One thing that I really want to work on this year is myself – cliche, I know! My mission is to live a happier, more wholehearted life amidst the chaos of living and parenting with a chronic illness. It’s a challenge, for sure, but I understand what I want for my life and why I want it. That’s why I’ve created this personal manifesto. It’s full of intentional and actionable statements to guide me towards the life I want.
What is a Personal Manifesto?
It’s basically a statement or collection of statements that reflect what you want in life and how you’re going to get there. It’s also a place to share your values, beliefs and goals.
For me, I want to thrive not just survive. To be able to enjoy my life more even when I’m in pain.
I started by reflecting on the things I value most (love, kindness and authenticity) as well as the things that challenge me. I wound up with thirty or so statements then whittled it down to the following ten as they were the most relevant.
1. Start & end Every Day with Love
Every day starts and ends the same: by telling my husband and son I love them. Showing them how much they mean to me every day is a standard I want to uphold for the rest of my life.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
2. It’s Just a Bad Moment, Not a Bad Life
One for the bad days, this is to remind myself that my health does not define my life and its worth.
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
3. Perfection Does Not Exist
I’m giving myself the opportunity and freedom to be good enough as I am. I’m not perfect. No-one is perfect. No matter how hard we try, we will always be imperfect because perfection is a myth.
“Good enough is good enough. Perfect will make you a big fat mess every time.”
4. Stop Comparing
It’s exhausting comparing yourself to others. And comparison benefit no-one. We’re all on different journeys, at different stages of life and have different values, priorities and goals.
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
5. Always Be Kind
Kindness is the light in the dark that we all need to survive. So I struggle to understand why some people dedicate their whole lives to spreading hate. It costs absolutely nothing to be kind to others and yet has such a huge impact.
But guess what? It’s also important to be kind to yourself. I’m still learning how to treat myself with more compassion and love. It’s a work in progress but I’ll get there.
“You never know what light you might spark in others, just through your kindness and your example.”
6. You Are Not Responsible For How Others See You
There are some things we can’t control in life and how other people see us is one of them. We’re not responsible if we don’t live up to someone else’s version of us because that person doesn’t exist. We exist and we get to be the captain of our own ship.
It’s not the easiest thing to take onboard when you’re a chronic people-pleaser but authenticity is really important to me. The truth is I’d rather be myself than be liked.
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”
7. Self-care Isn’t Selfish
I’ve recently had to accept that there are consequences if I don’t rest when I need to. Those consequences outweigh the guilt I feel when I need to rest instead of doing x, y or z. So it’s important that I give myself permission to rest as needed without guilt.
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”
8. Celebrate Every Joy in Life
This is all about embracing life’s little moments of happiness with open arms, open eyes and an open heart. Whether it’s something that made me laugh or smile, an achievement or just a pain-free day, it’s all worth celebrating. Life’s too short not to.
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
9. Remember How Far You’ve Come
A reminder for when imposter syndrome inevitably comes knocking: I am enough. I worked hard to get to where I am. I deserve to be here.
Reflecting on the journey will help keep me focused on my achievements and worthiness. Basically the point is to replace self-doubt with self-love.
“May you never forget how far you have come and the miles it took just to get to this place.”
Morgan Harper Nichols
10. Show Up For Yourself
When new opportunities and challenges emerge, I will rise to them – even if they scare me. I know that only I have the power to make my version of success a reality and in order to do that, I have to commit to actually showing up and working hard to achieve those goals.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
So that’s my personal manifesto and the 10 little intentions I’ve set for myself. Sure my priorities and goals may change over time but I feel like this is a great framework for what I’m trying to achieve in life.
If you were to create a personal manifesto for yourself, what kind of statements would you choose? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured Image: Jess Bailey from Pexels