As New Year’s approaches, I am pretty sure we have all turned our thoughts to those New Year’s Resolutions that we all feel we need to make. Those ones where we promise we will get fitter, have more ‘me time’, eat more healthily etc but we all know that most of these won’t last longer than February at best. And why is that? Well, because we set ourselves these high targets, we look to reach for the stars and want to see the results immediately and when that doesn’t happen, the majority of us give up. Yes, it is great to have all of these aspirations but if they make you feel bad within a few weeks, they aren’t worth setting.
So what is worth looking to?
Resolutions that will inspire you, ones that will inspire others, ones that will help the community or even the planet. Resolutions that will stick and will make a difference.
Here are my 11 perfectly positive New Year’s Resolutions that anyone can keep up…
Start the year with a de-clutter
I don’t know about you but the aftermath of Christmas usually leaves me (and my home) feeling completely overwhelmed. The extra ‘stuff’ you now have to find a home for, the decorations starting to look drab, the mess from the kids, it’s enough to make you want to throw everything out the window!! Spend some time going through each room, tackle that mountain of toys and see what you can donate to charity. Please, please don’t think about throwing away, think about how your belongings could be better used by somebody else. You may have got all the use out of it but someone else may be desperate for it. Look at what refuges are in your area, which charity shops take what items (a lot now take old furniture too) or maybe post online to see if anyone may benefit from a goodwill gesture. Yes, it is nice to sell some things and make a bit of money but why not start the year as you mean to go on, by making a positive change.
Make one eco-friendly swap every couple of months (or so)
The first point I want to make is do NOT put pressure on yourself here. If you want to make just 4 swaps next year, go for it. If you want to make 20, plan those out, the last thing you want to do is to set yourself up to fail then just give up. This needs to be a positive New Year’s resolution and making just 1 swap can make a big difference to our planet so you need to find something that suits your lifestyle and that you can keep up. It’s about doing a few things really well and consistently and if we all try something to help our planet we will all be working together to create a better future.
Support a charity
Instead of spending that £3 or so on your daily takeaway coffee why not do without and put that money to some good use and choose a charity that is close to your heart to donate it to each week/month? We all repeatedly spend on products we don’t need, imagine how much change that change could make to someone.
No spend month or year
The pressure to have it all to buy it all to keep up with every other person on social media has increased to a dangerous level over the years, hasn’t it? So why not take that pressure away and give yourself a month or even a year off? Go without those extras you don’t really need, look at making do, mending things, borrowing items or shopping secondhand instead. With every saving, put the money into an account and come the end of the year I think you’ll be very surprised! This New Year’s resolution could lead to something even more positive the following year, a new car? A new home? A dream holiday perhaps?
Check in with neighbours
How many neighbours do you actually know? How many may need a helping hand without anybody knowing? There’s little community spirit around these days and it would be so nice to see that change. If you see somebody in the street why not stop a while to chat? Maybe offer to help somebody to clear their garden. Keep a closer eye on older neighbours who may be a bit lonely. You could make a huge difference to somebody’s life just by making conversation. The positive New Year’s resolution you make doesn’t necessarily have to be positive to you.
Slow down your lifestyle and take some time out to read more. Switch off that TV, put down the phone and forget about trying to do it all, all of the time. Reading is relaxing, it is therapeutic and it provides you with some mindfulness in your life. Don’t set yourself a target on this, reading should be about enjoying the book not rushing through to hit a certain number of books for the year.
Be more organised
Forgetting events, school dates, birthdays, appointments can all add stress, overwhelm and unhappiness to your life. By simply purchasing a family-sized calendar and writing down every important date for the entire year you can set yourself up for a more organised 12 months. Keep this in a place where everyone can see it, keep a pen next to it and keep it updated as each change occurs. The best tip I can give is to copy out every date from the school calendar onto yours and as something comes through on Parentmail make a note of that too– it will make a huge difference to your life. If you want to be super organised you could even colour code it!! Other good habits to get into in order to achieve a more positive new year is to set out the school clothes the night before, clear away the washing up straight after dinner, keep things like lightbulbs stocked up in the house so you are never caught out and so on. Every small step will help you to feel more in control of your life.
Find a hobby that sparks your passion
Joining the gym or a class because you want to get fit and healthy is a great idea BUT is that really you? Will you quit after a month or make excuses week after week? I am all for being healthy but don’t forget that this also includes your mental health too. If going to the gym makes you miserable find an activity that will make you happier. If it’s exercise you are after why not join a fun class with like-minded people? Maybe Zumba or clubbercise if you like to laugh through it. How about salsa if you fancy a go at learning a new skill at the same time as getting fit? There are so many options out there.
If exercise isn’t for you at all maybe art or singing or games are? See what there is locally and find a place where you fit. Once you get this right you will have a hobby that will stick and will bring you happiness week after week!
Give yourself a break
How many times did you beat yourself up last year? Or the year before or the year before that? How often do you feel guilty for not being ‘perfect’, for not hitting that target, for not being there for a school thing etc? Give yourself a break! You are human and you are allowed to feel overwhelmed and emotional and like you need to walk away from certain things. Look at your fails as learning curves, look at not meeting everything under the sun as being ok, look at yourself as a worthy person who simply cannot DO IT ALL!! None of us can and if we spent more time saying “oh well” rather than internally beating ourselves up, we would be far happier and calmer. Positivity has to come from you and letting more of the crap go will allow this to happen.
Visit a place you’ve always wanted to see
One place. Pick just one place and make it your mission to get there. Don’t make a huge list, don’t choose something that you know is out of reach at this moment in time, just pick one that you’ve always wondered about. I always think we are very quick to jump on a plane to visit a foreign country but there are so many places in the UK that I have wanted to visit for years. Why haven’t I gone? Because I’ve not prioritised it. I have a list in my head which goes on and on and this leads to not planning. Next year I want to commit. Can you do this too?
Set obtainable goals
Ok, ok I know this has been the message behind almost all of these positive New Year’s Resolutions but I wanted to finish with actually saying it. Setting unobtainable goals is setting yourself up to fail before you’ve even started. Goals do not have to be big nor complicated. Some things I would like to do is to increase views on my blog (hint, hint), enjoy more quality family time, take a holiday in Cornwall and get back to The Eden Project and to do all of these positive New Year’s Resolutions above to the best of my ability. No pressure, nothing major, just living more in the moment and being kinder to myself. I think everybody could do with a bit more of that in their lives. Don’t you?
I hope that each of you will be able to take something from my positive New Year’s Resolutions list and if you have any more of your own please let me know in the comments.
To all of you, thank you so much for reading and I wish you the happiest of New Year’s!
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