My Very Contradictory Mantras for 2017...

Tuesday 3 January 2017

H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R!

And happy back to reality week! How was the festive break for you? Did you get anything particulalry lovely for Christmas? See everyone you hoped to? Switch off entirely or become some kind of productivity hermit, squirrelled away in a fortress of blankets and yet still managing to rule the world?

I personally ended up switching off entirely for the week and a half (or however long it was) and as unintentional as it was, I wouldn't go back and do it differently even if I could. Somehow it seemed kind of fitting to end 2016 in that way. 

For me last year, was in many ways, a bit none descript. Yes historically, 2016 will go down as having many MANY descriptive's added to it, but personally, I guess I don't feel like very much changed for me.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad year. the Young man and I became closer and saw a bit more of the world, I spent a lot of time with the people I love and went on a lot of adventures, in that respect 2016 was a great year. But in terms of personal and career development? It was definitely lacking.

I spent a lot of the year feeling a little unmotivated - partly because of continuous set backs in regards to funding and job uncertainty and partly because for the first time in years I was at a place where I felt maybe I wanted to stand still in for a while, and again, if given the chance to, I'm not sure I'd go back and change how I spent my year. Sometimes you learn a lot from standing still, and now that 2017 has rolled on in, I'm ready to take that learning and get to work.

Everyone has their own opinions and takes on New Years Resolutions. Some people like to set themselves a word for the year, others a specific goal, and some people see no need to treat January 1st any differently to any other day of the year. I've done and been all 3 sorts of people. This year I have not so much a list of goals I want to achieve but I do want to readjust my focuses and attitude.

So I have come up with two mantras for the year - two mantras that are in fact the complete opposite of one another: 'Less is More' and 'More is More' Why the contradiction? and how can that possibly work? I hear you ask... well...

I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. Unfortunately my alls and my nothings aren't always applied the right way round. I can binge watch a season on Netflix like nobody can, and I can leave my housework for weeks. I can panic like it's an olympic sport about the smallest of details but do nothing about it. I can give all my attention to everything, and constantly get nowhere with any of it. 

I am a woman of extremes and contradictions. I have areas of my life where more needs to be done, and areas where less needs to be done. Both figuratively and literally speaking, so when I tried to settle on one mantra, the scales just didn't seem balanced.

I guess you could say my word for the year should be balance but balance is hard for me to quantify. Hard for me to apply to any given situation. Handy little mantras though? For me they just make more sense. Let me give you some examples....

L E S S  I S  M O R E

. shopping in particular for clothes but for stuff in general. My tiny flat is so cluttered and is beginning to make me feel a little claustrophobic, so I want to do a big clean out and really focus in on what I'm buying and wearing. Less is more and also quality not quantity definitely applies here.

. side projects I'm a creative type (in case you hadn't already realised) and I love having side projects, whether that is this blog, some freelance work or something I'm taking on for fun. But the reality is, while I may have some big ideas, I don't give any of them the time or effort they deserve. This year I want to focus in on the projects that really bring me joy and really do them justice.

. make up  a bit like shopping I definitely want to spend some time this year really upping the quality of the make up I am wearing but also I'm aiming to go at least one day a week without any make up on at all. For confidence and skincare reasons. when it comes to make up I'm definitely a novice, and my usual response would to be go all out, buy everything and try everything, and then run out of steam by February. Instead I'm going to focus on the basics - foundation, blusher, mascara, brows,

M O R E  I S  M O R E

.focus this directly compliments my 'less is more' attitude to side projects. As I've already mentioned I spent a lot of 2016 feeling a little unmotivated and without any real focus, This year I want to readjust that and apply more focus to everything (which is hopefully a much more manageable 'everything') I put my hand to. 

. health & fitness this is something I really let slip by the way side after having made so much progress in 2015. I went from having finally found some sort of balance in that area of my life to returning to my old all or nothing mind set, and unfortunately my mind decided on 'nothing.' I definitely NEED to do more in this area of my life, but in order not to fall back in to old routines of extremes while I'm applying the 'More is More' mantra to this, I'll also be keeping less is more in mind. No extreme change in diet, no unobtainable fitness goals.

. being a grown up this is something I addressed quite a bit towards the end of last year, especially with my words of the month (which I will be carrying on with) but this year I want to add some concrete goals to this. Learn to drive (yes, still), start a real savings account, set a day aside each week for housework. I'm 27 this year and while I don't necessarily want to grow up entirely, I would like to feel a bit more like I've got my shit together, because I am so fed up of looking at my bedroom floor and feeling like a stroppy teen.

I want to apply these mantras, whether that's one or both of them, to all areas of my life. Yes the word balance or 'quality not quantity' could also work but I think where I am as person at the moment, I need something that forces me to actively make decisions on things. To be in a situation and to take a moment to stop and think 'Is this a less is more moment or a more is more moment?' feels empowering to me, it's a tangible beginning to readjusting the scales, to finding that quality and much sort after balance. So my mantras may be contradicting one another, and I probably won't always assign the right one to any given day, but it's a beginning, a step in the right direction and it isn't an opportunity for failure - it's one for change.

And that's really what I want 2017 to be all about - change.

Do you have any goals, mantras or resolutions for 2017? Let me know in the comments or leave a link to your New Year post! One of the reasons I personally feel like the new year is a great time to make a change is because you're not going about it all alone! x

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