New year’s resolutions

Here we are, the first week of the New Year and I am wondering how many of you are making a new start? For many of us the New Year involves making a list of all the things we want to do: losing that bit of extra weight, taking up a new hobby, stopping a certain (usually ‘bad’) activity or finding that new job or being promoted in your current one. We begin with good intentions but how long do they last? For most of us, we’re lucky to make it to the end of January.

A couple of years ago I came across the idea of saying no to New Years resolutions and instead only choosing positive changes, adding to my life instead of taking away or eliminating altogether.

So this year I am choosing to do the following five things:

Create a monthly challenge to develop myself and inspire others, you can join me over on Instagram and LinkedIn. I will be posting daily, ranging from articles and challenges to quotes and tips; this month focuses on finding your passion.

Live in the present as much as I can. I am generally a planner, in fact, I wrote this blog back in November so that I could relax in January as I prepared for the imminent arrival of my second child (who arrived 4 weeks early, something I didn’t plan for!). Two years ago however I took up mindfulness meditation as I felt I just wasn’t spending enough time being present with my daughter. It is so easy to fill our lives with all the things we *have* to do but do we? Really? What is most important to you? For me it was to spend time with the people I love and that involves being present in the room with them. As a by-product it allows me to improve my focus and to challenge myself on what is important to me.

I will carry out random acts of kindness more frequently. Perhaps not anything more than letting someone cut in front of me in a queue of traffic or smiling as I go past someone on the street. I want to make a difference to someone’s day and as a result, I will feel more fulfilled and happier.

Celebrate my successes and be grateful for them. Last year I made a gratitude jar and over the year I filled it with things I was grateful for. At the end of the year I tipped them out and reminisced over 2015. This year I am going to add successes I have had – from big things like having a baby to completing my postgraduate qualification to smaller things like ending the day with a clean kitchen or taking 15 mins to myself – celebrating life.

Make time for me. With two small children, a partner, a cat, a family and an active social life as well as making time to work there is often someone who is neglected – that someone is me. [update: this is especially true since our second daughter arrived prematurely and we are spending lots of time travelling between home and the hospital as well as trying to find a semblance of routine!]

To look after others you first need to look after yourself – anon

So here’s to raising a glass, munching on some delicious chocolate and shunning the gym in favour of enjoying life, being grateful and making small, regular, positive changes. Cheers.

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