So here we all are, leaping into a new year with enthusiasm….well maybe bated breath would be a better description.
Those of you who are awaiting post Christmas orders will be pleased to know, the dye pots are full today, the spinning wheel has been whirring...I've had a very much appreciated rest and am ready to start looking forward to the coming year.
Whilst I understand that for a lot of people resolutions are not on the cards this year…or indeed any year…I mean what’s the point when you can’t second guess what’s coming round the corner, but actually I'm not embarrassed to admit...I'm quite fond of them.
Resolutions, intentions, goals, ambitions…whatever you want to call them, to me it’s one and the same.
How can I grow, how can I develop and what can I change?
What’s going to inspire me next?
So I decided to get ahead for 2021…I started my resolutions last August. I know!, I know! Never have I ever been so organised.Looolllll. I suppose I realised that actually if 2020 taught me anything, it was not to wait or put it off for another day, not when you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, or with the rapidity of government press conferences, what the afternoon will bring. So I just bloody got on with it.
I have over the last few months been whipping my well-intentioned but haphazard eating habits into shape and getting to grips with my fitness goals. For anyone else embarking on new regimes this January, my only tip is to put your head down and keep chugging on. You will fall off the wagon, its inevitable. We all make mistakes and get things wrong, use poor judgement or regret a decision. Its normal and human. It doesn’t wipe out the effort or work you have put in to date. The difference is mentally being able to put that to one side and get back on the preverbal horse. Consistency has always been my Achilles heel (as are euphemisms) but actually during the autumn (which I found really, really, tough mentally) has proved that for me, having a focus that is a productive, tangible goal has been my saviour. I’m not using the classic ‘D’ word because actually eating properly and fuelling my body is paramount to feeling good, sleeping well, functioning at my best. What a set of scales says is immaterial.
I’m also not trotting out the same old bullshit about a ‘new me’. The whole process has been about shedding the external layers of habits which don’t help me or bring me happiness generally wrapped up in laziness; and unearthing the actual, real me. Its alarming when your body and mind feel like foreign territory. Sometimes you don’t realise how far you have strayed until you start feeling more at home in your skin. Initially, I began thinking of it as a mental and physical blitz, but the longer I go on, the more intrinsic it feels to just existing.
The other thing that this last year has shown, is that I have I’m extremely good about giving all my focus onto the things that I THINK I need to do, and not actually onto the things I NEED to do. Its always surprising when you discover that they are not necessarily one and the same. And really when I look back and think about the time and effort I waste procrastinating and trying to force myself to do things that really don’t serve me well…its criminal. Its not even the frustration of not finishing a task the way or when you want to, it’s the frustration of not recognising when you need to just let go and move on. You have to stop and ask yourself sometimes, Is the emotional response you have invested in that task worth it or frankly worthy of it?
Sadly there will always be things you have to do that you don’t want to ….there is no washing up fairy…mores the pity…but there is also little point flagellating yourself into submission. Happiness and contentment does not lay that way…so this coming year, regardless of Covid shenanigans, the uncertainty and the fear of the unknown we all share…my year is all going to be about…
It might sound incredibly dull…but hey welcome to my world…Its about WORK REST & PLAY, and specifically recognising and planning for all those things. All are important, all are vital to keeping yourself physically, mentally and financially afloat. Need rest, then bloody have one, go on holiday, or just lie on the sofa staring idly out the window. I spent an inordinate amount of time subconsciously tracking the neighbourhood cats in and out my garden during lockdown. Time well spent maybe, maybe not, but whilst I was doing that.. wasn't doing anything else...gulp...
Incidentally, a holiday doesn’t just have to be abroad, let’s be clear despite what Instagram will tell you…it can just be a change of routine or change of scenery. Either way I’ve earnt the hard way that it’s vital and non-negotiable.
One of traps that I have fallen into; and I think it must be common when other people who work from home or run a business, is that home life and work life can become interchangeable. Before Covid, I relied on physically leaving the house to stop working and get distance between me and the work I THOUGHT I had to do. Now I have realised I need to be able to recapture my home, to be a home and not just a workspace. The ease of transition between work and home is its greatest asset and its greatest challenge. One of my resolutions is to actively set aside time for creative pursuits that aren’t fibre related (as much as I love it) yarn is not my entire being. I picked up my drawing pencils over lockdown, but they were swiftly discarded when re-entering ‘life’. Do I make shit art..yes I do, do I care..no I don’t. But I realise I have to actively make time for it, even its its 30mins doodling. If I set aside time for it I can do or not do it as I feel. If I don’t set aside time for it..I definitely won’t do it.
The point is…finding activities or indeed time for a lack of activities when I need to recharge the batteries and switch off and just get on with it and not waste time feeling guilty about doing it.
In fact spending more time just bloody getting on with it and not thinking about maybe doing 'it' is a theme I want to take forward through my working life as well. I have a creative drive that I want to channel, sometimes I know where I am going and sometimes I’m stumbling around in the dark…with my eyes closed..not having a bloody clue what I am doing. But being brave and learning by doing, despite the risks might lead to more opportunities.
You never know…I mean you literally never know if you never try.
I’m also really good at putting pressure on myself, regardless of everyone around me. I am my worst critic. Its easy to say…give yourself a break…but YEAH…bloody give yourself a break..! I’m not very patient with myself, but I’m learning to be more understanding of myself.
I recently re read a creative planner from 2 years ago. I was astounded by how far I had progressed with someone my long-term goals in business and in life. Admittedly they weren't incredibly ambitious...but your mountain to climb is your mountain. Be it a baby mountain or a whooper of a mountain. Its easy to lose sight of the larger picture, when you are caught in the minutiae of the every day. You’re travelling forwards even when you might feel like you’re standing still.
So yeah, you’re doing ok Caz…and whatever happens next year, you’ll do ok then too…just keep it all in perspective and balance that 'shit'....
And to you all.... I wish you all the best in 2021 in whatever your endeavours you choose to undertake…or not as the case may be..
Love you lots