Thursday, December 30, 2021

Why I'm Choosing a New Year's Theme over New Year's Resolutions

Hello my loves!

With 2022 fast approaching I thought I'd write a short post on the idea of a "New Year's theme", why I'm ditching the resolutions in favour of this idea, and hopefully what a successful 2022 focussing on a New Year's theme might look like for me.

So what exactly is a New Year's theme? Instead of making a list of specific resolutions like you normally might, a New Year's theme is simply a chosen word or two that embodies something you want to introduce or focus on in your daily life, almost like a mantra. This means that instead of picking a handful of specific rules or behaviours like "drink more water", you keep your theme in mind and allow your behaviours to unfold from there. I really like the idea of a theme because of how adaptable it is. Instead of a set of rigid rules that make you feel like you've failed if you can't keep up, a theme can change with the curveballs life throws at you. 

A singular theme doesn't equate to a singular goal either. If you set a theme of "healthy habits" you have an entire world of possibilities to focus on, you could decide to drink more water, practice self-care, and regularly go to the gym. If for whatever reason regularly going to the gym is no longer possible, you have in no way "failed" like you might think you had if "regularly go to the gym" was a resolution. Instead, you can refocus your energy onto a different healthy habit that works well for you. You can take on as much or as little as you want, as early or as late in the year - it all falls under your theme! You can also pick multiple themes, but personally I'm going to start small and only focus on one in 2022.

My 2022 Theme: Stability

My chosen theme for 2022 is stability because I feel that's what my 2021 was missing the most, especially in the second half of the year. A mix of poor mental health, bad medication management and other factors meant I really lost all sense of routine and regularity, this impacted my studies, mental health, work capabilities and social life. So next year (which sounds weird to say given its less than 24 hours away) I want to make little changes which hopefully amount to a much bigger feeling of stability.

What might a year of 'stability' look like for me?

Ideally, a year focussing on stability will result in a year of good routine, better mental health, increased productivity, and just a greater feeling of happiness. Here are some more specific things I'd like to try and introduce to create this sense of stability:

Studies: I'm hoping to introduce a "little but often" approach with my studies this year. I want to try create a timetable that provides much more structure in my day, highlighting the different times available to do different things.

Importantly, I'm not going to over-schedule my day (such as when I eat, when I must do a specific type of work etc), as I worry over-scheduling things would cause me more stress if I had to deviate from what I had scheduled. Just a rough guide of what I could be doing and when will hopefully increase a feeling of reassurance and control even when life gets chaotic, as well as simply reminding me of my classes, assignments and other commitments.

Health: I'm determined to reintroduce a regular sleep pattern next year, as well as introduce some other healthier habits, such as drinking more water and going to the gym more often. Though these seem small, a simple thing like making sure I'm consistently hydrated will make a difference to how I feel physically, likewise will going to the gym semi-regularly.

Mental health: As I mentioned above, making changes to my overall physical health should help with better mental stability, but above all else I really need to get into a good routine with my medication to improve my mental health. I'm dreadful at skipping days of my medication, not collecting my prescriptions, microdosing etc which puts me at a bigger risk of entering manic or depressive episodes. This would undoubtedly affect any sense of stability I have, so this is a prime focus in 2022.

What are some themes you could choose this year?

I thought I'd finish this post with some examples of different themes, these are all purposely semi-vague so that you can determine how you'd interpret them if you decide to use them!

 Some ideas for themes:
  • health
  • positivity
  • renewal
  • adventure
  • kindness
  • love
  • focus
  • movement
  • mindfulness

Whether you pick resolutions or a theme (or neither!) I hope that all of you have a have a happy new year and achieve everything you set out to do in 2022!

Take care and stay safe lovelies x


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