Why we shouldn’t let 2018 affect how we live

‘Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time.’

The first day of our 365-day calendar can seem poignant, it symbolises a new beginning to re-iterate the same resolutions we’ve all been holding for the last couple of years, ignoring the likelihood that we will still maintain that uncompleted resolution this time next year. I say this not to depress or discourage those who hold resolutions, for some these goals are fulfilled, but if we’re honest the majority of us fail to create these ‘new habits’, many of which we align with our ‘ideal self’.

However, I have decided this year to not beat myself up about completing my resolutions. I believe we all have this vision or idea of our ‘perfect’ selves, an individual who can perhaps play an instrument or works-out every day and happens to be bilingual. However, we always seem to be chasing it, never quite happy or satisfied with ourselves, always feeling that we could do better. My point is that although the New Year can be a great time to reflect on the triumphs of the year and successes of the future, it can also be an incredibly toxic time. A time when we beat ourselves up for not taking opportunities that came our way this past year or feeling that others seem to be doing much better than us, judging by the very “accurate” insight we have into people’s’ lives via their Instagram feed.

I have decided to make an effort to avoid these “toxic” thoughts, as multitudes begin the year by posting carefully curated images of them at the gym or their new meal plan consisting of a ‘too-aesthetic-to-eat’ piece of avocado toast. It may appear as if I am jealous, and you would be correct. I wish I was the type who could summon the energy to attend the gym every morning (fun fact: I have never once stepped inside the perimeters of a gym, not even by mistake!), or that I had the culinary skills and tools to create courgette spaghetti, but unfortunately it’s not who I am currently, maybe one day, but not now.

However, I do have one resolution this year, which isn’t very specific but can be summarised to me personally by simply writing ‘mental health’ in my notebook. Mental health is something which I have been privileged enough to have not suffered with for the majority of my life however, it has begun to rear its ugly head in the last couple of years and seemed to reach a boiling point in October of 2017. The other day as I was getting ready to say goodbye to my 2017 diary I fell across a page which I had written at the beginning of the year; in black ink was recorded:

2017

  • Work hard
  • Mental health
  • Educate myself
  • Risks, challenge e.t.c

Upon reading this I couldn’t help but feel dreadfully guilty and disappointed, like I had let the “1st of January 2017, Mila” down, that she would look at the current me and think “Really, did you even try?” Because if I’m honest I haven’t fulfilled any of my 2017 resolutions, perhaps excluding ‘work hard’, but even in regards to that I still truthfully could have worked harder. I procrastinated the majority of my time viewing various YouTube content when I could have been increasing the level of my productivity, despite many of my favourite YouTubers bringing me much joy.

In 2017 I feel as if I pretty much remained in my comfort zone, taking very few risks as I have done for the rest of my entire nineteen years on this planet. That being said, my perception of risk-taking is the actions of the archetype bad-girl in a 90’s teen movie, whereas I’m learning to appreciate and acknowledge the risks I take creatively, which is an area I tend to forget. I also failed to address my mental health and instead I simply ignored it, naively thinking that faking it would eventually eliminate it. Despite this, I really do believe in the mantra ‘fake it till you make it’, which I credit to my increase in confidence over the years. However when it comes to anxiety, faking doesn’t tend to help, it only makes you worry just as much, for fear it will become worse once you are forced to accept it as a genuine problem.

I have decided this year to simplify my resolutions, as perhaps I will never be considered as a ‘risky’ or ‘spontaneous’ person, but I definitely cannot begin to work at that until I have my anxiety in check, and by that I mean attempting to embrace, accept and understand it, rather than conflict with it. Therefore this year my resolutions will simply read:

2018

  • Mental health

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and if you are comfortable enough, feel free to share your thoughts on 2018 in the comments below!

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