Before I get started, I just want to say that I hope you have all had a truly wonderful holiday season, with time spent with family, friends and loved ones. I hope, like me, you’ve eaten too much (c’mon, that chocolate isn’t going to eat itself now, is it?), and enjoyed infinite quantities of questionable Christmas TV. If you’ve gotten to the point where you are very seriously attempting to calculate whether or not Michael Bublé can afford to only surface for 1/12 of the year, sing a few Christmas sing-songs and then crawl back into his cave (multi-million dollar home) for the year without going broke, then perhaps you are experiencing the on-set of post-Christmas boredom. (Note; by my workings, I think he probably could, given his festive popularity doesn’t dwindle in years to come, which I highly doubt it will.)
New Year’s Resolutions have, in my mind, always been slightly over-rated, and near impossible to (A) come up with and then (B) stick to for any more than about 3 days. I remember that in January 2018, almost 12 months ago, I promised myself that I was going to limit my coffee intake, due to my naive concerns that caffeine was going to be the end of me. Three days in, after using a simple count-up app on my Apple Watch to monitor the number of cups of coffee I had per day, I got scared at the number (26, if I’m not mistaken), and cleared it back to 0, effectively lying to myself, but making myself feel so much better simultaneously. A little lie never hurt anybody…
Then, summer exams rolled around, and coffee wasn’t a luxury — it was a necessity. And then September started, and college commenced, and coffee became a staple of my balanced diet: fruit, veg, protein and caffeine; what can I say? Limiting my coffee intake was an idea made with the best of intentions, but was simply impractical and, frankly, unnecessary. I have around 2 cups a day now, and that’s perfectly average in the UK, thank you very much.
*Slinks away to a Starbucks and orders a double chocolate chip frappe with two shots, please, and no, no extra cream, thanking you kindly*
And so, my New Year’s resolutions for 2019…
Mindfulness, for want of a better term, is becoming pretty trendy these days. Everyone wants to be more at peace with themselves, relieving anxiety and day-to-day stress with a regular, consistent pattern of relaxation and mindfulness. Last January, I pledged to join them. And failed.
I think, in retrospect, the primary factor for my failure was the lack of regularity in my year. I had exams, uncertainty around my future education placement, and no regular daily routine, which made it extremely difficult to maintain a mindfulness program. Having started at college now, and having consequently developed a daily routine, I hope to incorporate mindfulness sessions into my morning and evening routines, in the hopes that it will help me to control my often-necessary anxiety, and build on strategies for managing stress. I find it difficult to motivate myself to incorporate self-led mindfulness sessions into my day, so I’m going to use an app, Calm, to help me. Calm has all sorts of programmes, to help you meditate, relax and sleep, as well as focus when studying or working. I’m hoping that, with the help of the Calm app (and the premium subscription payment), I will stay on-track with meditation, and make it a key part of my daily routines. I’ll keep you informed with how it’s going, both here and over on my Twitter.
Do … Less?
For all of its low moments — and trust me, there have been a few –, 2018 has, on the whole, been the year in which I’ve had the most fun. (DIRTY MINDED WEIRDO — GET YOURSELF UP OUT OF THE GUTTER. NOW.)
I’ve attended parties, and yes, my use of the verb “attended” in that context does automatically nominate me for Nerd of the Year, and also for an award in the sub-category He Shouldn’t Go to Parties He’s Too wordy. I digress…
I’ve attended parties, completed exams and, if I say so myself, got pretty good grades too, started at college and made countless new friends. It has been an amazing year. However, as it has begun to draw to a close, I find myself wondering whether or not I need to evaluate how much STUFF I’m doing. Whilst studying for my A-levles, being Chair of the student Representative group at college, progressing with sport, volunteering for a charity and keeping up a rather hectic social life, I think it’s time to be sensible, and really evaluate the balance between study and social, as well as extracurricular. This involves one of my greatest flaws: saying no. In 2019, I need to gain the confidence and the ability to say no, when necessary. I’m offered so many amazing opportunities, and I appreciate all of them so much, but sometimes, for your own mental well-being and time management, you just have to say no to someone. And that’s fine, and understandable — so long as it’s justifiable –, so I need to accept that, and start putting myself first, making sure I stand up for myself and don’t over-do things to the extreme.
Enjoy Being Young
I’ve never sounded more like a wistful pensioner in my entire life, but you’ve got to start practicing at some point, right?
At the end of 2019, I will turn 18-years-old, becoming under UK law, an adult. This is terrifying, not for me, but for everyone around me. This *points at self* should NEVER be allowed to become an adult. It’s just not safe.
I don’t quite know what exactly I should do to fulfil this resolution, but I want it to be there, all the same. I want to enjoy my last year of being a child, because ultimately, I’m never going to be a child again. Things seem so much more serious and important once you’re an adult, and whilst I recognise that on my 18th birthday, no one’s going to flick a “you must be serious now because you’re old enough to take in your own Tesco home delivery now” switch, it kind of feels that way, a year in advance. So, this year, I’m going to enjoy being 17. That doesn’t mean I”m going to be reckless: the alcoholic in me isn’t going to emerge in mid-April (bc lol he already has…!), but I’m just going to live every moment in the here and now, enjoy what I can, and take advantage of everything I have, and the things I choose to do.
I don’t know — maybe this sounds cliche and rambling, although we all know that cliches and rambling are my two finest specialities in life. But, hopefully, it makes sense to you, whether you’re fast-approaching your step into the adult world, or are looking back on it from beyond. (OK I worded that like it’s a jump into the unknown … is it?!)
Fact of the day: New Year’s resolutions are named as such due to their tendency to begin at the start of the new year (conventionally 1st January, but I suppose technically, a year starts when you want it to, as it’s simply a cycle of 365 days, on an endless loop).
But, why wait the remaining 6 days for the number on the end of the year to increase by one? It seems, on the whole, wasteful to, um, waste a perfectly adequate week. So, as best I can, I’m going to start my resolutions off now — get a head start before the end of the month. You never know: maybe it’ll create increased motivation for 2019, having already taken those first steps. Or, maybe I’ll have given up, and will hence start again on 1st January… we’ll have to wait and (albeit metaphorically) see.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019? Did you stick to your resolutions in 2018 as well (*holds back laughter*) as I did? I’d love to hear!