Written by Amy Beecham
You don’t need permission to skip New Year’s resolutions for 2022, but if you’re searching for reassurance, here it is.
I have always been a planner. I like schedules, set goals and manifestations, even though I’m not 100% sure I fully believe in the practice and, for better or worse, find myself subscribing to most of the arbitrary milestones of the year.
Birthday-induced “Who am I?” freak-outs, September resets and of course, the new year re-evaluation of every single thing in my life. They’re deadlines that keep me feeling like I’m on track, like I’m achieving enough. They’re also exhausting.
But now that 2022 has rolled around, I’ve noticed a difference in my behaviour. I’m not furiously listing everything I want to purge and bring into my life in the new year. If you asked me what my ‘goal’ for the next 12 months is right now, I’m not sure I’d be able to tell you.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year tweaking the bits of my life that didn’t feel streamlined, and as a twenty-something in a relatively new city and career, there was plenty of it. I moved through 2021 feeling clunky, bogged down by physical and mental clutter that I was sure was getting in the way of finally becoming my fully-optimised self. If only I could cut it out, if only I could break through it.
I resolved to rugby tackle my life into fitting into the neat identity I so desperately wanted, purging the things, thoughts and sometimes people that caused the edges to fray. But now, as the new year approaches, I’m going back on myself.
Much like that scene in Confessions Of A Shopaholic, where Becky Bloomwood donates all her designer items to charity before going and buying it all back, I’m reclaiming the parts of my life that I previously cut out. I want the mess.
I’ve decided to make 2022 the year of no personal breakthroughs. I’m releasing myself of the pressure to discover, hone, optimise and alter who I am, at least in the traditional sense. Of course, if life-altering realisations happen to me, they happen, but it’s not something I’m going to force myself to search for anymore.
My 2022 will be all about letting go: of expectations, of where I thought I would be, and even what I want, in some respects. It’s a scary thought, but also an exciting one.
I’m learning that there’s nothing wrong with channeling the new year spirit in a healthy way.
A good clean or declutter of your wardrobe can be useful, and time spent pondering what fun things you want to do in the next 12 months can all be useful, particularly when we so desperately need something to look forward to.
But this year, I’m vowing to stop worrying so much of who I’m becoming and actually spend some time just being her. Happy, healthy, rested – and if that’s all I am in 2022, that’s more than OK.
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