A new year means – for many of us – an opportunity to renew ourselves. We make promises, New Year’s resolutions and build up expectations for what the new year will come to be. It is as if those fireworks on the 31st of December somehow wipe away everything that happened before, provides us with a clean slate and allows us to once again aim at becoming the people that we want to be. On January 1st most of us stand there feeling lighter than the day before. “This year will be the year that I…” we think to ourselves, and in that moment we tend to believe it.
Why shouldn’t we? Perhaps we need an ending in order to start something new, so why not take this newly begun year as an excuse to do everything that we can in order to become the person that we want to be. It is all in our power, when it comes down to it, as long as we can hold on to that sensation of reinvention and second chances.
Dwelling on the life we could have had or on mistakes we have made in the past does us no good, so step number one is to stop. Accept your life the way that it is, the way that it has been and the way that you have allowed it to be. You probably needed all those things that you have gone through, in order to become who you are today. Embrace it, the good and the bad, and allow for it to be part of who you are but also part of your history. Once you have made peace with everything that has happened in the past year and before that – you are ready to go after your dreams.
Ask yourself if you are happy. Are you happy with your job? Your lifestyle? Yourself? If the answer is ‘yes’ then GREAT! Keep building on that. If your answer is ‘no,’ however, then you need to sit down and figure out what it is that makes you unhappy. Finding happiness is not rocket science, but instead it is all about realising what it is that you want and need and what you are currently (and potentially) doing wrong. Who were you five years ago and where did you hope to be today? That is one path you can take in order to put everything into perspective. Upon answering the question, you might remember a dream you had forgotten or realise that your dreams have changed. It happens. If your dreams have changed, what are they now? Everybody needs a dream, so if you have already fulfilled yours, or if they have changed – it is time to find new ones. Having a dream gives you something to fight for.
Now, think about what it is that you want. Not what you need, but what you want. They are not the same, most of the time. I, for example, need to pay my bills and pay back a couple of loans and it is easy to begin thinking that it is also what I want. That those are my priorities. Are they? No. What I want is to write and to become brave enough to refer to myself as a writer. I also want to discover new things and be a good person. I forgot all that last year, when I put all focus on what I needed. What I was supposed to do. I forgot about my dreams and trust me when I say that it did me no favours.
That is my reason for writing this today. I am hoping to inspire you to start this year in the right way, but also to follow through and end it the same. Let this be the year that you honour those New Year’s resolutions and that you focus on what you want in your life. You. Not your family, not your friends. Just you. If you find that happiness within you and if you learn to believe in yourself and to be proud, then people around you will feel good as well. Doing things for others is great, it really is, but so is doing something for yourself. What do you want to achieve this year? Who do you want to be? Go do it. Nobody else can (or will) do it for you.