To be honest I almost didn’t publish this post, but I would be cheating myself if I didn’t, so let’s get 2017 rolling.
New years resolutions are basically grandiose wishes with no plan.
Instead I give each year a theme, this theme guides my decisions, actions and goals for the year. Defining the right theme is and should be challenging but as 2016 didn’t really go to plan, landing 2017’s theme has felt a little like looking for a match during a blackout.
Change was my theme for 2016 and while I got what I asked for, in retrospect it seems I was a bit too vague. First up, knocking over two contracts, a bit of unemployment, a disliked and quickly departed full time job, my first time freelancing for real ( not just on the side), picking up a cool job that, through no-ones fault, fell apart in a fortnight and finally ending the year in back in a full time role in team and workplace that I love (without even having to look for it, and being able to keep all side projects going!) – instability and change might be synonyms in the thesaurus, but that’s not quite what I ordered.
So much career and financial ‘change’ was a bit of a rough ride (that thankfully ended well), wasn’t great for my bank account and made my heart beat a few extra 100 000 thousand beats of anxiety. It wasn’t all bad though. Having a bunch of different interests ( and income streams) has saved my ass, built my skills, entertained me and kept me spoon deep in Ben & Jerry’s more than once in 2016… ( and smiling from billboards from Toowoomba to Perth #lifesgood)
It would be easy to complain at how hard the year has been because of this, and it has been at times, but actually I’m grateful. Change doesn’t always go to plan, and the challenges it presents are great for reflection and growth – honestly, who really wants an easy ride, that would be boring AF. The experiences of this year have taught me a few new tricks and reminded me of a few valuable lessons.
- Trust your intuition – that little voice is generally right.
- Things always work out – but only when you work at it.
- Feeling stuck is literally just a state of mind – He-Man was right “By the Power of Greyskull, I have the Power”. #nailedit.
- No matter what you’re doing or how you’re feeling there’s always good to see and something new to learn – it’s all a matter of perspective.
- Be specific and realistic when planning – and remember that nothing ever goes to fucking plan anyway so control what you can and just roll with it
The biggest reminder though is that change isn’t year long theme, it’s the essence of life.
While my career path was a rollercoaster of change, I don’t feel that much else has changed. I’ve changed housemates once; I’ve changed my underwear about 400 times; I’ve changed some of my perspectives; I’ve worked on changing my self talk ( a successful work in progress) and on changing my social life- just say yes, and do it dude! ( so now I actually have a social life and push myself more to meet new people and do more with friends.. still, more work to do there too)… All this change is positive, but I’ve fallen short of the goals I set out to achieve with the theme of change.
Overall change was meant to be broader, more thoughtful and more progressive. I meant to change a lot more – like my lack of travel and holidays, my financial habits ( well they changed, just the wrong way… smh), my fitness habits and motivations, the amount of time spent online ( I’m sure it’s gone up, not down), there’s a whole list of things to change that I didn’t get to writing. Simply these changes didn’t happen because I didn’t work to make them happen, something I’ve been aware of ( and didn’t change) all through the year.
So, what’s the plan for 2017? My yearly themes come from the sweet spot where reflecting on and learning from the year that was and imagining the year that will be overlap. I’ve really struggled to find my next theme to be honest but, inspired by two friends ( who weirdly have the same name) – one with his bucket lists and goals for the year, the other living his “accumulate experiences not things” philosophy – I’ve finally found the sweet spot.
2017 is the year of experiences – from the sweat of a squash game, the bruises of pole dancing, the wonder of travel, the grind of the club, career growth and success, live music, writing more, cooking more, playtime, physical and mental challenge, learning, laughing, crying, reading, laying on my bed staring at the roof thinking of puppies, watching trees dance in the wind and all else I seek out or am offered.
2016 had some great highlights, but #experience2017 will bring so much more. Maybe “experience more of life” is what I meant by change all along?