And just like that, it’s December and another year is coming to a close. 2022 was in many ways the exact opposite of the last two pandemic years – guided by a return to going out, travelling, and embracing a demanding work / social life with a vengeance. If I assess the year gone by with a cool and calm mind, I’m not sure I can say it was a good one.
That’s not to say it was a bad year in any way – I got many work opportunities, grew in my chosen career as an independent journalist, travelled a lot, and met so many interesting people. Yet, my stress levels also increased. This affected my mental health and had me question the direction I was taking in life; and it also affected my physical health which played out through the worsening of my psoriasis.
And therefore, as I wrap up 2022 and welcome 2023, I’m aware that the ability to make a difference to my health and happiness, is entirely in my own hands. Life will have to change, and I’m going to have to change it whether I like it or not.
Apologies if this is all sounding like a very cryptic rant, but I did want to put some thoughts down, even if I’m unable to explain too much in detail. The Ayurvedic practitioner I’m consulting has prescribed writing my thoughts / journaling as a conscious wellness activity. I also had to get a non-sponsored post up before the next sponsored one, and so this is my attempt at killing two birds with one stone.
Here are some goals I envision for myself in the new year (or as I prefer to call it, a new phase of life):
WORK IN A MORE STRUCTURED MANNER
As a freelancer who has absolutely no background in journalism, I have had to learn everything on the job. Lest you think I’m referring only to writing and reporting skills, you’re wrong. It means I’ve had to learn how to pitch, build relationships with media houses and publications, as well as myriad other jobs such as navigating the tricky PR-journalist partnership, networking with potential editors, editing skills, sourcing skills, people pleasing skills and so much more!! The writing is the easy part… Everything else? Not so much!
In all of this, I often end up taking on the wrong kind of work believing that it will harm my career growth if I refuse it. Or I take on too much work which prevents me from exploring more lucrative and less demanding avenues.
So, here’s my hope for 2023 and beyond. I hope to be able to take on the work I like, earn the amount that I feel I deserve without too much struggle, and to respect my body and mind in not taking on more than I can deal with. I also hope to be able to function relatively within the hours of a ‘normal working day’ i.e., 9-5 which unfortunately is almost never the case for freelancers who find themselves working at all odd hours!!
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
As a hyper-sensitive person, I often take little things to heart quite seriously. When I was younger, this reaction manifested in tears and anger, but now it comes out as extreme mental agitation, stress, fights and of course anger too. After the episode is over, more often than not, I regret my quick reaction. Had I just taken a moment to breathe before reacting, perhaps things would have turned out differently. My husband also counsels me with similar advice. So, I hope 2023 is the year where I finally learn not to sweat the small stuff, instead telling myself to breathe before feeling bad.
PITCH, PITCH, PITCH WITHOUT FEARING REJECTION
For the first year and a half of my journalistic practice, I harboured the mistaken belief that it is difficult to break into most mainstream publications as an independent journalist. The fact is I never really tried. Then this year, I joined a Facebook community of independent writers which proved to be an amazing fount of information and guidance. Not only was I able to crack into a number of mainstream publications after that, I also got a few international commissions, which is the goal for most independent writers because it allows one to earn a decent amount of money. And so, in the coming year, I need to utilise the time I save streamlining my work and not sweating the small stuff and use it to pitch article ideas across the board – mostly internationally but also in India.
LOVE YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND
This is not a new desire and to be fair to myself, I do tend to my body by working out fairly regularly. However, my hectic work / social events schedule needs to be given a thorough break I feel – for at least six months, till I’m able to achieve a balance. Perhaps this is the only way I will truly be able to love both my body and my mind.
LEARN TO SAY NO!
This is a problem I have harboured all my life – the inability to say no to situations and people even if I’m aware that I’m going to regret saying yes. I’m working on this slowly. It’s going to take a while. But it is my ardent hope that by the end of next year, I have managed to find a sweet spot for myself where this particular problem is concerned.
Do share your goals for 2023 in the comments section below and reflections on the year gone by. It’s always nice to chat with my readers.
*This is not a sponsored post.
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