We had the depressing cloud haunting us after Christmas lunch with our extended family, now it’s time for some heavy dose of disappointment and inadequacy to welcome us into a New Year! Let the fireworks pop!
It’s inevitable. No matter how much success we achieve in 365 days and how hard we work to stay alive; negativity and lack of self-confidence will still find a way to pull us down into this mess of ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER WASTE OF TIME.
Midnight turns up, we dance on a cocktail table too drunk to think about our sorrows, but as soon as the sunlight of a new year blinds our hungover, bloodshot eyes, we rise up like Tutankhamum from his tomb and one thought is screaming inside our heads:
I SCREWED UP THIS YEAR.
Between the last week of the year and the first week of the new one, people will run around trying to accomplish as much as they can squeeze into 24 hours, only to beat that feeling of despair when reflecting on the past months.
We haven’t worked out enough. We immediately left in the closet that dream of ours, because we were too hesitant, or we told ourselves that “it wasn’t the right moment”. It was too soon, too late, too expensive, too ugly, too difficult.
And now we are too bummed out about how it all turned out.
It sucks to feel like this; to be constantly trapped into this unstoppable carousel of self-inflicting disappointment with ourselves and the pushy desire to strive for more.
It’s so draining that by the time we tell ourselves that “next year will be the year”; we have already lost the motivation and the commitment to actually do it.
But you know what is the real problem here?
It’s the way you visualise the things that you want. They are too vague, too distant to be grasped with your bare hands and squeezed into reality.
It’s like Icarus and the Sun: you are being dumb thinking that you can aim so high without actuating getting some work down and being patient and organised. You will burn yourself, not to mention fall right on your ass because of your rushed and unrealistic decision.
So you have to be prepared. You may not be armed with scissors, glue and an expensive agenda to welcome the new year, but you have to be prepared.
So this is how you prepare yourself for the new year.
LOOK BACK AT YOUR MISTAKES.
I know you want to bury your head into the ground when your mind reaches certain low-points of your year; like that time you got really drunk and karaoked the whole One Direction discography, or when you stalked your crush on Instagram and accidentally liked a 98week-picture.
Nobody wants to be invited to a personal screening of their own mistakes.
However, it’s not a mistake if you learn from it.
You might think that all of those thoughtless decisions and horrible relationships were sent by Zeus to punish you from not flossing your teeth every night; however, they are your next year’s perfect learning opportunities.
Before you let the new year overwhelm you with the fresh, false impression that you have your whole life ahead of you, take a whole day for yourself. If you can’t squeeze a day for yourself, an hour will be enough, but you will have to be there for yourself.
Now, get two pieces of paper. One one you will be writing what seems to you the biggest mistakes that you have done this year.
Don’t hold back and take all the time you need to do that. You will have to dig deeper and it might hurt a little bit, but don’t forget that you are doing this for yourself, not to throw an MTV-worthy pity party of the year.
Write those mistakes down and then grab another piece of paper.
For each mistake you have pulled out of your pained heart, you will have to attempt to find what could have lead you to act like that. It doesn’t have to be a Game of Thrones series of the reasons why you fucked up this year; you just need to write down why you have paid for the gym for a whole year and failed to go every single day.
Once you have down writing the reasons why you ruined your year, read them out loud (you might cringe) and then write at the top of the piece of paper the common fuck-ups denominators.
In all of our mistakes and disappointments, there are some common destructive forces that lead us to make certain mistakes more than others; you have to find them and write them on the top of your paper so that they are visible to your blind third eye.
WORK ON YOUR WEAKNESSES
So you have written LOW SELF-ESTEEM, DADDY ISSUES AND FEAR OF BEING LEFT OUT at the top of your piece of paper.
It was like ripping a bandaid off your hairy arm, but you made it. Congrats, it takes a lot of courage and self-love to sit down at the dinner table with your worst mistakes.
Now it’s time to do something about them.
See, the main reason why you are not where you want to be is not necessarily due to external forces like money, job opportunities, relationships and a Victoria’s Secret body.
The only reason why you haven’t accomplished what you have scribbled on your expensive 2015 agenda is because you are blocked by your weaknesses.
You can swallow all the food that you want, watch movies all day on your bed and exercise like a gym rat for months, but if you don’t sit down with your demons and face them, they will always be chained to your feet.
They will sneak into your relationships, they will whisper in your ears when you’re getting ready for a night out you were hesitant to agree to; they will pull you down the bottomless hole of self-pity and self-loathing you have been desperate to avoid.
So here is what you gotta do: you have to face them.
Like an A3-page sudoku, you will have to solve the riddle of your sorrows and understand what is at the bottom of your sorrows.
WARNING: It will be scary and painful. You might need a bottle of tequila and a Harry Potter marathon right after a dinner with your low self-esteem and your fear of dying too young.
WAIT AND ATTACK
Once you have figured out what stops you from achieving goals when you have had the whole year to yourself, it’s time to plan and attack.
As soon as you wake up from the killer hungover headache of NYE and look around the drunken messy state you are in; one thought and one thought only will reign over your mind: I NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE. NOW.
We are humans and we are impatient.
Embarrassed from our own mistakes we rush into making a revolutionary change with our lives, so that we can find some sort of purpose and direction from the mess we have put ourselves in.
We smoke 20 cigarettes one night, we quit smoking the next day.
We binge at McDonalds when we see that our crush has checked in at the movies with their crush, we go on a diet the next day.
We barely walk to the fridge to get some water for a whole year, we join the gym on the first day of the year and we spend five hours exercising everyday.
Here is a little secret. Throwing yourself into new things without learning from your mistakes is just a quick-fix to not feel shitty about your life.
This is some sort of procrastination that we do to trick our minds into thinking that we are productive, motivated and kicking asses into tho new year; when in fact we are just muting the voices of our real problems.
This is why it’s important that you really sit down with your feelings and take all the time that you need to get through all the nasty conversations you have put off with yourself.
Once you have done that, you need to plan. Nothing major, you don’t need to buy a $50 wall planner for your “start working out” and “spend less” goals.
The simpler, the better.
HAVE A CLEAR VISION OF YOUR GOALS
It might sound like a load of New Age fried air, but having a clear image of what you want to achieve and where you want to arrive is the key to get started.
You know when you were in school desperately trying to get that essay started, but words and imaginations were clogged into your distracted neurons?
Motivation is pretty much the same thing. We are so overwhelmed with information, images of success and beauty and money, that when it comes to actually “do it”, we just stand there staring into distance, Adele’s Hello playing in the background.
You can’t “get richer” and “write more”, or “travel”, because you don’t have a clear idea of what you need to do.
That’s why you have to VISUALIZE and BE SPECIFIC on what you need to achieve.
I am not telling you to daydream all day and write down pages of detailed plans on how to become the next Richard Branson, because it comes a point where you have to take the next step and execute your plans.
However, you can’t get to the destination, if you don’t have a Tom Tom or a clear idea of where you are heading to.
So visualise what you want. Take 10 minutes out of your day from zombie-browsing through social media and invest them into meditating, or reflecting on what you want to do and who you want to be next year.
Don’t be all vague and scribble “be rich” on your goals page, because duh, everybody wants to be rich. Be honest with yourself and quantify what you want to do and be.
I want to start running -> I want to run 5K by October.
I want to be relaxed -> I want to commit to daily meditation every day.
I want to be rich -> I want to increase my income by $100 a week by freelancing
I want to be happy -> I need to sort out my priorities every day by writing down reasons of my happiness and committing to make the best decision for myself.
So the key is to being specific, writing down goals that can be measured and quantified and be realistic.
The last bit of advice is to be realistic.
I know that you want to be one of those people who in those Before & After transformation of Kayla Itsines’s Insta profile. BUT you have to be realistic.
Your starting point is unique to your goals, your abilities, your commitment and your weaknesses. It is customised to you like a DNA, that’s why you have to grab your chin and pull your head to the other side when you’re looking at other people’s success with envy and hurtful energy.
Think about where you are starting from and focus on there and there only.
You have your own path and your own starting point.
You know why you should stop looking back to check what everybody is doing differently from you?
Because it distracts you and takes so much energy out of your time and space. It fills you with horrible feelings of being misunderstood and being a disappointment, like you don’t fit into your own goal.
Ridiculous, isn’t it?
So you have to be realistic about where you want to go. You have to get to know yourself so well that you have the courage to know when something is a bit too high for you to reach, but have the commitment to plan accordingly to do it anyway.
This is the only way to kickstart your year.
Actually, this is the only way to kickstart anything you expect to give you happiness and success in life.
Sitting down with yourself and facing your worst fears.
Be realistic with what you can do.
Focus on your own starting point and your path.
Never look back to what everybody is doing, unless it’s to see how far you have come.
Happy New Year from,