Welcome to 2022!

January is typically the time of year when we look back at the year just gone and enthusiastically make plans for the forthcoming year.

I have been reflecting on 2021 and what a year it was! It certainly was not what many of us had hoped for. Unfortunately, our expectations of it being a better year than 2020 didn’t quite emerge. Spring 2021 did bring some glimmers of hope and we excitedly made plans and were lucky enough to experience some normality over the summer months. Sadly, the last few months of the year descended into further limitations, cancellations and disappointments, but adversity can bring us gratitude and strength. We survived 2021 and optimistically move into 2022.

Every January I buy a shiny new notebook and create lists and plans for a new me! Making New Year resolutions is a ritual I have carried out for more years than I care to remember. In the past the lists and plans always included the things I planned to do and the aspects of my life I wanted to change. If I had kept all those annual plans I am sure they would all look very similar. I wonder if that means my expectations of change were not achieved as they were unrealistic, unnecessary or that I always wanted to improve myself and do better. My resolutions were usually very personal and practical and often came from a negative starting point. On reflection I did not really consider the inner me or the wider aspects of my life such as work, health, relationships and all those external influences and events that impacted on me.

Circumstances over the past while have allowed me the time and space to develop my self-awareness and realise what is truly important to me. I have to say this feels like a great place to start 2022. This year my resolutions are not going to be driven by feelings of negativity or of what I need to change, but will focus on where I currently am, who I am and what is good in my life. If I build my plan on what is going well then I feel sure my outcomes will be more positive, creative and meaningful. I want to create a new beginning with feelings of acceptance and contentment.  I want to celebrate what has gone before, the changes I have made in my life and show gratitude towards the people around me who are important in my life.

We have all experienced times when life has become a mundane cycle of work and daily routines and at times we can lose our sparkle. The enthusiasm, energy and childlike excitement over small things has gone. That sparkle can be found again by being in the moment and noticing all the things that bring a smile to our faces and a glint in our eyes. How can you bring that sparkle back into your life?

In our personal lives it’s the relationships we have with others that matter. Having people around us who are nurturing, are strong for us when we need them most and accept us as we are allows us to become our best self. This year has demonstrated to me that we should never take our health for granted and we all owe it to ourselves to look after our health and stay as well as we can.  Taking time for reflection and quiet time allows us to consider what we value in our lives. Cherishing the time we have, rather than rushing through each day, and doing the things we want to and spending time with the people we want to is priceless.

The last two years have shown that life is precious and we need to make the most of it. Evaluating our careers, relationships, finances, health and our realizing our dreams have become more prominent in our thoughts and actions. Find the inner strength to take that leap of faith and say I deserve more than this and take a risk.

2022 can hold our dreams and can be a journey of self-discovery where we look forward with excitement and energy. We can all reach our potential and our destiny with an open heart, and we can all sparkle again.

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