New Year’s resolution: care less. Image Source.
Give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve officially survived 2017! It has been a hard slog and if you survived, then you did really, really well. 2017 will go down in history as the year that tried to destroy us, but failed. When it gave us Donald Trump’s inauguration we gave it the Women’s March; When it gave us the same sex marriage plebiscite we gave it the YES result; When it gave us Harvey Weinstein we gave it the ‘Me Too’ movement; When things got so bad that we wanted to build a blanket fort in our lounge room and live inside it forever, we didn’t. Instead, we went outside and we marched.
The hardest but most important take-away from this trashfire year? Feeling despair is totally fine. Sometimes, it’s even necessary. In 2017 we felt hopeless, and we were horrified by that hopelessness, until we realised that we weren’t alone. Poet and novelist Fanny Howe captures this state of mind in her highly recommended 2003 book The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life. “I was feeling justifiable despair, not depression; social outrage, not personal anxiety,” she writes. Through all of this righteous anger we also had to hold down a job, maintain our friendships and our relationships, talk to our parents occasionally, pay the bills, and keep our house plants alive. SO WHERE’S OUR GOLD MEDAL?
For real though, if you didn’t tick one single life goal off your list this year, then you are forgiven. As young people, we often feel an enormous amount of pressure to achieve our hopes and dreams even though most of us are still figuring out exactly what those hopes and dreams are (and that’s OK!). This pressure is exacerbated by the competitive spaces we work and live in. From the university classroom to the office and the Instagram feed, the need to compete with (and compare yourself to) others is everywhere. This means that many of us develop a toxic approach to our goals, where life becomes less about the small things we achieve every day and more about all the shit we aren’t doing — exercising, eating well, drinking less, writing more, and the list goes on. This is an attitude we’d really like to leave in 2017.
Instead of putting pressure on yourself to come up with a bunch of New Year’s resolutions you’ll (probably) never fulfil, here are some simple life resolutions you can make instead:
Make the everyday count.
Set achievable goals and work towards them. Slowly.
Listen to yourself and, if you need a break, take one.
Do nothing! It’s great!
Hang out with yourself. Hang out with your friends. Hang out with nature. No woman is an island and these connections will give you the strength to do what you need to do.
Remember that you are worth way, way more than your productivity.
And know that, if you don’t tick a single “goal” off a single bucket list for the rest of your days, you will be okay.