NEW YEAR, SAME ME

Welcome back readers of Chocolate and Politics. Here we are again, the beginning of a new year, a fresh start full of endless possibilities and resolutions. Many of us will spend the next few weeks carrying out big plans of ‘spending less money’ or ‘eating more vegetables’ or ‘reducing screen time’. Common resolutions inspire those who make them to focus on how they can improve their quality of life and become more content. As I see it, resolutions are a great thing to make. Even when they may not be thoroughly followed throughout the year, they provide perspective to what may be lacking in one’s life and offer time for reflection. Then again, I am also the person who writes monthly goals and is constantly trying to enhance various areas of their life. Nonetheless, I do understand why the majority population has given up on New Year’s resolutions. If they are ultimately bound to fail, why set them in the first place?

While a set of resolutions currently resides on a filled page in my journal, I have also come up with an alternative to the customary list-making tradition. It is all about a single word. Sometimes, having a list with multiple items can seem overwhelming and can be the undoing of genuinely keeping up with them. Even the idea of forming ‘just a few’ goals and focusing on those can end up in ruin. Twelve months to follow through with anything is a long time, especially when most resolutions are too specific and unrealistic. Hence, the surefire way to make sure that resolutions can be both made and followed is to extend their range.

To start, recall the events of 2021. For each individual, this year has been a mixture of highs and lows, routine and chaos, discoveries and disappointment. Similar to classic resolutions, it is paramount to think about what was absent from the year. Usually, the factors weighing the days down can be summarized in a single word. Life could be lacking growth, self-care, commitment, or any other number of things. And that which is missing becomes your word for 2022. After reflecting on on my own year, going month by month, I realized the one real thing keeping me stuck was a neglect for consistency. In fact, not just in 2021, but for the last few years, I have found myself constantly feeling a desire for perfection. This voraciousness to have an ideal life led me to compare myself to others, craving to change myself and my lifestyle in the hopes that it would lead me to happiness. News flash: it never worked. Finally, I am putting my foot down. In 2022, I am no longer expecting fictitious perfection, but rather am aiming for consistency: staying constant with everything from my sleep schedule to the way I treat myself and others. Consistency may not make sense to others; it may seem dull and trivial. But, no one else really needs to understand because it is my word. Each morning as my eyelids flutter open, I will take a deep breath and remind myself that today is not about being amazing or meeting anyones’ expectations… it is merely about making it through another day with a warm smile and healthy routine– which for now, is enough.

Tying this into Chocolate and Politics, I would like to update you all on this blog and where it is going in its third year of operation. Just like with the rest of my life, the main thing I would like to prioritize is staying consistent. In 2021, there were long stretches that were missing motivation or commitment from my side. Although it was a crazy year, I apologize for the shortage of stability. Hopefully, as I take more time to cement my own routine, this blog will reflect my efforts. I plan to continue writing as much as possible, about all kinds of topics, both silly and serious. My promise to you, and myself, is that Chocolate and Politics will continue to be a passion project. There will be times where posts will center more around my personal life and other times where I will comment on the outside world. Consistency mixed with devotion is a recipe for success.

So, if you are still here reading, thank you for sticking around. I truly appreciate all the support and feedback I have received in 2021 and hope that I will be able to increase the number of people I am able to inspire through my love for writing. It has been a wonderous and gratifying journey to be able to write for all of you and have a platform to put my thoughts and opinions on the internet for others to read. I have no clue where the new year will take us, but I can’t wait to find out.

Happy New Year

Ria xx

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start” -Nido Qubein

P.S. …Please share your word for 2022 in the comments below, I would love to hear what my readers are doing to better their lives as we enter a new year!

Published by Ria Pai

Hi let me introduce myself. I was born and have lived my entire life in a beach area as a child of two amazing parents who immigrated to America from India. I love art, music and writing so I try to combine the three. I enjoy deep conversations on a number of topics from politics, to friendships, to fashion. I’m a natural perfectionist, but sometimes find this to be a bit overwhelming. I love mangos, dark chocolate and tea. I make art whenever I get the chance…painting, songwriting, dancing, and writing are all forms of art to me. Since I live in a warm area, I cannot stand any weather that is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and always find a way to swim in anything from pools to the ocean. I have one dog, a Lhasa Apso who I am envious of because he does nothing but eat, sleep, and lay around all day. I experiment with my style. I am horrible at geography and sitting still, and it’s not uncommon to find me with paint all over my hands. I like to wear bold clothing and I always find a way to wear the same white sneakers with any outfit I can. Hi, my name is Ria, nice to meet you.

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