Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Why I'm Not Setting Goals This Year

Happy Thursday guys! At the end of January, I took part in a monthly twitter chat for the Blog Network (run by my lovely friends Estelle & Stacey), and the theme was goals. It was lovely to chat about this topic with other bloggers and to get an idea of how they all set goals, and also what their plans were for 2019! I talked about how I'm approaching the year myself, and it was nice to receive encouragement  Today's post has been inspired by this twitter chat (even though I've taken my time getting it written up XD). I thought it would be helpful to others who, like me really struggle with feelings of failure when I don't manage to complete goals I've set. I decided after how tough a year I had in 2018 that I was no longer going to allow myself to get hung up on goals and end up putting unnecessary pressure on myself. So, I have started off twenty-nineteen without setting any concrete goals, and wanted to share my feelings about this with you all. I hope that this post is a good read! 

I feel like I have said it a hundred times now over the last year or so, but 2018 really was a pile of shit for me! I mean there were a few things that made the year bearable, which will allow me to look back at it and remember those things and ignore everything else, but as a whole, it sucked! I feel like any progress that I made with my mental illness 'recovery' the previous year just got wiped clean and thus I was a mess psychologically by the end of 2018. A lot of things happened that were out of my control that caused me a lot of turmoil, but there was nothing I could do about those things. I couldn't get away from them and I had no support in terms of therapy or anything like that (the reasons are a story for another day, maybe, but I'm not happy at all with my local MH services). I tried to get through my year the way I had planned at New Year 2017, when like most people, I set goals or resolutions for the twelve months ahead, and this is one of factors that ended up making everything just more of a struggle! 

Basically, whenever I was having one of those days... (we say this like they happen so sparingly, but when you're dealing with mental illness, those days happen all the time!), anyhow whenever I was experiencing days when depressive thoughts were all-consuming, I would always beat myself up over how bad I was doing when it came to my goals, even though I was trying my best just to get through each day, and so all of my attention was focused on that, and the goals I made got put on the back burner, or however that saying goes. 

Despite trying to remind myself that I was doing the best I could, depression likes to ignore reason and make you feel crap regardless of this, and as a consequence, I would obsess over all of the things I hadn't done. I would feel pathetic and like I was just allowing my life to fade away with nothing good to show for my existence. It feel embarrassed knowing that people are going to read those words, but I know there are other people out there who have to deal with mental illness themselves and if reading what I have to say can help them feel less alone, then it will be worth any awkwardness I feel about sharing this on the internet! 

After reflecting over 2018 and trying to decide how to better manage my mental well-being going into this year, I knew that having goals and especially sharing them on my blog had impacted me negatively. Since I had shared the goals online, I felt especially pressured to show that I was completing them and give updates, but I wasn't completing them and had nothing to show, and that just reinforced my feelings of failure and made me worry that everyone else was going to see me as a failure too. I wanted to ensure that this wasn't going to happen again, and I decided that I was not setting any goals for 2019! 

If I did have a goal for this year, it would be to be kinder and more forgiving to myself. To give myself the same level of understanding that I give to others, and to just cut myself some slack! As the beautifully illustrated postcard that I've used in my photography today so rightly says, I need to allow myself to be where I am (artwork is from The Sad Ghost Club). I am determined this year to just let myself be. To just go with the flow and do things when they feel right and not to let myself stress over what I'm not doing, but to be happy about the things that I am doing :) 

I want to celebrate the little victories! I want to focus on all of the stuff that fills me with joy and makes me smile and have an appreciation for life. I want to be able to look back on the year and remember that no matter how small something may seem, it is important and valuable and I did it! In 2017, I made a memory jar but I only put two notes into it last year... this year is going to be different. I am going to fill it with all of the small triumphs and events and moments that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside :3 #cheesemuch. No matter what the next 10 months are going to throw at me, I am going to stay focused on just trying my best! 

So that is why I am seeing no concentre goals this year. I know that is a good decision to put my mental health first and hopefully some day, I am make goals again, but for now I am just going to give myself room to breath and time to heal. I do think that goals are awesome to have and I commend anyone who sets them and does a fabulous job achieving them. You guys are awesome! But I also want to remind others that even if you are not achieving any goals you set, that does not mean you're failing, it does not mean that you will never complete your goals either. You are doing awesome too, and you will get there! Just give it your best attempt and remember to be kind to yourself :)

Thankyou for reading! 

Did you make any goals this year? 
I'd love to hear what they are!

Are any of you guys approaching the year the same way as I am?


1 comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this post. I agree there is a sense of extra pressure in completing goals once you reveal them online. I did a post about “my 2018 goals” that I set myself in 2017 more than half of which I failed at completing as life handed me a big slap of fu*k you to throw me off course… So I feel slightly embarrassed that people would have seen the post and know I didn’t achieve a lot haha!

    Jess xxx ||


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