The year that unravels in front of us is a surprise, a mystery, a gift, and I live the feeling of its anticipation with extreme joy!
I know that there are people who are keen on writing down their wishes and objectives, because they are sure that only this way they will work, will be fulfilled, and accomplished. I also know that there are persons who prefer not to set any resolutions: these people work on the principle “I know what I want. If it is meant to happen, then it is going to happen.” I learned to look at every year like it is an opportunity that will never come again: an opportunity to grow, change, learn new things, and live new experiences.
I will share with you 10 ideas that came into my mind one of the other nights; maybe some of them will sound good to you too.
- Assess your last year
One of the best ways to decide how to move forward and what direction to choose is, before anything else, to assess the year that just passed. Maybe you’ll want to look into your journal (if you have one), maybe you can check the resolution list you made in January 2016, maybe you’ll get through all the posts you made on Facebook in 2016, maybe you’ll want to answer to some important questions, just like I do – what was the most memorable lesson? Which was the most important decision? Which was your most beautiful day? Which was the most profound conversation? What was the best book?…
Whatever, the main idea is to have a moment in which you can look through the entire year. It is important to be aware of how much you progressed, how much you developed and changed, what you left behind, what obstacles you overcame, how far away you reached, and what kind of person you became. Even if not everything that happened to you were positive things, even if you didn’t get everything you wanted, most certainly you learned something from all these. You earned experience. And now you are given a new opportunity, a white brand new page. What will you write on it? #magicnewyear
- Learn something new
Regardless of age, you can always continue your university courses. Or you could start practising a new sport. Polish a talent. Discover a new domain that interests you. Or, for the sake of it, subscribe to a new course just to learn something new. Whatever raised your curiosity, it is worth starting such an endeavour. It is important to always learn something new, as long as you live. In most cases, those endeavours that get us out of our comfort zone also bring the most savoury moments, unexpected, memorable, which we will cherish later on.
- Detach yourself
My mantra and one of my guiding principles is „Hang on tightly, let go lightly…” In time, we learn to let go of the expediencies we have from others, we manage to detach ourselves, and we manage to say goodbye to the persons that are no longer part of our present.
And, I tell you this with all my sincerity, the moment when you detach is absolutely magical. Because regardless of the intentions you have when you start on a path, detachment creates new space, and space will be filled by new people, new moments and experiences, and new emotions. #letgo
- Change your relationship with technology
How would it be if this year you will use technology for what it is (an instrument), instead of what it became (a crotch, a valve)? We are so used to sending text messages around the clock, to check out social media pages, to comment every idiocy posted online, and to spy on what other people are doing so we can compare their lives with ours (or the other way around). We allowed technology to infiltrate in every single moment we have, and in every corner of our lives. Clue: stupid selfies made in the bathroom? Thousands photos made to ordinary food? Millions of kitsch images of manicured nails – how spectacular and interesting can a manicure be?
It would be admirable that in 2017 to allow technology – which is simply amazing, if not else! – to be an attic, an invitation to spend more time with the people that are important to us, to do the thing we enjoy doing the most, to communicate online only when we can’t do it in person, and to open doors to grand possibilities. But we should now allow technology to be our only channel for communication.
- Eliminate a bad habit
This is one of the interesting things I see on resolution lists: people want to do things or achieve things that are completely new and obviously benefic, but very few people see the correcting of a bad habit as an improvement as well. I am sure that, when you went through remembering 2016, you will realize which your good habits were and which hose that made you unsatisfied, frustrated, burdened, and clogged were. Think quickly: which is the first bad habit that if eliminated or corrected would improve the quality of your life in 2017?
Doing an imagination exercise, I propose to erase from the face of the earth the following bad habits – stylistic, of beauty, nutrition, and attitude.
Eating away your nails. Plucking your eyebrows excessively. Negligence towards your own body and beauty. Getting dressed in black for several days in a row, out of habit or laziness. Getting dressed in beige for your entire life. Ignoring beautiful accessories. Wearing your stockings with a pulled thread, because “it doesn’t show”. Wearing a single bra, for a whole year (or even more). Doing shopping out of desperation or boredom, although you can do something else with your time and money. Buying a clothing piece just because you saw it on Instagram worn by a blogger, although you know it doesn’t represent you. Wearing clothes made out of the worse polyester. Wearing platform shoes, day and night. Eating sweets of any kind. Eating junk food. Keeping a chocolate bar near your bed or in your handbag. Starvation in the name of losing weight. Skipping breakfast. Eating on the run. Laziness. Nagging. Criticizing other women. Criticizing your own body and person. Critique and envy, in general. Getting miffed without a reason. Victimization and self-commiseration. Believing that you are not beautiful, just ordinary. Getting frowned. Being complacent with a routine. Auto-disillusion. Financial and/or emotional dependence on another person. Lack of attention when it comes to your own spiritual life. Auto-sufficiency.
Whatever your bad habit is, you can change it. You know you can, being enough just to make up your mind. #badhabitsdiehard
- Choose to be gentle
It is easy to be kind, smiling, gentle, generous, and optimistic… when everything works out just fine. But what do you do in those situations when you become irritated, nervous, and furious in a justificatory manner? When everything goes upside down, starting with the weather and traffic, up to the outfit and disposition of your boss? When your boyfriend leaves you, discover that you gained 7 kg in a month, you lost an important project, your child scraped his knees, a drilling machine blows continuously from your neighbors, and your cat ran away from home?
If you can, choose to be gentle. Maybe even calm. After a while, you will congratulate yourself and will be proud that you managed to maintain your balance. After all, behaving with decency, with internal grace, and with politeness is such a rare gesture these days, haven’t you notice? And this type of gentleness, of availability is never enough in the world, so there is no such thing as empathy excess or overdose. #choosekindness
Pick a destination abroad or explore a familiar territory: the city where you live, the place your family comes from, and the streets where you enjoyed your childhood. At least once a month, discover a new place near the area where you live. At least once a year, travel in a space that is entirely new to you. Maybe you will find something that will stir your interest (Colombian cuisine! Miniature Japanese sculptures! The building of unburnt brick houses in Patagonia! Escalade made in your bear skin!) Realistically talking, it is possible to discover all sorts of things and customs that you will be able to integrate in your lifestyle.
Strictly from a stylistic point of view, travel experiences are a real treasure. Let yourself inspired by the street fashion of other capital cities; allow the colors, prints, and textures of other places to impregnate on your retina and buy local accessories that you can incorporate in your style: silk scarves from India, blouses with embroidery from Sicily or Bulgaria, a hat made out of straws from Vietnam, braided sandals from Morocco, silk pants from Nepal, bohemian earrings from Mexico…
- Sort, organize, and clean the spaces in which you live
The start of a year is more than perfect moment to eliminate from your life and house everything that is useless, excessive, and redundant: things, clothes, and relationships. At one of the Style Conversations workshops I talked about the “Magic of the Order”, written by Marie Kondo and “The Art of Simplicity”, of Dominique Loreau, and many of the participants bought the books and started making order in their houses and lives.
For me, this is one of my favorite activities during the winter break: I sort scrupulously, throw away massively, and organize methodically. I throw away or donate clothes and shoes, clean closets and wardrobes, erase old phone numbers, clean up shelves, throw away old magazines and agendas, unused makeup products and chipped cups, tangled wires, and all sorts of small things that accumulate in time. I don’t know how you are, but very few things can compare with the feeling of space – interior and exterior – bright, aired, cleaned, and organized.
- Read more
Whether you already are a die-hard reader (omg, you have all my admiration and get my good hands!), whether you admit that you need to find time and energy to lose yourself in a good book, now is the moment to decide to read quality content, more than you did last year. A fiction book per month: very realistic. A new magazine every month, each from a new domain: more than accomplishable. Twelve specialty articles monthly (meaning 3 articles/month): more than necessary and reasonable!
You won’t just discover what it means to cultivate time for yourself, but you will also get new ideas, different conversations, surprising perspectives, and miraculous revelations. But the most important thing is that, with every read page, you will learn something new. I have absolutely no doubt about it!
- By the light in your life
Ow, I know it sounds mushy, maybe even awkward if you are an ultra-pragmatic or a true cynic! But do give me a moment here…
You know that little voice inside your head? Not intuition, the other one – the hellish one, which always sets you straight, keeps you on the spot, throws sand in your wheels, puts you in the corner, and discourages you! Change it, transform it. Allow it to become your most ardent admirer, your best friend, the optimist that is fullest of energy, the one that makes your inner critic go silent. It is a way of exercising and exerting your self-respect.
After all, everything you hear with regularity (whether it is told by the others or you are telling yourself) ends up changing you. So why not be the light for your soul and mind, instead of being a cloud of rain or sitting in a cone of shade? Just sayin’… #shinelikeastar