Well, 2016 has been quite a year. I learned a lot this year. This year, I have experienced joy and disappointment. This year, I became friends with people who truly changed my life, and I learned what it is I truly deserve in a relationship. This year, I have finally created a home for myself. This year, I have allowed myself some space to breathe and exist without the endless high expectations I place on myself as an INFJ.
As I said, it has been quite a year. Being an INFJ personality type, I am a realist, but I am even more of an optimist. I think that next year will inevitably bring humility, upset, and maybe even heartache. More importantly, next year will bring more love, belonging, and hope.
I believe that planning a journey for happiness is not the healthiest approach we can take. Instead I opt for a journey of wholeness. There is a natural ebb and flow to life. We will have good days and bad days and sometimes awful, horrible days. In the midst of our routines and tribulations, there are flickers of light. You make a connection with another person, have a moment of clarity and calm, and finally rest after a long day. Without a doubt, in 2017, we will experience moments like these and we’ll grow even more.
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INFJs are sensitive souls who need the same love and attention we so freely give to others. I’m here to discuss some resolutions you can make for yourself in the New Year:
1. Make self-care a priority.
We must remember to take care of ourselves — it is pertinent for our personality type. With that comes the challenge of not being too hard on ourselves. As INFJs, we have a tendency to set the bar high. We have a hard time doing things half-way; we give our all, or we don’t even try. But, INFJ, remember that you do not have to be perfect. Do not let your fear of failure stop you from trying something new. You are allowed to make mistakes, because we are human, after all. Speak kind words to yourself. Dedicate time in your weekly schedule to spend time with yourself. Prepare a meal from beginning to end at least that you will enjoy at least once a week. Set a bedtime at least once a week so that you get enough rest. Set up a nighttime routine that can help you unwind. You can take a bath, read a book, watch a movie, or make a cup of tea. Whatever helps ease your mind so you can find peace before you fall asleep. You need you as much as others need you.
2. Read more.
INFJs love to learn. We are constantly seeking resources to gather more information and knowledge. Personally, books are my escape. Though I do like reading nonfiction to educate myself, I prefer fiction when I need to tune things out and go somewhere else for a while. Anytime my world becomes too heavy, I look to other worlds inside books to find comfort. The other worlds I enjoy are typically mystical, magical places. One book series I enjoyed is by Libba Bray. It’s a trilogy about a girl named Gemma Doyle who has magical powers and is able to visit surreal places. The books are titled (in order): A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing. Another book by Libba Bray that I devoured is called The Diviners. It also tells the tale of a young woman with magical powers. I think you are starting to see a theme here with my taste in escapism. If you would like more book recommendations, let me know in the comments section below. Perhaps I could write about this in another article.
3. Declutter your home.
INFJs can be easily overstimulated by crowded, disorderly spaces, so it’s important to declutter our living environments. Cleaning out your home will help you have a clear focus for the year ahead. I plan to write about my journey in minimalism soon, but I have some advice to help get you started now if this is something you are considering. The first thing that comes to peoples’ minds is to get rid of clothes and shoes they no longer wear. You can pack up the things that you no longer enjoy and donate them to someone who will. Another easy way to declutter is to get rid of knick knacks and décor items that overwhelm your living area. Get rid of anything that no longer serves a purpose in your life. If the item has sentimental value (as they often do for INFJs), you could take a photo of it before you get rid of it. That way, you’ll always have the memory of it.
INFJs are natural caretakers. We love to give counsel to anyone who needs it. What better way to feel fulfilled than to give back to your community? There are several ways to volunteer. You can give an hour of your week to a local animal shelter. Or research volunteer opportunities through VolunteerMatch. I have volunteered at a few places since I was a teenager. I have worked with children, providing care for them while their mothers went to group therapy. I have also worked with animals, specifically cats. My favorite experience was at a huge sanctuary with all kinds of animals. I’m talking pigs, emus, goats, every animal you can think of. I went to this sanctuary once a week and volunteered to take care of the kittens. It brought me so much fulfillment and joy. Trust me, volunteering can change your life.
5. Take time for solitude.
Embrace it. Cherish it. Grow from it.
I am saying goodbye to 2016 with love. For me, it has been a year of personal growth and acceptance, and I am grateful for it. I can only imagine what is in store for 2017. Talk to you then.
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Read this: What Writing Means to Me as an INFJ