m not altogether sure if it isn’t totally unlike me to be sharing all this deep and meaningful shiz?! But I’ve been on such a journey recently and therefore feel it’s worth sharing enough to press the post button!
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I hope you’re feeling inspired and excited for a new year! Thanks for reading x