Updated: Nov 30, 2021
© Copyright 2021 Artwork by Cordi Neckermann
Usually, New Year's resolutions disappear after a few weeks. They begin well, with every intention of continuing, but by the end of January, they are mostly forgotten. I admit I was pretty close to forgetting mine too, but since I shared my New Year's resolutions in my blog, I made a little note in my calendar for the end of January to check in. I also left a reminder for the end of August. Now, August is not exactly the half way mark for the year, but as a Mum, I find that September has a 'New Year' feeling about it with school starting and new beginnings, so I thought it would be a good point to check in with my New Year's resolutions.
So far, the year has turned out to be just as unpredictable as I expected, which brings about the question on whether my New Year's resolutions may be in need of some adjustments. In case you wish to know how I came up with my New Year's resolutions and read about my two week check in, you can find the links below:
My New Year’s Resolutions for 2021:
Have more Faith
Have more Fun
1. Preserving my Energy
With this New Year's resolution, I wanted to remind myself to be aware of how I spend my energy and identify what drains me and what feeds me. The goal was to make sure I always keep a little extra energy in my energy account, not always fully exhausting myself mentally and/or physically.
I have to admit, introducing better 'house-keeping' rules for my physical energy was difficult at first. Sticking to my self-prescribed physical / resting routine of spending at least 30 minutes in a horizontal position everyday (night time sleep doesn’t count!) was not always easy. There are just too many distractions and little bits and pieces that get in the way. But with a little bit of planning and staying stubborn about my resting regime, I managed to turn it into a healthy habit. The result of this is that now, I find myself teaching my yoga and dance fitness classes almost effortlessly. I have the energy to learn new choreography every week and teach three high intensity dance fitness classes, plus two yoga classes, without feeling physically overwhelmed.
Being conscious of allowing my body sufficient time to rest also came in handy when I received my Covid-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, I had terrible side effects with high fever and body aches, but having good resting habits in place allowed me to return to teaching classes with full energy as soon as possible.
Preserving my mental energy is, and always will be, a challenge for me. Things always seem to sneak in, especially with this pandemic still raging. Making sure I take short 10 minute breaks throughout the day is hard to keep up, but for me it is the most effective way to keep track of my energy levels. Most of the time, I find myself redirecting my focus in these 10 minute breaks. It is simply too easy to slip into focusing on negative news or negative outcomes. I often find myself asking these questions: 'How does this affect me right now? What can I do or how much to I need to do today? Do I need to shift my way of thinking to actually start moving into the right direction and make the progress I want to see?'
I discovered that whatever I focus on is key to managing my energy levels. If I stick with worst case scenarios too long, my energy goes from hero to zero in record time. Holding up that imaginary 'Stop!' sign in my mind and redirecting traffic, is vital for me to stay motivated and inspired. It helps me come up with creative solutions and embrace unexpected outcomes when disaster strikes. And it always does, no matter how big or small.
I also learned that I need some sort of protection mechanism to reduce or stop attention-grabbing content filtering into my system. This goes for any information that comes my way, from TV, written content (digitally or on paper), comments from friends, family or random human beings. Not all information needs to be taken in and processed. I have now allowed myself to ignore things that are not 100% relevant in the moment and that are not constructive feedback I can work with. This has really helped to keep my focus on the things that matter to me, so I can show up with a full energy account for my family, friends and customers. I guess it's more of a filter than a protection mechanism.
2. Have more Faith
My second New Year's resolution is to keep reminding myself to have faith that things will get better and easier for all of us, no matter how hopeless things may seem. With this New Year's resolution, I was hoping to create somewhat of a shield agains all the unpredictability this pandemic has thrown at us. Having more faith that everything will be ok in the end, was supposed to be the motto. Honestly, it didn’t stick.
The tip of the iceberg was a recent internet scam I sadly fell for. Just on a little side note, be careful out there and don’t give anybody your card details over the phone, no matter how good their offer seems or how much of a one time deal it may appear. Always take enough time to think things through and don’t sign any agreement that leaves you with no rights and has no cancellation or cooling off period. If in doubt, leave it out or seek free legal advice before parting with your hard-earned money.
Needless to say, my faith that things might get easier was at that point, hanging on by a thread. But as I learned from my teenage sons at the beginning of the year, there is a lot of power in a good rant. Perhaps for the rest of the year, I should change my resolution from 'have more faith' to 'don’t be afraid to rant!' I find it’s much easier to see the little every day wins once all the nonsense and bad vibes have passed through the system.
I’m a big fan of writing daily gratitude lists and “what made me happy ” lists. I discovered that gratitude comes naturally after having released all the sh** onto the page first.
Rant first, then glow with gratitude!
It's also much easier to see the lessons learned in things that goes wrong when they are laid out infront of you on a page. In my case of falling for the internet scam, I learned that sometimes, it is better to trust my gut instincts and believe in my own abilities to work things out, than leave it to someone else to allegedly pave the path for me, whilst charging an obscene amount of money. Methodologies and ideas that have worked for someone else, don’t necessarily work for me. When someone claims they have found the ultimate marketing hack and promise something that sounds and feels unrealistic and too good to be true, it usually is, so back away immediately... There is no such thing.
In the spirit of self love and individuality, I will add the words “ in myself” to my second New Year's resolution, turning it into: 'Have more faith in myself'.
3. Have more Fun
This one is obviously my favourite New Year's resolution, but is also a difficult one. I have quite a bit of trouble allowing myself to just let go and have fun. There is always a little devil sitting on my shoulder, asking if what I do is productive, efficient or if there is some kind of result or learning that should be happening. It must be the German in me! Since the little devil was already there, I figured it might be a good opportunity to explore the dark side of the force.
I started the year enjoying my teenage son’s comic books, so the next thing I got into was miniture painting. I don’t mean creating small works of art, but actually painting warhammer miniature figurines. My son loves it and he was quite excited to introduce me to it too. From what I understand, these little plastic figurines are used to play epic board games. The themes are quite rough; no unicorns or fluffy pink sheep. There are ork, space marines, wizards, necrons and all kinds of fantasy armies; no beautiful fairies or cute trolls in sight! The idea is to bring those tiny plastic figurines to life and make them individual, by painting them with acryllic paint.
Here is a picture of my first army.
I got myself a little army of tiny ork, (they are called Gretchin) and painted them in different styles, always making sure they looked as scary as possible. Exploring the dark side of the force, the opposite side of rainbows and unicorns is definitely fun and I can’t wait to receive my next army to paint. I'm not sure yet whether I'll go for slobbering orks, or skeleton warriors...I'll keep you posted!
What I can say for sure is putting effort into having fun and overriding that little devil is definitely worth it. Now, the little devil doesn’t even show up any more. I guess he is afraid my army of Gretchin might eat him!
I could maybe adjust my third New Year's resolution from: 'Have more fun' to 'Keep exploring', but I have now learned that trying something new is always fun and the more it makes my nose twitch with wonder, the better.
I hope this little revision of my New Year's resolutions has made you think about your own. Putting some energy and willpower behind changing old habits and being curious is definitely worth it. Going on an adventure and exploring is not only for kids... adults are allowed to and should be encouraged to break out of their comfort zone too.
Try something new today and never stop being curious, especially when exploring your own inner landscape. We can only fall in love with someone when we truly and deeply know them. The very same holds true for the relationship we have with ourselves. Activating that self-love super power and finding out what makes you truly happy to be alive, is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
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