I admit it – I am a total cliche when it comes to the New Year. I can’t resist using it as a chance to reflect on the learnings of the past year and to consider what I want for the year ahead. I know not everyone feels this way, and 2022 especially feels like a tough one to muster any energy for. And for that reason I have total respect for anyone choosing to shun the usual reflection and goal-setting dance we do in January.
I, however, did dance this dance. I journaled, looked back and reflected. Wrote about my learnings, what I want for this year and went ahead and set myself a word that I hope will guide me through the next 12 months. The whole word of the year thing isn’t for everyone, but I find it helpful. I find it perhaps most helpful when I find a quote using the word that I can use as a mantra of sorts.
Last year for example, my word was ‘flow’, and my mantra was a quote from Virgina Woolf, “I am rooted, but I flow” which was the exact energy I was inviting in for 2021. To stay rooted to my beliefs and my truth, while flowing with changes and any unexpectancy that came my way. I then put this quote on my phone’s lock screen so I would see it often and it really did help me in moments of stress and overwhelm.
Because I’m nosy and like reading about other people’s words of the year and intentions, I thought it was only fair to share my own. So let’s start with some areas I want to focus on in 2022…
This area has been neglected the last couple of years. With the stress of covid, the change in lifestyle it brought, moving house and everything else in between, taking care of myself physically just fell to the bottom of the priority list. I started remedying this towards the end of 2022, finally booking in doctor, dentist and optician appointments.
Now I’m ready to take things further because my body is not feeling great. My joints ache, I get out of breath from doing simple tasks and my energy levels are non-existent. I simply don’t move as much as I used to when I was commuting to the office each day and the lack of movement is taking its toll. Yoga has always been in the background as a practice I’d utilise, but I fell out of the habit – and the at-home workouts I started during lockdown 1.0 quickly became a chore so I stopped.
Also, I’ll be honest – I have a difficult relationship with exercise as someone who’s experienced an eating disorder. I’ve always tried to steer clear of the fitness world to avoid triggers and also because I hate how that world so often equates health with thinness. As a firm believer of Health At Every Size, I almost rebelled against anything fitness related.
But now I realise it’s not about shunning health promoting behaviours like eating more fruits and veg and exercising. It’s about recognising that all bodies can engage in these behaviours and be healthy, regardless of the effect this has on the way your body looks. I explored this more in a recent article over on Happiful.
Suffice to say, my body’s crying out for a little love. So I’ve stocked up on foods that will make me feel good (without restricting anything of course) and I’m joining in with RED January to invite movement into my everyday routine. I have a trip coming up to Sedona that will involve lots of walking and I want to enjoy the incredible scenery and not feel like I’m dying. I’m excited to see how this focus affects the way I feel, both mentally and physically.
Last year I realised just how important having a creative practice was for me. Through drawing and art journaling, I’ve found an outlet outside of writing that makes me feel fizzy with delight. To me, creativity is all about expression, whether that’s through the outfits I wear, doodles of flowers, cutting and pasting pictures from magazines or writing an article. And I want to make sure I continue to make this a priority in 2022.
I also want to keep my creative cup full by reading, learning, visiting new places, watching films, talking with different people, taking time off social media… all of it. I’m hoping travel can be a more prominent feature this year with one trip already booked and many more in my head. New experiences are something I think we’re all craving, so here’s to more of those in 2022. My aim is also to incorporate more creativity into my work here at Blue Jay, so keep your eye out for more content around this.
I want this to be driving all the decisions I make in life and work. When an opportunity or decision comes my way, I want to ask myself – will this be fulfilling? How can I make it more fulfilling? I’ve realised what I need from work and life to feel fulfilled, and I want to ensure I’m giving these things to myself as much as possible.
So those are the focus areas for this year, and the word that’ll be guiding me along the way is…
Of course this relates heavily to the ‘creativity’ focus area, but I think it branches out to more than that. In my mind it can mean creating a life I love, creating space for health, creating a business that flourishes, creating content and, most importantly, creating myself.
And indeed, that is the mantra I’m holding close this year – ‘we are endlessly creating ourselves’. It’s a reminder that nothing is permanent, that we can change and evolve as we grow and that really… anything is possible.
Thank you so much for reading – I hope the start of your year has been gentle and I’d love to hear if you have any words or focus areas for 2022, let me know over on Instagram, @katbluejay. Until next time, take care.
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