Are you one to set new year resolutions? I haven’t, for many years. Well, actually I have. I resolve to not make new year resolutions LOL!
But what I’ve done in recent years, is to set a life mantra for the year. A little mantra that I hold on to, and try to stick to for the year. Call it a resolution if you wish, but I have found it to be far more effective than just making a whole list of resolutions that I break at the first opportunity.
For 2020, my life mantra shall be this – Be Conscious.
Be Conscious about what I already have
Towards the end of 2019, I went through a major spring-cleaning exercise. I went through my closets, my skincare cupboard, my makeup drawers, and basically almost everything I owned.
I packed up large bags of things I no longer needed, wanted or could use, and I threw/donated/gave them all away. It was almost like doing a clearing up ala Marie Kondo, except I didn’t stop to say ‘Thank You’. I was just pretty ruthless, and set about getting rid of things.
RELATED READING: Incidentally, the Konmari exercise doesn’t quite work for me READ HERE
Speaking metaphorically, I took stock of my life as well. Spring-cleaning old feelings, emotions and memories. Purging what needed purging, getting rid of things that I thought held significance, but which no longer did.
At that moment, I had a bit of an epiphany.
I HAD SO MUCH! Too much, even.
Clearing my spaces barely made a dent in what I already own. Yet, I was collecting more and more stuff, crowding out my space. In some ways, I felt a little stifled, and almost as if I was stifling myself. Stifling my growth.
At that moment, I knew what I had to do. I had to stop accumulating. Be it things or emotional baggage. I just had to stop, pause and pack it up and let it all go.
In many ways, it was very helpful for me to come to this realization, for it helped me move on, and traverse a different path. It allowed me to finally step outside the self-imposed box I’d put myself in, and learn to feel something new.
I learnt to be aware of what I already own, how privileged and fortunate I am, that I have so much already, without really wanting for more.
So, that is something I will try to do in the coming year.
I will be conscious about what I already own, and continuing on from last year’s mantra – use it, or lose it.
Be Conscious about what I intend to purchase
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling consumer fatigue.
I’m quite tired of being bombarded each and every day on social media, with people and companies urging me to buy, buy buy. It’s something that’s been bugging me for quite a while now, ever since I became more active on social media.
Not only are we bombarded with new, shiny things every other week or month, we are bombarded with sales and discounts ever so often.
I felt it most in the past few months, when the intensity of online sales started ramping up from 9-9 sales onwards. Suddenly, we were being pushed sales every month from 10-10, 11-11 to 12-12. In between, it would be sales for the Mooncake festival (or Mid-Autumn festival), Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year…
I was getting tired.
It was as if I had someone shouting in my face every time I opened my Instagram page. “BUY ME! BUY ME!” It would scream. It made me want to just abandon Instagram.
When I deleted emails offering sales and discounts, and stopped buying, I’d get a sneaky email – “WE MISS YOU! Here’s an exclusive 15% discount just for you!” they’d cajole.
And I’d capitulate.
15% off is nothing to laugh at, when you’re eyeing something nice! 😛
But not anymore.
This is a throwback to 2018, when I declared that I would ‘Slow Down’. Since I made that my life mantra then, I have found myself slowing down, and making more conscious decisions.
I have learnt not only to slow down before making decisions, but to take a step back to seize the situation, before plunging in. I have learnt to make more informed decisions.
And I intend to do that in 2020, by being more conscious about what my purchases will be. I will buy less, that much is a promise to myself.
I don’t shop that much anymore, but I intend to shop even less now. While I have found many deals on beauty products, clothes or even bags and household items, I have been more careful this past year. I intend to be even more careful next year.
Before buying anything, or even when I’m tempted, I’m going to pause, take stock, and be more conscious of whether I need it. This is something you should do too. While I belong in the category of people who are tasked to make you buy things, I do want to encourage you to be conscious as well.
Do you have something similar? The odds are, you do. Do you need that back up product? Chances are, you don’t. Will a similar deal come your way again? The odds are, yes it will. Do you need that limited edition item? Chances are, you don’t.
Will I unsubscribe from all the emails? Well, not all. I do want to keep my finger on the pulse, but as I’ve been doing last year, I’ve simply deleted most of the sale emails, and found that I didn’t miss out on much of anything. New deals just pop up in a week or two!
Be Conscious about my finances
As I had shared in my year end missive, I’ve decided to semi-retire from my job. What this means, is that while I am still financially comfortable, I have to be more aware of where my money is going. I can’t quite afford to be as frivolous anymore, because the funds are now more limited.
My financial goals are quite set, and I am able, at this time, to live fairly comfortably off other investments. But I am conscious that every investment comes with a risk, and I must have my safety net.
I am not going to be a hermit, or to deprive myself, of course. But I will need to channel my finances to other interests – good food, travel and experiences for one. I have enough, materially speaking. But I could always do with more varied experiences, and to see more of the world.
This is something I will be in 2020. I will be more conscious of where my spending goes.
Be Conscious about people who matter
In 2019, my Dad had a health scare, and a major surgery. But he is back on his feet and raring to go, and that episode made me aware that our time is limited. Spend it on those who matter.
Spend your time with people who care for you, who will make time for you, and who will be there for you when you aren’t even sure you need someone.
I will be conscious about limiting my time with people who bring negative energy. The fact is that you won’t be able to avoid them completely, most of the time. But you can spend just enough time to not be affected by what they say or do.
The key for me, is to be conscious about the people around me, and to appreciate that not everyone needs to be let in, or to be given all your time. You can care for them, and you can even love them. But sometimes, seeing less of them is better for everyone.
This is therefore my life mantra and goal for 2020.
For me, 2020 signifies the end of a decade (not 2019, as everyone said so last year!) I intend for it to go out with a bang! 🙂
Do you have a life mantra for 2020?
Do share if you do. We could learn from each other 🙂 And I look forward to sharing more content with you this year too.
Happy New Year 2020, friends 🙂