What Should I Do In 2022?

When I look back at my new year’s resolutions for the prior three years, a recurring pattern emerges.

I have many ideas and ambitions at the beginning of the year, but in the end I only achieve roughly half of them (at a stretch). Many of the ideas and ambitions I had at the beginning of the year are crossed off and dismissed as the year goes by.

What is interesting to note, however, is the nature of them is quite similar.

I have achieved my lifestyle goals, such as working out regularly, eating healthily and not overeating at mealtimes.

These things are within my grasp and I have intrinsic motivation to do them. I know they make me feel better in the long-run, and improve my day-to-day physical and cognitive functioning (wow, I sound like a real science-person there).

Other goals that regularly crop up are related to working on and completing creative projects, meeting new people and doing practical things related to home and life in general.

These latter are more of a mixed bag. I feel like I keep writing down the same resolutions year after year, as I’m not achieving them, or not fully achieving them.

Well, this year I’ve decided to stop with all the resolutions.

I’m old enough and wise enough now (I believe) to know what it is I have to do. And when I say old enough and wise enough, what I mean is I’m listening to my own inner ‘knowing’ of what it is I should do, rather than listening to what outside influences have to say.

So, I don’t have a list as such, of new year’s resolutions this year.

I only have three broad goals I’ve identified, and these are:

  • To get out and meet like-minded people.
  • To move to a new area.
  • To come up with a financial plan for the future and start acting on it.

These are the things, that, when it all boils down to it, I feel I must do, if I’m completely honest with myself.

These are my tasks and my mission in life, right now. My quest, even, if you want to put in a more heroic way (which I do).

I feel like I’ve been avoiding certain things in my life. I’ve always been a somewhat neurotic person, and in the past two years I’ve developed some new, annoying symptoms. Perhaps we all have, since the last couple of years haven’t been easy for humanity as a whole, let’s face it.

A lot of my time has been spent trying to manage these symptoms, but deep down I suspected that doing so was a waste of time.

Instead, I need to focus my energy on facing up to the tasks of life, rather than avoiding them and using my anxiety as an excuse.

I recognize I’ve been making excuses for not doing some things that are important to me, but which I find difficult, like meeting new people. I’ve always told myself that I’m an introvert, which, while true, does not negate the fact that the past two years have showed me how isolated I am.

So, I have to be brave, and make to attempt to go out and meet those like-minded people which I’m sure must be out there.

I really want to enjoy my life more, and live a “more authentic life”, as is often said on the internet. I think I went a little off-track last year. While I did well in getting my part-time freelance writing work going, I did feel like I was working all the time, and not necessarily on things I wanted to be working on.

I haven’t reached these insights entirely by myself, by the way. I’ve had a little help from Dr. Carl Jung. I’ve been learning about his theories recently and I’m hooked. I’m going to attempt to follow his Path Of Individuation and see where it leads me.

This has also spurred me on in my desire to write psychology-related articles, so stay tuned.

So, that’s what I’m going to be working on in 2022. What about your goals? Are you looking to make big changes in your life this year, or do you just want to have more fun?

The One Where the Year Doesn’t Start Quite as You Expected

We’re just over halfway through Feb. How has your year been so far?

Mine’s been busy, but … I’ve not quite achieved as much as I was hoping for. For one, a major client has gone completely quiet on me, and I’m not sure what’s going on. I’ve made little income so far from my freelance writing this year, compared to the last three months of last year. And a lot of my personal goals have turned out to be unrealistic, it seems. I haven’t been reading, working on my novel or practicing French as much as I’d like. I was hoping to have finished the first draft of my novel by the end of March but, no way is that going to happen. That’s obviously too ambitious.

And when can I get a damn haircut??

I know, I know, I’ll just have to wait. I’m certainly not going to do it myself:

Image result for bad haircut gif

I think I just want to go and hide in Stardew Valley and weep over my lack of achievement or social life ☹

No, that’s not the way!! We must keep pushing onwards, forwards!

How do you cope with disappointment?

Nicola

X

How 2020 Changed Me

Firstly, I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to my followers and anyone else who might be visiting this site. Hope you all had a pleasant, albeit slightly-different Christmas.

Mine was a bit of a blue one. First world problems and all that, but I was affected by the fact that the Christmas just gone didn’t feel all that Christmassy. But then there was also the problem that I always find it hard to switch off anyway at Christmas (it doesn’t help I have a part-time job in retail), mainly due to the fact that I have that sort of brain. And I think I may be affected by SAD to a degree.

But I always love the promise of a new year, and especially so for 2021. I think many of us will agree that 2020 was a year we’ll quite happily leave behind. And yet I can’t say that 2020 was a very difficult year for me, personally. I am fortunate to still have an income, and to know no-one close to me who has died from COVID-19.

There’s a certain guilt in saying it, but I pretty much thrived in 2020. Sure, I was affected by the news and social media, and worried a lot about the state of the world and what the future might hold. But hey, I’m an INFJ, so I pretty much do those things anyway. All that really happened, was the outside world began to resemble some of the dystopian novel/tv series ideas of my inner world.

I know it’s not over yet, and there could be worse to come. But to quote the wise sage Hagrid, “What’s coming is coming and we’ll meet it when it does.” I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I think many have conditioned themselves to expect the unexpected now.

The rapid shift to the online realm of work, education and entertainment meant I could finally, more completely align my daily life to my visions and goals.

But outside of these concerns, when I disconnected from the news and social media, I found a sense of peace and contentment. I enjoyed spending more time at home, enjoyed the greater proximity of nature and the peaceful nights. The rapid shift to the online realm of work, education and entertainment meant I could finally, more completely align my daily life to my visions and goals. I was now less restricted by living in a relatively rural part of the country. I began to get a freelance income – something I’d long dreamed of but was difficult to obtain pre-2020.

I did numerous training courses online, read more, took up actual hobbies and upped my fitness regimen. I even improved my diet. I started learning another language, and got inspiration from current events for a novel I’m in the process of writing.

So yes, I would say I thrived. And I have entered 2021 with the ability to drop another day at my retail job because I no longer need the money – I’m making enough income from freelance writing to support me.

True, I barely leave the house now, and that would be an issue if it were long-term, but hopefully it won’t be, and fairly soon we’ll be able to go to gyms and live events again.

I have changed. Something has clicked: I feel like I’ve found my niche. And having read similar articles to this, I know I’m not the only one. I think it’s great that many saw the opportunity to improve their lives and they took it.

How did 2020 change you? Did you view it as an opportunity in disguise? Or was it more personally challenging? I always like to read different viewpoints, so please feel free to comment or write a response post.

Furlough Thoughts

black vintage typewriter

Furlough. It’s a funny word. I thought it was something to do with ploughing fields until it happened to me. I’ve been on furlough from my day job for four weeks now, and I have to say I’m enjoying it, because it means I get to spend more time doing things I love, i.e. my writing.

So pretty much most of my time on furlough has been spent writing, thinking about writing, and planning marketing activities linked to my writing. I’ve been treating each weekday like a workday: each morning I make a list of things I want to accomplish that day. Then in the late afternoon I exercise and study German, then after dinner (or tea as we call it in our house) it’s time to chill: journal and read a book.

I’m content in the rhythm of my days. I know the lockdown and being on furlough has been hard for some people, but for me it’s been business as usual to be honest, except I have more time because I’m not going to work. I didn’t go out a lot anyway.

I’ve been looking into turning my Alice novelette into an ebook, researching my options, but have come up against two major hurdles: one is my dislike of Amazon, which is monopolising the ebook scene (as well as a lot of other things), and the other thing is basic lack of funds. I’m tight for cash at the moment and can’t really afford to publish through an alternative platform, such as Ingram Sparks, and pay for an ISBN code (which costs, like, £90 in the UK). I’ve already spent £100 on self-publishing a limited run of paperback volumes for friends and family. So I can’t really afford to spend more on promoting this novellette at the moment.

It’s a shame, because I’d like for my writing to reach a wider audience, but there’s time.

Another thing I’m focusing on while in furlough is trying to push my day-job in a more writerly direction. I’ve been applying for online copywriting jobs, and trying to get work as a freelancer. Early days, but I’m hopeful. I think my experience so far during furlough has confirmed freelancing would suit me. The only thing I’m missing is a nice cuddly cat or a dachshund to sit in my lap while I type, but I’ve got goldfish and they’re almost as good, right? They’re certainly cute, if not that cuddly.

So yes, I would say furlough has been good for me because it has given me more time to push for my dreams. How about you? Have you been furloughed and how have you found it?