At the end of 2022 I wrote a very depressing post about the type of year I had just had. I was in a bad place that day and there was nothing anyone could have said to make me feel better – I really was just as miserable as the post sounded. I felt like my life had spiralled out of control and I quite frankly lost hope. But the moment I published the post, I knew I had to come back at the beginning of January, revisit these thoughts and force myself into a more positive outlook for the new year. So here I am, and this is what I plan on doing to regain control of my life after such a disappointing year.
- Rebuild your confidence and self-worth
It all begins with yourself. I think part of the reason why last year was so difficult for me was because I had let different situations destroy the little self-confidence I had managed to build. At work, in my personal life and even in my role as a mother, my confidence regressed at every little hurdle, every mistake. One way to get out of this defeated mindset is to start paying more attention to the things you are good at, as well as what you love about yourself. I recently spoke on Instagram about my tendency to only see my flaws. Well I’ve now made a habit of writing down my qualities for those times I’m not at my best and need a confidence boost; or even saving screenshots of people’s encouraging messages to me. Also – wear that cropped top. Put on those heels. Get your hair done. Try that bold lipstick. The changes don’t have to be internal only. They can also be external.
2. Beware of the voices you are listening to
… because you will get used to them. What are they saying about the person you are? Are these voices trying to build you up or tear you down? Towards the end of last year I realised I had started seeing myself through the lens of others, in some instances strangers or people who didn’t actually matter to me. If I received hateful messages or had issues at work or confrontations with other people, I would internalise their negative words and attitudes towards me to the point where I would let them have an impact on my self-esteem. And before I knew it, I was giving those opinions way more importance than they actually had. It may be hard right now to believe that you are enough, or that you are deserving of every good thing that comes your way, especially when you’ve messed up or when imposter syndrome kicks in… But trust me, you are.
3. Mend your broken relationships
And for some of those relationships, the ‘mending’ will mean complete detachment – because sometimes the best way to love someone is from afar. But for those that are salvageable, take a moment to assess how much you value the relationship, and what you’re willing to do to fix it. This year and beyond I am determined to be at peace with everyone around me, especially when it comes to the friendships I neglected. Peace will look different from one person to another but in every case it will mean holding no grudges, communicating where necessary and having good intentions. I’m also learning to be a better friend – again, different friendships will call for different improvements. But generally speaking I want to be the compassionate, supportive and caring friend.
4. Start taking small steps towards your goals
I confessed on Instagram the other day that out of the five goals I had for 2022, I had only achieved one. And it wasn’t even the most important one on my list. This year however, I plan to tick most of the boxes. I have outstanding tasks, dormant projects that need to be completed, unfinished business and other things needing my attention. And as much as I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, I wouldn’t like to be in the same position at the end of this year, as I was at the end of 2022. I’d like to have made some progress and not remain stagnant.
5. Prioritise self-care and your wellbeing
This seems like an obvious one, and yet… It’s the one area of my life that lacks consistency and discipline. I entered this new year ready to make a change when it comes to fitness and wellbeing, and so far so good. But it will take more than just good intentions; I’ll need discipline and determination to make a lasting change. Self-care exists to make sure you are in your best physical and mental state, primarily for yourself but also (and ultimately) for everyone else around you. When a woman takes care of her wellbeing, everyone around her feels it and benefits from it. I know my aura is a lot more positive after I’ve taken time to care for myself. Think about how you can prioritise self-care in your day to day life. Sometimes self-care consists of a good pep talk just before a presentation at work; or cutting people off when they start to affect your mental health. There’s definitely more to the act of ‘caring for self’ than what we see being portrayed on social media.
6. Do a financial check up and act on it
One goal I never seem to reach, no matter how hard I try, is my financial target for the year. Last year I had aimed to increase my savings by X amount and finally take my investment journey more seriously. Not only did I fail at that, I also feel like I became even less financially literate than I was in 2020-2021. So what happened? A tendency to neglect that area of my life. Impulse buying. A serious lack of discipline. A lack of vision. No support. This year and beyond though, I have decided that things must change. A monthly financial check up is always a good idea – just going over your expenses and earnings will give you a good idea of what’s required to make that change.
7. De-clutter your space, literally and figuratively
This has always worked for me in terms of getting my life back in order. I de-clutter my space very regularly, every single room in my home, starting with my own. But also my life. I have had to give up on certain things in order to have a clear mind. Certain habits and tendencies were becoming a hindrance. As a content creator, working with brands for example became less of a labour of love, and more of a chore. And I say this knowing fully well I will one day start working with brands again, but I’ll be a lot more selective in doing so. You just know when some things have got to go – things that no longer feed your spirit, things that take up too much space in your life, things you no longer align with… The moment you let them go, although the initial detachment period may feel painful, you slowly start to feel lighter.
8. Find your “why” again
Ever gone through a block? For us creatives, blocks are periods in our journey where we completely lose our mojo. We lose our ‘why’ and just can’t find the inspiration to create and to bring stories to life. Remembering why you started doing something will bring you back to it. If you ever feel lost in this journey through life, whether it’s your career you’re struggling with or just finding your purpose, think about your reasons for wanting to wake up every morning. What actually brings you joy and motivates you? That right there is your ‘why’. Don’t lose sight of it.