The Self Help Hipster Code of 2016

(Pictures by Aline Bouma

It’s time for my brain to sync with iCalender, my Outlook planner and my Bullet Journal. I wrote my Code of 2016 over the course of January as I got a feel of the year, and now it’s time to actually land in 2016 and start LIVING for it.

Read on for what code I want to live by this year.

1) “NO.”

(I’m fun, aren’t I.)

You know how I come off as a bitch who can say ‘no’ no problem, with all my ducks in a row and priorities straight being able to reject and decline ALL of the things?



…It always sucks when you find out about the lies you tell yourself.

This month, after getting stuck with the umpteenth miscellaneous task at work and saying ‘yes’ to social events I do NOT have the time or energy for, I realised I’m not NEARLY as good as I thought I was at saying ‘no’.

I’m good at saying ‘no’ to shitty people and shit I’m not into. But if I like you or your event, or if I can help someone I like out with something? I apparently can’t say no. I’m there. I’ll bend over backwards to get there, no matter how much I get all bent out of shape because of it.

Because I keep watching my schedule fill up each week like a drunk on Friday night. And that makes me freak out: I have work to do, a book to write and a blog to write semi-regular updates for. (On top of that, I like hanging out with people, but I also really like not doing things and not seeing people.)

Mid-February I went in complete social lockdown and ‘no’ became my mantra. Even to fun things. My agenda is the Pentagon, the club full of hot bitches on a Saturday night: You’re not getting in.

Basically, 2016 is going to be the year of ‘no’. No. I can’t hang out. No, I can’t take on that extra set of menial tasks. No, I can’t come to that party. No, I can’t fill in for you today. Why not? Because it’s not my responsibility, no matter how much I like or love you. Because it does not interest me, because it inconveniences me more than it benefits you. Because I don’t want to.


Non if you’re nasty.


I wrote about this last year: Giving to yourself. In 2015 I wrote about how it requires effort and energy, but the things you do can be gifts to you and your life. And how it’s worth it to think about what you want to give yourself, and then deliver – from you, to you, with a bow on top.

In 2016 it is part of my code to give myself what I want. For one thing, because I’m the one who has to do it. It’s my life. No one else who is more responsible for my life and what I end up getting than me. So I’m going to give myself what I want, short term and long term. The actions, and the end results.

I have a few things I want to give myself in 2016 in terms of personal goals and professional goals. Since I do not like big declarations that end up falling through, I’m keeping them under wraps for now. I aspire to things, and throughout the year you’ll end up seeing if I’ve been able to give myself the things I wanted.

But the intention in 2016, the code of the year, is to give myself the things I want.


Now, I don’t mind a little bitching, complaining, and ranting (it’s a lot funnier than all that boring optimism, sorry). And I certainly don’t need everyone to be radiant bundles of sunshine and unicorn moonlight all the time. But. BUT.

A little while ago I was in a room with someone who drained. I could almost literally feel everyone in her presence deflate from her theatrical stress, complaining and negative vibe. Everyone in her presence was robbed of energy. When I came home from that meeting, I poured myself a glass of wine, put on a funny movie and turned to my boyfriend with the words: “She was everything I never want to become.”

I want to be someone that energises people, that has a positive effect on a person, a room, a situation. And not just that: I want to be happy. I want to feel good. I want to feel joyful, and happy, and energetic and positive.

Happiness has not been a priority for me for a good, long time. I thought I had better things to do than strive for happiness. In my eyes, a big part of happiness is under the influence of hormones, neurotransmitters, the weather, and miscellaneous external circumstances: All these things beyond my control.

But I can at least TRY to be happy, joyful person.


Based on my New New Age-type articles of late you can probably tell: I’m back in touch with my Inner Light.

Or at least I try to be. I swear to God, they keep moving that damn light switch.

I lean heavily on scepticism, realism and practical thinking on the daily. But I believe that there is a part of the human experience that cannot be touched, tested or scientifically proven, that is different for everyone. For me, that part of the human experience is being in touch with energy.

My connection with energy is the cornerstone of my personal development. While someone else might see it as weird and woo-woo, for me it’s like the temperature in a room, a hug, something I ate for lunch: I feel it. 

I’m sensitive* to rooms, situations, people and their moods and emotions. I feel someone’s vibe and am either repelled or attracted. I have a gut feeling that 9 times out of 10 knows more than my dumb brain. When someone does energy healing on me, I feel it. When I do energy healing on myself (Reiki), I feel it.

Part of my code this year is to work more with the energy within myself. I do this mostly with meditation and Reiki, but also by trusting my intuition and introspection in other ways: Running, yoga, writing, talking to people I trust.

I want to trust this energy, and I want to honour it. 2016 is going to be about that trust, and that respect.

So there you have it.

My Code for the upcoming year. We’ll do a six-months in update and an end of the year conclusion, pinky promise.

Bye babies.

*Not in a ESP way, but in an ‘I’m a perceptive, intuitive person’ type of way.

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  1. I love this! Ik ben heel benieuwd hoe je dit bij gaat houden en ik kijk uit naar de volgende blogpost. Ik vind punt drie en vier heel interessant en ben daar zelf ook veel mee bezig. Tof dat je hier zo mee bezig bent, ik krijg altijd veel energie van jouw artikelen/podcasts.

  2. Hier ga ik zoveel van meenemen. Ik herken me enorm in het ‘ja’ zeggen op momenten dat ‘nee’ vele malen verstandiger zou zijn. En ook in het zijn van een sarcastische nurks (hoe fijn is dat woord? #oscarismyhomeboy), die stiekem (hoezo stiekem?) ergens ook nog een wat minder aardse kant heeft. Spiritueel zou ik mezelf niet noemen, maar geloven in ‘energie’ doe ik zeker.
    Deze gaat naar mijn mapje ‘binnenkort opnieuw lezen en zien wat ik ermee gedaan heb’. #zelfreflectie

  3. Oeh, I could learn a thing or two from you. Specially saying “no” without feeling guilty. That’s a bad habit I cling onto too much.

  4. Dang, we zouden eigenlijk ‘kom op voor jezelf’ cursussen moeten hebben in de trant van ‘nee zeggen’ naast die cursussen waarbij je van jezelf af moet slaan en shit. “Hey jij persoon die mij aardig vindt, jij kunt vast wel dit ene voor mij doen dat ene weekend dat je eigenlijk vet hard wilde chillen met jezelf?” “Nee.”

  5. Seriously, you are the exact same energy type of person like I am. Love love love the paragraph “I lean heavily on…in touch with with energy” (like I was reading a part of my own brain). Thanks for sharing, you just inspired me to write my code for this year.

  6. “My agenda is the Pentagon, the club full of hot bitches on a Saturday night: You’re not getting in.” Fuck. Yeah. Ik ga dit printen, inkaderen en overal rond mij ophangen. Of laten tatoeëren op mijn voorhoofd.

  7. I really enjoyed this post! I love all the opportunity a new year represents, and I set similar goals this year. Being joyful is a big one – I really relate to what you wrote about negative people bringing you down; it’s something I find I have to mindful of constantly in order to stay positive. Thanks for sharing!