I'm one of many who write down yearly goals for the New Year. I also create vision boards to see what I want my year to look like. I get inspired by certain things I want to manifest.
Setting goals was beneficial for me because there's something I can go back to and see which direction I will go next. It also feels great to put a checkmark on those lists and proudly say that it has been a productive and successful year.
I used to make plans for almost everything. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic started, I also became sluggish. In 2020-2021, I had many goals that were paused or took so long to complete. The lockdown made me think that so many things are beyond our control. Even if we plan something well, certain factors can affect how things go.
During those times, I started feeling anxious. There was also pressure from the people around me who expected me to achieve something. I had to make backup plans because things were just not possible. It took me a while to accept the situation.
One good example was moving to the Netherlands. I got the offer in October 2019 and moved to this new country in August 2020. Everything that happened in between and afterward is another story to tell.
There were moments when I felt like making goals didn't make any sense anymore. Why would I do it if a lockdown can prevent me from doing what I want? I slowly stopped focusing on the goals, plans, and actions that excited me.
I only went with the flow for about two years because things seemed very uncertain. I didn't know when things would return to "normal" or when I could travel or visit a nice restaurant. I kept myself inside a cage that prevented me from exploring what else was out there. For quite some time, I let myself drown in negativities that didn't help me feel good. There was a time when I thought I didn't know myself.
It was initially overwhelming because I stopped doing many things I used to enjoy. Then I started surrounding myself with people who encouraged me to do something great. I met new people who shared the same experiences as me. And others were genuinely working intensely into themselves. I got inspired by their stories, and I felt motivated to start anew.
I slowly adjusted to a newfound environment when I left my box. It's not always fun. There were still moments when I closed off. One thing I realized, though, is that I felt absolute freedom when I focused on doing what I wanted to do and not what others wanted me to do.
Before 2021 ended, I decided to work on my goals again. I created a vision board and wrote down my goals for the year. I felt a burst of excitement because I got so many ideas that I wanted to do. It's exciting to think about the things I am looking forward to doing.
My 2022 didn't start nicely because of some bad things that happened. But instead of focusing on the negative things, I decided to focus more on myself, my bright ideas, who I truly am, and simply caring and loving myself more. I learned to shift my focus on the things that are important to me.
I decided to surround myself with people who have a good impact on my life, people who bring me joy, and people who make me feel empowered. I'm very grateful to those people.
I knew I could learn a lot from other people's experiences, so I started following some of them on YouTube and reading more self-help books.
I knew I had some past traumas that I hadn't dealt with yet, so I went on therapy for healing.
I knew I wasn't giving my best at work, so I sought help from my team leader to get back on track.
I knew I could contribute to other people's lives, so I trained for life coaching.
I knew I was a good artist, so I started painting again.
I knew that I had brilliant ideas, so I decided to keep on writing.
I knew that being mentally and physically healthy would bring me great results, so I chose to keep an active lifestyle and eat healthy foods.
When I'm physically active and workout consistently, I feel better. It helps me get energized to do more things I like. I would also go on walks to see nature.
I became more mindful. I started practicing yoga and meditation too. These activities help me relax my mind and refocus on my being.
If I want to be good at something, I ask for help from others who are already doing great in that thing. That's when I started working with coaches or mentors for different areas of my life.
I began learning many other things because I enjoy doing them and know they can benefit me too. I also started traveling again because I like exploring new places.
I created a vision book with more detailed information about my goals, what makes me happy, and who I truly am. I printed it out and arranged my vision's images in a binder to look like a book I could always look at. It made me feel inspired and motivated to keep going.
Now, what I do is I review my previous month and see how I did and felt during that month, and check whether I was able to achieve the goals I set. Then I make action plans for the next month.
I may need help to follow through with all my goals, but I know I'm doing great. If I fail to do them in a given period, it's okay. I try to be nicer to myself. As much as possible, I don't want to engage in stressful environments. I do things at my own pace. If I need some time to rest or relax, I give myself that opportunity because I want to take care of my entire well-being.
I'm still on this journey and am happy with my progress. I can see the transformation that happened in my life because of my choices. I get to focus on myself more, get to know and discover more about myself, and take good care and love myself more.
It's also essential that there are people around me who support me. I can always collaborate with others. It doesn't mean I'm selfish if I'm working on myself. I'm simply giving myself the luxury to enjoy the life that I want to live.
I feel great about myself. For the past several months, I gained the confidence to show what I'm capable of. I also trust myself because I know the qualities that make me who I am now.