It’s not really a habit of mine to make New Year’s Resolutions, probably because it’s also never been a habit of mine to keep them! But as we welcomed 2021, I had a few stern words with myself (in my head, of course) and vowed to stop putting pressure on myself this year. That, unfortunately, is a habit of mine.
Sure, I noted a few other things I wanted to do more of this year – more walks, more writing, more trip planning. In fact, these were the exact words I posted to Instagram on January 4th…
But the pressure one, that felt the most important to me.
Knowingly or not, over the last 8/9 years or so – ever since finishing college – I have often put pressure on myself, mostly in terms of career choices/making money/feeling like I’m not doing enough. Why? I don’t know! I envy people who seem to glide through life in a variety of jobs, ‘winging’ it and being totally okay with it. Even more so, I envy those who manage to travel endlessly or at least spend large bulks of their years in various countries. The downside of social media – seeing and comparing your lifestyle with that of others.
I’m writing this today because it’s now June. We’ve made it halfway through 2021 and just this week I’ve had to remind myself of my ‘no-pressure’ goal – *slap on the wrist, Lucy*. And it’s just made me wonder, how your resolutions are going? Or not going?
Is 2021 proving to be the year you hoped for?
I think we’d all agree, our year would be instantly improved if Covid-19 hurried up and buggered off. But pandemic aside, how is your year really going? Are things going as you planned? Or are there things that you could change in the next 6 months to feel you’ve really reached your yearly goals? OR, did you begin the year setting absolutely zero goals? Because that’s okay too.
As I wrote in that Instagram post back in January, I didn’t really create myself ‘goals’, I just hoped for certain things because the mere mention of the word ‘goal’ already seemed to suggest pressure. Have you ever set a goal that you weren’t able to reach? It happens, and sometimes it can be disappointing. So after the upheaval of 2020 for absolutely EVERYBODY, and the effects of it – goals not reached, plans un-planned, hopes postponed – I thought it was only right to change the way I thought and felt about certain things in my personal life.
And personally, I feel I’ve achieved a decent amount over the last 6 months. I’ve worked and earned more than I did this time last year (thanks to lockdowns) and I successfully completed my TEFL course back in April so I’m officially certified to teach English to foreign students. To me, though, doing my TEFL was more than just doing a course. It’s a path I’ve thought about for years, but clearly I kept following different/wrong ones…
Last year with plenty of time on my hands, still no clear career path in mind, and literally nothing holding me back I felt it was finally the perfect time to throw myself into studying for a TEFL certificate. At first, it was strange studying again, after almost a decade. But I was soon sucked in and felt so accomplished with every unit and assignment I completed. The more teaching knowledge I acquired, the more excited I felt about taking on the role of a teacher. I could actually see myself doing it.
Fast forward to now: I’m about two months on from passing the course and I find myself very slowly looking for TEFL work. This is annoying. I would like to speed up, I would like to find work as soon as possible and start teaching students! But, I’ve encountered a small problem – NERVES.
I know what I’m doing. I’m pushing the TEFL job search aside, blaming it on my current job, or my social life, when truthfully I’m just nervous to begin something new.
And because I’m nervous, I’m postponing things, hence I’m beginning to irritate myself. Because I know that I’ve worked hard at something and should just make the jump into something new (that could also be really great for me). And alas, here comes the pressure…
SO. I need a big, fat reminder that I wasn’t supposed to do that this year. I wasn’t supposed to push myself so much or feel frustrated that things weren’t just landing in my lap! I was supposed to take each day, week and month as it came, and to simply go with the flow. So easily said, isn’t it?
When I think of my ultimate life of pure perfection, I see me – a carefree girl wandering streets of quaint Mediterranean towns, making money here, there and everywhere and just – going with the flow. I’ve always admired that phrase because I think it is the attitude I wish I could adopt… in a perfect world.
In reality, I suppose I might always be a bit of a worrier. But 2021 so far, has been a good year of change for me and I need to remember that!
Writing this post now has been a step to the reminder I needed.
What about you? If you need a reminder to stick with a resolution you made this year (or equally not stick with because you’re still doing great anyway!), then this is it 🙂