A Manifesto for 2022
Last year was one of much soul searching and reflecting back in order to make sense of the here and now. I usually write my ‘new year’ posts a few days into the new year, it never seems to coalesce for me in those long, dark, stretched out days between Christmas and New Year. I’m too busy trying to recover from all the Christmas decision making!
In the past I’ve done this a number of ways: I’ve been part of the One Word community, those who choose a word which will define their year ahead; I’ve used sketch books to reflect back over the previous year and try to set some goals for the coming one. This year I came across this idea of a manifesto and quite liked the sound of it so here we are.
10 things to live by in 2022.
- Be Kind. I try to live by this pretty consistently with those around me but I’m not so good at doing this with myself. I am starting to understand how important that is.
- Start with small actions. Whatever the new habit is, starting with small actions helps to begin to create the new pathways in our brains. 2 minutes of movement, 1 chapter of the book, clear one shelf or cupboard. In my house we operate on the ‘something is better than nothing’ principle and it works really well for us.
- Be thankful. This is a really simple, small action which can have a huge impact. For more than a decade I have been posting #3GoodThings on social media. Some days I have a lot of good things to choose from, other days I’m glad I’ve only got to find 3. This practice literally rewires the brain and yet is so straightforward.
- Watch more Queer Eye. In fact, if this was the only thing on this list, it would be fine with me. The five men who make up the Queer Eye team are incredible, and there is something about the way they operate that brings such joy and release of painful things for the people they work with. It is jaw-droppingly good. Seriously, go watch it.
- Think about what brings you joy. Marie Kondo brought this practice to our attention and the more I think about this, the more I realise that again it’s a simple thing which can have a profound impact. It’s not meant as a hedonistic principle, it’s taking a look at and committing to something that might actually be scary to consider. What sparks joy deep in your soul? How are you going to make that happen?
- Embrace being yourself. Dr Seuss has it right when he says ‘Be yourself, everyone else is taken.’ This is something I often talk about with mentoring clients: lean into who you are and the way your brain works or wants to work. Because the last person you need to fighting with is yourself! Embrace who you are, in all its messy slightly weirdness and begin to find joy in life again.
- Celebrate the small wins. Life is worthy of celebration. At times, simply acknowledging that we’ve survived the day is important! Celebration or rewarding ourselves for small actions is an important part of building new habits.
- Recognise and name your emotions. Out loud. Noticing your actions, thoughts and feelings can be a powerful thing. Even when it’s difficult, in fact, especially when it’s difficult. It’s hard but oh so life giving! And, it should get easier to do as we practice it.
- Stay curious. About yourself, about loved ones and other people as well as the world around you. What are you good at? What sparks your curiosity? Learn more about that in whatever way you choose.
- Make new friends. Last year was a complicated mess of emotion and burnout for me but the high spots came about because I made a new friend who introduced me to so many of her friends and we all came together over Zoom because there’s more than 5000 miles between me and my new friend. It is so life giving and heart-warming to laugh hard with friends.
So that’s my list for the coming year. Is there anything you would add?
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And Happy New Year to you all.