It’s the start of January. The gyms are packed, the diet products are flying over the counter but it’s also a time to reflect on the past year. My 2015 was inspring on so many levels that I wish the same for you in 2016. I’ve listed seven things I discovered in 2015 that might inspire you for this new year.

1. Learn something new

It’s never to late to start learning something new. This year I finished a course Eventmanagement. I quit my job in 2014 at a social housing company and after the needed time to myself I decided I wanted to work in the cultural scene. My dream is to work as a producer of festivals and cultural events. I got a glimps of what my future holds by doing an internship at on of the most exciting and upcoming places in Amsterdam. That place tought me so much about the ins and outs of producing events and I was lucky to have a great connection with all the lovely staff. Learning something new makes you overcome insecurities but also brings so much excitement to your life. It requires perseverance but in the end you’ll be glad you pushed yourself to add those new spices to your life.

2. Visit a place you’ve never been

Go. Explore. You’ve got no time to waste. It can be a pretty city nearby or a place on the other side of the world: just go there. Last year I discovered a few new inspiring places. I travelled to London, Gdansk, North-Cyprus, Berlin and right now I’m on a big Asia trip. When you’re discovering new gems it makes you feel alive, it broadens your horizon and it gives you perspective on what you have, what you want and where you feel most at home. You learn about the world, the people and most of all, yourself. As a person you will grow and make memories you’ll never forget.

3. Meet new people who inspire you

In 2015 I moved from a small town in the north of Holland to Amsterdam. It was one of the best choices I have ever made. I love my old hometown, but the thrill of the capital city is filling me up with energy. I met a lot of new people who showed me their city, made me laugh and made me feel welcome. You can travel as much as you want but in the end it’s the people who leave the most sustainable stamps in your passport. Be curious, give them your sparkling eyes and energy and it will be rewarded.

4. Do some soulsearching

There is a lot going on there in the outside world. But more important is to make sure your inside world is calm and that you can count on yourself. More and more people seem to be interested in activities that involve working on their soul. Yoga, meditation and writing helps me deal with daily life struggles and insecurities. It gets me to process everything the world is throwing at me in a healthy way. Last year I went on a ten day Vippasana meditation course. It was hard. Liberating. At times it felt stupid. Other times I loved it. If you’re already on the path of meditation, you should try a multiple days retreat. When there is more than one day of no external influences, you will go deeper and deeper into meditation and learn a lot about your (un)consciousness and how your system is working. So, dive in there!

5. The heart beats harder than you, don’t fight it

‘The world is a joke when out of love.’ A quote from Incubus that says it all. Decide to choose love no matter what. When I fell in love again I was scared and didn’t want to get hurt again. So I decided not to call it a relationship and leave everything open. Which was only a cover up. The more I fell in love, the more I tried not to. Which was a helpful but nasty paradox, and sooner or later I had to get rid of it. The only choice I had was to open my heart again. Believe that every relationship is a new adventure and works differently then the other. Love is such a powerful force and we can use it everyday, not only in our relationship but also in our work, with our friends or when we’re expressing yourself in any shape or form.

6. Lighten the load

Do you really need all the stuff that you have? Think about it. You probably need a lot less then what you are collecting at the moment. For the last two years I’ve been reducing my belongings badly. It feels like it’s holding me back and I get tense when I think I can’t go away anytime I want because I have to take care of stuff I never needed in the first place. So I got rid of things. A lot of things. Even my books that make me feel happy and at home. I reduced my collection to only a handful of my favourite ones. It feels good almost having no material stuff. I feel light, flexible and able to move. You are not a reflection of your possesions, and you do not need them to devine who you are.

7. Explore your sexuality

Sexuality is a major thing and I truly believe that a lot of shit is captured around sexuality. While exploring sexuality you’re exploring yourself. Your deepest fears, pain and pleasure will see the light. Don’t hide it. Let’s talk more about sex in the open. I’m always curious about everything that has to do with sex (aren’t we all?). Monogamy and polygamy is an interesting subject I wrapped my head around this year. I went to different workshops and readings which gave me a good insight about how these different concepts work in theory and it’s a nice basis to playfully explore this in the real world. It helped me understand how I look at sexuality and relationships.

I would love to read your discoveries and wishes for 2016 in the comments!