2015 was a challenging year for me, as I scrambled to finish my thesis and meet the demands of my part-time job, I also got out of a three-year relationship and found myself at a crossroads shortly after graduation. What was supposed to be a short post-graduation vacation in my hometown became a four-month sabbatical. Those four months have been a blur, just precious time spent on nothing.
Then, hoping to shift my gears, I decided to go back to Manila to find work. In just a few months, I was able to find a decent job and regained a new sense of purpose shortly before the end of 2015. I also noticed that I was profoundly happier than I had ever been.
So, here a few things to say goodbye to that didn’t do our 2015 selves any good.
1. Leave Your Emotional Baggage
Did you happen to pack your emotions with you on your journey to 2016? No need to claim them. There simply is no point in battling old ghosts, because, well, they’re all in the past. It’s just pointless, unless you’re fond of punishing yourself every night by thinking about every single sad event in your life.
2. Stop Putting Things Off
You don’t really find motivation, you make it. Remember that motivation’s worst enemies are your long list of excuses. If you have set goals for yourself, mark each day as a step to achieving those goals. If you don’t do anything today that will lead you to that goal, you’re not going to get there. Back in college, I learned that I spent more time putting things off than actually getting things done. And it didn’t do me any good. So, on your 2016 checklist, don’t forget to write, “get things done now.”
3. Reassess Your Relationships
People stay together for different, bizarre reasons. But, if you’re contemplating whether your relationship with your guy should go on, then there may be something wrong. Do you remember how you felt during your last anniversary? Do you feel like you’re the same person now? If you do, there’s a big chance that your relationship is not bringing out the best in you. We make sacrifices in the name of love, but we should never lose ourselves in the process. Are you in a toxic relationship? Are you caught in an endless cycle of break ups and make ups? Pack your bags and go.
4. Eliminate Bad Habits
Do you obsessively share every single detail of your day to day exploits on social media? Do you turn to smoking, drinking, and binge-eating when you’re stressed? Do you waste precious time binge-watching your favorite TV show? Though these habits may be normal to most people, it doesn’t mean they are healthy. Spending half of your salary on junk food, alcohol and videoke nights is worthless. Instead, why not start saving up for your first trip overseas or graduate school?
5. Give Your Parents a Break
In your early 20s, it’s okay to be selfish, but only for the sake of your future. At this point, you shouldn’t be calling your mom or dad in the wee hours of the night only because you don’t know how to use bleach or chop an onion. Remember that you’re crossing the boundary between being a young adult transforming into a responsible, self-sustainable woman. It doesn’t have to be abrupt, but it usually starts with the small things, such as learning how to use bleach and chopping an onion.
Happiness is a Choice
No matter how challenging your year has been, always remember that there are plenty of things to be grateful about. Challenges should be taken as opportunities to grow. Say goodbye to all the negativity that incapacitated you in 2015. Start by having the mindset that 2016 is a wide and infinite horizon, just waiting for you to set sail.
These are the attitudes and personal decisions that helped me start the New Year with a clean slate. To become the better versions of ourselves, we should always embrace change, learn from our mistakes and bid all those negative emotions, bad habits, and self-loathing adieu.