replacing perfection with progress.

Pre-warning: This post is going to have a slightly different set up to the last few

I don’t know about you, but when setting my New Years resolutions I seem to follow this same cycle year after year, and I’m only 15.

It goes a little something like this:

January 1st: seven New Years resolutions all lined up, all massive changes to my daily lifestyle and under the illusion they will all change my life for the better. My litre water bottle next to my planner, my salad sat neatly next to them as I do my homework listening to a study playlist. It’s picturesque. Almost instagram-worthy

January: they start to dwindle out, some were broken the first day, some later on, but the realisation that they are near impossible has dawned.

February: keeping one at most, not even that.

March: completely forgot

April: the same

May: ditto

June: no recollection of what the resolutions even were

July: guess what? still done nothing

August: might’ve done one by accident

September: doing the exact opposite of my resolutions

October: nope nope nope

November: i had New Years resolutions???

December: and when I’m thinking about my fresh set of rules that I’m not going to follow, I tend to remember the seven impossible tasks from last year. An overwhelming sense of failure ensues, and I can’t believe a whole year has passed and I’m the same old me. No radical change, no shedding my bad habits to become an instagram lifestyle account personified.

My resolutions always, always follow this setup. And instead of doing good like they’re supposed to, they ignite the spiralling thought path of not being good enough.

In a world so focused on instantaneous perfection, the stinging feeling of inadequacy courses through everyone. Because unfortunately we can’t FaceTune our lives. No photoshop tool will ever get rid of the nitty gritty. It’s very easy to scroll through your instagram feed and look at the beautiful girls with perfect skin and perfect eyebrows and assume they have perfect lives. But whilst at a camping trip, a leader did a talk and said “Don’t let someone else’s highlight reel make you feel bad about your bloopers”

And it really stuck with me.

Why am I letting someone else’s filtered life dictate my thought process. Why am I setting 29 unachievable tasks in pursuit of perfection? So this year, I am replacing perfection with progress. I’m not expecting miracles, but I want change. I came up with three resolutions. They all have no time frame, no pressure and no intention of forcing me to be perfect, but to merely progress.

1) Be nice to people. I have wrote this on my arm in tiny letters for a couple of months now. Because it is so easy to make the occasional spiteful on the kid that’s been peeing me off for the last few weeks. Or making a throwaway comment about the popular girl that bullied me in Year 8 to finally get back at her. It’s so simple to say it, yet so incredibly hard to undo the affects. So, this year I am going to be nice to people, regardless of whether they are nice to me.

2) Do what I love. One thing at a time. I’m going to try and take a mindful approach to productivity. I’ve been known to have TV, journal sketchbook music and homework all going at once, and I never get anything done. Doing what I love (which is not scrolling through tumblr and/or instagram for three hours. Come on, Lily) intentionally and methodically, and to be fearless in pursuit of what sets my soul on fire.

3) Accept my bloopers. Perfection is unattainable, despite the meaningless mantras shoved down our throats each day at school. So to truly love myself I absolutely must love my faults. I am working on loving how I hate myself sometimes because at least there’s still something to hate. Accepting my faults as my own and being authentically me is so important to me, and progressing on the journey to self-acceptance is really important to me this year.

This year I am chasing progress, not perfection. What are you doing?