Happy New Year! I feel like 2017 was a very long year that went by quickly if that makes any sense at all. I am still in holiday mode and not quite ready to get into the swing of things just yet. I still have much I want to do and ponder :p I admit that at the thought of getting back to work I feel so anxious. It’s annoying, but I’m sure it happens to many.
I always like to reflect on the year that went by, what I did wrong, what I did right, and how I can improve in the new year. I write down my goals and pray for the new year ahead and thank God for all the blessings in the previous year. But I haven’t quite gotten there yet. I will though. But this is why I want to write this post.
Sometimes the expectations we place on ourselves or the fear that we may fail again or that we didn’t do well enough last year can really mess up our enthusiasm for the new year. I found myself worrying about 2018 before it even arrived. That’s the nature of anxiety.
I don’t want to give myself a free pass, but I think it’s more than okay to treat myself with some kindness and understanding. I have always been a highly strung person. That’s just me.
Last year was tough but also a huge step forward and filled with great times:
- I was unhappy career-wise, in fact, I had taken a step back instead of forward, so I felt like a failure.
- Finally, after a lot of convincing from my very supportive husband, I quit and started pursuing freelance writing.
- I often felt crazy anxious. There were days I cried, felt sick to my stomach, nervous, stressed, frustrated, dizzy, and in a state of panic. But I prayed, I did breathing exercises, looked at pictures of adorable animals, and when all else failed, I exercised. It all helped, but it didn’t quite go away.
- I managed to start doing alright. I had some clients, one that became permanent and started to make money doing something I love which is giving others the knowledge to become healthier in the form of writing. It wasn’t much, but it’s a start and finally, I didn’t dread getting up in the morning.
- I wrote a book that I called “The little book of reaching goals” to help myself get through the year and get off my butt and get to reaching my own goals, one of which was releasing another book. It took a couple of months for me to finally release it, but I did release it finally at the end October.
- I became a vegan.
- My health really improved.
- My Oupa (Grandfather) passed away 😦
- I did things that I enjoy like seeing beautiful places, spending time with friends, taking walks and eating delicious food and drinking yummy coffee and wine throughout the year.
- I managed to get to grips with where I am in life. I felt like I was failing at adulting majorly. I still listen to punk and pop rock. I am also very behind career-wise and let’s not even talk about money-wise by the world’s standards. But, I accept this phase in my life, I am me, and that is 100% okay. I am on my own journey.
- Finally, after hard work and big changes, I got to spend Christmas and a few days in Joburg with my family and friends 😀
I need to get rid of the anxiety. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I will get there. I admit I fear failure, I fear responsibility, I sometimes struggle with not feeling good enough. Oh, the pressure we put on ourselves.
Sometimes, we put so much pressure on ourselves that instead of the things in our lives dragging us down, it’s us doing all the dragging. I wanted to go into this year with these huge goals, hit the ground running, and just be fabulous.
But I think, perhaps the thing that I need to be doing is to simply say, these are my goals, I am going to try my absolute best, but I am going to aim to enjoy the process and be okay with whatever happens as long as I am doing my best.
Hopefully, that means achieving my goals little by little, and enjoying life and good health, and being fabulous and awesome! I am also determined to make this way of thinking a permanent change.
So some of the things I want to achieve this year:
- Teach fitness classes (In April it will be 2 years since I got my qualification, I am the queen of procrastination!)
- Get fit
- Learn to speak French, at least semi-fluently :p
- Get more clients
- Get paid better money
- Continue to do the things I love, like walking, going to the beach, spending time with friends, and eating good food 🙂
- Learn to cook better (This would be a welcome change :p)
- Improve my guitar skills and take up trying to play the violin again, my in-laws gave me a violin that belonged to my husband’s Oupa. I’ll fix it up with strings from my broken violin and hopefully, make beautiful music… eventually.
- Be more mindful.
- Learn to meditate.
That might seem like a long list, but there are many days in a year. It’s definitely going to be an interesting year, there are more challenges to overcome but the potential is there. My husband and I also want to move to Canada, or even possibly France. This is definitely one of the biggest challenges we face this year. But, all in God’s time if He wills it.
It’s my prayer for all of you that you and your family and friends will have an amazing 2018. That you will face whatever comes your way and make the best of it. That you will have joy and laughter and beauty all around you. I honestly believe that there is something to be grateful for every day in each of our lives, no matter what.
Work hard, be kind to yourself and others, do what you love and just enjoy life. May you reach your goals and know with certainty that you are capable of so much more than you ever dreamed.
What are your goals this year?
P.S, if anyone is struggling with anxiety, I found this website to be helpful. I listened to probably around 5 or 6 of the podcasts while I cleaned today, and found them helpful.