Happy New Year! And hello to 2018. The festivities are well and truly over, New Years Resolutions have begun (..and potentially already ended for some) and January is in full swing. For once, I haven't experienced the 'January Blues' and have had a pretty positive start to the year; rather than feeling doom and gloom about starting a whole new year, I'm taking the 'excited to leave 2017' approach and looking forward to the possibilities that 2018 has in store.
With this in mind, here are a few things better left in 2017...
- Worrying about what other people think
An obvious one to start with, but something that continues to creep back year on year! Not caring about others opinions is hard but it is something I feel strongly about. There's nothing more heart-breaking than hearing a friend begin to talk about something they love, before shutting it down just because they're in fear of being judged by others. It’s easy to sit there and say 'but why do you care what others think', when the reality is we all have moments of worrying about what others think, whether it concerns our choice of outfit, taste in music or what we're eating for lunch.
Well I'm done with that. This year I'm pushing passion. If you're passionate about a book, song, place of relaxation or outfit, then you damn well should be. We waste so much time worrying about what others will say that we lose sight of what it is we were so in love with in the first place. And more often than not, no-one will even be thinking about that bright red jacket you decided to brave today, because they'll be too busy overthinking what other people think about them!
- Being pissed off about things in the past
I've always had a problem with forgetting things I later regretted or have been embarrassed about. For some reason, memories of things you wish hadn't happened seem to stick around playing on your mind like a broken record. Well for 2018, I simply don't have time to dwell on the past! This year is about taking each obstacle as it comes and working through it. I am focusing on not looking back so much that it ends up eating away at your happiness.
Drunken mistake? Forget about it. Said something you didn't mean? Learn from it and move on. Something didn't quite go your way? Well there's a deeper reason for that and you just don't know it yet. Fallen over in public? Hunny you gotta be laughing about that not crying... *side note this literally happened to me on NYE and I've since kicked myself for not seeing the funny side sooner*
- Holding grudges
Do I even need to go into this one...? Life is way too short to be spent holding grudges and I don't have the time anymore.
- Negative body talk
Ahh… Social media. We love it and we hate it. I found myself scrolling endlessly through Instagram on a daily basis looking at un-achievable #bodygoals (ew) and un-realistic jet setting lifestyles portrayed by mostly white, blonde models and feeling pretty crappy about myself after. That is, until I stopped and thought to myself “what am I really doing? Why am I spending so much time longing to be something that isn't possible?”
Christmas served me well. With cheese and chocolate on tap, it has definitely had a physical effect, as Christmas usually does. But this year, I've decided not to let a little weight gain make me feel bad. In fact, I deserved to enjoy the feast, without feeling guilty after every Quality Street. So I took to Instagram, unfollowed a large chunk of 'Insta Famous' people I had initially followed for their physical aesthetic (sounds bad but we've all done it) and made a conscious effort to stop comparing myself to others this year. Now this isn't to say I can't appreciate a bikini pic, or a travel photo from Bali, but sometimes just a small dosage is enough to remind me that I still need to go. What's more important, is to focus on self-growth in a healthy way, one that's not tarnished by brainwashing Instagram photos.
- Fear of stepping out of your comfort zone
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" is a quote I saw a few years ago and has since stuck with me. Maybe it's a cliché, but there's a whole lot of truth behind it. Last year was spent throwing myself into a sea of nerve wracking scenarios and taking a number of risks. At the time of each, if I'm being completely honest, I was a sweaty, worried mess. But after... I felt a sense of pride and strength for pushing myself into the unknown and reaping the rewards later.
Sometimes the smallest of things for some, like walking into a party alone, can be a massive stepping stone for others. Whether you're handing in your notice, jumping out of a plane or asking someone out on a date, the possibilities are endless. Don't spend your life thinking ‘what if?’ – spend it taking risks.
- Saying 'YES' to things you don't actually want to do
If you've never seen The Magic of Not Giving a F*** Ted Talk, then you really ought to pause reading this and watch it...
Life changing stuff right? If you enjoyed the video, the book to match is also a must-read and travelled with me for every commute leading up to Christmas.
The main thing I took away from Sarah Knight was how much of my life I had spent agreeing to things I didn't actually want to do. At certain times last year, every night of the week was filled with at least something that I had to attend or get done. And while a busy lifestyle is what I generally prefer, it got to the point where I felt overwhelmed and noticed that I wasn't having enough 'me time'. I was losing time on doing the things I love, to do things that I was only half-heartedly there for.
There will always be something we do for others out of principle or responsibility but for the most part, it's a lot easier and hassle-free to say 'no' to things than we might think. If you don't want to go to a work-do because you'd rather have a glass of wine on the sofa, wearing fluffy socks in front of Dancing On Ice, then saying 'no thank you' is what you should do. The reality is, nothing terrible will actually happen by turning down an offer. And that way, everyone's happy.
- Finding excuses for not going to the gym
If you don't plan on getting into a fitness regime this year, then you might as well stop reading now. But if getting fit is part of your goals for 2018 then an ideal starting point is to ask yourself why your regime last year ended so early on.
Yep. We've all been there. 'New Year, New Me'... and about 3 weeks into your gym membership you've suddenly found a reason for every day of the week as to why you can't make spin class. Well 2018 isn't going to be a 2-minute wonder on the exercise front. This year is going to be the year for making a workout schedule and sticking to it.
I'm not an expert telling you how much or little to do a week, but having a weekly plan of what you'd like to achieve is an ideal way to keep on top of your regime. Feeling a little tired or having a delayed train isn't an excuse to say 'oh well' about exercise I'm afraid. I've been there enough times to realise that one excuse leads to another and before long ends up demolishing your routine altogether. In fact, I've become a positive promoter of arguing against working late at the office and actually taking time out to exercise and clear your head! That being said, it's never going to be the end of the world if your TRX class is sacrificed for a meal with an old friend. But keeping an eye on the balance between the two is the best way to make the most of a healthier, fitter 2018.
What are you leaving behind in 2017?
All my love, Luisa x