At the end of 2019, when I had just turned 28 years old, I looked back on my year and realised that I wasn’t the person I really wanted to be. I had everything I wanted: a full time job that I liked, a perfect boyfriend, a nice house to live in and a rich social life. And don’t get me wrong – I loved my life and was very happy. But I still felt like I could be so much more.
How it started
Since I started working full time, I had developed some habits that weren’t working well for me. I ate relatively unhealthy, had many afternoon drinks, had 4-5 social events a week and partied and shopped a lot to ‘compensate’ for working 40 hours. I never really wanted to work full time when I was younger, but as a young professional it was a given that I should, so I did.
And in order to keep up with spending such a large amount of my time to ‘somebody else’s dream’, as I viewed it, I had to eat quick meals in between work and blow off a lot of steam on the weekends. And so I started gaining weight, making more and more poor decisions, spending a lot of money, and numbing myself down spiritually and mentally. At the end of 2019, in this moment of reflection, I had to conclude: no more of this.
I realised that in a few years, I was turning 30 years old. I felt like this was the time to change, since I didn’t want to bring my bad habits into my 30’s, and maybe 40’s, and maybe even 50’s. I thought about dragging this stuff throughout my life, and never realising my full potential, while probably catching all kinds of addictions and diseases. That thought was unbearable to me. I was too smart, too kind, too beautiful for that life (and so are you!).
I realised that if I changed my life for the better now, I could still turn this around. I wasn’t to old (are you ever really?) to be the healthy, ambitious, thriving woman that deep down, I knew I could be. On top of that, I found out that all my life, I had actually been underperforming because deep down, I was a perfectionist and I was afraid to fail or let myself down. With this knowledge, I felt it: this was my moment to take myself by the balls.
So I decided to finally fully commit to some goals and ambitions I secretly had for the new year. The magic of that moment was that I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t who I wanted to be, and that my life wasn’t where I wanted it to be. And I blamed that on myself. I was finally ready to make some promises to myself, and I was finally ready to keep them – simply because I was done letting myself down, and I knew I would spiral down even more if I let myself down again. And I simply deserved better (and so do you!). So I took a short course in journalling to get on track, and worked my way up from there.
First, I started keeping small promises to myself, like drinking a lot of water and not eating meat anymore. Then, I started to keep promises that I found hard to keep before, like moving my body everyday and doing some soul-searching whenever I felt down or ‘not enough’ (instead of blowing off steam in a club). I kept my journal for a year, and wrote down all the goals I had for 2020, along with the promises that I wanted to keep every month.
An important part was the monthly reflection, which made me proud of my accomplishments and helped me visualize what I wanted to accomplish next. All in all, my journal was the core of my transformation, I would say. Along with some real honesty towards myself, and a little help from miss ‘rona (who, let’s be honest, gave me a lot of me-time).
short still long: I literally reached every goal that I set for myself in 2020 (I had 15), even the ones on which I had no influence whatsoever. Some highlights being: get an indefinite contract at work, get engaged, lose 5 kg of weight (I lost 7) and read & meditate more. This year, I’ve set twice as many goals. The fun thing is, once you just start and show yourself that you’re capable of keeping your own promises, you realise that you can really do whatever you set your mind to.
These days, I set multiple big and scary goals for myself a month, since I now know from experience that when I tell myself ‘let’s do this’, the energy and motivation to do it follow naturally. And when I don’t reach a goal, it doesn’t bother me as much as it did before. I don’t feel like a failure or like I’ve let myself down again, because I have way more proof to show that the opposite is true. There really is no limit to what you can do, once you’ve joined your own team. (The only downfall is a burn-out or some overachieving, but let’s save that for another blogpost. 😉 )
I hope I inspired you to start your glow-up/transformation/journey if you haven’t already. Let me know how it goes and if you need any help. And if you’ve already started: What are some of your goals? I’d really like to know!