2021 through fresh eyes…

I remember New Year’s Eve 2019. I had gone to a friends for a bit after work for some food and drink but then started filling a bit drained so went home before 10pm. I recall sitting in my room feeling a bit down about my lack of NYE energy because I always loved New Year celebrations, and I said to myself “it’s okay, I’ll make up for it next year and party hard.”

Well… little did I know then that life was really that unpredictable and it would not happen. But I guess we’re all on that boat, things were always the same and taken for granted until they weren’t options anymore.

(Dont be fooled though, I wasn’t down this year. I spent the evening having a hot bath and then binge watching the final ten episodes of Vikings so as New Years goes it wasn’t that bad!)

So what am I looking at doing differently for the new year? What goals have I got? Well, you have probably seen my previous post ‘20 things I learned in 2020’… how am I going to keep these lessons firmly going forward?

For starters I made a decision to cut all the negative energy;

Something I posted after 2021 began on social media.

I genuinely cannot be bothered with holding grudges anymore, or disliking people for whatever reason. It literally influenced things a lot more then I realised. For example, before Covid, if I was on my way to the pub to meet friends and one of them text me and told me someone was there that I didn’t get on with – automatically from that moment I am frustrated. I start overthinking how much they are going to annoy me, or might start on me or say something etc etc and that’s before I have even set foot in the bloody pub! So I have basically had about 3 overthought scenarios in my head, a mini panic attack and been riddled with rage before I have even got half way in the Uber and the person in question probably doesn’t even bat an eyelid at the thought of me. In fact, a fair few times these said people didn’t even do anything at all when I got there. Do you see where I’m going with this?

As I have openly expressed in quite a few of my previous posts, in my past I was a very bitter and cynical person. I’m not saying I was intentionally a bully or anything like that. I have never enjoyed hurting people. But we all have been through points in our lives when we enjoy bitching about someone else to make ourselves feel better haven’t we? For me, it was always jealousy. Whether it be looks, popularity or personality, or even something like – people would always defend them even when they were wrong, it was always that I would have something about them that I was jealous of and therefore it made me feel better to be negative about them. But all of this is just a constant overwhelming ball of negative energy that nobody needs on their shoulders.

Now I’m not saying be a mug and let people walk all over you. You don’t have to go up to the guy that two-timed you and hug him or go up to the friend who stabbed you in the back and ask them to go for a drink. But what you can do is move on mentally. Sometimes in life, we do not get closure from the things or people that hurt us. There are so, so many things that have happened to me in my life that have messed me up for years that I will never completely get closure on. So you have to do the next best thing, clear your mind of the negative feelings you have towards them, forgive and move on. (You don’t have to physically go up to them and tell them you forgive them, you don’t even have to see them if you don’t want to, this is just a way for you to move forward for the sake of your mental health).

The more you start letting go of the negative grudges, the more you will notice how little their actions get to you going forward. Trust me on this. And quite frankly, if the person in question does give you a hard time or acts like a childish idiot around you – that’s about them not you, let them crack on with their sad little lives.

I am also setting big goals for myself

I’m not really one for doing resolutions (or keeping them) but I think yearly goals are more realistic and also more motivating. Instead of saying “my New Years resolution is to diet and lose weight” you could say “I hope that by the end of this year I have found healthy alternatives to take care of my body.”

We beat ourselves up way too much on having resolutions that last a week, but we do all naturally sit there and think ‘by this time next year I hope I’ve done this’.

The thing is we forget half of what we hope for throughout the year.. our lives change in various ways for many reasons, you can never predict where you’ll actually be this time next year. This time last year I was just taking on a new role at work and writing was something that kept sitting on the back burner as a daydream. Now I’m doing 2 writing courses and planning out poems, short stories and novels.

It amazes me how much things can change for you in just twelve months.

With this in mind, I decided to write a ‘secret list’ of goals that I would like to achieve by the end of 2021. I then sealed these 21 things (see what I did there?) in an envelope which I will not open until 31.12.21. Why? Because to me, it will be fascinating to see if my hopes and goals A. Were met or B. Are even remotely the same.

A majority of my goals are based around paying things off, starting to finalise writing pieces and send them off for competitions, get to certain points in my studies, read 100 books at least this year etc. But who knows where this year will go as well, we could get to New Year’s Eve and I could read certain parts of my life and think “oh god I don’t even care about that anymore.” It’s an interesting experiment for me!

I am also learning about self-compassion. I’m not sure if I mentioned recently or not, but I am reading a new book about Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff PhD. And it goes through how to show compassion to yourself like you would a friend and gets you to look at yourself differently, not beat yourself up etc. I’m only a section in but one of the first exercises she asks you to do is to pretend you are your own imaginary friend who loves everything about you and see’s your flaws as good things, and write a letter to yourself from this ‘imaginary friend’. I always find these sorts of tasks extremely interesting because they force you to look at yourself in a way you don’t do regularly.

I am going to publish a post review about that book when I have finished it and what I’ve learned from it so I’ll save the rest until then, I may even show that letter I wrote too.

I hope some of these things help whoever reads this to try and keep positive for 2021. I know it is really hard right now when we are still struggling with a pandemic and not quite seeing light at the end of the tunnel yet. But I truly believe we will get there, it’s just a case of when.

Personally, I am now looking at 2021 with a really excited attitude of just how much I can progress in the year. Hopefully this time next year I’ll be telling you how well I did with my goals 😉

One comment

  1. An inspirational piece of writing Zoe. I am about to seal my 21 targets in an envelope, we can compare notes at the end of the year. I too have had many issues over my life and I just wish I could write about them like you are doing. So refreshing. Best wishes. Rob.

    Liked by 1 person

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