New Year 2018. Wow. Where has time gone? After looking back at last year’s goals, I’ve been thinking very hard about whether I want to set myself any 2018 goals or not. And, you know what? I don’t. I’m going to be kinder and focus on some aspirations instead. Is this just semantics? I don’t think so.
Keeping it simple
A line from the James Bond film, Spectre, which we watched recently, has stuck with me, “You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane.” This feels exactly like me. I start doing something and then an email, text, social media, or Messenger notification pings up and I stop to read and, often as not, deal with the interruption. And then I have to try and pick up the thread of whatever I was doing. This happens on repeat, all day, every day, whether I’m working, blogging, reading, gardening, or even just trying to take 10 minutes to sit and do nothing. I don’t know why I feel I need to attend to every interruption, it’s such a tiring way of living. So this year I’m aspiring to stop reacting instantaneously every time. Easier said than done, but I’m going to try.
Ah, self-care, the buzzword and hashtag of 2018 already. Don’t we all know at least one friend who seems to be lit from within? Well I want to be her too. And I’ve come to realise that means taking some time out for me, whether it’s painting my nails (just not before a stint in the garden, lesson learned!), upping my masking game, taking a candle-lit bath, or sitting quietly for 10 minutes every day to reflect on things. I need to make time for myself, whatever that means, and do it. I’m aspiring to change my script.
Last year quite a few people let me down, sometimes on purpose, sometimes thoughtlessly. And I spent a lot of time agonising over why and dreaming up convoluted scenarios of how I could deal with these situations. None of it helped and in fact it took my focus away from what is really important to me, ie, my family. So this year I’m aspiring to discard all those toxic so-called friends and acquaintances, and focus on those who truly have my back.
This is a hard one for me to write. I hate saying No to anyone for anything. What if I come across as hard or unhelpful? But I’ve often landed myself with tasks that I’ve struggled with or taken on projects that, with hindsight, I shouldn’t have accepted. And it’s put pressure on me that I just don’t need. So many people are (frequently) just looking to offload their own troubles or burdens, but this year I’m aspiring to start saying No, on a selective basis, to preserve my own sense of worth if nothing else.
Asking for help
One of my clients writes frequently about perfection being a myth and that we should stop being so hard on ourselves. This is also true of me. I need to accept that sometimes I can’t do everything, and I don’t know all the answers. And I’ve come to realise that perfection isn’t attractive anyway, it’s our flaws and vulnerabilities that make us accessible and real. This year I aspire to learn to ask for help, from my family, friends, colleagues, with whatever challenge, be it ever so small, that I’m facing.
Why aspirations and not goals?
I don’t want to set myself targets that I’ll feel bad about if I don’t meet so this is why I’m choosing aspirations rather than goals. Some would say I’m splitting hairs and this is just a matter of semantics but words have such power, for me anyway. So this year, rather than piling on pressure from the very beginning, I’m aspiring to start 2018 with a feeling of optimism and hope instead. Who’s with me?
What are your aspirations for this year?
A GUEST POST BY LISA MCLACHLAN