I believe that birthdays are fantastic opportunities for personal reflection on the past and to refresh intentions for the future. So for a few years, I have used my birthday as an opportunity to remember all that has happened in the last 365 days that’s taken me to the juncture where I stand on the day that I officially become one year older. After reflecting on the ups and downs of the past year and contemplating how I dealt with life, I then consider how I would ideally like to ride the waves of the coming year and how I wish for my life to look like on my next birthday.
So I contrive a list of ambitions for me to explore throughout the year so that I’m challenging myself to continuously evolve into the best version of myself that I can be.
I’m sharing this list in hopes that doing so will hold me more accountable to going through with what I set out for myself.
1. I accept responsibility for my life. It’s exhausting blaming other people when times are tough and life feels shitty. And unfortunately, nothing good comes out of it. I’m ready to put a stop to playing the victim and start taking ownership for the way I shape my own world.
2. I expand my ability to be vulnerable. Somehow, it’s easier for me to be open and sweet and loving with strangers than with the people I’m closest to. I’ve spent so much time and energy holding back and covering my feelings out of fear that I would be seen as weak. The time has come to recognise that the moments when I let myself truly be seen with no filter are the very moments that I help to create a stronger bond with the people in my life.
3. I give more. There is something incredibly admirable about people who give without asking for anything in return. I long to cultivate that type of generosity. This life has provided me with so much and I’m coming to understand that hoarding my resources doesn’t serve me. I wish for my generosity to flourish so that I can use what I’ve been given to potentially benefit others.
4. I express gratitude when necessary. I have been on a bit of a gratitude kick for the past year as it was on my list for my last birthday. But I’m realising that remembering that which I am grateful for and actually saying the words out loud to the people for whom I’m thankful are two different things. People deserve to hear that they’re awesome or that they’ve been helpful or inspiring so I want to learn to more skilfully express my appreciation.
5. I experiment with creativity. After a long time believing that I wasn’t gifted with the creativity gene, I have been slowly allowing creative doors to creep open and it feels so damn good! I’m super excited to continue exploring my creative potential.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide).
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