Best foot forward as you step into the new year

Listen to the voice of your soul

Fireworks are seen over Sydney harbour during New Year's Eve celebrations on January 1 2022 in Sydney, Australia. New Year's Eve celebrations continue to be somewhat different as some Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.
Fireworks are seen over Sydney harbour during New Year's Eve celebrations on January 1 2022 in Sydney, Australia. New Year's Eve celebrations continue to be somewhat different as some Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.
Image: Wendell Teodoro/Getty Images

Armed with determination and lessons learnt in 2021, we can work towards the intentions we have set and have plenty to celebrate by the end of this year.

The start of each year presents not only a clean slate but also the opportunity for introspection.

The challenges we encounter and the lessons we learn on our path can help us do better in future, while empowering us to identify the red flags that would have otherwise led to our destruction or demise.

Armed with a bag full of 2021 lessons in one hand, as well as determination, intention and willpower in the other, we boldly embark on the journey towards achieving our 2022 goals.

Mmasechaba Motseothata.supplied
Mmasechaba Motseothata.supplied
Image: Supplied

For Mmasechaba Motseothata, facilitator of The Adult Program for People with Autism Centre, the greatest lesson from 2021 was to pour more into her own cup.

This is something she aims to do more intentionally.

“I am going to be more intentional in doing things that nourish me and add value to my life. Regarding my health, I am more mindful of what I put into my body and learning how to care for it.”

She also practices a mantra that she believes is helpful in silencing negative self-talk, while also re-centring her on the path to becoming a better person.

 “I often ask myself am I going to stress myself to death or am I going to nourish myself to life? This always helps me to choose life in every situation.”

For junior brand accountant Khanyile Mathebula, the two greatest lessons she learnt from 2021 are rooted in the realms of relationships and mental wellness.

“I have learnt to draw boundaries in all my relationships; to be honest with my feelings and how people make me feel. The greatest lesson was also to choose people who choose me.”

Khanyile Mathebula.
Khanyile Mathebula.
Image: Supplied

Additionally, overcoming the emotional obstacles of 2021 has drawn Mathebula closer to finding her authentic self.

She often seeks strength and peace through prayer and letting go.

“I am learning to make peace with whatever happened in the past and to let go of it. I say a little prayer asking for peace, acceptance and forgiveness to get me through tough moments. I am honestly in a much better position in identifying the emotional flare ups in my life,” Mathebula said.

The same can be said for Motseothata, who has learnt to confront the emotional triggers that were holding her back.

Her journey has given her room to heal and express empathy for others.

According to productivity coach and teacher Matseleng Mogodi, being in charge of your mental and emotional health can save you from the disappointment and devastation that comes with unachieved goals.

“As humans, we are emotional beings. Therefore, it is important to manage your emotions. It is empowering to know and understand what triggers you. Once you are able to manage your emotions, you are able to manage your life,” advised Mogodi.

Indeed, the road towards living out our intentions for the year may not always be as smooth as we anticipate.

However, Mogodi suggests that being aware of our potential and being adamant about what we want can help carry us through.

“Make sure that the goals you have set are indeed your goals. When we impose certain things on ourselves because we feel it is what society wants or when we set goals based on what other people are achieving, we often fail. You can never come first at being another person.

“Forget about social media and other external factors. Just listen to the voice of your soul. When we are aware of our own potential, we start to live a more fulfilling life,” she said.

Looking ahead, Mathebula says that the goals she has set have evolved to make room for who she is becoming.

“As we grow, we tend to want more from life and for ourselves. In 2022 I am learning to show up for me and to become the best version of myself in my way.”​

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