As the year draws to a close we are all currently suspended, bloated and restless, in that post Christmas pre-New Years limbo. I feel myself entering the familiar bubble of nostalgia and deflation that always settles over me at this stage, an irrational yearn for the year that we’re sending off and the overwhelming prospects of the new one. For many the New Year presents a fresh start, which is always appreciated even if you feel you haven’t particularly screwed up the previous one. An alternative perspective is always something to be welcomed as you never know what doors it will open, what knowledge can be obtained from it, who you will meet or where it will lead you. But when you’re still quite attached to the events that happened in the previous one, getting that slate wiped clean can be like the barmaid clearing your glass away when you’ve still got a sip left.
Still, a year is a long time to hold onto something, a generous amount of time to revel in the beauty or feeling that something or someone provides. And if it’s meant to stick around, it’ll hold your hand and jump with you into the next phase, and if not it’ll be swept up amongst the rubble of mistakes and lessons learnt that have gathered over the past twelve months. This time is for re-evaluating, for breaking habits and for clearing cobwebs. For un-gluing yourself from sticky situations and for piercing the tacky film of stagnancy that has perhaps coated you through lack of stimulation in the winter months. So whether you’re ready to let go of the past year and its inhabitants or not, let’s set goals for the new year- because striving to better yourself for both you and those around you is always a healthy resolution.
For the first time in three years, ‘losing weight’ won’t be at the top of my list. There are no diet limitations, changes, or body alteration goals in my NYR. May I remind you all (and mostly me for I am super guilty of not practicing what I preach) to try your best to ignore New Years diet culture for it’ll be rammed down our throats harder than the Reeces peanut butter cup that I just rammed down mine.
Being healthy and able should be a standard of human living and is always encouraged, but the manic desperation in which we all try to burn off our extra Christmas ‘padding’ should be closely monitored. I feel immense waves of guilt over everything I eat, regardless of whether it’s Christmas or not, unhealthy or healthy- eating is paired with a sense of wrongdoing but that’s my personal battle. There is no time limit on wellness, and should be taken at everyone’s own pace and in their own way. Don’t feel that from the 1st of January you have to completely ruin yourself or deprive yourself of indulgences. Feeling good comes from the health of your mind, and the rest will follow.
So without further ado and in no particular order—–my very unofficial list of goals for 2019.
Delete Facebook and minimise time on Instagram.
I technically cheated a little with this one as I deactivated my Facebook just under a week ago after a period of not using it for three or four weeks. It’s gone and I’m so relieved. FB has just become a breeding ground for unwanted political opinions, shit videos, pointless scrolling and mind numbing repetition and there is no longer a place for it in my life. I will continue to use Instagram as it does actually provide me with some inspiration, but I will limit my usage and will no longer give attention to the search pages filled with gorgeous people with gorgeous bodies in expensive gym wear who I don’t know, and I’ll be unfollowing anyone that messes with my mind.
For one whole year, I will not purchase one single item from a high street store. Underwear and pjs exempt.
This will be an interesting one and I’m actually quite excited about it. After being exposed to the harmful nature of fast fashion and my feelings about consumerism and our habit of wastefulness, I have decided that for 2019 I will only be purchasing second hand and handmade clothing. I think it’s a pretty achievable goal as I’m not a massive shopper anyway and love a charity shop; it’ll just take a bit of will power to ignore the huge red sale signs that litter our high streets. I will however buy new undies and pjs as I’m all for sharing is caring and all that but nah thanks. I will also be bolder with my choices, dressing more for my mind than for what I think is ‘appropriate’ for my ‘body type’.
Make a conscious effort to minimise plastics in all areas of my life.
I have already started on this one by buying my keep me cup and water bottle in the summer, but I’d like to put more effort into always making sure I am carrying a reusable carrier bag, a fork and if I am planning on getting a salad buffet then using my own tupperware. As someone who is constantly travelling and eating on the go, buying food without packaging will be a little more of a challenge but I will try to seek alternative options if it’s possible. There are really no excuses for people to still be buying plastic water bottles when there are so many excellent options out there for reusable ones.
Take more and better quality photos.
I absolutely suck at taking photos. I have done so many incredible things over the years, been to so many amazing places and really have nothing to show for it apart from the memories in my head and my epic postcard collection. So I made a vow to buy a better camera (which turned out to be the decision of getting a new phone WITH an excellent camera, I’ve made the leap from Iphone user to android, eek) and I must say my pic taking has improved. I am currently in New York with my dad for Christmas and New Years, and the background blur effect is ruling my world. I want to take more photos of people and the things I love, because I do actually love looking back at photos, especially ones I’ve printed out and stored in an album, so will making an effort to do more of that.
Make new friends.
Due to my job, keeping healthy friendships is and can be hard as I am away so often and miss so much. I also feel that I haven’t really found my group yet, I have some really good people in my life but I feel like I haven’t found friends that have the same mentality as me, the same ideas and thoughts. Who have the same aspirations or interests as I do, or who want the same things from a friendship as me. I often feel lonely and isolated and with a feeling that I’m missing out or that I’m out of place. And for someone who doesn’t really drink or party and can be quite anxious and unsociable, I will try my hardest to make an effort to put myself out there and find my tribe.
Read more books.
It’s always on the list, but I’d like to change the way in which I choose a book. I am SO guilty of judging a book by its cover, literally, and will often only choose books I find aesthetically pleasing as opposed to what the storyline might offer me. I do work mostly off recommendations though so if anyone has any please send em my way.
In 2018 I read a fair few goodens such as, Sweet Caress by William Boyd (my favourite), The Little Big Things by Henry Fraser, Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (loved the movie and loved the book even more), A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, In The Nick Of Time by Nick Berryman (my granddads autobiography) and so many more that I can’t remember. I am currently reading Patti Smiths’ ‘Just Kids’ which I am absolutely devouring and could not recommend enough- I bought it at a tiny second hand book stall by central park and it has completely altered my perspective already and planted exciting ideas in my head. It’s nostalgic, it’s creative, it’s romantic, educational and brilliant. Please read.
Work more and save more.
To be fair I have been away at sea for 6 months this year, and have had very little down time. But I want to utilise the passion I feel for my new career path and make the most of enjoying my time away. I have a few prospects in the pipeline which I am massively excited about but won’t say just yet in case it all goes tits up. And although saving money is hard when you have ants in your pants and the urge to explore keeps you up at night- I am still good with my pennies and would like to continue adding to my piggy bank in hopes of securing my own little piece of property in the near future.
Learn Italian- FINALLY.
This has been lingering around on my list for so long now and I’d really like to upgrade it to ‘perfecting Italian’. I was due to go on my course, which I’ve already paid for, in October just gone but I had to postpone it due to work. So I will make plans to hopefully attend the long awaited course in the warmer months of 2019, as my limited knowledge of the language of love swirls around in my mind like a broken record and I’d like to be able to start stringing sentences together instead of only knowing how to order my dinner…
Set myself a physical challenge and if possible, try to get involved in a sport.
In 2017 I hiked the Salkantay mountain to Machu Picchu and did a fair few hikes on the peaks of Rio, but 2018 was a bit uneventful in the way of physical challenge apart from hiking Table Mountain and completely a 24 mile walk in Edinburgh. So in 2019 I’d like to hike the UK’s three peaks, Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike, and I like the idea of completing Everest Basecamp at some point during the travels around India I have loosely planned on doing on one of my leaves.
And again, the drawbacks of having a life at sea is not being able to commit to anything permanent, but I have always loved the idea of rowing and would really like to finally give it a go so will be trying to hunt down a club that will let me join in membership free whenever, if ever, I am in the UK. I also bought a nifty little tent a few years back but have hardly used it, so will be making plans to camp more in the summer months.
Try to self heal.
When I was 16/17 I was at my most confident. I had a huge collection of cool, second hand clothes, I experimented with looks and wasn’t afraid to try new things. I was slightly hippy, spiritual, loved all sorts of music and had advanced, liberal ideas that were ahead of my time and that I greatly enjoyed. But when I hit 18, I gained weight and the whole world let me know it.
Everything started going wrong and everything I had worked towards starting slipping. I got too big for all my clothes and the ones that did still fit I threw away with the mindset that I could no longer pull them off. I turned to leggings and baggy jumpers to hide my weight gain, took 0 photos of myself and barely socialised in the fear of people noticing the change. My confidence took a massive blow and I went completely the other way, losing too much weight and ending up in hospital. Three years down the line I am still suffering heavily with the consequences and although I am very open on my blogs, there’s a huge part of my life which I still find difficult to discuss and reveal, but in light of my resolutions post I would like to make the goal of self healing.
I will, on the advice of others, attempt to go to therapy to deal with my struggles in the search of finding better ways to cope and forming a healthier relationship with food and body image. I would like to feel more confident to express myself, wear the clothes I’d actually like to wear, listen to music and start seeing the point in letting myself be artistically free again. I am usually so wrapped up in trying to maintain a steady state of happiness that I am often scared to rock the boat by adding in new things or delving deeper into my creativity for fear of anxiety or disappointment. I like to keep a clear head and I find that creativity can often lead to over thinking. But I would like to explore more areas of life and perhaps regain some, even if only a little, of the confidence I lost.
Travelling to new places needs no mentioning on my list as it is part of both my working and non-working life, exploring the norm for me and seeking adventure goes without saying. Doing more to help others, be more kind and compassionate, being there to listen and help the people in my life even I don’t receive the same treatment back.
Try not to let things hurt me so deeply and if they do try to mend the wounds quickly, try not to enter into relationships with negative twists and leave behind those that do. Be thankful for the people in your life who care about you and who make you feel worthy, even if they aren’t in your life as much as you’d like them to be. Laugh more, learn more and love more. And most importantly be appreciative for everything you do have and be grateful for the ability to keep on progressing.
Happy New Year, let’s make it a good one.