It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s an opportunity for reflecting on the year ahead, and setting goals and objectives, or just in more general terms, a time for self-examining.
The idea of new year’s resolutions is nothing new [we all do it], but year by year I find myself keeping track of my year that has just passed, and I recall what I promised to myself.
This year however, I will try something different. As we all seemed to collectively feel, 2016 became a somewhat dire year. It may not have been as bad a year as we all seemed to think, but collectively it appeared that plenty of us were struggling to make it through.
Things for many of us went from bad to worse, a fact reflected by what happened globally throughout the year. Brexit, Trump, celebrity deaths et al. We all, I think, had a stinker. And we all deserve a pat on the back for making it through together.
Instead of a new year’s resolution however, I decided to write myself up a ‘2017 Manifesto’.
I’ve always loved the idea of the ‘manifesto’ concept, used by artists, philosophers, politicians as well as now corporations, and for personal use. The idea of transcribing down objectives, statements of purpose, delineating clearly the goals and ambitions and very identity of an art or political movement as per example, was something that intrigued me from an early age, from when I first learned about manifestos in Art class in high school.
The Dadaist Manifesto, for instance, was an initial exposure to the art of the manifesto as well as the original. The work ‘Manifesto‘, a fantastic video installation featuring Cate Blanchett, a logical endpoint, highlighting famous manifestos in history, all spoken by Cate Blanchett in character. The expression of ideals, virtues and identity is what has drawn me to wanting to write my own for 2017.
In my own life, 2016 has taught me that direction, decisiveness and clarity is key. A clarity of purpose and identity. Taking inspiration from above, I present my 2017 Manifesto. I’m not sure I will possibly be able to live up to this, or adhere to these tenets, but I no doubt will try.
I will not be taken advantage of. My life is finite and fragile.
I will be honest about my feelings. I won’t hide behind half-truths and passive aggressiveness.
I will take my career, or lack thereof, more seriously, and give it focus and thought. In this year, I will knuckle down and work out 3 things: What do I want to do, how do I do it, and where.
I will say yes only when it pleases me to do so, and no when it doesn’t please me to not do so. I won’t let myself be swayed for the sake of a good time or fun.
I will not listen to or accept idle gossip.
I will not lead others on, or let myself be lead on by others.
I will invest my time into those who will reciprocate.
In 2017, I will surround myself with those whom inspire me, and hopefully I am able to inspire them in return.
I will create, produce and generate more. I won’t second guess myself, will output more, and worry less.
I will not think less of myself compared to others simply because they may have more followers on social media than I.
I will remember to breathe.
I will use the block button on apps more, and argue online less. Low-resolution profile images a good opponent for arguments does not make.
I will not succumb to thinking of myself or others merely as a ‘brand.’
I won’t forget to take my meds.
I will learn to like myself more, and hate myself less.
I will write/photograph/contribute to the greater world because I am compelled to do so, not for likes, comments or the affirmation of others.
What would your manifesto for 2017 say?