new years pressures

Every year, we think we’ll be different in the next.

And in some ways, we are. New jobs, new life experiences, new travel, new family members - they all change us, make us better, sometimes make us worse, versions of ourselves. I’ve been guilty, ever year to date, of thinking “next year will be different”.

In 20XX, I will… lose weight, be more productive, nap less, drink less Coke…

You name it, I’ve made it a resolution.

But, like most of us (please tell me you identify with this and I’m not alone in the void here!), new years never bring a fundamental change in who I am.

I’m a very different person to who I was five years ago, this is true. But no resolution has helped to make me that way. Unfortunately, the truth for me is that change requires slog. Hard work, lots of backward steps, and lots of heartache and stress.

But there is something absolutely beautiful about the human condition that we go through the same song and dance every year - we are determined to constantly be better, do better, and to have a fresh start. There is something innately appealing about starting anew, being a better version of yourself in a new year.

So I find myself incapable, though I know it is illogical, from creating a set of goals and resolutions for myself for 2019. I may achieve them, I may not. And it might be part of changing myself that I don’t beat myself up when I inevitably fall short of my own expectations of myself. But darn it, I’m human. So here are 10 resolutions for 2019, and a look back on my 2018 resolutions and how I did.

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2018 resolutions

1. Make an effort to own less things. In the things I do buy, think about these three questions:

  1. Do I need this? Or if I don’t, have I wanted it for at least a month?

  2. Is this ethical? Is it good to the planet, to people who made it and to animals?

  3. Will I regret spending this money?

I think I did pretty well at this one in 2018. I definitely bought less, bought more from small, ethical businesses. We also managed to completely eliminate the use of plastic wrap at home, which was great. There’s always a way to go. But I think we made good strides this year.

2. Think about food and eating in a different way, with the goal of:

  1. Spending less

  2. Reducing my fast food consumption by end 2018

  3. Eating (more) vegan – at least 1 vegan day per week

I definitely did 3. We ate a lot more vegan food in 2018, my biggest downfalls are still coffee (still not a fan of plant-based milks) and cheese. Damn you, cheese! I think stress contributed to a lot of fast food binging this year which is definitely something I want to work on in 2019. And fast food binging does not equal spending less, either!

3. Save & buy a new laptop

Thanks to my very generous parents, I was able to get a new laptop! Thank goodness too, as my old one died not soon after. It has made editing so much easier this year and it’s been a real lifesaver. I feel very privileged to have such generous parents who have the resources to spend on me even in my adulthood!

4. Edit film when I take it, and upload to Youtube

I kicked butt at this during VLOGMAS (if you missed it, I uploaded 15 videos in December! Click here for the playlist!) I definitely want to keep up that momentum in 2019.

5. Visit two new towns in Australia

While we didn’t travel as much as I would have liked, we were lucky enough to head to Byron Bay for Splendour in the Grass 2018 (vlog here) and we got to see lots of great little towns on the 12 hour drive, including Byron itself.

6. See as much live music as possible

We definitely did this! As well as Splendour, we went to Spilt Milk (though I had to leave early because I was hella ill) which was great. We have already booked to see the Arctic Monkeys in 2019, as well as a week of female gigs (including Vera Blue) here in Canberra in February.

7. Read 30 books

Hahahahaha, past Hannah. How optimistic. No, I read 10 books. But honestly that is better than the previous year, so I’m gonna keep trying.

8. Post to business Instagram at least 5 times per week

I think, on average, I definitely got there with this one.

9. Keep up with the 52 photo challenge

Gave up in week 1. Well done, me. I took loads of photos though, so I think I did ok.

10. Only drink soft drink on weekends (max. 2 per day)

Yeah, failed this one too. Oops.

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2019 resolutions

The first two here are consistent goals I have. They will always be part of my resolutions! The rest are goals I have been thinking about for a while.

1. Make an effort to own less things. In the things I do buy, think about these three questions:

  1. Do I need this? Or if I don’t, have I wanted it for at least a month?

  2. Is this ethical? Is it good to the planet, to people who made it and to animals?

  3. Will I regret spending this money?

2. Think about food and eating in a different way, with the goal of:

  1. Spending less

  2. Reducing my fast food consumption by end 2019

  3. Eating (more) vegan – at least 2 vegan days per week

3. Shoot my first wedding. This is coming up on 5th January, and I’m super nervous but super excited. Plus, the couple are super chill and lovely so I am sure it will be great!

4. Read 15 books. I got to 10 this year, so I’m going to push another 5!

5. Develop my own set of LR presets (potentially to sell?)

6. Finish and publish my Japan zine

7. Design and complete a styled shoot

8. Finish six more classes in my Diploma of Photo Imaging

9. Complete some management training in my day job

10. Travel to New Zealand!

So…what do you think? Do you set resolutions, do they help you? Let me know! x