As much as I am averse to clichés, the end of a calendar year always gets me in a contemplative mood. What have I achieved, what have the last 12 months really been about, what do I want to change in the future?
As a chronic and habitual self-sabotaging perfectionist, I find the thought of a societally condoned fresh slate highly motivating. And while my resolutions of younger years revolved mainly around weight loss (yawn) this year I've been thinking a lot more about inward changes than outward appearances. So my resolutions for 2017 are:
Write more from the heart
*cringes* *pukes* *dies inside a little bit* Ok just bear with me for a second. This resolution has two parts:
Firstly, I want to write this blog in a looser style. I think that because I'm very comfortable articulating myself in writing, my posts can at times become overly formal. Which means that a post which was intended to be a personal, funny conversation-starter on any given topic can suddenly tip over into preachy, worthy essay territory if I'm not careful. So I want to commit to consistently writing in off-the-cuff way which is more personal anecdote than hand-wringing 'won't somebody think of the children'. I'm making no promises about my overuse of hyphens however.
Secondly, I want to write without giving any attention at all to thoughts of what might or might not increase my blog traffic. I've never really been one for churning out the kind of fluffy clickbait posts which now jostle for attention in every crevice of the internet, but I have at times been guilty of writing what I call 'Content'. 'Content', with a capital 'C' to my mind constitutes the kind of posts which are churned out during a chronic idea drought, or which just sound like the kind of thing a blogger should write about. Think 'Ten top tips or glowing Winter skin'. There's nothing particularly offensive about this stuff (don't worry, I'm not hand-wringing already) but there is a little voice in my head when I read titles like these which never fails to ask 'but who the f*ck cares?'. I think the strength of blogging is in its ability to bring personal insight to the fore. And I don't want to be someone who's blog quietly morphs into an uninspiring, impersonal online magazine while I was looking the other way.
Stop standing in my own way
By which I mean metaphorically popping up in the bottom right hand corner of my life like a bad news Microsoft paperclip asking confidence-shattering questions like 'Are you sure you're not way too inexperienced to even try this?' 'Are you totally sure you're not in fact incredibly stupid?' 'There's a chance that if you do this it will go very wrong and people will point and laugh. Do you wish to continue?' 'Looks like you were trying to give up and go home. Can I help you with that?'.
I look up to my boss a lot. In fact I would say I am slightly in danger of putting her on some kind of unhealthy untouchable pedestal. She's not that much older than me, she's super-experienced, pretty much unflappable, pretty senior and very highly paid. There's a lot that she does well, but one crucial difference I notice between her and myself is that she seems to have disabled the soul-destroying paperclip function. She doesn't have all the answers, but she's never the one to hold herself back.
It's a tall order, but I want to make a conscious effort to dismantle my little paperclip habit next year. The older I get the more I realise that self belief is not only nice to have, but absolutely necessary, and that taking the leap to believe you can do something you're not 100% practiced at very rarely has the catastrophically embarrassing consequences you imagine it will.
Get classy af
What am I on about? Well, maybe it's a trend, maybe it's my age, but I'm experiencing some strong urges to dress more smartly than I have for years. I go through fashion phases more slowly than most people I know, and tend to stick with a particular look for about a year at a time. At uni I was into capes (seriously though), then it was the athleisure trainers and leggings look for a long time, then in 2016 I upped the classiness factor a touch to make it more work appropriate. I feel like 2017 will be the year of looking properly 'put together'. So far I've invested in a couple of more fitted jumpers, a shorter choppier haircut, and I'm on the look out for some high quality statement earrings to invest in. If you know any good brands, please hook me up.
Got any early resolutions of your own?