It’s no secret that 2016 was a pretty terrible year for most people (as well as some countries), and I’m no exception to that. Last year was definitely not the easiest, but being my usual positive self, I would rather look at it as a year of learning opportunities and chances to refocus myself.
I’ve actually found myself to be thankful for all that has happened last year as they moved me (although a bit forcibly) to grow in different aspects of my life. I came to cherish my relationships with my family and friends more. I actually took the time to step back from the busy lifestyle to think about what I really wanted. I was starting to finally distinguish between things that helped me progress towards my goals and those that were, to put it plainly, non-value adding activities. I even experienced and overcame grief, anger and anxiety! (Well, “overcoming” is the more accurate term. Haha!) So, really — 2016 was not as terrible as it seemed at all!
New Year, New Outlook
Over the holidays, when my mom asked me what my new year’s resolution was, I couldn’t really give her a concrete answer. I wanted, rather, to encapsulate the things I learned from the past year into new perspectives that I would guide me in this new year. After some reflection, I wrote up some of them and now I want to share them with you.
Know Yourself, Know the Goal
Last year, I went through the usual dilemma of a 20-something: figuring out what I really wanted to do. The part that made it more difficult for me to do that was the image of what I thought a goal should be. At the time, it seemed like such a huge thing that should supposedly be your plan for the rest of your life. Now, I’m not saying that life goals are unnecessary, but I learned that it’s fine to not have it all figured out right now. That’s when I realized that goals don’t have to be so big — actually, the more specific they are, the easier it will be to create a concrete plan in moving towards those goals.
I learned as well that creating these goals is a lot easier after getting to know myself better. Simple things like knowing what truly makes me happy, what things I’m willing to work hard for, and what habits I’m keeping that aren’t good for me. All these helped me formulate my goals for different aspects of my life.
Do Everything with Purpose
It became clear to me after looking back in my past year, that I spent a lot of my time doing random things for just short-term happiness. Things like binge-watching TV shows and going out all the time. These aren’t necessarily bad things, but in this new year, I plan to take a new approach: on every decision I make, I’ll ask myself if doing it will bring me closer to my goals. It could go down to even the simplest decisions like: would (impulse) buying a dress really help me with my goal to save up for a new camera? Mmm don’t think so.
This is where having clear-cut ambitions comes in handy. It’s easier to know if certain actions help you or distract you from them. Hopefully, I will be able to keep this perspective with me from now on as well as have my goals become the foundation to all my decisions. Having a deeper purpose for everything I do will not only progress me further to reach my dreams, but also provide me a greater sense of fulfillment.
Plant Your Own Gardens
One of the greatest lessons I learned last year was about creating my own fate. I hadn’t realized it till then but I always assumed that things would just come to me naturally. I’d come to realize that it was such a careless way of living (not to mention a huge waste of time!) I realized that no one was going to fulfill my dreams for me. I had to stop waiting for opportunities to come up to me, and be the ones to make my own. While my earlier point above about doing everything with a purpose promotes passively deciding on things that come, it’s just as important to actively do the things needed to make those dreams come true. It doesn’t even matter if the progress I make day-to-day is not too significant –at least I’m actually progressing!
That’s why I began to despise the belief in horoscopes and the such. I mean, am I really going to just let some sign from the stars decide what happens to me? If it says that 2017 is going to be a terrible year for me, I’m not just going to accept it and just wallow in sadness (especially since the year has just started!) If I want to be happy, then I’m gonna go out and do what makes me happy! Simple as that! Create your own fate, plant your own gardens! ♥
How about you? What are you planning for this new year? Got any 2017 resolutions that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Just leave me a comment below 🙂
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Giselle is the owner and author of Giselle Wanders Off, a travel blog and creative outlet where she captures her adventures at home and abroad in hopes of inspiring others to go see the world as well!