The week before Christmas, a friend at the gym asked what my new year's resolution would be for 2023. I replied I would not be making any new year's resolutions. I will not be setting any goals, and I will not be marking any milestones in 2023. For 2023, I will do exactly what I did in 2022. Live my life! It sounds simple, but it is the most empowering way to live. 2022 was the happiest year I have experienced as an adult, and it has become a template for how I hope to live the rest of my life.
I made a promise to myself in 2021 that I was going to start living more intentionally and for myself. I was going to put myself first and stop putting myself in any unfavorable situations to please others. That was my new year's resolution for 2021. 2021 was a struggle because it was all about weeding out the wrong people from my life. The changes I made meant I had to let go of some people, and others that were not accepting of the new me stopped showing up. It was a difficult year, but it was the beginning of better years to come.
So, what did I do differently in 2022? My mindset shifted in 2022. I decided to explore other aspects of my life, but this time, without the pressure I, and others around me, consciously or subconsciously placed on me. 2022 became the year I truly lived my truth, and I am grateful for my newly found joy.
Here is an excerpt from my Journal entry on 1/2/22-
I have no new year's resolution, no plans, no worries. It is an interesting new year mindset. I am free! No expectations, just living. I feel freer this year than any other year. There is not one person I care about more than myself in this world, and I am at peace with that. I no longer hold any grudges, anger, or bitterness, and I am no longer going to pray about the same things I used to pray about. I will now give those a rest. I look forward to a good year, and I will take each day with peace of mind. I will be anxious for nothing. I will live in peace. I hold absolutely no one accountable for my happiness this year. It is going to be a good, good year.
From time to time, I would read my journal entries, and I could see my progression to a happier state of mind. I was more thankful in my journal entries this year. That was mostly for simple things like having a job and being able to pay my bills on time, sleep better, have a better relationship with food, and have a calmer state of mind (I call it stable-happy). I had a problem with my knee sometime in July, which has made walking a bit difficult to date, but I am grateful that I can walk at all. It could have been worse. I was thankful for the little things and the bigger problems, the ones I worried about so much for all those years were no problem this year. Plus, there were no people around to remind me of those problems. Life felt much better!
In 2022, I finally reached peace with the world and accepted life as it is. I counted my blessings, they are many, and what I did not have, I accepted I did not need. I became more comfortable with being alone. I was no longer seeking people out. I started to enjoy my own company and even discovered so much about myself. I got to know myself on a much deeper level. I realized I am no longer emotionally reactive to situations; my emotions are stable even in stressful situations, and I am more patient with myself and others. In 2022, I spoke less about my plans to others; I trusted my own instincts, my decision-making ability got better, and I channeled my energy on my new business and made giant strides that moved the company closer to launching. Somehow, the universe aligned just right, and there were no doubts in my mind that I was on the right path and doing exactly what I was created to do.
Ten rules I lived by in 2022
- I did not place other people's happiness above mine. I was not eager to please anyone. I respected everyone; I was kind to all, but I loved myself first.
- I only did what I felt absolutely comfortable doing. If I had to convince myself to do something, if my thoughts lingered for more than a day on the same issue and I could not come to a definite conclusion on why I should do something, I deferred to not doing it. If I didn't feel absolute peace about a situation, I didn't push too hard; I let it go.
- I created boundaries, especially with family.
- I was careful not to absorb the burdens of other people's problems. I gave a listening ear and offered a shoulder when necessary, but I did not let other people's issues burden me. I avoided putting myself in unfavorable situations while trying to help others. I lent a helping hand but not to my detriment. I learned that doing so only negatively impacted myself and others as you cannot fill from an empty cup, so I know better now.
- I was not too hard on myself or others this year. I forgave myself and others easily. I managed my expectations better, and in some cases, I had no expectations at all, so I was not disappointed. Every situation was a learning opportunity, no matter how difficult or unpleasant it was. We live and learn- one of my favorite sayings in 2022.
- I was okay with having just a handful of friends. My 2022 friends were just as giving as I was. I did not feel drained emotionally by any of my friends.
- I turned my phone off a lot, sometimes for days. I shut the world out whenever it felt necessary to do so. Thankfully, I never really got the social media bug. I have always stayed away from interesting myself with what was going on in other people's lives, but in 2022, I turned off the world as a whole when I felt overstimulated. As a rule, no work emails on my phone, no news apps, no social media apps, no unnecessary apps that I did not need, and all notifications are turned off except for i-message and WhatsApp. WhatsApp groups are a no-no for me. I don't need to be catching up on the 999 messages I know nothing about. YouTube got my vote, though; I still need entertainment like everyone else. I used my DO NOT recommend button for most videos suggested by YouTube. I do not wish to get into the rabbit hole of nothingness due to the YouTube algorithm. A phone is a tool, and it should be used as such.
- I explored my city more this year. I visited a few museums, went to festivals, and enjoyed time with some beautiful people on all the major holidays. There were no dull moments.
- I ate better this year, for the most part. I got into the habit of prepping my meals and portioning them out for the week. I struggled sometimes, but I did my best to stay on track, and when I strayed (which happened a lot more than I would like to admit), I simply realigned myself. No questions asked. I exercised less, though, partly due to laziness and partly due to a change of work schedule, but I hope to do better in 2023.
- I was okay with making mistakes in 2022 and looked forward to learning from my failures. I did everything in fear because I did not allow my fears to hold me down.
Happiness was a priority in 2022. I achieved more personally and professionally without setting any hard goals for myself. I allowed myself to breathe easily and did what I needed to do when I needed to, without any pressure from myself or others. Above all, in 2022, I reached peace with God, the world, and myself, and I am happier. It has been a good, good year, and I hope to spend the rest of my life, however long or short, basking in this stable-happiness I have found and staying grateful for simple things like being able even to take my breaths.
I am not super religious; matter of fact, I am less and less religious as I get older, but I believe words can be pressed on your heart to help your outlook on life. I held on to Philippians 4: 6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I am raising my glass to 2023 and looking forward to an even better and happier year. Challenges will come, but I will face those with dignity and grace.
Cheers to 2023!!!