Kinky Goals & Resolutions, Week One
It’s that time again—the year is new and many people use this time to set goals and make resolutions for the calendar ahead. As lifestyle kinksters, we too can take the new year as a chance to reflect on our kinky journey and chart our course for what we’d like to experience and who we’d like to spend time with in the year ahead.
Here at Dom(me)’s Life, we’re bringing you a two-part series to help you do just that. This week, part one is a retrospective—looking back on how we kinked it up in the past year. Next week, part two will be a visioning—looking forward to the year ahead to make plans and set goals.
If you maintain a journal, you could log your thoughts on this series in your journal. If you don’t have a journal, these prompts could help you start one. Alternatively, you could jot down your thoughts on any paper you have handy or whatever digital means you prefer.
Journaling can be simple or hard. There can be a tendency to overthink what you are writing but the best outcome is where you record a stream of consciousness and thoughts without overthinking them. That means you are getting to your real thoughts and feelings.
Why look back?
You’ll notice this series begins with looking back at the old year. The basic idea behind this is that to go forward, it helps to reflect on where we’ve been. Practising self-awareness and tracking our patterns about our kinky past can help us plot a brighter kinky future. As the saying goes, “if we don’t learn our history, we’re doomed to repeat it.” Of course, some history is worth repeating, so that’s worth examining so we can figure out what we did right. Either way, looking back can give us a helpful perspective on what’s ahead.
Looking back can help give us a positive mindset and clear perspective. In our over active minds, we can sometimes take an experience and twist it into a negative thought, sad or even bad memory. Things tend not to be as bad as we make them out to be when our overactive, overthinking brains take over. Journaling as a form of reflection can help avoid that. Through the written expression of our thoughts, you can focus on reviewing events; write down the facts, your feelings, emotions and reactions. Reread what you wrote, seeing things in black and white helps us analyse the facts, and put things into perspective. This process can give you a true reflection on how things were, how things are now and where to next.
Kinky Laments & Regrets
It’s not fun to examine the things that didn’t go so well, but we’ve all had aspects of our kinky lifestyles that haven’t gone as well as we would have liked. Kinky things don’t always go how we wish they would. Thinking broadly about the less-than-lovely aspects of our past year, we might break them down into two major categories: the laments—the losses or other things beyond our control that changed our kinky course for us, and the regrets—those things that we did or didn’t do that we now realize we could’ve done differently.
Laments: Grieving our losses
When it comes to laments, it’s important to allow ourselves to grieve these losses. Grief isn’t just for when someone dies. Grief can apply to any kind of loss. Holding space for the many kinds of losses that we may experience in our kinky journey can be very validating. It can heal our hearts and help open them up for new kinky adventures ahead.
Taking time for lament:
- Who is gone now that was part of your kinky lifestyle during the past year?
- What did you lose or miss kink-wise due to the pandemic?
- What other losses have you experienced over the past year that have impacted your kink?
- What do you think would help you to grieve or acknowledge your loss/es?
- What have you learned or how have you grown from these experiences of loss?
Regrets: Owning our choices
Making an honest appraisal of our regrets may be the most difficult part of our reflection on the “old year.” Some people sail through life without thinking much about how they could have done things differently. “The past is in the past,” they’ll say. The idea of living with “no regrets” has its appeal and may save us some pain, but realistically, our choices aren’t always perfect.
Another difficulty with looking back at regrets of the past year is that many people are already their own worst critics. They are aware of their regrets; their faults and failures occupy a lot of their headspace even on a good day. So, purposefully looking at regrets can seem like heaping on more guilt. But the purpose here isn’t to wallow in our mistakes.
Ideally, looking squarely at how our choices may have negatively impacted our kinky relationships and experiences can help us move forward without letting our regrets loom over us. By facing our mistakes, we can take responsibility for them, make amends where possible, and learn and grow going forward in our kinky lifestyle.
Reflecting on regrets:
- Have you caused harm to anyone for which it is possible to make amends?
- What choices about relationships would you make differently based on your experience of the past year?
- Have you tried or experienced something that you wouldn’t want to do again? Have you updated your limits list accordingly?
- Were there any missed opportunities where you had the chance to experience something new but didn’t? What was holding you back?
- Are there any other choices you’ve made over the past year that have negatively impacted your kink journey that you think better of now?
Kinks and Kinksters to remember
No retrospective of the previous year would be complete if we didn’t take time to make note of who and what we enjoyed and appreciated. Even difficult experiences, such as the laments and regrets as above, can have silver linings. And even small things, like discovering a new fetish, can be useful (and fun) to inventory. This part of the reflection on the “old year” can be a very joy-filled experience as the memories of what makes our kinky little hearts go pitter-patter come flooding back to us.
Remembering the good stuff:
- What insights have you gained about yourself through your BDSM practices over the past year?
- What milestones did you reach in your kinky journey in the past year? What are you most proud of about them?
- What did you try that was new or different that you are glad you tried? What did you like about it?
- Who enhanced your kinky journey this past year by being part of your life?
- What was your favorite experience, most memorable moment or magical milestone from last year?
Looking for patterns, and opportunities for growth
As you reflect on your laments and regrets and remember the kinks and kinksters of the past year, you may notice trends. You may find keywords recurring in your reflections. Themes may emerge. Take some time to consider whether there are any observable patterns in how you kinked it up last year. If you noticed any patterns, these could suggest opportunities for additional learning and growth in the year ahead. If you can’t see any patterns, that’s okay too. You can still take your reflections as a whole and use them to identify one or two areas that stand out to you as opportunities for learning and growth.
Wrapping up the old year with a bow
As you reflect on your kinks of the past year, remember to be gentle with yourself and give yourself time to grieve your losses. Do take responsibility for the things you can change, but don’t be your own personal sadist about your regrets. Enjoy your stroll down memory lane as you recall the good times and be sure to celebrate your successes! And as you make note of the people who helped you kink things up a notch last year, consider also writing them a quick note of thanks. Keep your kinky old year reflections handy and stay tuned for next week when we will set our goals for the new year.
These educational topics wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication from our Dom(me)sLife contributors – Thank you MM