Happy new year everyone!
It’s taken me nearly a week to a week to get around to writing this post because I’ve had SO MUCH studying to catch up on, and also Christmas lifestyle to shake off. But that’s a good thing really, as I’ve had inspiration from other blogs in that time to help me decide what I really want out of 2019.
Really I know that a new year is arbitrary in reality, it’s just another day, week, month…. But there’s something physiological about it. As a society we celebrate the new year coming in, and there is a sense of renewal about the whole thing. That’s a wave I want to ride to help me achieve some of the things I’d otherwise put off forever.
So in 2019 I’m going to continue 2018’s spirit of just doing the thing. There are still a lot things left to do, as there always will be, but I did a lot of things in 2018 that I would never have dreamt of just a few years ago, when I used to sit on my dreams and hope that the warmth of my arse would be enough to make them hatch one day. Sometimes that works, but most of the time you gotta take those dreams and smash them wide open to make anything happen.
I’m all about SMART goals (Marie has a great summary here if you’re unfamiliar with that that means). As a completionist I have to be else I’d never get anything done! But in order to choose good goals, I’m starting with a vision. This is a visualisation of where I want the subsequent goals to lead me. I have a lot of things I want to achieve, so without this I’d be flailing around in the dark!
All my life I’ve struggled with a low self esteem and resulting social anxiety. I have memories of being a kid and being too shy to ask questions in class, and being a teenager too scared to approach my peers, so I just wouldn’t. Now I’m an adult who gets worked up over phone calls, is so quiet at work that I’m basically invisible, and avoids unfamiliar social situations like the plague.
I have come a long way; I travel by myself these days and don’t have to rehearse for two hours before a phone call anymore. But daily life is still a struggle, as everyone around me laughs and chats and gets things done, I’m sat there silent and I hate it. The silence also allows for a lot of time in my own head, tearing myself to pieces, which is pretty self destructive really.
I’m tired of it. I’m tired of not being able to make meaningful connections people people, and I’m tired of always being the “quiet one”. So here’s the vision:
I am a confident person who trusts and believes in her own knowledge and capacity to learn, is comfortable being challenged, but is not afraid make mistakes. The people around me are interesting and I am happy chatting with them, asking questions, listening thoroughly, and forming deep and lasting connections. I am not loud but I still make an impact.
It’s quite a big vision, especially considering I’ve been in the same rut for 28 years. So it’s going to be quite a journey. I intend to enjoy the process, but a lot of if will be outside my comfort zone and that’s pretty scary. This is where the SMART goals come in – how I will achieve my vision. At first I’m going to focus on the first two months, then adjust the goals at the start of March. This makes it more manageable.
The list will expand as I go along, but here’s the starting point:
- Make a list of what I achieved last year, and keep a list of things I’m achieving this year.
- Get some counselling/therapy to work through the issues I have – get back on board with Steps 2 Wellbeing (I have an appointment tomorrow!)
- Join a drama group. This will really push me out of my comfort zone and teach me to loosen up around people.
- Make an effort to say hello and smile at people. Simple, I know, but it’s a huge starting point given that at the moment I even struggle with eye contact sometimes. Also not strictly measurable but I’ll know if I’m doing it.
- Link up with three people I’ve not seen in a while. There are people I miss that I’m too anxious to break the ice with, but I gotta just do it.
- Show up to three “scary” social events – ones which I would usually avoid because of the amount of people I don’t know very well.
- Start kickboxing. Bit random I know, but my anxiety sometimes manifests as anger and I’d like a healthy way to channel that out of me.
I think that will do for now, and all of it is pretty scary but at least I’ll be on the way to a me that I’m more comfortable with. And hopefully I’ll be setting myself up to achieve more in other areas of my life by being more confident. Self believe is worth a lot, and one day I might just have some.