From the Editor

Thoughts for 2022 & New Year’s Resolutions

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Thoughts for 2021 & New Year’s Resolutions
Roseline Lohr

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS 2022

P HAS BEEN teasing me about writing my New Year’s Resolutions in mid-February, but that was before I’d told him about all the messages I’d received from you asking after them. It’s so nice how much you love these yearly lists, and to be honest, wasn’t sure I was even going to do it this year, as so far, this new year has been particularly difficult to define. But I hope that in some small way these thoughts help you with your thoughts and goals this year, whatever they may be. This list includes the most important things that I’d like to work on⏤sound, rational thoughts and ideas based on logic and many hours of reading and thinking and I hope, should I be able to accomplish them, will have a very positive impact on 2022…

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To prioritise my mental fitness

I pretty much already have my physical fitness under control. (Although I am always still trying to improve.) It would have been one of my past New Year’s resolutions at one point perhaps three (or even four) years ago. While I may work out every day now, I don’t always remember to take care of my mental fitness. You’ve probably heard it said that health involves more than not being sick. Well similarly, mental fitness involves more than the absence of mental illness. Mental fitness is something that you can take time to build, just as you would your physical strength and fitness. Taking care of your well-being is equally (if not more) important, and activities such as reading and learning something new can help. This year, I want to spend more time looking after my mental fitness by being proactive about managing burnout and giving my brain more time to rest.

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To make better choices

It is a strange fact about me that I can be indiscriminate sometimes when it comes to certain things. Of course, I am very fastidious about many things⏤washed hands and washed fruit, public restrooms, for example. But when it comes to people, I am always openhearted and always give everyone the benefit of the doubt and expect them to behave as I would in most situations. Often, they don’t, and I turn out to be wrong about them. The problem is that I can be very indiscriminate about the people who find their way into my life⏤recent acquaintances and new friends; old friends from the past who want to be reacquainted⏤and it has not always ended well. Recently happened across the Instagram page of a life coach who posts daily affirmations and the most recent was about setting boundaries and how you should remember that it’s a privilege to know you and have access to you and this should not be a given. I’d never really thought about it that way before. So this year, I am resolved to be a little more choosy⏤not just with people, but with everything. Before I decide on anything, I will consider the question: “Does this choice support the life that I want?” This question will, going forward, apply to new friends and old; to eating and exercise, negative thoughts and financial decisions, the media I consume daily⏤to everything. As the choices we make today determine our lives tomorrow, this year, I will focus on making decisions consciously, logically, and rationally, rather than impulsively or emotionally.

To free up mental space

One of P’s resolutions this year is to cut out internet news―that is, online papers and websites that create divisive content with headlines that are more clickbait than real news. It’s good to be informed, but being exposed to a constant barrage of spins and non-news to provoke feelings of anger in order to promote engagement can be unhealthy. Research has shown that fake news travels six times faster than legitimate information on social media—in large part because of its ability to trigger a strong emotional response (Wired). Having to navigate content that deliberately aims to sustain fear and dissent adds to our cognitive and emotional burden, and the 24/7 news (and fake news) cycle can take a heavy toll on our collective psyche. So for my third resolution, I am severely reducing the amount of internet news I consume to free up mental space for better, more important things, like coming up brilliant new ideas, or finally starting that novel or screenplay, or coming up with ideas for fun things to do with P, or new places to visit, or just to daydream.

To buy less of the same things

The actual resolution may be to not buy anymore of the same things, but I’ve expanded it to drastically cutting back on shopping in general. Today, (March 11, 2022) marks the two year anniversary of the date that the World Health Organization declared that the COVID-19 outbreak was a pandemic, and during the past two years while in lockdown, went on a bit of a spending spree⏤out of stress, out of sadness, and sometimes boredom from being shut away from the world for so long. Now that things have opened up again (despite the new soaring number of cases), I regret some of these purchases and have decided to shop a lot less in general, but especially for products that do the same thing, at least until most of the old products have been used. For instance, I have six different types of sunscreen and we live in England. Granted, you’re supposed to wear sunscreen everyday, even when it’s cloudy, but I’d bought most of these when we weren’t even able to leave the house. In my defence, a couple of them block out blue light, which is useful for all that screen time indoors, but that’s most likely not the point. So far, I’ve had storage units in three different countries around the world, so less shopping means less things, and with my track record, less things in storage when moving around.

To make room for new energy

If you’re a longtime reader of TIG, you may know that we think a lot about energy. Not in the new-age, crystal healing sense, but the actual energy we expend with our bodies and our minds, and more specifically, how this energy is our currency, to waste or to invest (read more here). I’m currently reading about the idea of humans being a work in progress and therefore, constantly in a transformative state that allows us to make room for new energy⏤energy that allows for changes to happen in our lives and attract new experiences. It’s about the idea of using a new year to shift the current energy that may be wasted on non-essential things (like how many followers we have on Twitter, or the way we look in our Instagram photos) and put it into other, more productive areas such as learning a new skill, developing a new hobby, spending time with those we love, taking care of our health, or anything else that you’ve always wanted to do but thought you didn’t have the time (or energy).