I've heard a few people, all of whom I really respect, say they aren't massive fans of New Years Resolutions and I am not really either. It can be dangerous to say "tomorrow" or "next week" or "in the new year" when you're talking about a GOOD, POSITIVE change in your life. The concept of waiting for a New Year to do something you want to and will make you feel better? Surely it makes sense to just get cracking straight away? If you want to start exercising more - why wait a week? If you want to join a dance class - jump online immediately.
I think this can be the danger of Resolutions and why so many of us don't keep them. We make a long lists of ways to be better people and then wait to tackle everything at the same time instead of phasing these things into our lives organically. No wonder we never start them in the first place! Because we have LIVES that get in the way of these brilliant, perfect shadow selves who do their New Years Resolutions perfectly, instead of being buried in their shitty jobs and long bus rides.
So, my solution?
I'm going to center all my "Resolutions" on getting things OUT of the way that stop me from fulfilling my resolutions. Cleanse my life out. Strip it down. Instead of trying to ADD on to it all the time. Genius, right? I looked at my blog from last year: The Best Resolutions I've Heard and, surprise surprise, I've done none of them. Literally - NONE. Shameful.
The main ones were:
"No Devices Time"
"Get Out of Hospitality"
"Better at Correspondence"
"Take Time to Feel Beautiful."
Pretty nice, solid resolutions. Reading that post again this morning I thought - you know what, I'm going to keep the exact same resolutions..... because I HAVEN'T COMPLETED ANY OF THESE! Oh the shame.
Have I gotten out of hospitality? Ha! Have I f***! Have I spent some time every day without any devices? Well... of course I've been without devices plenty of times, but I can't say I've sat down intentionally every day with zero techno-interruption. Correspondence? Well, as my beautiful friends and family back home can attest - I'm terrible at it. Still busy to a fault and have hardly any time to sit down and write long emails, which isn't good enough.
And probably my biggest hurdle - taking time to feel beautiful? I have made zero efforts on this score and I can't believe it's been an entire year since I made this revelation and I've still done nothing about it.
This year has been.... in a word: Epic. I am proud of most of it, achieved quite a bit and had some serious shit moments. I would say the first half of the year and the second half were polar opposites. I started out 2014 really excited, then had a horrific March, by mid-year life was picking up again and now, rounding off 2015 I feel incredibly excited for the New Year. There's a lot to be happy about and a lot to focus on.
2014 saw a lot of change in my life. I gained two of my absolute best friends from home and they now live in the same city as me! I acted in some brilliant plays that I hope have a life after this year. My personal life has had a major development that I couldn't be happier about and, blogging-wise I've been lucky enough to join the phenomenal team at Veganuary, who are working wonders online enticing people to try a vegan lifestyle. That, plus my continued work with Vilda and Chic Vegan, I feel very lucky.
So, what will I be focusing on for this year?
Or, more accurately - what will I be doing to ensure the following resolutions can ACTUALLY be kept?
That's the key. The good intentions are all there, it's having time to follow resolutions I'm struggling with.
1. Be More Selfish
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Selfish sounds really bad, doesn't it?
Well - sorry, but I have decided it isn't. Being selfish is something I NEED to start doing in my life. And you probably do to. I am the ultimate people pleaser; if everyone around me is happy, I'm happy. I think. That's how I've always operated and, trust me, it's gotten me into some serious problems in the past.
I often end up spending my time in ways that isn't the best use of it. I'll end up at social events I don't really want to go to, I'll do favors for people I don't have the time for, I'll invest in new friendships because I don't want to reject people when I barely have time for my BEST friends.... it's not a healthy habit to be in.
I know the things that make me happy. I know what formula works for me. So, my idea of "being selfish" will be ensuring that no matter what - my routines and my "formula" is able to be maintained. If I feel like I can't do the basic things that make me happy, something isn't right. I don't have kids, I have minimal responsibility - so if I can't make these things work now, what hope have I got in the future??
2. Oops I'm a Shit Blogger
I started this blog because I wanted to. I love writing, I love creating amazing vegan recipes, I love organizing food photo shoots, I love writing about all things vegan and I wanted to help spread the realization that vegans aren't crazy hippies. Vegans can just be normal, nice, chilled out dudes that UNDERSTAND really important concepts. That's it. That's my message.
I love this blog and I MISS this blog. I know I've written barely anything this year and that makes me really mad at myself. I want to blog regularly again. It does take time and work to create posts I'm happy with, as I'm an editing Nazi (and a photo Nazi), so it doesn't really happen very quickly. I'm also slowed down by writing for other sites, because those relationships and websites matter so much to me and, I'm aware, reach a much larger audience than I do.
But - I want this to change for the new year. I want to write a MINIMUM of once a week on Oops I'm a Vegan AS WELL as honoring my other commitments. There are (no joke) about 70 posts on here that are "pending". All the ideas are there... it's just managing my time better and, yeah, being more selfish. See, all these things tie together nicely :)
3. Making Time for My Routines and Building Good Habits.
It's pretty basic. I need more TIME. My time is soaked up with a lot of things that, honestly, could be shifted around or prioritized better. Or sometimes just with utter crap like watching YouTube for way too long (confessions!!)
The routines/habits that really MATTER to me, but I've let slip completely away are:
- Writing my blog (already discussed to death...)
- Making most of my meals
- Doing morning stretches/yoga/warm up
- Having some kind of super healthy green smoothie every day
I MISS THESE THINGS. I miss them. There was a time when I was SUCH a health Nazi and always found time to do what needed to be done. Now, life has decided that being social and rehearsing every hour under the sun is more important than these things. Well, they're not. I need to make my life work around my healthy habits where possible. The next time I get into a play and am rehearsing a lot - I need to make sure I adjust my time so that these routines aren't what disappear.
It really is all about priorities. I WANT to make these things a priority again.
4. I Miss Thee, Organic Delivery...
Basic - get back to ordering my Organic delivery each week. This made my life SO SO much easier and I stopped because... I dunno.... I'm shit?
Anyway, back to it! It was a fantastic routine, not expensive at all and will entice me to cook more and use up all these amazing, beautiful, seasonal veg. Two birds one stone - with this resolution I will eat better and COOK MORE. Bam.
(The company I use are Able and Cole. PHENOMENAL. Cannot recommend highly enough.)
5. Let's Get Professional
Here's my first "RECYCLE".
Last year it was "Get out of Hospitality" - this year it's more realistic. This year the goal is - try and get professional acting work as much as possible and shy away from working for free all the time.
I know, for any actors reading this, that is OBVIOUSLY the dream. But my trap is I can't say no to people and I end up locked into long commitments that render me unavailable to even audition for professional work.
For 2015 - I will take on independent, unpaid work if it's with people I really want to work with, of course. But I won't seek it out specifically or stuff my diary with auditions for non-paid work. I will focus 100% on my Agency, go to as many professional auditions as possible and keep up my training. With our powers combined, this year I can take my career (hopefully) to the next level.
Hospitality will just be a way of life until I can act full time. And that's okay. Luckily I have a very enjoyable job with the coolest people alive.
6. The Beautiful Thing
Yeah... that. Here's the second "RECYCLE".
Last year, I said I wanted to take time each day to feel beautiful. Put a bit more effort into my appearance, feel cool and confident as I walk out the door. I have not done this at all. Most days I wear zero make up, my clothing is nothing to write-home about, I am the very definition of low maintenance. This is something I both love and don't love about myself. I like being low maintenance, I do. I never want to be the kind of girl who can't leave home without make up or takes ages getting ready or spends lots of money on clothes. I don't (and I can't!)
BUT - I certainly do want to feel like I'm the best version of myself. That's the best feeling ever. It's nice feeling like you are at your MOST beautiful, your MOST confident. It's nice feeling like other people think you are beautiful or look nice. So, let's recycle this resolution and really try and do it this year.
On a simple level I would like to only leave the house if I feel like I have put in a bit of effort. On a practical note - again this means prioritizing this and organizing my life a bit better. Maybe invest in some new good staples for my closet? Maybe invest in some mascara? Maybe wake up ten minutes earlier and have a bit more time in the mornings?
Bring on 2015...
As I get ready to leave for a full day of New Years celebrations, it feels like a perfect morning to test out my goals for the year ahead. I've spent all morning alone, being productive, BLOGGING, doing exactly what I want. I've bought a cool new top and am making myself feel as fabulous as possible before running off to have a selfish and brilliant time.
Why wait till tomorrow to kick off all these great new ideas?
See you for the next post. No longer than a week... I promise!
Happy 2014 everyone. Love and Sweet Potatoes,
- Hannah xx
PS - there's a picture from the country to sign off. How beautiful is Wales?
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