Ah the first of January… that magical time when everyone tells us we should drop every single one of our faults and change our personalities overnight simply because it’s the start of a new calendar year. Yay!
Or No. Definitely not yay.
I am absolutely bloody sick of the pressure that comes with New Year’s resolutions, and most of all with the ridiculous amount of pressure we put on ourselves at this time of the year.
Because while I am all about setting intentions for ourselves and taking action to make those things a reality, I do not agree with the idea that if we haven’t been to the gym four times every week, saved £1,000 and been found the perfect new job by the end of January we’ve somehow failed for the rest of the year.
Now I’m not going to use this post to tell you why you shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions – I’m a lady who firmly believes in taking any and every opportunity to set new goals and create the live that you love.
But what I am going to suggest is five more sensible New Year’s resolutions you could think about adding to your list, ones that might make the rest of this year a little more fun, a little easier, and might even help you achieve the other goals you want to in 2018.
Ready? Let’s go…
1. Move on from your past
How long has that old break up, those labels you’ve been carrying or that past shame over something been holding you back now?
Whatever the answer, I can tell you it’s been too long, and it’s time to move on.
Moving on from whatever hurt you in the past doesn’t mean saying that hurt was OK, and nor does it mean having to forget; it simply means choosing not to let the past weigh you down anymore.
Depending on what you’re moving on from, how long you’ve been carrying it and how you feel about it, moving on from your past can be a difficult or an easy process.
Start with the simple stuff – light a candle in forgiveness of each particular person, incident, belief or experience you’d like to get rid of; or close your eyes and visualise the energetic cords between yourself and that person or thing being chopped away by a giant sword or scissors.
Try meditating, journaling, and if that still doesn’t get you anywhere then find someone who can help you move forward from the past.
Doing just that is one of the main things my work offers, just saying…
2. Learn to say no
How often in the past 12 months have you taken on too much, done something you really had no interest in, or let someone around you do something you hated, just because in that moment you struggled to say no.
It’s crazy isn’t it? Those two little letters can be the hardest on the entire planet to say.
And so this year, I encourage you to step into your power and learn to say no.
Start small – turn down the guy you’re just not into on Tinder who’s pushing you for a date, or tell your less than pleasant co-worker that no, you can’t work that extra hour tonight because you have plans (hell, you don’t have to explain what those plans are – they’re no one’s business but yours!). And work your way up from there…
Remember this isn’t about saying no to things you love and care about, and nor is it about feeling guilty. Instead it’s about asserting yourself not to take on things that aren’t right for you just because you’re worried about upsetting someone.
Particularly when the alternative means upsetting you.
3. Celebrate yourself
As women we have a tendency to be very very good at building one another up. You know what I mean; you’ll comfortably remind your friends how amazing and beautiful they are at any given opportunity, and will big them up and cheer them on at any chance you get.
But how often do you do that for yourself?
This year I ask you to make regular time to celebrate yourself. Whether it’s by dressing up and dancing to your favourite music; taking yourself off on an amazing solo date; or simply learning to look in the mirror and say “you are beautiful and I love you” to the woman staring back, make this the year that you become your own greatest cheerleader.
4. Stop every day and take a moment to appreciate
Life is busy. It’s busy and it’s fast, and before you know it we’ll be in January 2019 and you’ll be reflecting back on one more whole year going past.
Unfortunately I haven’t quite cracked time travel, so have no way of genuinely slowing it down. However that doesn’t mean that I can’t tell you how to make the most of the year that lies ahead.
The secret to doing that? Take a moment every single day to stop and appreciate what’s going on in your life.
Whether it’s a quiet day at home with running water, fresh food and a roof over your head or a glorious holiday somewhere exotic with some of your most favourite people, there is something to appreciate in life.
So in 2018 I’m not only asking you to focus on that appreciation, but also to take a minute out here and there to focus on nothing that appreciation.
5. Go easy on yourself
And possibly most importantly of all? Go easy on yourself.
None of us can ever fire on all cylinders during every single minute of our lives. And nor will we all be perfect every single day.
But what we can do is our best – whether that be at going out there and living our dreams, or at taking it easy and resting so you’re ready to go for it the next day.
Where we don’t hit our targets, where we fall off the wagon of our resolutions, and where we revert back to the patterns we’re trying so hard to move away from we have two options: We can beat ourselves up or learn from the experience and move on.
This year, go for the latter. Not only will it leave you feeling better and much happier, it’s also a much quicker route to learning the lessons you need in order to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself in the long run.