We’re used to making long and ambitious lists for the new year; full of aspirations to be newer and better versions of ourselves. 2.0 versions of ourselves, if you will. While they’re a great concept, in spite of ourselves, we fail to ever complete any of them. The gym membership doesn’t pan out, or work just gets too much and we never end up going. The Zumba classes we saw online stay just there — another tab in our browser, next to the Netflix one. Setting all these high expectations for ourselves can be motivating for some, but for the rest of us, it just sets us up for failure and disappointment. We can’t help but feel bad when we don’t meet the unrealistic goals we set for ourselves. This year lets mix it up: we’re going to make a not-to-do list! It’s not always about doing more things, but ditching the wrong things. Breaking certain habits can also transform your life for the better. For a change, list down the habits you want to give up in the coming year. The bigger changes will come with this. We got started on ours, so we’l share for inspiration. Take some cues from our ideal not-to-do list, and get to work on yours!
1. Will Not Take My Health Lightly
When was the last time you went for a health check up? Or sought help from a therapist after a panic attack? If your answer is never, then it’s time you take your health and well being seriously. For instance, breast cancer holds the highest number of deaths caused due to cancer among Pakistani women. Annual testing isn’t as common or widespread as it should be amongst women. For example, 40,000 women lose their lives every year due to breast cancer. However, if detected early, the survival rate could rise by up to 90%. Be it your physical or mental health, this year promise to take care of yourself.
2. Will Not Shy Away From Speaking Up
Civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King Jr once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people,” — and we couldn’t agree more with those words. It’s time to speak up and let your voice be heard! Speak for your rights, speak for injustice, speak for victims, and speak up to encourage other women — nothing’s more powerful than words when used effectively. This year, don’t let anything or anyone stop you from raising your voice for anything you believe in. You’ll learn how something so simple can actually be so empowering.
3. Will Not Overthink
If you have spent the past year exhausting yourself with over analysing situations, reading between the lines, and making yourself anxious beyond belief, stop and take a breath. Overthinking is never the solution, and we know you know that. Take every intrusive thought you have about something, and think about it in the most objective way possible. For example, if someone else were telling you the same story, what advice would you give them? Treat yourself just as kindly now. Unappreciative boss? It’s not a reflection of your work — take it lightly. Is someone important not replying to you properly? They’re probably just busy. If anything, they might think they’re so secure in their relationship with you that constant messaging isn’t necessary. If any of these things till bother you — confront them rather than dwelling. Don’t stress yourself out by imagining the unknown. This habit won’t change overnight, but if you start from the very first day of the new year, you’ll thank yourself by the end of it.
4. Will Not Belittle Other Women
Empowered women empower other women – this should be your mantra for the year ahead (and forever). Demeaning other women is an act rooted in insecurity, and in a society already infested with misogyny, it only encourages other men to speak the same way about us collectively. Support each other instead of stirring up rivalries. If you’ve ever backstabbed another woman to get an opportunity, been irrationally rude to them, or ever defamed them in any way – it’s time you changed your ways. Apologise when you’ve been in the wrong, and resolve to never do it again. It’ll make you a more peaceful person at heart.
5. Will Not Take My Loved Ones For Granted
Having a loving family and supportive friends is a blessing we don’t take enough time to appreciate. How often do you make them feel seen and heard in return is the question here. When was the last time you sat with your parents out of choice, or told your siblings how much you value their presence in your life? This year go the extra mile and take some time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time with the people who matter the most.
6. Will Not Be Hard On Myself
It’s fine if it’s taking you longer to figure out what you want to do with your life. It’s fine if you don’t get a job right after graduating. Give yourself a break! Life moves at it’s own pace for everyone, and you’ll find that more often than not, it’s always because the right things are waiting for you just a little further down the road. You’ll achieve everything you want to. There’s no need to be in a rush. Start your year with realistic goals, and work hard to achieve them one by one. Don’t exhaust yourself in the process. Focus on the journey instead.
7. Will Not Be On Social Media 24/7
When was the last time you posted something on social media in the moment, and not after having thought about it for a couple days? Instagram lets us know our daily and weekly activity insights now, and the results can be a little frightening for some of us. Is that really how long we spend on an app instead of living our lives? Your actual life isn’t a curated social media feed for people to peek into, and it isn’t meant to be. It’s a raw, unique and messy experience – we’ve got to embrace it for all its ups and downs. Your time and energy could be better utilised in a thousand different ways — if you weren’t always glued to your phone. This year, don’t be a slave to your phone. Lets start living!