Welcome to 2016! I hope you said a fond farewell to the year as it passed and have your eyes and ears wide open for what’s to come.
This is, of course, the time of year that regular gym-goers scowl at all the newbies attempting to fat-blast their way to happier selves. It is also the time that the health food industry starts raking in the big bucks as we flock en masse to purchase a vast array of mysterious concoctions that will surely make us glow from within like all of Hollywood.
Make whatever goals you please this year; who am I to judge? I’ll openly admit that each January I’m convinced I’ll be a near-Olympic athlete by the time Christmas rolls around and I’ll somehow have morphed into Gisele.
This year feels a bit different. I don’t know what – specifically – has done it, but I’ve had an almighty change in perspective. At least, I’m attempting to wade through the sea of product placement, marketing and manipulation and seriously ask myself what matters. What should I be striving for? Is it really essential that I try and morph myself into somebody else’s idea of what is beautiful? Is it a good idea to live by somebody else’s rules? Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of Zack de la Rocha’s book and tell those people to fuck off?
I encourage you to begin 2016 by asking yourself what truly matters to you. What is it that you want? Initially, we all answer this in very different ways, of course, but if you keep questioning, ‘why?’ you will eventually get down to one of a handful of themes that includes:
- Because I want to feel love
- Because I want to feel alive
- Because I want to feel free
- Because I want to be safe
- Because I want to be happy
These are basic states of human emotion that are surprisingly difficult to decipher sometimes. It is much easier to feel like you need a new Chloé handbag than it is to realise that perhaps you want the handbag so you feel like you’ll be respected by all the people you’re meeting and befriending now that you live in London, because you want to feel a part of something, because ultimately you want to feel loved. Of course you might just want a Chloé handbag, but you get the point.
Step 1. Identify what it is that you truly value and want in your life by asking yourself the ‘why’ questions. You need to be open to being brutally honest with yourself here. No bullshitting allowed.
Step 2. Process what can actually bring you that thing, rather than trying to mask the desire.
One of the most important emotions to me is that feeling of awe I get when I cast my eyes upon something beautiful. Those who know me well, know that I use the term ‘epic landscapes’ when I describe my ideal habitat. Who doesn’t want to surround themselves with beautiful things? They make us feel alive. Sure, I can see beauty in the urban jungle too, but I value the great outdoors and so that is what drives me to think about what I can do to not damage it further.
Ultimately, we all want to feel all of those things that I’ve listed above. And the thing is that in order to do so we need a stable, clean and healthy environment. Regardless of what your interests are, whether it is graphic design or golf, forestry or fashion, you probably wouldn’t turn down a holiday somewhere aesthetically-pleasing, inspiring, warm, or what have you. After all, we all need time to unwind and relax and enjoy ourselves.
This year I would like to focus on smart purchasing choices. I’d like to place emphasis on supporting local businesses and fair trade, minimal or if necessary then recyclable packaging, organic goods, upcycling and reclaimed materials.
A lot of this stuff isn’t commonplace because many of us don’t really know about it. Sustainable lifestyles are hardly taught in our current education system! This is why it is my goal to embark on a mission that I hope will grow exponentially as I digest the material I learn this year and beyond and regurgitate the lessons here of how to live more synergistically with the surroundings (whilst still doing the whole city chic thing as long as I live in one).
A theme we can all incorporate into our lives this year is simplicity through minimalism; you do not need all the things that you think you do. Perhaps start this year not by running out and immersing yourself in the sales (which, let’s be real, occur pretty much 300+ days a year now) and instead turn introspective and get to the root of what we actually want.