2016 – a year of firm decisions


It’s the beginning of the year and we’re all feeling hopeful. I’m always crawling at the finish line in December thinking that I just barely survived it, and then January comes along… Just saying the word makes me feel like I can do ANYTHING again. Bless January!

2015 was one hell of a year that taught me so many lessons. It was a year of adjusting to a new city and life, overcoming a personal heartbreak, and extremely hard work. It’s probably the same for everyone in one way or another, some adjustment, some heartbreak, some hard work…right?

January is a time that we look back at the year past and think about what we want to do differently. For most of us it would be to adjust to something new, put an end to something negative in our lives and lastly…to work a little harder at something. Hello 2016 resolutions!

Google tells me that “resolution” means to make a firm decision to do or not do something. So, here’s what 2015 taught me and what I’m deciding to do, and not do in 2016.

Lesson #1: To worry isn’t worth it

You’ll only end up with an ulcer and wake up tired every morning. It will eat your energy, relationships and the skin on your face. To stress, worry and bitch about life, is completely counterproductive. We all know that to stop worrying is SO much easier said than done, but it’s something that I need to work on or I probably won’t reach the age of 40. So this is what needs to happen:

Don’t take on more work than I can handle, saying ‘no’ to an opportunity is sometimes completely necessary, and I shouldn’t beat myself up about it.

Don’t work for free. The point of doing business is to get returns on my time-investment, and if there’s no return, then I’m the one paying. It’s called unnecessary stress that makes me old.

Don’t dwell on everything that needs to get done at 3AM; dealing with it in the morning will be so much harder if I’m tired and cranky.

Do read some books on how to handle stress. Besides, reading before bedtime is a great way to get my mind off the day.

Do more physical exercise because the breathing makes me feel so much better.

Do work out a better office routine / schedule and stick to it. It’s all about planning and prioritising from now on.

Do get out of the office more. Take a walk in nature or work at a coffee shop down the road. I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I should use that to get out of my stress pit and find some perspective.

Lesson #2: Don’t be so hard on yourself

Growing up and becoming a person of worth is all about learning from my mistakes, however, I can’t expect myself to never make a mistake again. Being perfect at everything all the time is simply not human! It’s good to acknowledge my own shortcomings, but it’s more important to focus on my victories and worth. That is the journey of becoming a better person. I believe it’s when we can train our brains to overshadow failure with day-to-day accomplishments that we grow. Remember that it’s not about how far you have to go, but rather about how far you’ve come. Now put that on a poster and print it! It’s that sort of thinking that will infuse life with positivity and hope. This is what I say to myself:

Don’t compare. You’re doing more than okay for where YOU are at the moment.

Don’t think you can have it all and have it now! Great things take time.

Do remember that most people are waaaaaay less critical about your work than you are, and they don’t see all the mistakes like you do.

Lesson #3: Don’t be afraid to learn something new

 I started doing hot yoga last year. I had a really embarrassing first session where I walked out of the studio drenched in sweat, tomato red in the face and sobbing, hard, like a baby. Everyone looked at me with sad and concerned eyes and I felt super small, but at the same time – liberated! After that, yoga changed my life, and I’m not just saying it because that’s what everyone else is saying about it…it’s the truth. Here’s something else yoga reminded me of:

Don’t think you don’t have the time. Make time as an investment into yourself.

Don’t think you can’t, because once you get started (and that’s the trick), you might just find out that you can…

Don’t give up.

Do join that pottery class!

Do learn how to do digital lettering!

Do rekindle your love of cyanotype printing!

And lastly, do push yourself, do believe in yourself and get shit done! You are so much stronger than you think.

And on that note, happy 2016 everyone! I hope that all of us make it to December, well adjusted to our new year’s resolutions, with happy and full hearts, feeling relaxed and accomplished. Keep it golden!!