Closing the door on 2019, what I expect from 2020 and why I don’t think New Year’s Resolutions are bullshit.
“3…2…1 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!”
UNDOUBTEDLY one of my favourite nights of the year. I have always loved New Year’s Eve. Some people are in bed early and could not care less, I on the other hand place a great deal of importance on New Year’s Eve. I always make sure I’m surrounded by my favourite people. The place doesn’t matter so much, whether we’re in a pub, at a restaurant or just at home watching the empty bottles stack up, but the people do. I like to bring in the New Year feeling happy and optimistic – to do that I have to put myself in that environment, with my favourite people. No matter how hanging I feel on New Year’s Day, I always get up, get good coffee and do a full-body sweat sesh at the gym. There is no better way to spend those few days of the transition into New Year, thinking about how far you’ve come, what you fell short on and what you aim to accomplish in the next twelve months.
Let’s begin with a little reflection on the year 2019. For me, it didn’t go the way I had intended at all. 2019 was that year where I put everything on hold and for what? Well, in the end, nothing. Whether I was questioning myself about wanting something or questioning whether I could do something, I stood still, too often asking too many damn questions! Which, I feel is important to add, is unlike me. I never think anything through. I’m as spontaneous as they come. I jump into relationships, I do what I want when I feel like it and if I need to, ask for forgiveness later. I felt a weight on my shoulders this year, holding me down and I can’t really put my finger on why I felt that way, but I’ve spent the time I needed to assess it and dive right back in. Leaving that energy in 2019. Unfortunately, though, it did cost me. I put on hold writing a book I have known for years I wanted to write. I know it’s good. I know it’s going to be well written. But this little voice kept bugging me. “What if you’re not good enough?” Even though people reach out to me every day, loving on my blog, assuring me I am good enough. “What if it never gets picked up?” Well, it did. My people read what I had and they absolutely loved it. I know I’ve got a great story to tell, so perhaps I just needed that little bit of validation. I don’t know, but once it was out there in front of others who’s opinions really mattered and they accepted my work, accepted me, only then was I able to dig in and make good progress on the book. Still, my work wasn’t the only area of my life where I was doubting myself at every turn.
England was the next thing I became jumpy about. 2019 was truly out here testing me. This wasn’t because I had doubts about wanting to make a home there or that I had doubts about leaving Australia behind, but things just didn’t line up the way they were supposed to. I was supposed to arrive there, in Southampton, be with this man I was crazy about but I couldn’t… because I put him on hold too. I should have been on a flight over there, in June or July when we both knew this was what we wanted, diving into this new life we had planned out and I didn’t. I hesitated. By the time I pulled the trigger and made the decision it was all too late. Post Frank-pocolypse I was left bouncing around the idea of staying in Southampton, moving on to London or somewhere North – it frazzled my brain. I was just lost then, running around trying to pick up the pieces and get back on track. I wasn’t myself. I couldn’t pick myself up and just carry on adapting to a new plan like the real me is able to. At the very same time, my sweet best friend was experiencing some heartbreaking relationship drama of her own in Australia too, couple that with the fact the holidays were fast approaching – it all just felt like being in Australia over the summer made sense. Between the moving around, helping guide my best friend out of a toxic relationship, writing a novel, dealing with the fall out of having my heart broken, I really just needed to be home. To re-group over Tequila and Turkey and clear my head about what had to happen next in 2020.
2019 wasn’t terrible. It was just a stagnant year. A year where I didn’t feel like a lot changed for me in positive ways. It was just the regular hamster wheel we call life. Work, train, a couple good nights out here and there and repeat. Everything GOOD that came from 2019, came right at the end. I fell in love with England all over again, I made great progress on my novel, I got to watch my brother graduate from University, but most exciting of all my best friend broke up with her shitty boyfriend and decided to move to England with me! THIS was a huge step forward for her and she had no idea how much it ignited a fire in me too. One I was well aware I needed. A kick up the ass to get excited again, make plans with my favourite person and go see the world as two single girls and just get back into the groove of LIVING a good life. An exciting life. After the fireworks and the shots of Apple flavoured Sour Monkey, as if we were 15 again, the first day of a brand new year was here. It may sound crazy, but it’s a feeling that washes over me like holy water every year. I wake up on January 1st, with a headache and a bottle of hydralyte next to me of course, but I am always optimistic. Motivated. Yes, the stroke of midnight on December 31st does exactly that. No, I can’t make great, positive changes overnight but I can look forward to what a fresh year brings. I did my morning Yoga for BJJ program, had a double shot skinny cap and headed to the gym. First rounds of 2020 with fresh new gloves, a lot of pepper still in that right hand, shots as quick as a hiccup, as though I’d taken no time off at all.
That afternoon I was in full planning mode. iPad out, organising my colour coordinated Calendar – training schedule, writing schedule, goals for the year and meals for the week. Feeling myself again and totally back on track, I looked down as my phone buzzed, notifying me of some 2019 leftovers (and I’m not talking about a Turkey and cranberry sandwich.) The DM from Instagram read: “Just thought you should know if you hadn’t seen it already.” Without even opening it I knew what it was. It was midday here which meant it was just past midnight there – 2020 had arrived in the U.K. A photo of Frank with a pretty blonde on his lap appeared on my phone screen, captioned “Walking into the New Year with this beauty by my side.” I didn’t even have a second to take a deep breath before the first tear rolled down my cheek, feeling my already fragile heart shatter all over again. Ok, confession time. I had actually sent Frank an email at exactly 12:01am when the fireworks exploded on my side of the world. I caved. I felt the New Year coming and it was clearer than ever to me I wanted to be with him. So I sent a picture of the water under all the colour and lights and said: “You should be here, with me.” But… no response. However, about 5 minutes after seeing his Instagram post the next day, I was smiling. He looked happy. (Drunk as fuck… true to form, bless him. But happy.) Was I hurt? Absolutely. Mad? Not one bit. On and off, backwards and forwards and on two opposite sides of the world for the majority of the time, we hadn’t a hope in hell of making it work and we were naive to think we could. And sure, I’m going to be living in England now but it’s too little, too late on my behalf. This had been going on since we met in March, so what was I thinking? That he’d wait around forever? No. Mckenzee pulled me in for a cuddle and made sure I was ok, but I immediately sat up and smiled. Pulling myself together because I had absolutely no right to be upset. A bit hurt that the man I wanted was now with someone else, yes, but not upset, because he hadn’t done anything wrong. We all know the story – six weeks ago, back in November, he was the one who reached out to me and told me he wanted things to work. He told me how he felt about me, how much I meant to him and that I was the one he wanted to be with. I assume this NYE girl is still the same girl he and I spoke about then, and I, being the one scared I’d end up hurt, said no to him. So who was I to be upset that he has made a decision to let me go and move forward with this girl? I already knew he was seeing her and when he chose me, I didn’t choose him. I should have, but I just have to live with that. Now, he’s entering his New Year happy – he deserves to be. And if he’s happy, I’m happy. I decided that I was supposed to see it. I needed to see it. I needed him to come forward with this mystery girl his mate told me he was seeing months ago. I needed it to be real. Now that it’s real and I’m no longer in his picture (she made the IG grid after all – millennial jab), I can let go. He’s being taken care of and now I can take care of me. Those leftovers from 2019 were just the closure I needed, that’s all. Door Closed. Now with clear eyes, we look ahead to 2020. (Don’t look at me like you didn’t binge-watch Friday Night Lights at some point in your life and say this all the time – PS Coach Taylor was so fucking hot.)
New Year’s Resolutions *COLLECTIVE GROAN.* Okay, Okay, you cheeky little fuckers, I hear you! People hear that and immediately think “they never happen” or “don’t waste your time” and I’m here to tell you, that New Year’s resolutions aren’t complete bullshit. Here’s why: if you don’t sit down with yourself at the beginning of each year and assess what happened last year and list what you want to achieve this year, how are you ever going to move forward? How are you going to get closer to those dreams you have? I’m someone who absolutely gets hung up over time. Every year I freak out if I have “done enough” so forgive me if I sound a little Tony Robbins (I actually fucking hate that guy.) I have learned to be a little kinder with myself and I know now that some years are slower than others because you just need time to figure things out. You need time to just be. To spend time being a little bit ordinary and reach a point where you’re uncomfortable. There’ll be a moment you know your life needs a shake-up and you’re ready to do something about it. They don’t have to be dreams if you can execute a 12 month, baby step-by-baby step plan. Buy my program for a one-off cost of $14.99 and your fucking sanity – jokes. SO much can happen in a year! Sure the motivation wears off but if you have in front of you, on a board, or in the form of daily reminders on your phone, what you need to do that week to inch closer and closer, then this time next year you could have achieved something that makes you feel fulfilled and proud and hopefully has improved your life. Instead of sitting around, feeling as though “another year has just gone by” like I did in 2019. So, we’re BOTH not making the same mistake. Grab your notebook or your phone and here is what I want you to do. Make no more than five goals you want to have achieved by the end of 2020. Whether you want a promotion, to get fit, to travel or whatever it is. If you need a little inspiration or think I’m too chicken to share, I’ll go first!
- Finish my novel and get the ball rolling on publishing.
- Settle into making a home and a life in England.
- Compete in Jiu-Jitsu as often as I can
- Travel and see more of Europe. Start ticking off all the beautiful places on my bucket list
- Find love. I had my happily single boat rocked last year by a man who totally took me by surprise and now I am no so happily single anymore.
Now, for me, I may not achieve the very last one – that is kind of a ‘when it happens it’ll happen’ situation but it’s there because it’s important to me. Once you’re clear about what it is you want, break each of them down. We have to be honest with ourselves and ask: “What needs to happen in order for me to achieve these goals?” Separate what you can control from what you cannot. Trust me, most, if not all, you can control. It’s on us to put the hard work in and put the energy out there to attract what we desire the most. Starting to sound a little self-help like I know, but stay with me. If you can create little goals inside your big ones, you’ll be surprised how quickly you tick them all off. At the end of the year, you’ll feel like it has flown by, but it’s the same 52-week grind we’ve always had. 52 little baby steps and I promise you, the progress you will have made this time next year will blow you away.
The next thing I want you to do is to write yourself a little passage underneath where you’ve listed your goals and step by step plan. Just a bit of inspiration to keep you going when you need it. It’s going to be you, 12 months from now. Sounds dorky? Ok fine, I’ll go first…
I’m living in my new place with a hot Englishman who calls me ‘Darling.’ He’s busy building the flash kennel I pulled from Pinterest for our baby German Shepherd, Stuntman Mike. I watch my boys from the kitchen, as I put some finishing touches on my first novel. Stuntman Mike is on stand-by to offer Dad his paw for high fives. I bring this hunk I found at a pub in Spain 6 months ago a bottle of ice tea only because he’s convinced his hot Australian girlfriend can’t make regular British tea and he’s right, because tea is shite. Stuntman Mike waits patiently for Mr Hunk to give him a treat as soon as he’s finished spinning me around to a god awful rendition of his current favourite song. He loves me, completely. He’s my biggest fan. At my fights, at my book launch party, whenever I have my next best idea to write about, and at the bar after 6 tequila shots when I think karaoke singing Five’s “If Ya Gettin’ Down” is a good idea. It’s always a good idea. He knows he has the love of a good woman. He’s proud of me. He’s always got my back. He keeps me safe and he protects our life together at all costs. He builds a life with me. The A team – Me, him & Stuntman Mike.
I mean…he watches so much Soccer, still has no idea what the offside rules are in Ice Hockey, or what a down in American Football means, but we’re going to therapy for it, it’s going to be fine.
Does life always go exactly as you plan it out? No of course not. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be serious about wanting something for yourself and keep it in the back of your mind when you’re making decisions that could affect it coming to fruition. I’m about to turn 27 in a couple of weeks and I’m at that point now where I’m not going to waste my time with anything that is half-assed. If it’s not the real deal, I don’t want it. If it doesn’t benefit me and help me grow towards achieving those top five goals I’ve set, I don’t want it. Your passage might be a little less dreamy and more statistical. A little more matter of fact. This will happen by this date and it will result in xyz. And that’s great too! For me, painting a pretty little picture of the things I want the most, stirs up that extra bit of emotionally charged motivation. It’s the writer in me, can’t help it!
If your 2019 wasn’t one for the highlight reel, hold on… it goes by fast. If it was one of the best years of your life hold on…because it goes by fast. We’re a week into 2020 already, where are you going to be by the end of it? I’d love to know! Contact me via email here. Alternatively, reach out on Twitter or Instagram and share your New Year’s resolutions and why they’re important to you.
Happy New Year! Get to work, enjoy the journey and I’ll see you in the next blog – soon!
P.S. Do yourself a favour… Click and throw it back!