Sunday, 3 January 2016

Thoughts on New Year's Resolutions

Looking down my Facebook feed on New Year's Eve, it was interesting to see how differently people were reacting to the arrival of 2016. As you might expect, the majority were celebrating the past twelve months and looking forward what the new year will bring, but I was also surprised to see a few bitter comments about how bad 2015 had been, despite good health, many friends and stable jobs.

This kind of attitude just seems crazy to me, especially when you compare our privileged lives with those of the thousands of refugees who have started 2016 not knowing in which countries they will be welcomed or rejected, or how they will provide for their families and children. It's been a immensely difficult year for the world, when we have been forced to evaluate our own personal values and demonstrate the very best traits of humanity in the face of darkness - empathy, support, love, respect and democracy.

But whether on a global or personal level, it is a fact of life that bad things will happen - there will always be challenges and problems to overcome, and it is up to each individual to find their own way through. Happiness is not dependent on other people, on material possessions like a new car, a walk-in wardrobe or a million Instagram followers. As the much-quoted Alfred D. Souza once said:

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

Stop waiting until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning...Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching."

With this in mind, my resolutions for this year aren't dependent on negatives, about cutting things out of my life, giving up things, trying to lose weight, or restricting myself in any way. Rather, they're continuing thoughts on how to live a better and more conscious life, without beating myself up about the things I can't affect.

I want to spend more time with people I care about, travel more, cook more and learn more - maybe even take the next step on my sustainable style journey with a postgraduate qualification. I want to shop more consciously, always trying to favour the ethical alternative where possible and bring this spirit into every aspect of my life as I finally move into my own home. Finally, I want to explore more of the amazing city I now live in, and all the opportunities this will bring!

Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to read this blog over the last ten months - I hope 2015 was a happy year for you, and if not, that 2016 will be the time when this changes.

Love and best wishes,

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