The start of the year marks the start of a new chapter, and I’m feeling so good, secure and optimistic about this one. Last year’s top 5 goals were a success in my eyes so it’s only right that I aim higher and dream bigger. This year I’m going to flourish and I’m going to transform my life and I will be unstoppable. Sharing all my goals makes me more determined to reach them because I will be held accountable if I don’t. Okay, so here’s what I’m working towards in 2016:
- Work on and improve my self-awareness
In the last few weeks of 2015, I came across quite a bit of information about self-awareness. The term is pretty much self-explanatory, but to add to it I would say it involves taking responsibility of your actions and not allowing external factors (e.g. your current circumstances, the past, other people’s opinions etc.) to dictate what happens right now in your present. This goal really excites me because it kind of brings all the work I’ve been doing on self-development in 2015 under one umbrella. Being self-aware means becoming more disciplined, motivated, making sure that I have high self-esteem and –worth, and taking control of my mood. But, as always, it starts with my thoughts and ideas. If I can control my thoughts I know I can do anything I want to do.
The way I’m going to tackle this goal is by being aware of what I’m thinking about, if that makes sense… So in the morning and before going to bed, I will spend about 10-20mins going over my affirmations and visualisations, creating a healthy and productive outlook for the day. Throughout the day, if I find myself thinking negatively, I will stop myself and come up with a positive opposing thought to whatever negativity is in my head. This will also prevent myself from being critical and judgmental of others – we all know what it’s like to feel judged and it’s definitely not a nice feeling!
Another part of self-awareness is understanding who you are and being true to yourself. When I find myself going off track emotionally I want to break down that emotion to really understand why I feel the way I feel. That way, I can see if my emotions are the results of my thinking or the effect of external factors.
Self-awareness also involves making decisions that support my vision and personal growth; for example, I recently quit my retail job because I felt I was spending my time and energy in a place that didn’t make me happy. Of course I was scared to quit because I didn’t want to be broke, but I felt I needed to be investing my resources in something more valuable to my life. This was a bold choice because it went against my fears, but it’s true that good things will definitely come from this decision.
- Travel abroad at least once a month.
Last year I had some amazing trips abroad and I want that to continue into this year; discovering the world can easily be a constant in my life if I make it a priority.
I’ve already booked my flight to Copenhagen, Denmark for the last week of January and I’ll also be staying in Malno, Sweden for some nights too. I know very little about these cities but I know that there is much to gain, see and experience. So I’m really excited, grateful and can’t wait to get on that plane!
I reckon that my other trips will mostly be spontaneous. All I know for sure is that I’m going back to France at some point and that I’ll be visiting the Caribbean with my family in the summer. Aside from that, I’m just going with the wind!
- Get on the property ladder and become financially independent.
This is my most ambitious goal, given my current financial situation, yet I can clearly envision achieving it. Financial independence means having the skills to generate money quickly and easily, knowing how to both maximise and look after that money, and having no financial worries. I wouldn’t say I’m a materialistic person but having a nice house is important because it provides security and stability for my family. We spend most of our lives at home anyway so why not make it a place we own, love and are proud of. Seeing my mum stressing and worrying about how to pay the rent is something that I’m going to put an end to this year by becoming financially independent and providing for her.
I reached out to people who know a fair bit about getting on the property ladder and so for now I’m researching and learning. In terms of funds, I’m not allowing myself to become anxious or afraid. What’s necessary right now is that I remain optimistic and open to future opportunities. In time, everything will work out simply because I expect it to. Extraordinary things are to come — that is a fact!
- Improve as an actor and get regular acting and modelling jobs.
Acting is my passion and I love performing in front of a camera and being on stage. I really love working in a creative environment with like-minded people and enjoying these shared moments of passion for our craft. This year I want to increase my experience and really enhance my CV. My big dream is to perform on top London stages, star in credible French films/TV shows and have a lasting career. I want to move people with my performances, entertain them and provoke discussions. Everyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely determined to make this happen and nothing can get in my way. Small steps have to be taken to get there and that is what I shall be doing throughout this year.
I’m taking up improvisation acting classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts from January to March, which will really increase my confidence and ensemble technique both on stage and in front of the camera. In terms of my others performance-related skills (piano, salsa, speaking French) my aim is to strengthen them through regular practice and specific-goal setting. As for modeling, I will be studying different photographers whose work I like and reaching out to them in order to widen my knowledge base and increase my experience.
- Maintain a confident and positive mindset.
This relates to all my goals from this year and the last. This is about being courageous and optimistic. I will rely on my daily affirmations and challenge myself on a regular basis. It’s also important that I surround myself with people who are on a similar wavelength and have a similar mentality. Needless to say, I have to disassociate myself from those who are likely to pull me down. Because like attracts like, I guarantee I’ll end up meeting many people who I can learn from and exchange with throughout 2016.
- Inspire others to feel empowered and positive.
I’m carrying this goal forward from last year because I now understand that I have to be of service to others. In my opinion, taking control of your own life and being positive is necessary because it is the key to happiness and prosperity. However, the best way I can make people believe this is through my own actions.
- Learn Spanish to an advanced level (B2).
This one is random but not so random. I’m obsessed with languages because I like being able to connect with people from around the world. It gives you a deeper insight into their culture, way of life and philosophy, and others things that you can’t really understand if you don’t speak the same language.
While in France last year, I met 2 amazing people who learnt to speak Spanish by traveling/working in Latin America for just 3 months (yes, only 90 days!), and that really showed me that speaking multiples languages is possible if I give it a try. That being said, I’m giving myself a whole year to reach advanced level Spanish, and because it is similar to French it should be quite easy. By December, I’ll be able to communicate with a good level of fluency and understand the majority of spoken Spanish.
As with learning French last year, to help my progression I’ll use Duolingo, Memrise, Spanish films/TV shows, online articles and news programmes (and maybe a pen-pal too, who knows)! In the next 2 years I will definitely be heading over to South America to put my skills to the test – I can’t wait!
- Do my part for the environment
Eating a plant-based diet already helps with this because I don’t contribute to the horrible effects of animal agriculture and the death of the billions of innocent animals who are forced into the global food market. Also, I no longer own any products that are made from animals or tested on them. Instead, I have opted for a more natural approach, for example by making my own skin care products from organic, natural ingredients. To further this, I can increase the amount of organic foods that I eat and buy local produce at farmer markets.
I’m committing to recycling and I want to buy the majority of my clothes from thrift stores and charity shops which charge a fraction of the price of high street stores. This also prevents the exploitation of workers around the world. Living in London and having internet access I know that there are plenty of options so there’s really no excuse.
Another thing I’ve started to do is cycle almost on a daily basis, and this will continue throughout the year. To be honest, I was actually quite scared of cycling in London because it’s always busy on the roads. But in the back of my mind I knew I had to do it. At the start of December I bought a helmet and lights for my bike, and have not looked back since. I’m amazed at how much I love cycling, especially at night when it’s very quiet and dark. London is the perfect city for cyclists because drivers are very considerate and there are many cycle lanes and routes (and Google maps), which make getting around fast and simple. Not only is this better for the environment, it is easier on the purse and is very good for the mind and body. Definitely worth a try!
So there you have it. It’s a long list of goals with a lot of description but being specific is a lot better than being vague.
Watch this space!