This year, instead of the usual plans for self-improvement – i.e. do more squats and eat more greens – my resolutions apply the life lessons I learned in 2015. Each one is a promise to care for my mental health and stay close to the things I value.
1. I will invest in the right people
I recently had to cut a lot of negative people out of my life. Fostering friendships with people who didn’t care about me was damaging my mental health. When those toxic relationships fell apart, I found support from a handful of old friends. The experience taught me to only invest in people who care about me as much as I care about them. I’m so grateful to them for grounding me during the tough times. From now on, I will only invest in kind and positive people.
2. I will fit university around my passions
Uni is supposed to get me closer to my dreams, but so far I’m too busy to work on the projects I’m passionate about. As long as I enjoy the journey, I’m in no rush to get to the destination. I will make my university timetable work for me instead of putting my passions on hold to get good grades. If that means studying part time, so be it!
3. I will put my hand up for opportunities
If jobs, internships, or competitions pop up I will go for them with guns blazing. Now with a degree behind me I can confidently apply for any and all opportunities I see, no matter how intimidating they look. You gotta be in it to win it.
4. I will be aware and responsive to my emotional habits
Although you aren’t always in control of your feelings, you are in control of your actions. Sometimes I let small things ruin my day by indulging in irrational thoughts and sabotaging myself by moping. I often chose not to prevent a bad mood swing even if I see it coming. In 2016, I want to be more aware and responsive to my emotional habits by stopping my own destructive mind games. Depending on the scenario I might try finding positive outlets through art or going for a drive, or talking to a friend instead of letting the feelings eat away at my insides.
5. I will be loving in my platonic relationships
Poet Lora Mathis gorgeously articulates the importance of embracing platonic intimacy – that is, showing love and vulnerability to your friends through actions such as hugs and holding hands. Although emotionality is typically seen as weak – or reserved for romantic relationships – I think my strength lies in offering kindness to the people I care about. I don’t want to withhold how much I love my friends. I will take every opportunity to be loving in my platonic relationships.
6. I will take care of myself
I will try to avoid toxic situations, settings, and relationships and instead seek out positive ones. Moving house is my latest act of taking care of myself because I left a toxic setting to create my own positive future. I will spend time with people who make me feel safe and confident, and invest in a lifestyle that gives me time to cook good meals and relax. After not taking proper care of myself in 2015, I realise I have to be just as kind to myself as to others.
I hope that each of these resolutions takes me a step closer to my goal of finding health and happiness in 2016. What are your New Years resolutions? I would love to hear what life lessons you learned from 2015 and how you plan to make 2016 a great one!