2018 was a big year for me. It was a year of change and upheaval, of good times and bad, and of tremendous personal growth. Now that it’s over, I have the time to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned and the attitudes, beliefs, and goals I will be carrying with me into the future.
In the last year I came to realize that my chosen (second) career path wasn’t working for me. Despite the time, effort, and money that I had invested in learning a new discipline, I couldn’t shake the conviction that I was in the wrong place. Turning my back on three years of hard work and late-night study sessions to jump into something new and unknown was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but once my mind was made up, I never looked back.
Do you ever find that the moment you make a big decision, the universe starts to open doors for you? Almost immediately, a great job opened up in another city. I applied, was offered the job and I took it. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I look forward to jumping out of bed every morning to go to work. This is a first for me!
During my time of doubt and indecision, my dedication to fitness waned. My unhappiness with my situation leached into every aspect of my life. I stopped trying to eat healthy, stopped going to the gym, stopped doing the things that made me happy. I now realize how damaging, and indeed dangerous, this was. Now that I’m in a better place, I’m taking stock of the lessons I learned to ensure that I never stop taking care of myself, ever. I will be bringing these lessons with me into the new year, as I make 2019 the Year Of Me.
Before I move into my list of goals for 2019, I thought I would share a few goals I’m NOT making this year:
- Weight loss goals. NO. Not now. Not ever again. These kind of goals are way too damaging to my self esteem. The personal trainer I was working with early last year was always trying to get me to step on the scale. I usually refused to do so but on the rare occasions that I did, it never failed to leave me in tears for the hour session that followed. I was in the best shape of my life, and a number on a scale had that much power over me? Forget it. I’m leaving this one in 2018. Thank u, next.
- Diet goals. I was speaking with one of my friends recently who told me that she had decided she was never going to diet again. Her reasoning? She was tired. Tired of dieting, tired of fighting with food, tired of trying gimmick after gimmick that never worked. To that I say, amen. Dieting can stay in the past where it belongs.
Dieting is such a powerful idea in and of itself that it deserves a few subcategories of behaviours I refuse to engage in this year:
- Categorizing foods as “good” vs. “bad.” Nope. Food is food, enjoy it. Life is too short to worry about this kind of thing.
- Eating less to “save room” for a big occasion, like Christmas dinner. Nope. I eat when I’m hungry, I’m not going to mess with my head like this.
- Judging other people for their food choices, or accepting judgement from others about mine. To each their own. If you want to diet, I support you. Just don’t expect me to join you.
- Comparing my body or my diet to someone else’s. I’m me, I’m perfect, my body is perfect, I don’t care that I can’t find my abs. Ab visibility and worth as a human being are not connected. At all.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can get on to the good stuff! I am so excited about 2019 and all that the future has to offer. I left a lot of toxic thinking behind me this year. I made a tremendous change that felt impossible until I accomplished it – now I feel unstoppable knowing that I can handle whatever life throws my way.
Here are the things I want to manifest more of in 2019:
- Easing back into fitness. I don’t have a set “goal” for this, other than that I want to get moving more in 2019. I love fitness classes and that feels like a good place to start. I would also like to acquire an elliptical trainer this year. Putting on some upbeat music and going for a run on the elliptical is one of my favourite ways to relax.
- Learning to cook. This is a huge goal for me. When I was younger, I thought that cooking was something that should be left to the experts – I had no idea how to do it and no desire to learn. That’s changing for me now. I have come to understand that cooking is an essential life skill. If I want fresh, delicious food on a daily basis, I’m going to have to make it myself. This year I’m going to take some classes, get some new recipe books, and get busy in the kitchen!
- Establishing a daily meditation practice. This is something that I did on and off in 2018 that I found tremendously helpful. This year, I will commit to daily practice.
- Being meticulous about my skincare. My skincare routine is something I can get lazy about when I’m tired, but it is an important part of my self-care routine, and one that I won’t be skipping in 2019.
- Spending more time reading. I am an avid reader and have kept a list of every book I’ve read since 2009. This year, I’d like to spend less time browsing the internet and more time with a good book.
- Practicing better sleep hygiene. If you’re anything like me, you keep your iPad on your nightstand and fall asleep watching Youtube videos. This year, I pledge to replace the iPad with a book and fall asleep reading. I’m also going to aim for 8 hours of restful sleep per night.
- Growing my blog. I have big dreams and plans for this blog, but in the past I have let fear hold me back. Not this year, fear. I have things to do.
And there you have it – my self-love manifesto for 2019. I’d love to hear about your goals and plans for 2019 – feel free to leave a comment.
Best wishes and good luck in the new year! – Annette