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  • Sinem Soydar

It's the most wonderful time of the year

New year’s resolutions and 5 questions


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for a retrospective of the last year, listening to our heart, body, and mind to set some resolutions for the upcoming year.


Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, says, "change is the only constant in life."


There is no harm in changing yourself, either big or small. I assume you’ve already seen some ads or emails on “losing weight”, “starting a gym program”, or “quitting smoking”; do not worry, it’s ok. It is ok to like these ads or find them scams. We have learned that there is no right or wrong.


I would also suggest not to put pressure on time. I mean, we’ve already been tested; time has lost its definition in the lockdown periods. Days and weeks passed beyond our thoughts; it was challenging and unbearable, yet most of us survived, right? Shall we say we might have the power in us, resilience, joie de vivre?


Therefore, you might not start the diet program in the first week of Jan; you might not need to add some artwork into your life; maybe “paint by numbers” is not your thing. Starting a new career as a YouTube influencer and buying the most expensive camera to start your new chapter may not be that wise. Is it your big plan to learn a new language and move to another country next year?


Or maybe it is? Do you really know how you can understand what you want and need?

Simply you need to ask yourself a couple of questions to clear the fuzziness around you.


Before we start talking about the questions, I want to share my journey about last year and how my decisions and thoughts evolved along the way. I felt unused - wasted- potential in me, something I couldn’t direct to the right aim. Of course, I had some self-made problems and thoughts aside from the misaimed energy. I drove myself to long shots in my professional life, personal life and basically in everything in my life.


I could say that I had a plan -and I thought that was a solid one- and even the goals I had set were not easy; they were achievable, so that I could do that. But things changed; I’ve changed, and I’ve understood that the most challenging target is not the most precious one, nor the closest option is the easiest.

And only three months before 2022, I was more sure about what I wanted to achieve in my professional life and what would make me comfortable in my personal life.


I believe the key is ourselves; we need to listen to ourselves more, in silence with concentration. Not just for once but for a period, whilst you live your daily life. Whilst washing the dishes, having a nice walk, taking a bath… Ask the questions below over and over yourself; please be kind to yourself; it is not a quiz show; take your time.


  • Who am I?

Actually, this is the hardest question because the answer is not your name, age, or job. Try to define yourself in an unordinary way, do not use the same words you have used for many decades. Who are you? Feel the energy in your body, in your mind, feel the deepness of your heart, feel the love and do not consider the fear this time.


  • What do I love?

Please think about the things that make you smile, never make you tired, even when you feel tired, you’ve never regretted doing it. These things make you lose track of time. The times you feel your heart, mind, and body feel like one.


  • What inspires me?


Let me start with my example here. As a talkative person, I like to share my thoughts, and that’s why I love writing. And a good book can inspire me; nature and listening to classical music put me in a mood to write without checking time.


What is your inspiration? A motivational speech from a business or a spiritual leader? Or the kids’ laughter in the playground. Think about the things that nurture you, energise you.


  • What do I want?


It is a tricky one, I know. Most of us want what we allow ourselves for wanting. Limitations have started the day we are born; the limitations made by culture, by politics, our families and, in the end, by us. Nothing lasts forever other than our souls.

Please do not carry “buts” with you, leave yourself free whilst you think what you want. I know it is not easy, but the best part of being human is knowing we can learn, and on every try, we’ll do better; we’ll want more. Please give yourself enough time to think and feel what you want.


  • What do I want to change?

Last but not least, the most actionable question on the list. After the first four questions, what do you want to change? The change starts with your thoughts, actions, habits, and beliefs. Every change counts whilst you design your journey. Please start from the basics and carry on with the big one.

Do not overthink what you could change for climate change; your small or big contribution would differ. Because it is a start, it is a change in you, with you.

If you only want to wake up 15 min earlier, well done you, it is a significant change. You do not need to start saving the earth; save yourself first.


After a couple of trials, I hope you will have 1 or 2 pages filled with your thoughts or a list of things, either a proper word document. Great job, be happy for you! It is a perfect start for being aware of yourself and getting ready to start.


For this time, I mostly talked about the concept and the preparation rather than actions and plans, which are my strengths. Because this is also a learning experience for me, those who know me would agree I could call myself a “go-getter”. People give me the mission; then I build the plan, but the team together and get it no matter what.

It sounds like a SWAT team from a Hollywood movie and easily reflected in my professional life, but believe me, it has been the same since my childhood. Of course, there are different root causes underneath of being that driven, but my point is we are (ok, I’ll be precise GEN Y) too much driven to the target and the plan.

However, now it is time to step back for ourselves, pause and think. Do the retrospective before you prepare the action plan.

As we said at the beginning; It’s the most wonderful time of the year, let’s enjoy it. We’ll have the time to work on the plan anyway!


Till then, wishing you a happy Christmas and a fantastic new year!


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