So you may remember at the start of the year, I wrote a post about how I was planning to approach the year ahead through my promises. 2020 has definitely not been anything at all like any of us planned, so last week I began to think about how I was navigating through these strange times and whether I’d managed to stay true to my core beliefs at the same time and thought it would be good to share a little mid-year update with you all.
I promise to worry less
Ok, so I feel like 2020 heard me say this one and decided to throw a huge worry shaped curveball in my way. I am a self-confessed cleanliness freak, so a global virus pandemic was definitely not the best thing to contend with when it comes to worrying. I have to admit that this one has been very difficult and to be honest, I’ve spent the majority of this year worried out of my mind, spraying the house and myself with disinfectant at every opportunity – I’ve not even been able to do my weekly supermarket shop without worrying.
I’m trying to not be too hard on myself given the current circumstances and that said, I have definitely started to worry less about other, more trivial things in life such as other peoples opinions and small everyday events that would usually sit in the forefront of my mind and take me away from the present moment. I still have a little way to go and I’m hoping as we move through the rest of the year, I manage to worry less and I absolutely promise myself that I will try my best.
I promise to be kinder to myself
This last month, there’s been points where I’ve felt quite low and when I stopped to think about why it was because I was constantly telling myself I wasn’t doing certain things well enough or to a high enough standard – which is funny really as everyone else was giving me praise for the exact same things. This is not to say I’ve not got better at this, because I can certainly see a difference in comparison to previous years so, at the same time as recognising an improvement, I think it’s safe to say this one is still a work in progress.
I promise to practice gratitude daily
Practising gratitude is something that I can safely say I’ve been doing great at! It’s almost become a little ritual in my daily routine and I will often do this both in the morning and at night to start and end my days. I find it such a crucial part of staying in the moment as it really helps me think about and feel grateful for the little parts of daily life that I would otherwise take for granted.
I think in a weird way, this promise is one that the global pandemic has actually had a positive effect on as we have all had no choice but to miss those small things like hugging family and friends, popping quickly to the shops, jumping in the car to go for a hike in the countryside or even getting hold of pasta to make our favourite Italian dinner; which has made us even more grateful to finally start to do some of these things again. I listened to a podcast recently, where Vex King spoke about a way that he teaches people to feel gratitude and it’s simply to think of the opposite, so in essence, think of your life without something and I think if practising gratitude is something you struggle with, this is a great place to start. Even thinking about my days without my morning cup of tea makes me instantly thankful for the blessing of hot water and an English tea bag!
I promise to continue saying no
I have made a really good start to this promise in 2020 and I’ve seen huge positive changes in my life as a result. I’ve stopped putting myself out purely from feeling obliged to make others happy and again I think the situation across the globe has made this easier, as I’ve had more time to stop and think about what makes me happy and live a slower, more considered life.
In my original post back in January, I wrote that part of my fear of saying no came from not wanting people to view me in a negative light and saying no to things this year has absolutely caused some people to have this opinion of me, I’m sure, however, I’ve come to realise that we can never control how another person views us, whether that be friends, family or a complete stranger, so there’s absolutely no point in trying. Everything that I do only comes from good intentions and so ultimately I’m happy with each of the decisions I make. I’m also finding it much easier to say no, without feeling the need to give a reason or excuse and it’s so liberating not to constantly have my mind whirling around with these worries.
Overall, I’m happy with the progress I’m making with these promises and think that this little process is something that I’m going to try and follow at the start of each year. Setting promises around values and behaviours has really underpinned everything else this year for me and I would highly recommend it if you’re bored of the usual New Years resolutions.