I am grateful for such a beautiful year.
2019 truly was a year of growth for me.
As discussed in my recent interview with Ete Swimwear,
2019 was definitely the year I focused more on myself as I think self love is vital for self growth, and enabling yourself to have loving relationships with those around you. To me, self love isn’t just bubble baths, but a whole way of life that encompasses what you digest, how you think, who you surround yourself with, how you treat yourself, and how you let others treat you.
I hated how certain people or situations made me feel, and how I was trying to force myself down paths that didn’t excite, empower, or strength me.
I didn’t want my new year’s resolution in 2018 to just be words so I took ownership over myself.
What I consumed
I significantly changed my diet by eating primarily organic food, and purchasing low waste food items. This was more easily done as my workplace has 3 fully stocked kitchens which contains only organic, Australian grown food.
What I allowed to consume me
I became better friends with people who were aligned with what I valued, shared the same interests, didn’t have toxic traits, and enjoyed doing things together.
A mentor advised me to not get caught up with the issues of old connections. So I unfollowed or muted people not on the same path, and stopped checking up on them.
“Self care is also not arguing with people who are committed to misunderstanding you”.
What strengthened me
I finally realised that it wasn’t that I didn’t like to exercise, I just didn’t like the exercises I wasn’t doing. It wasn’t that I didn’t like to go to the gym, I didn’t like the gym environment I was in.
So tested a bunch of different exercise options to find what I was genuinely interested in, and forced me to go out of my comfort zone to ultimately become more confident in myself. Every week I now run 20-40kms, do 2 kickboxing classes, 2 boxing classes, and strength training twice a week with my husband.
But strength isn’t just physical, it’s mental too.
You can go to the gym, drink your water, and take your vitamins but if you don't deal with the shit in your heart, and your head you're still going to be unhealthy
I focused on the fact that my weight, and appearance may vary but my value as a person does not. So no matter what I did, I did it for me.
I listened to podcasts, watched more documentaries, read more.
What I gave to my connections
One of my least favourite traits is keeping my feelings, and thoughts inside until I accidentally let it slip in a moment of weakness. So I communicated better.
I replaced being disappointed when people did not meet my expectations with making them more informed prior to doing something so I know we both did all we could to make something happen.
I replaced being soaking up bad things, and seeing them more as lessons.
I replaced language that excused people for something hurtful, or not productive. The way we treat ourselves sets a standard to how we allow others to treat ourselves. If someone hurts you, don't just brush it off, and say it's ok.
I stopped apologising for just being there. If you need something from someone, stop saying "sorry, can I have X?". I had to learn to say, "Excuse me, I need X for Y, and it's important because of Z". Put value into everything you do.
It’s not something bad happening to me. It’s something that wasn’t planned but is a lesson for me to learn.
I read an article that really hit home, and here are 10 lessons it taught:
Don’t be quick to criticize.
Enter every conversation with humility knowing that you don’t know how that person feels, and you’re coming to hear them out. Why even bother talking someone if you’re only trying to say your own point? Communication starts with listening.
Choose to use words that lift that person up instead of putting them down. Don't use conversations as a way of tearing someone down, even if you’re upset and hurt by them.
Don’t repeat information. If you feel like someone isn’t getting what you’re saying, it won’t help by being repetitive. When you do, you're just giving them the excuse you to mentally shut you out. Instead of repeating yourself, try asking them questions about what they are feeling or thinking about what you are trying to get across.
While the other person is talking to you, don't try to be defensive. If you spend all of your energy being defensive, you won't really be listening to the other person. All you will be doing is thinking about how to respond to them instead of being present and actively listening
Make the conscious effort to turn towards the person instead of turning away. The more you try running away from the problem, the worse it becomes.
Seek to understand instead of seeking to be understood. Come into conversations with true genuineness. Look past their faults, because truth be told, you have faults too. You are there to talk because you love that person and you want to your relationship with them to heal.
Don’t treat conversations like a competition. You are not here to win an argument, and even if you do 'win' the argument, you've just burned an important bridge in your relationship that can cost you your relationship with that person.
Don't try to rush through conversations. Good things take time. When you are in a rush, you are not giving yourself the space and time to be vulnerable. If you cannot be vulnerable about how you feel first, then how can the other person be vulnerable with you? Vulnerability brings people together, so please carve out a space and time where you and the other party can be vulnerable with each other. Be the first person to step out in vulnerability.
People don’t care about what you know - they want to know how much you care. Are you showing you care for that person with both your words and actions? Remember, you need both to sustain a healthy relationship.
So what now?
Now it’s just a few days until 2020, and I want to keep growing. I’m not the woman I know I can become yet. I want to keep striving to be better, to be a well rounded human being.
So to whoever is reading this, I hope your new year’s resolutions are reached. And if they haven’t, it’s ok. Every moment is a new opportunity to try something different.