Month one of 2023 is officially complete!! January held the familiar feeling of being a 'long month' yet put into perspective time has flown by. I certainly wasn't alone in feeling that this January felt strange and different to previous years. I realised there were hardly any discussions of resolutions and new year goals- maybe we are finally past the 'new year, new me' promises we make and break per annum! It's easy to laugh at our weeklong attempts of exercising more or quitting drinking before ultimately collapsing on the sofa with the leftover festive boxes of Celebrations and a bottle of wine that was saved for a special occasion only to be opened on a random Thursday evening, but there is something inspiring about the determination we have in the early days of the month. We owe it to ourselves to maintain the same confidence year-round and be forgiving of the high standards we attempt to meet.
Instead of challenging ourselves to the same resolutions as we have every year, 2023 is the year we share the same goal as each other- to be kinder to ourselves. We don't need to make changes to our lifestyles out of critiques and self-disapproval, instead we make changes because we want to try something new. Is there something you have been dying to try? Give it a go! The biggest motivator is the drive you feel when you are passionate about something.
It can be as simple as wanting to get some extra sleep. Okay, so create a fun night-time routine with things you enjoy. Do you enjoy reading? Read before bed. Do you love late night walks? Then go for a walk in your loungewear. Maybe you pamper with some skincare and take a magnesium vitamin before bed to help your slumber. Make the goal a joy not a chore.
And so what, if you 'fail'? If the change is causing more negativity than positivity, then it isn't that you can't change, it’s because that change is not suitable for you!
Lifestyle changes should feel beneficial and improve our wellbeing. We need to create goals that make us happy and inspired. So, I, a 20-year-old student, want to share with you my 2023 goals- please remember that these are catered to what brings me joy and they may not resonate with you… that's okay!
Be more spontaneous - I frequently worry that I let my chronic overthinking stop me from doing things I would really enjoy. This year I am going to indulge in the last-minute more. I will book those cheap flights, I will go to that concert, I will say yes to meet my friends. I will let myself enjoy the feeling of following my heart.
Visit more places- I have been living in Newcastle for nearly two years yet I haven't seen so many of the beautiful surrounding areas. I will explore the wonderful places around me and enrich my life with experiences.
Read more books- It's easy for me to use the excuse of a busy schedule to explain why I don't read much. But I love the feeling of getting lost in a book, so I will actively make time for myself to read. Now I have been sparing an hour before bed, where instead of switching off to the sounds of the TV, I sit and lose myself in a good book.
Prioritise myself- I am a people pleaser, I will put anyone and anything above myself as I would rather focus on making other people feel happy. This is a quality I do love about myself, but I want to and deserve to, give myself the same attention and care that I give other people. I am working on this by listening to myself more and learning what I enjoy versus what I don't.
Overall, a lot of my goals this year are about taking small steps on the path of personal growth and self-love. Some days are always going to be harder than others, but these goals make me happy, and I am becoming a much better person through giving myself the opportunities of loving my life.
By Elise Waters
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