Beyond New Year’s resolutions


    What will be different about your 2024 New Year’s resolutions or goals? 

    By Amy McMurtrie

    Five women sit, drinking wine, laughing, and fine dining. I was elated to be around a table with creative women, artists and writers like me. They were living life on their terms. One woman was set to commence a 10-week writers’ residency in Queensland. Another, a conceptual artist, looking for residencies in France (that way she could be with her dying mother). Another was about to fly to Sydney to do obscure law research for her PhD in creative writing. 

    I realised in this moment, surrounded by these women, I was calling in the creative life I wanted. However, when they asked me what kind of writing I do, I found myself faltering. A deep uncertainty and discomfort welled within me. Am I good enough?! Four sets of eyes looked forlornly back at me. I realised it wasn’t pity, but discomfort. Intelligent women know the familiar experience of making ourselves small. 

    I found these words recently I had written some time ago, in a personal journal. 

    I’d. dodged. A. bullet.

    this bullet
    had I allowed it to penetrate me further
    would have continued to consume more and more of me
    Ripping further through me
    I would
    Smaller and smaller
    Till I was in service to him only

    These words serve as a reminder of the life I never want to return to. Leaving this relationship was one of the hardest things I had done. In doing so I abandoned a narrative which had been ruling my life and kept me small, away from the things I want for myself and my communities. 

    The stories we tell ourselves are instrumental to our growth and living the lives we want. If you have never considered your values or beliefs, you are likely still living those given to you in childhood. If we do not question these values, we repeat the same patterns. 

    Like my parents, I became an adult who thought life was something to be survived; people were born into good fortune and happiness. I believed that life was struggle, so what did I look for? Struggle, hard times, drama. It’s called unconscious bias.

    We are led to believe that manifesting or ‘calling in’ the life we want is mystical. Yet, we’re all doing it every day. However, if we’re not choosing what we want consciously, we get the same old results. This can come to feel like ‘our lot in life’, or ‘just the way things are’. However, the timeless saying, where your energy goes, energy flows, is as true as it ever was. 

    When you are thinking about your New Years’ resolutions or goals, consider how this year will be different. In the commitment to building a different future, we must make difficult choices. This will mean sacrifices, perhaps relationships or jobs you walk away from and/or new habits you choose to build and sustain. It is not easy. Some say it’s not supposed to be.

    A word of advice, perhaps in the search for a solution you could engage a life coach, a therapist, or a new membership, that can support you. You are not alone.

    Happy New Years.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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