As we cheer an end to the year 2017 and welcome 2018 gleefully (although some of us may not be too happy about the time flying by), we reflect upon the past – the decisions and stands we took, the events, people and things around us which shaped our year, our accomplishments, our what-ifs, our disappointments, our losses… The closing of a period is a time for reflection and choices. Will we look in the mirror and let our imperfections bring us down, or will we acknowledge them and work towards bettering ourselves?
So here is a humble list of how I intend to better myself in the coming year:
1. Be more present
Having recently moved to live on my own with my fiancé, I noticed that time flies by a lot quicker. Not just hours, but days on end. One minute Jess is leaving for Erasmus in September and in a blink of an eye it’s January. Having barely any time for oneself may lead to another accompanying evil – having little time for one’s loved ones. A rapid decrease in meets, getting together, calls, texts, messages. In such a technological time it’s a wonder how we are managing to lose contact with family and friends, even the ones we are residing with!
So this year is the year to work on staying connected with some and trying to rebuild bridges with others. Life is not just about you, but about the people in your life.
2. Finding a balance
You read that right. What is the point of producing a mountain of work if you end up excruciatingly tired at the end of the day, every day? If you’re happy with your finished work good luck to you, but if not then you may start to dread waking up in the morning.
The opposite in itself is not something to strive towards either. The key is having a system where you choose which goals to achieve and which obstacles to overcome, and plan ahead efficiently. Take an assignment at work, for some what matters is doing their research and taking the time to complete the assignment so that the finished work is good, for others it’s finishing the assignment in the least time possible, even if it turns out mediocre or bleh.
I personally believe that it’s important to find the centre and adapt accordingly. Do what you hate or have to whilst also doing something you enjoy or love.
3. Be more patient
I’ve realised that we have become too embroiled in getting results NOW and that waiting has not become an option – here I am also including myself! Started eating a salad for lunch instead of the usual leftovers and I expected to feel slimmer after a week without helping the progress with exercise! (Yes, feel slimmer not weigh less, I do not own scales and do not intend on tracking my weight any time soon)
There is nothing wrong with waiting for something. Yes, you may be doing something else in the meantime but that doesn’t mean that the time you spent waiting was wasted, especially if you manage to achieve something during the waiting time. Traffic for example kills me, but it’s time which I can use to reflect albeit if such waiting time was forced on me.
Patience also spills over other factors of life. So what if you need to re-install an app on your mum’s phone cause she uninstalled it, or you need to fix something for a friend or you need to repeat something to another loved one cause they didn’t get it the first time? That’s what life and living it means!
2018 is going to be a busy period since this gal will be getting hitched in 2019, thus a pinch of patience is going to take me a long way.
4. Be more grateful
In this area one is often a culprit and a victim. I know for a fact that I am not always grateful for what I have – fiancé, family and friends who love me and who are patient with me, my health, a steady job, a roof over my head, warm clothes, and other material things. It’s true, we sometimes feel like we deserve certain things or over time we become used to them and stop saying thank you.
On the other hand, this could happen to us, we give and do and do not receive thanks back. Granted, oftentimes one does not expect to be thanked every time for doing the dishes or going grocery shopping but don’t you feel appreciated when someone is grateful for these things? So shouldn’t you also strive to make someone feel the same way by being grateful to them?
And let’s not get started on not being grateful for the material things. In my case I realised how much stuff I had when I had to move. Bags and bags of clothes and shoes and handbags, and boxes of makeup and jewellery. It was astounding and it made me realise that I had become quite fond of forgetting what I owned and surfing the net to acquire more. I have a pair of jeans for every day of the week, enough lipsticks to last me a lifetime, and so much unopened skincare! Yet when there is a sale, I scramble to see what I will get instead of stopping and reminding myself of what I already have.
This will have to stop this year.
5. Embrace the ME-time and take more time to take care of myself
Don’t get me wrong, me-time doesn’t mean that you are not spending time with someone else as well. Example I’ve found that one of the ways to unwind after a work day is to watch some Netflix, just because the hubby is watching it with me doesn’t mean that it’s not me-time. By relaxing, my stress levels are stabilised or decreased and I’m actually taking care of my sanity and (indirectly) that of my hubby.
Me-time is important, without some time for yourself to do whatever is selfishly just for you then you are going to be miserable.
And lest we forget, taking care of oneself is different for numerous persons. I’ve recently received a comment that I’ve stopped taking care of myself because I don’t do my hair the same way and I’ve limited the times during the week I wear makeup. But to me that is not taking care of me, as I am more concerned with letting my hair hang loose and clearing away my acne. My me-aims are to squeeze in more exercise, drink more water, make oats for breakfast and a salad for lunch, incorporate more greens in my meals, do my nails once in a while, express my views on this blog more because I feel so guilty abandoning it!
It’s useless trying to take care of others and trying to please others and forgetting yourself. At the end of the day the only person who you will be letting down is yourself, and YOU matter.
Stay tuned for the return of this blog!