It’s that time. It’s the start of a new year and it’s the perfect time to press the reset button and make some promises to yourself.
I know you can technically reset at any point during the year but there’s a special momentum when it comes to the end of the year. Setting new goals and making changes at new year becomes a little extra exciting and all so inspiring.
After a rougher start to the year than I expected (getting a horrible virus and being ill for 9 days), I’m so ready to press that reset button. I’m busy planning the year away, deciding where I want to be, what I want to do, who’s going to support me through it and using these notes to set myself goals. Check out my top tips on setting goals and making your dreams come true here.
But goals don’t have to be business or achievement related. Personal goals are just as, if not more, important. They reflect the journey you’ll embark on to get from the person you are today, at the beginning of the year, to the person you are at the end of the year. This journey might not be easy. There might be hiccups along the way. But, make it easier on yourself.
Be kind to yourself.
To do this, I’ve put together a list of resolutions, or promises, for yourself this year. Promises that will give you the best chance of achieving everything you want to this year. Promises that are kind to you (because not every New Year’s resolution needs to be about losing weight and fitting society’s beauty standards).
These promises will kelp you embrace who you are as an individual. Here are…
You are so important, more important than you’ll ever realise. If you do anything this year, be sure to look after yourself. Take care of your mental and physical health. Do what makes you happy. Surround yourself with people you align with and who support you. This is probably the most important promise on this list, and a promise that could summarise the other nineteen easily.
Whether you jet-set somewhere faraway or look for adventures a bit closer to home, giving yourself the opportunity to learn and grow as a person is so important. Embrace the unexpected, the unknown, and take a little time out of your day-to-day routine. You never know what you might experience. For tips on how to add adventure to your UK winter, check out this blog post.
Yes, if you haven’t solo travelled before, it can be a little daunting. But, I promise you – it is so so so worth it! (If you’re still not sure if it’s worth it, let me try and persuade you in this blog post). Solo travel gives you complete freedom to be completely independent. You set the itinerary, you make the rules. Only through completely removing myself from relying on others did I become the person I am today. Solo travel really pushes you out of your comfort zone and can be challenging, but it is very literally life-changing. Start by having lunch by yourself, then spend a day alone. Before you know it, you’ll be on a solo world tour!
How will you get to know yourself if you don’t spend time by yourself?
If you haven’t been solo travelling yet, 2020 is your year. If you have been solo travelling, give yourself the privilege of doing more of it this year.
Whether you’re with the love of your life or single, embrace it.
Don’t depend on anyone to make you happy. You should look within yourself to find happiness and contentment before you look to others. If you’re single, find that happiness within you and embrace the ‘freedom’ that comes with being alone.
If you have someone to share your life with already, embrace them and enjoy being able to share!
There is no ‘better’ relationship status to have – each have their time and place in your life. Celebrate whoever life has thrown at you!
Life is not all work, work, work – you have to play too.
I was lucky enough last year to be able to pursue two passion projects of my own: my first WMGT print collection (check it out here), and my VW van conversion (watch the YouTube series here). Both were creative outlets for me and stimulating my brain in such a way gave me so much joy. The sense of achievement I got after starting out with doodles in a notebook and ending up with a set of finished products and a converted van was indescribable.
Use every ounce of energy inside you to find that fire in your belly and chase it. A new idea, a new job, a new project… if you’re passionate about it, don’t let anyone hold you back.
Feelings and emotions can be, I find, more revealing than misleading.
Are you happy? Do you want to be doing what you’re doing right now? What is good in your life? How are you working on improving the ‘bad’ things in your life? How can you make the most of your strengths to reach your full potential?
A big part of reflection and goal setting is honesty, and being honest with yourself can be terrifying. But you can’t make progress if you don’t know how you really feel, what you really excel at, and also what your limitations are. No matter how comfortable a situation might be, if it’s not adding value to your life, it’s time to change it and move on.
Asking for help is a strength.
Asking for help shouldn’t make you feel ashamed, chip away at your pride or make you feel insecure. It’s a sign that you are ready to solve something discomforting, embrace the challenge, and build the support network around you. Whether you need help from a friend, at work, or from a professional, it is nothing to be afraid of. It is not a sign that you are weak or incapable; in fact, I would say quite the opposite.
Movement releases happy endorphins that make us feel good, not to mention all the other health benefits. Whether it’s a HIIT workout, a slow walk to the park, a hike up a mountain or a stretchy yoga session, I promise you that moving more will make you feel good. Start with one step, and then take it from there.
Before you go to bed at night, write down, tell someone or think about three things you are grateful for that day, or in your life in general. People, events, opportunities, little things… start to recognize your appreciation for them regularly instead of taking them for granted. There are things to be grateful for even on a bad day, and the more grateful you are, the more positive your outlook on life will be. Try it, and see for yourself.
Fuel your body with the good stuff. Eat your greens, drink plenty of water, and check that you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. I’m not suggesting going on a strict diet or counting calories, but try and balance eating well with ‘treating yourself’. I know I always feel better (mentally and physically) when I’ve had the right nutrition.
Stimulate your brain and allow yourself to flourish. Learning doesn’t stop at school unless you allow that to happen. Choose a new hobby or skill and practise, practise, practise. I really enjoyed doing two photography courses and having a skiing lesson in Niseko this year and improving the skills I’d taught myself before. If you don’t want to learn a new skill, choose a topic you want to learn more about and do some research! Become an expert in something you love.
If we don’t look after it, who will? Buy a reusable water bottle and a reusable coffee cup and start taking them on your travels with you. Carbon offset your flights (if you have to fly). Give something back to the planet and the community that allows you to live your life the way you choose.
Whether you want a new camera, a new computer or a big adventure, start saving now! Look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves. Look at your finances and work out how much you can put away into a savings pot or account each month. It won’t be long before you reach your goal and you’re able to decide what to save for next.
Life is too short to not tell people you care.
It’s so easy to take those around for granted, but we shouldn’t. These are the people that add joy to our lives, that give life meaning and purpose. They support us on our journeys through life and help us achieve our goals.
Whether you buy flowers, write a note, or simply spend some time with your family and close friends, it’s so important to tell and show them that you love them.
I cannot stress enough how easy it is to get sucked into your phone and miss the life that is happening around you. Despite their benefits, technology and social media have had a huge negative impact on our lives and well-being… Read more on that here.
Spend some real face-to-face time with your closest friends and families and make memories. Look up from your phone and take in the view. Take a few minutes by yourself to just breathe and think instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram.
You are your own, worthy individual. You’re unique, special and loved very much. You will not gain anything from comparing yourself to others on Instagram.
What you see on Instagram is an edited version of life. It’s the best parts: the best pictures, the best views, the best activities, the best angles. It’s not the day-to-day routine that you experience. These people have a life no different to yours.
Your success is yours; own it. It does not depend on other people’s successes.
If you’re ill and you don’t rest, you won’t recover. If you’re overworking and overexerting yourself and you don’t rest, you’ll burn out.
There is nothing to gain from ‘powering on’ and pretending you are a machine. Your body needs recovery time. I know that I am particularly guilty of not letting myself rest enough – from the time I fell asleep at the wheel in Arizona, to very recently when I couldn’t shift a virus because I was pushing my body too hard, and all the other instances before and between those instances.
Working too hard nearly cost me my life. Don’t let yourself be in the same situation I was in. I was simply very lucky.
Bodies and minds need time to recover, and taking a month off in 2019 was the best thing I’ve done in a long time. Even if you can’t take a whole month, make sure that you give your mind and body time to recover. They’re both extremely powerful, but they only stay that way if you rest them properly.
This year, you must promise to take care of yourself, and learn when to stop.
Take 20-30 minutes out of your day to completely immerse yourself in a book.
The mental and physical benefits of reading are well-researched. Not to mention the fact that reading gives you a chance to build some ‘you time’ into your daily routine.
Give yourself the opportunity to be exposed to new cultures, new places and new people. Whether it’s a new restaurant, a new walk to go on, or a new country to explore in its entirety, enjoy the experience. New places present new challenges, which push us further out of our comfort zones more than familiarity does.
Be kind to yourself and to those around you (people that you know and people that you don’t know).
We live in a world with so much tension and hatred already; don’t add to it. Build each other up, and help each other become the best versions of ourselves. We should all be celebrating each other, not putting each other down.
Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours shine any brighter.
Treat others as you would want to be treated. And on that note, you must be kind to yourself too. You’re human, not bionic! Don’t beat yourself up over a bad day or something that didn’t go quite right… pick yourself back up, make an action plan, and try again.
2020 is your year.
What are they? I’d love to know!
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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I can’t do this without you.
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